Thank you for the link!
I thought it was a great experience too, and certainly a different tea than mature, well aged puerh.
The stuff I got to try looked like really dark brown, almost black sand.
And it tasted very much like puerh, but definitely more full body, a thickness, not syrupy, but certainly thicker. I thought it tasted like puerh but more pronounced of the satisfying puerh flavors - earth, loam, fall leaves in a forest after rain, mushroom, mineral. Nothing poo-ey about it at all. I was under the impression that it is rare - is that incorrect?
To answer your question about what in my experience is smooth, earthy, rich puerh, unfortunately my information doesn't involve a recipe # or factory due to my experiences not being with tea I own nor been able to purchase. The good stuff I've tasted has been chiefly in tastings where I've been taught to taste the difference between shou and sheng, been taught about puerh in general, etc. The best stuff that I've experienced has been from private holdings in tastings at Teance. The private stuff belongs to the owner proprietor Winnie Yu, daughter of Chitfu Yu (calligrapher/artist). I think the oldest was 30 year and was a gift to her out of a family heirloom collection from a family in China. It was loose leaf, sheng, and amazing. Their 15 year puerh I also find to be really good (which they sell and so I own some). Essentially the flavors and aromas I look for and like are of good, forest earth, loam, mushroom, sometimes camphor, minerals, a slight pleasant saltiness sometimes, also sometimes soft, round aromas of wood, tobacco, hay, and/or alfalfa. Additionally I look for smoothness, balance of flavors and aromas, zero off-putting tastes/aromas, an augmentation of the fire element in my body, an overall soothing influence on my body.
As I drink and taste puerh tea I think of the following:
I've been taught that the tea industry is still attempting to recapture the art of puerh, and that the best teas originate from pre chinese revolution, and are almost impossible to acquire. I am further taught that due to the revolution, tea masters responsible for creating the pre-revolutionary puerhs either fled or were otherwise endangered and that the true art of puerh has been kind of lost - thus the attempts (by organizations "such as The Puerh Institute I believe) to figure out how it was done and duplicate the process. Also that the process came about originally by accident out of the way teas were transported on animal backs across vast distances and vastly varying altitudes, through varying climates etc, etc.
On top of this I have been taught that for the past couple of decades, 'Yunnan' has been 'selling'/marketing young puerh, ie - talking up it's various qualities in order to sell it, to maintain a revenue flow, and of course they would, they need to survive and this is their business. Problem is a lot of misinformation, baseless information, etc has come out of this. Also, lovers of young sheng puerhs have come out of this - which I think is really cool (even tho I don't happen to like it).
Essentially I guess we're waiting for teas to age that have been tasted in their youth by masters (as opposed to pure sales people) to again be tasted in their maturity so that the art can be decisively recaptured - then add in that there's all the vicissitudes of how to properly age the tea, and again tasting the tea at youth and at maturity and putting all this together, and my understanding is the jury's still very much out. (not that there aren't some very strong opinions out there - but I hold opinion and fact as often divergent).
So I am dubious about these intense young pu's, and just don't know if they will in fact turn out to be great at maturity (and I haven't met anyone yet who knows how to distinguish yet either - tho many claim to, and some of those are salespeople, while others are emotional about their investment, and yet others strong and righteous of opionion - but none have I met yet who're old enough to have tasted a tea at its youth and the SAME tea again at its maturity).
Anyone on here have the experience of tasting a young pu and then tasting it again (the exact same bing, cake, etc) 20 to 30 to 40 years later? Were copious notes taken? Etc, etc.
All this is on my mind as I drink any puerh and especially as I hear about any puerh.
Truth is, I have yet to taste a young one and say I truly enjoy the experience (as I do drinking a beautiful phoenix oolong, or matcha, or shincha or Sencha or silver needle etc).
But that's just me.
Long live the lovers of young shengs, and long live the rest of us too!