The leaves are small, dark, and compact, with some broken leaves and dust from its excision from a larger cake. (I unfortunately do not have an entire cake, although I do love this tea.) The layers are visible from the side of the chunk and are separated without much difficulty using a pu’er pick. The scent is mostly vanilla to me, with a sweetness that could potentially be the cake flavor the description reads.
First I did a 8 sec rinse, then the first steep was about 15 sec. The color of the brew is a medium red-toned chestnut; it smells much the leaves did. The taste starts off sweet and ends with a thickening (best I can describe it) of the taste, with vanilla throughout. The aftertaste is a pleasant fading of the vanilla, leaving a heavy feel on the back of my tongue.
Second steep of ~30 sec. The taste was much the same, although the heaviness was more apparent. The leaves have now fully broken apart from the clump I first put in the gaiwan.
Third steep of ~60 sec. The taste is more subtle now, and the heaviness lighter. The color of the brew is unchanged however.
Flavors: Cake, Sweet, Vanilla