Got a sample of this a month or so ago, and it’s been airing out for several weeks. Without having read any reviews, I still had the impression from someplace or other that this tea has some potency, and this morning I needed a kick, so I broke it out.
This cake must be pretty loosely compressed: my sample consists mainly of loose leaf, and I was able to just shake 8g out of the bag into my weighing boat. Gave it one minimum-duration rinse and steeped like 5s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 20s, 25s, … and 5s increments up to 50s.
I was prepared for seriously challenging bitterness based on what I’d heard (hence the relatively restrained steeping schedule) but maybe that was a characteristic of the tea when it was newer. Some of the early steeps had an almost teeth-on-edge astringency but other than that I found the flavors fairly mild. The tea has serious punch though, I can definitely agree with that. I was getting a tea sweat after about the 4th steep. Nice solid mouthfeel, with some perfumey notes in the early steeps and some sweetness later on. I got 10 solid steeps, and 4-5 more to wring it out.