woof – I’ve had this sample stored for almost 6 years and am just now getting around to it. That will be the case for most of my pu’er notes this year.
Sounds like Heart of the City had good reception when it was fresh. Now it’s 7 years old and kind of weak in a way (also strong) but that could be due to my storage or other factors.
The leaf is moderately chopped to over an inch long, some thin stems. Tan to browning with an olive hue. Sticky to the touch when wet. It gives an orange brew that turns amber and does not provide much in terms of aroma. The warmed leaf, however, has strength in the nose with sticky plum sweetness and goji berries.
The first few brews are mouth-filling and the sip finishes with a dry sweetness that tastes like palm sugar-caramel. Kind of a hollow mineral-herbaceous midground. Nutty-fruity-mushroomy tone stays in the background. Sticky, moderate sweetness. After the first cup, the mouth and throat are already cooled and a decent returning sweetness presents. Mouth is perfumed with bittersweet purple flowers and palm sugar is the background. Strong mineral taste-feeling under tongue.
With the third cup, the astringency that supposedly marked this tea while young shows up. The brew becomes thinner, less sweet and finally it becomes bitter for the fifth and sixth. A few more pours give less astringency and mild sweetness.
Not too much of a sneaker with caffeine but it is felt. A smooth buzz with a gently heavy and forceful restorative swell juxtaposes the astringency and bitterness.
As it stands now at 7 years old and being drunk before the weather turns full spring, the tea might be in an awkward phase or maybe my 60% humidity and 65-70F storage isn’t doing this tea any favors. Heart of the City is not one for me to drink now, but I didn’t want to keep the rest of the sample around to find out how much it might change in several years’ time. Finished.
Song pairing: Evol Intent – Red Soil
Flavors: Astringent, Bittersweet, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Floral, Goji, Herbaceous, Lavender, Menthol, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutty, Perfume, Plum, Tangerine, Violet, Wet Wood, Yeast