At first, I thought that this was going to be a transformational pu erh experience. But it fell somewhat short.
The cake smelled a tad fishy and a lot leathery, and broke apart quite easily. I put a fair amount of leaf in the gaiwan given that I think I’ve been underleafing pu erhs to an extent.
Boiling. Rinse. Steeped at 10/10/20/30/40/60/120/240/300/360
The aroma of this is fantastic. It smells like molasses and brown sugar, without any fishiness at all, and it has that malty quality that I get from a lot of Samovar black teas that contain Yunnan. It steeped very dark and opaque until the last couple of steeps when it became a bit lighter and more the color of bourbon.
But. The promise of that aroma didn’t come through in the flavor. I kept waiting for the sweetness, the sugary note, but I never got it. It was more woodsy, and a little like coffee as the steeps progressed. And it was smooth, and had nothing ordinary or objectionable about it — I just wished it followed through on how it had smelled.
I have high expectations for Samovar teas in general, which may be why I felt a little disappointed. It’s very good, but I was hoping it would be out of this world.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Coffee, Fishy, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Wood