Surprisingly good! This was a gift to me 3 yr ago and has been in dry storage until the time of this tasting. Although it comes in paper wrap AND a decorative tin , the metal has vent holes to ensure proper aging. The vendor says the cake was compressed in 2014 from maocha from 2008, making it now 13 yr old and I believe it. The larger outer leaves pressed in the 100g tuo disguise a seemingly smaller chop inside, as I carefully pried apart the side of the tuo. I used 4 g of dry leaf and steeped in 90 ml boiling water after a 10s wash under hot tap water. I sipped across 12 steepings of gradually increasing length starting at 15 sec. Color ranged from a bright orange the color of the top of the tin, to a deeper orange matching the middle of the tin.
The tea had a very pleasant taste of light spice and modest astringency on the middle of the tongue with notes of chestnut and a pepperiness, and the leaves started as a deep olive green. By steep 6 a vegetal flavor had emerged, but distinct tea flavor remained and the leaves darkened. Although diminishing by the 12th steep of 2 min., the tea still had good flavor, but the leaves had turned to mush and the tasting concluded. Overall a stable flavor and good aroma, and I’ll buy more of this treasured gift.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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Left-coast reared (on Bigelow’s Constant Comment and Twinings’ Earl Grey) and right-coast educated, I’ve used this moniker (and Email) since the glory days of AOL in the 90’s, reflecting two of my lifelong loves—tea and ‘Trek. Now a midwestern science guy (right down to the Hawaiian shirts), I’m finally broadening the scope of my sippage and getting into all sorts of Assamicas, from mainstream Assam CTCs to Taiwan blacks & TRES varietals, to varied Pu’erhs. With some other stuff tossed in for fun. Love reading other folks’ tasting notes (thank you), I’ve lurked here from time to time and am now adding a few notes of my own to better appreciate the experience. You can keep the rooibos LoL!
Photo with Aromatic Bamboo Species Raw Pu-erh Tea “Xiang Zhu” by Yunnan Sourcing, which is most definitely aromatic!



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