This is one of my oldest teas, as it came from the final “Here’s Hoping Teabox” which was the first teabox I joined as a newbie on Steepster back in… 2016 or 2017, I think? I finished everything I had from that box except a few pu’erh samples, as I always think to myself, “Age can’t hurt this!” and try to drink other things that are getting less and less fresh each day. But I failed my “one gong fu session a month” goal last year, and want to try that goal again this year! So I pulled this out to gong fu this morning.
My package simply says “Yiwu Sheng Pu-erh 2016” on it, and since this is the closest match I can find, I’m putting it here (if it is something else, apologies!)
80ml (mini pot) | 4.43g | 205F | Rinse/10s/13s/16s/19s/22s/25s/28s/31s
The wet leaf has a really pungent aroma… smells like umami cooked meats, bitter fruit rind, hay, and minerals. The rinse had a strong aroma of sour fruits and hay. The first steep, after a bit of cooling, has a gentler aroma, and tastes surprisingly fruity and smooth… I’m getting a cooked stonefruit vibe, particularly plum, with a bit of a dry hay/herbaceous backdrop and a bit of minerality in the finish. The next infusion smells and tastes delightfully plummy, a little sour at first with a honeyed note coming forward afterward. I’m getting a sort of black licorice aftertaste on my tongue (which is fine by me, I’m one of those rare black licorice fans). That aftertaste becomes more of a mild muscatal note in subsequent steeps, with the sip continuing to be very plum forward, with a bit more florality/wildflower honey and graham cracker popping up in the taste. Around the sixth infusion the stonefruit notes disappeared and it became more of a mix of bitter melon, hay, herbaceous, citrus peel, and mineral notes. Steeped for eight infusions.
Flavors: Bitter Melon, Citrus Zest, Floral, Graham Cracker, Herbaceous, Honey, Hot Hay, Licorice, Mineral, Muscatel, Plum, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruit