I have been working through the cake off and on for about 6 months now. At first I found it so bitter and astringent, that some of the secondary “puerh” flavors didn’t come out at all. I put the cake away for about 10 weeks and brought it out again yesterday for the first time in a while.
The astringency has mellowed somewhat (perhaps because I’m getting leaves deeper in the cake at this point?) and I’m getting more citrus and “green” notes beyond tannin. Sometimes I get a hint of leather.
I will finish this cake, and I have a second cake that I’ll eventually open, but not for a while. I am going to age it and see if it improves at all in a year or so.
Important point, which may explain some of what I experienced early on, is that most of the leaves in my gaiwan are broken. I only see a few whole leaves per pot.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Leather, Orange