The dry leaf scent scared me. It smelled smokey and meaty, like bacon. And I hate bacon. So I double rinsed it, and smelled the wet leaf. Woodsy, earthy, foresty, and maybe a touch smokey. A definite improvement from the bacon dry leaf aroma.
10g, 8oz water, boiling, 2 10 sec rinses, 10,15,20,25,30 second steeps. Sweetened with stevia.
I don’t know if it’s do to the rinsing, but I definitely don’t get any smoked meat taste here, thankfully. Very earthy and forest like in flavor. Almost soupy in texture, coats the throat and lingers nice and long. Sweetening it, takes it from rustic wild forestry, to sweeter and mellower. The earthiness becomes soft and muted, and theres a sort of caramel like note laying on top. Second steep unsweetened, I can sort of taste pine, and maybe some leather added to the previous notes. Sweetening has a similar effect as the last time, but also kinds of makes the cup bland. While I liked the first steep sweetened, this steep seems to have suffered from the addition of stevia. As it cools, the flavors improve, bring it back on par to the first steep. Third steep has an almost smokey note at the end of the sip that lingers in the aftertaste pre-sweetened. Again, sweetening it hurts more than helps this pu-erh. Usually I like the sweet earthy caramelly dark complex raw cocoa types of flavor that emerge when I sweeten a ripe puerh, but this one is so rustic and earthy that sweetening does it an injustice. The problem is that while some people love those earthy, loamy, forest flavors, they don’t do it for me. So while I don’t care for it, if those are your thing, I’d definitely recommend giving this a shot.