Just wanted to pop back in to say thanks a heap for all the help! I ordered a 2007 Rongzhen 9878 Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake and a 2008 Yiwu Hongqing Arbor Pu-erh Tea Cake from Puerhshop.com. I received them yesterday and have now tried them both. They are *fantastic*. I could not be more pleased! I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to describe the flavors. The sheng is slightly more mellow and vegetal, and the shu has this really unique, slightly.....leathery/hay bale scent. Omegapd described it as a "barnyard" aroma and I feel that's really accurate, in the most pleasant way.
The compost-like flavor/scent I experienced with my first pu'erh is nowhere to be found, thankfully. I am now a true convert! I am already planning my next order, and will include at least one sheng to store away and let it age. So I've got some "pumidor" reading to do.
If anyone is interested, I have some pictures posted at my flickr page. If the link works, it is:
Or perhaps I can post a few here:
2008 Yiwu Hongqing Arbor Pu-erh Cake
2007 Rongzhen 9878 Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake