This is my first sheng pu-erh. Sheng being the “raw” pu-erh, rather than “fermented” style.
The dry leaf has almost no odor, but there is a faint dark chocolate present.
The wet leaf is extremely pungent and reminds me of a combination of black Cavendish and Syrian Latakia pipe tobaccos.
I rinsed the leaves because they were packed into a bamboo shaft and with such a short steep, I wanted them to open up quickly. I’m trying to do this “right” as a first tasting so that my notes have any value to anyone else.
After a three minute steep, the liquor is a tarnished bronze color. The aroma off the cup is all pu-erh, all earth and loam and damp mornings on the moor.
The flavor of the liqueur is also straight up the middle pu-erh flavors. But I am realizing I haven’t had a decent cup of pu-erh in a long, long time, now. Even my bench mark “aged celestial tribute” pu-erh from Upton is not as flavorful as this cup, and the Omni International (actually Rishi) just doesn’t even come close. But, I’m going to have to bump my Upton ranking down several points now.
There is a note here I cannot put my finger on. I will think of it in about 8 hours, I suspect.
There is also a numbing effect on the tongue, a bit like clove or menthol. The vendor references eucalyptus, so maybe I’ll defer to them and say that’s what it is.
At $18 for 25g this is not weak in the knees expensive, but sadly, I don’t think it can be my every day cup, either. If you enjoy pu-erhs, this is a great one to pick up.