I got this as part of their pu’er sampler. It came in one 14g chunk, easy to break up in two. It’s a medium fermented Menghai Te Ji Grade pu’er, “mostly pure bud with some larger leaves mixed in (technically between gong ting and grade 1).”

It’s a super dark reddish brown liquor with a heavy leather aroma after the first infusion of 5s. The taste wasn’t that heavy of leather (thankfully). It was earthy, mushrooms, wet wood, some leather… Fermentation flavors. As I went through the steeps, the aroma changed and I could smell sweetness, cocoa, still very earthy, some leather. The flavors of fruit came out… Black cherry? Plum? with the earth notes, leather notes, mushroom, and mineral notes. I have no idea what merlot tastes like so if it has those notes as the description says, I wouldn’t know :P. It is rich, and it has a creamy viscous mouthfeel while sipping, ending with a bite. It remained very earthy, mushrooms and hints of fruit throughout. It’s a daily drinker type.

Yixing gaiwan (specifically for shou), 7g, 110ml, rinse, 5s, 7s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 1m.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Fruity, Leather, Mineral, Moss

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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Longtime casual tea drinker. In the past, mainly Matcha, Gyokuro, Sencha, Genmaicha… Etc. I like all teas: Green, oolong, black & pu’erh (prefer ripe over raw).

Chanoyu (for matcha prep) and Gongfu cha (for other types of tea) are the main ways I prepare my tea (Gaiwan, Yixing teapot, Kyusu). I drink all tea… Usually unflavored. This past year, I’ve tried many flavored now because of all of you lol. As long as there aren’t artificial sweeteners, it’s all good.

Favorite stores: TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala Tea, 52Teas, Whispering Pines, Bird & Blend, Yunnan sourcing, White2Tea, Lupicia.

The flavors I dislike: Artificial sweetener, lavender, violet, any strong floral-perfumey tea; cantaloupe, papaya, honeydew, rose, licorice, anise, jasmine, any mints, leather.

Favorite flavors: Citrus fruits (especially grapefruit & tangerines), granny smith apple, bananas, guava, mango, tamarind, watermelon, stonefruits, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, creme, bread/pastry, nuts, toasted, roasted.

I generally don’t add anything to my teas unless they are flavored, then I may add a splash of milk.

As I explore, my ratings may shift. 90+ generally means I’ll keep it on my shelf.





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