I put a whole one of these in the 50 ml gaiwan, which is probably overleafing by a bit. I rinsed and then steeped at boiling for 10/10/20/30/40/50/60/120/240/300/360
The dry nests have a heavy, whiskey-like aroma. The nest fell apart fully after the first steep.
This one followed the pattern I seem to be observing where the first steep had a slightly lighter mahogany color, then the steeps darkened in color to a coffee color through the fourth steep and then began to lighten to a dark amber with each subsequent steep.
The first four or so steeps smelled of cocoa, coffee, molasses, and a little leather. It tasted like it smelled.
Around steep four, the flavor started to fade some and an earthy note came out.
Another observation: the shu pu erhs I’ve tasted mostly don’t really change all that much except for a shift around steep four when the start to fade. I tend not to really enjoy the later steeps that have less flavor as much. While I’ll continue to steep them through 10 steeps to be able to compare more accurately for initial note purposes, if I were just drinking for the sake of it, I’d probably stop after steep 5 in most instances.
Through steep 5, this was a nice tea with rich flavors, and no fishiness. I enjoyed its departure from the usual mushroom notes I get with shu.
Now that I’ve done some cupboard purging to get rid of things I seem to no longer have, I can report that the current status of teas in the cupboard with no initial notes is:
1 black caffeinated
1 black decaf
6 pu erhs
5 blooming individual servings
Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Earth, Leather, Molasses, Whiskey