I was inspired by Cloud's recent post that showed great comparison shots of a couple of cakes over ten years of aging.
I didn't think I had taken a lot of pictures where I could do comparisons like it, but I went back into my archives and I did manage to find some decent enough pictures.
In any case, I've been drinking pu'erh for a much shorter period of time, so my picture only shows 4 years of aging, but here is a comparison:
It's a 2008 tea, but I've decided not to name the tea for now, because I think it was (is?) a sort of controversial tea at the time. So rather than focus on that, I'd rather focus on the appearance.
I had to brighten the left image a bit because it was dark, but the coloring is pretty accurate (a vendor still sells this cake, and the pictures look quite green).
I'm enjoying a session with the tea right now. The first steep was quite smooth, a vague hint of wood on the edges, but also a hint of "black tea" in the aftertaste. The second and third cups have marked astringency and roughness. It's still has a lot of youth in it, which is not too surprising.
Time to go make the 4th cup. I'll see if I can get some good lighting to take a picture of the steep. I think I have a picture of the steep back in 2009, too...