After the controversy engendered by this tea, I had to give it a whirl tonight.
It struck me as an unusual 4-yr-old sheng, reminded me of the stuff you feed horses: is that timothy? and a little fermented at that. After Emmy's bad experience, I kept the brew times short: 15 s, 15 s, 20 s, 45 s, 60 s. 5 gr of leaf in a 120 ml pot, about 60% full when spent.
The tea seemed always to be borderline rough in the mouth (not really astringent or bitter, just rough). I never saw the lovely dark color pictured in the vendor's site. I've seen aged puerh that color, maybe even aged only 4 years, but not this one. It was pretty much blushing yellow all the way. Also, that flavor profile did not develop much: at its best, sweet and smokey almost apricot, at its worst, silage. The flavor never seemed strong to me at any point.
I did enjoy the experience and I will drink the rest of the sample someday; it seems like something to make (weak) by the pot and serve with a meal, but it does not rank high in my estimation as a stand alone drink. The more I think of it, this could be very nice with a Chinese meal.
I am really surprised at the variety of tastes and experiences we are having in Year of Green
. I have tasted 50 to 60 sheng puerhs in the last year and a half and do not remember this big a range of difference among all those as what I am finding in Year of Green
. I suppose I never strayed this far out of a certain quality level. I am finding this very enlightening.
My rating "I didn't care for it."
Ron's (interpreted) rating
Reprise: Well I kept brewing 2, 3, 5 and 8 minutes and found a different tea, a sort of light bai hao oolong like, with wonderful oiliness on the lips. This really does seem like something to brew few leaves, large pot, with delicious spicy Chinese food. Don't know what parameters I would use. I've heard of restaurant meals accompanied by puerh, but since I always drink pu by itself, it seemed like a strange idea to me. But this one could be great that way. Mmm, the leaves, BTW, are nice big green pieces. I may have to change my rating! It may qualify higher as a special purpose tea rather than as what I usually think of as pu.