2 quick rinses and a 15sec steep. Ouch- heady flavours but a bit too full-on with a tannic aftertaste that I wasn’t expecting. Good balance though, and reducing the 2nd steep to 8secs gave a smoother experience. I took in the smell of the leaves – old paper strangely mixed with the tang of the sea (and of course, the smoke!)
I left the piao-I lidded for a few hours and re-steeped, again for 8secs. Flashes of camphor coming through the smoke. The lingering tannic feel in the mouth was now more palatable – I bought five bricks of the 002 Whale and although it’s enjoyable now I think I’ll wait a few more years before opening the rest in the hope that the tannins masking that lovely pu’er ‘earthiness’ mellow out over time.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Dark Wood, Earth, Smoke, Tannic