Ive had this Puerh for quite some time now and I thought it deserved to be revisited seeing how there was so much hoopla about it and so much time has gone by since then. Originally I had read about it in Art Of Tea Magazine and Guang of Hou De,s had acquired some of the cakes which disappeared very quickly. But since has been restocked. $125.00 each, ouch! All of the "Puerh experts" were so impressed with it that I just had to see for myself. When I had first received the tea and tasted some, the tea was almost overwhelming, so pungent with the camphor aroma. But at the same time there was distinct smell of flowers, oranges? and caramel. A promise of things to come for those with patience.
After breaking up the cake and placing it into a Yixing storage jar I just left it alone for several months. Drastic changes take place after being disassembled and stored. I would try a little bit of it every now and then and one thing I noticed is the flavors and aromas were changing, every time I tried the tea it almost seemed like a different tea. But now the tea is becoming stable, very consistent with each brew. The Camphor is almost a ghost of what it once was and the floral, caramel sweetness is becoming the dominate factor. The aftertaste of this tea is incredibly sweet.
Durability is excellent, it just keeps going and going. Purchasing this tea was an educational experience for me in that I,m starting to understand what Puerh is and how the aspects of the tea changes and evolved over time. There,s so much complexity in this tea, so many flavors and aromas all in a single cup.
The brewed tea,s clarity is superb. The color is a gorgeous orange amber. The aroma is floral, sweet as honey, slightly woodsy and just a hint of the camphor. The tea,s flavor follows right along, I could drink cup after cup of this stuff, for me that's unusual when it comes to Puerh. If I were rich I,d buy a couple more of these cakes to save for a much later time. But I,m not so I,ll just enjoy what I have.
Note: while packing everything for the big move I found this Yixing, another teapot from Rishi that Ive had for years. I had forgotten all about it. Much better quality than the Yixing that Rishi is currently offering. Hadn't been used in so long that it really didn't matter what tea I brewed in it. The seasoning it had from whatever tea I once used it for has long gone.