I first bought a cake of this on a whim in december 2017 (drunk, impulsive, same thing). It was coincidentally also one of my first shengs and I hated it. Coming back to it now after six months and having developed my taste more, here are my thoughts.
The leaves are easy to pry off. You can do it easily with a butter knife if you wanted. I did 1gr to 15ml gongfu style in a jianshui teapot. The tea started out soft with an astringency that sticks with you throughout the sessions. It settles in the back of your throat. The tea soup is quite thick and in the mouth it feels smooth and almost oily.
Only in the fourth steep or so did a bit of sweetness come through, but only peeking out so much before the taste turned flowery. It is hard to explain, but once you’ve swallowed the tea, you’re left with a strange bitter and flowery aroma and taste in your mouth. Like you’ve munched on some rose petals is the best to describe it (and yes, I have done that to know). It is not at all unpleasant, but I can see why I did not like this tea very much back when I was new to puerh tea.
The bitter flowery taste becomes more apparent and around steep number seven I found it leaning just a little bit towards orange peels. The soup kind of sticks against the back of your throat and with further steeps, I found it to begin to have some tardiness to it. Astringency is still there. Towards the end, it was mostly bitter with no further notes or aromas.
Cha qi is quite strong. I felt very alert and aware of my surroundings after, some lightness in the head and almost fidgety. Something I don’t get often either. It gives me great energy.
This is a tea that is not for everyone. I remember regretting buying a whole cake of this, but having revisited it now I can see how I might crave a tea like this once in a while. It’s definitely not a daily drinker for me. There’s still quite some bitterness in it and I was glad to have the jianshui teapot to take some of the edge off. I don’t think most people would enjoy this tea. It’s not necessarily complex in taste, but it has a very straightforward character that will only do for some. I enjoy it, but only once in a while.
Flavors: Anise, Biting, Bitter, Citrus Zest, Flowers