Drinking this again to see if I still like it as much as the first time I drank it. It is certainly one of the best ripes I have drank. There was a sweet note from the start with little or no bitterness. There was a certain amount of fermentation flavor but it was not too strong and didn’t last all that long, maybe four or five steeps. I am not sure if I would say this had chocolate notes but it certainly is possible. I would describe the sweet note as a dates note or something similar. This is probably the most expensive tea in my collection. Unfortunately he does not sell samples of this. As I understand it he has only a few bricks left. The question I ask is this really ancient tree. The claim of 500 to 800 year trees is not as obnoxious as those claims of some sellers. This probably means the bulk of the tea comes from 500 year old trees. But as I trust the seller and he was not selling this for a suspiciously low price I tend to believe him. This was priced where you would expect such old tree tea to be priced. I tend to believe Larry at Purepuer. The tea went 16 steeps and would have gone a couple more had I the patience for the long steeps. It is said that only ancient tree material will go for so many steeps but I don’t know if this is true. I’m sure I could have gotten twenty steeps out of this tea. It was a little weaker in the sixteenth steep but it was still noticeable as tea.
I steeped this 16 times in a 160ml solid silver teapot with 14.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, 3.5 min, and 4 minutes. I still think this is among the very best ripes I have ever drank and I have had a lot of different ripe tea. This one was clearly fermented properly. It was not in my understanding a huge production batch like some. This makes sense as they have only so many leaves from 500 year old trees. I don’t know how large was the production batch but I would suspect not more than 50 bricks or so.