Seeing how this is my first review on this site, I’m not going to wax rhapsodic in the same vein as the others here, but suffice it to say that this tea is phenomenal. As others have noted, the flavor isn’t why you drink this, necessarily, but I actually quite like it; then again, I’m a big fan of Menghai-ish teas. It starts off fairly light in the first couple of steeps, bright and citric with a not insignificant, though not overpowering bitterness. Over the next several steeps, the liquor and the taste proceed to darken, with the flavors developing a bolder low note, while retaining a high, almost lime-like citrusiness. Lurking on the sides of all of this is a distinctly milky character, almost like a milk oolong at times, something I’ve never encountered in a puerh—or any unflavored tea—before. This character settles in and doesn’t really fade over a number of steeps—I didn’t really count, but it showed more durability than most teas I drink. Towards, the end, though, the bitterness starts to fade and the milk comes forward a bit more and transforms into light sweetness, until it all gradually fades. There’s a tiny bit of astringency on the late steeps, but nothing like the astringency bomb that, say, 72 Hours can become if you’re not careful.
The really remarkable character of the tea, though, is outside the flavor, as I mentioned earlier. The mouthfeel is some of the most viscous I’ve experienced in a tea, thicker than most beer, even. Its finish was strong enough that, at times, I got almost the same flavor as the tea itself, albeit without that viscosity. Finally, the qi was intense, beyond just caffeine. Definitely face-numbing, but more than once throughout the session, I also found myself capable of doing very little except staring at a wall for several minutes.
I almost never drink tea in isolation, even gong-fu; I’m usually, at the very least, reading something. This tea joins those rare few that has held my attention over a whole session. Paul outdid himself with this one; if you can try it, do so.
(Thanks to my wife, who got me this tea for Christmas)