I picked this one up with my first White2Tea order, partly as a novelty as I’ve not tried a compressed pu’erh before. It’s a pretty young sheng, with greenish leaves and a lightly perfumed fragrance. From what I can gather, it’s supposed to be a convenient way to brew pu’erh while travelling, and I imagine it could be (depending how quickly the ball unfurls…) It’s still pretty compact after the first steep (around 1.5m, western-style.)
The first steep is sweet and mostly smooth, with a hint of floral. It’s a little grassy, with just a touch of astringency towards the end of the sip. It’s not remarkably distinctive or flavourful, at this point.
Second steep for 1 minute. The ball disintegrates completely at this point, and so I’m not entirely sold on the suggestion that this is supposed to be much more convenient than a cake. I wouldn’t find it so, but I don’t typically attempt to lug around a whole cake anyway. I’d take a fragment on holiday, in a ziplock bag, and use an infuser – but I’m using an infuser for this also, so it would make little difference to my personal set-up.
The flavour this time is more distinctively “sheng” – earthy/grassy, with an edge of bitterness. It’s still mostly smooth, more so as it cools, but there’s just that bit of “bite”. This one reminds me most of Teavivre’s Fengqing Raw Cake from 2006, which I seem to possess in quantity but don’t particularly enjoy. It’s pretty hard to describe, but it has the same brassy, almost-metallic background flavour.
Third steep for 50 seconds. The flavour, at this point, seems fairly fixed. Once again, it’s earthy/grassy with a background brassiness, and just a touch of bitterness. It’s still very easy to drink, although it’s not particularly distinctive. There are definitely more exciting sheng pu’erhs out there – this one strikes me as very routine.
I might try one more steep after lunch before I call it a day with this one.