This tastes like a completely different blend/processing than the 2012 (that was far too smokey for me). Now the positive reviews of other years from this line make more sense.

I still prefer, let’s say, W2T’s raw terroir starter kit (69.50/400 grams, shipping included)to this, but at 33/400g + shipping, this is pretty dang good. I can see why people are tonging it for their babies.

It’s like a Hershey’s bar. You can get as fancy as can be with chocolate, too, with single origin, single estate, x% dark, et cetera, but the nicer stuff in pu gets prohibitively expensive fast, so there is often a need for something cheap, dependable, and more or less universally pleasing that gets the job done. Impression 2018 is your perfect raw puer Hershey’s bar… err.. cake. It’s raw pu for people who are looking to stock up on it the way someone would stock up on TP.

Hershey’s, if I recall correctly from the bygone days when I could still have milk chocolate, had a sort of sour (internet says this is due to butyric acid, a byproduct of lipolysis, which is itself a method of milk stabilization. uh, great to know, thanks internet), tacky aftertaste and mouthfeel. Anyway, in a similar fashion, Impression has a very slightly harsh throat feel. But no one reasonable would mind that at this price point given that it’s still very drinkable. As in, no one could claim that they had not had raw pu after having this. And probably very few people who would like other raw pu to begin with would come away from an Impression session claiming they absolutely hated it.

It isn’t anything to write home about, but the existence of totally drinkable raw puer still available at this price is something that the whole community rightfully celebrates. Glad I tried it!

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I’ll not adore every popular tea. Nor shall I always prepare it skillfully enough to do it justice and understand it before the sample is gone. Also, my search is for teas that are delicious now. I don’t know yet what will age well.

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