Compared to the other aged tea I got from Tea Side, 1988 Yuen Neun, this loose pu-erh is much cheaper. It did, however, also leave a weaker impression on me and it yields about 25% less tea overall too.
Dry leaf aroma is reminiscent of nuts, old books and bamboo. After the rinse,a string earthy note of peat emerges, coupled with a cooling eucalyptus wood scent.
The taste is also somewhat peaty with notes of fresh soil, plant roots, old dry wood and pine early on. The third steep has an interesting sweet vegetal flavour that remains fairly isolated in the context of the whole session. In the middle, I can taste cola, dry earth, fermented grains, black beans and yeast. It is still very much an earthy tea with a kombucha-like acidity at times. Towards the end, there is more nuttiness, a bit like hazelnuts I’d say.
The aftertaste is nutty throughout though and a little bit drying too. There are additional notes of root vegetables, betel nut, black cherry, milk, dark chocolate, and licorice root to be found after swallowing.
Texture of the tea is somewhere between creamy and colloidal, and fairly thick at its peak. However, it is not quite what I would call a full bodied tea. The cha qi was nice and definitely noticeable, but not out of this world. I found it to be a calming and a little meditative tea, with an occasional spine tingling as well.