OK, I am on infusion #7 after using the same leaf-to-water ratio as Omegapd, doing no rinse, and 15 s, 20 s, 25 s, 30 s, 45 s, 1 m, 90 s. Once again I am impressed with what a nice tea this is at 2¢ per gram! The things that stand out for me are
1) sweet and a little viscous
2) quite smooth for such a young pu
3) a bit of nice aftertaste
4) taste of mushroom, maybe nuts
5) fifth infusion turning a bit fruity.
It isn't remarkably endowed with any of these characteristics, but it does have adequate amounts of most of the characteristics of good puerh. Because of this balance, I suspect it will age well in addition to being nice now. A great tea it is not, but it is a good solid average sheng. At 5¢ per gram I would not buy it.
I think I figured out what you are describing as a numbing effect, though this tea exhibits less of these negatives than much young puerh. There is a series of sensations that I generally refer to as rough
, and drying
(on various parts or all of the mouth and tongue). I suspect that one or a combination of these sensations--present to a modest degree--is what you are describing as numbing
. It's akin to the numbing of eating Concord (or even more so, Beta) grapes. Were I not looking for it, I don't think I would have even noticed it, since I have experienced so much worse, but my buccal and lingual tissue does not feel 100% normal.
If the sensation bothers you, don't worry. Set it aside and in 3 to 5 years I predict the numbing sensation will be almost completely gone and the beginnings of a cherry pie or sweet plum taste will be setting in. The more exposure the brick has to the sanguine South Georgia humidity, the quicker that should happen.