I’ve had this tea for quite awhile.. about 6 months. In that time, I’ve used about 70% of it but haven’t written down my thoughts. The cake has a sweet, dry grass/hay and apricot smell to it. It’s somewhat difficult to break up, but this could be a result of my dry storage. As time goes on, it’s coming apart in tuo style chunks instead of nice whole leaf pieces. I’m using 7g in my favorite ~90ml yixing pot this time as I find that this tea can be pretty light and it responds well to a heavy hand with regard to both leaf amount and steep time. A puer newbie could steep the snot out of this and it would still be drinkable.
The first steep, at 10 seconds, is very light in taste but the sweet aftertaste is already apparent. Not much to this one – I often toss it and start drinking at the second steep. With budget tea like this, I don’t feel too bad about it.
With a second steep, the liqour looks closer to what I expect from these leaves. It’s a pale amber color, and the flavor, though still light, is there. It’s sweet dry hay – really pleasant and familiar. There’s some florality but I can’t place it. As the tea in my cup cools, I notice that it tastes fuller and thicker – much better that what you might expect for a budget offering.
Hot water into the pot once again. This time, the brew is certainly darker. It’s thicker as well and there’s some mouth drying effect happening. The apricot flavor is more present now. I think this steep went on a little too long.
On steep number four, a vegetal green grassy flavor makes its first appearance. The astringency meter is rising, but it’s not too bad.
Five steeps in, the liquor looks like an amber sample. Jurassic Park vibes. It’s thick and sweet with more of that green grass flavor barging into the picture. There’s a slight minerality as the tea leaves my tongue.
From here on out, the taste is pretty vegetal but some of the original sweetness is intact. I know from experience that as I continue to steep this out, the vegetal green taste will be gradually replaced by a mineral sweetness. You’re not going to get 15-20 steeps out of this tea and I think that’s fine. It’s a budget daily drinker that’s pretty enjoyable for what it is. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t want to spend 2 hours drinking the same pu. It’s intended to be an educational tool paired with the other cakes in the set, and I think it serves that purpose well.
Flavors: Green, Hay, Mineral, Sweet, Vegetal