You can't get a lot for a quid nowadays! But here is an example. Jing Tea offer 10grams of this tea for just a pound so I thought 'What the heck!' and stuck it on the end of my order.
... what if pound shops sold pu erh?
The dry leaf smell is very Benson and Hedges and also very twiggy. It kind of reminds me of a rack of lamb in shape. Hmm, it's so dark.
The dry leaf goes into the warm empty pot and the heat alone arouses the aroma, again it's tobacco.
First infusion is on the brink of amber, the soup is sweet and lightly tobacco. Not much else. I drink it quite quickly hoping to get onto the next infusion.
Second infusion and the leaves are open now. I'm quite surprised that many of them are an unusual dark olive. I was somehow expecting them to be more brown, not because it's an old bing but that the soup is darker than I expected. I did get a hit of green in the aroma revealing that it's youth hadn't quite escaped it yet.
Third infusion and the sweetness is leaving but it leaves a void behind as nothing takes it's place. I experience a short huigan. It's at this point that I decide to have a test and quickly brew an equal proportion of my 2007 Bulang Spring Tips, a tea that really doesn't excite me and give them both an AB test (it is at this point I really notice the Bulang bing being layered with lots of tips on the outside and on the surface only).
There's not a lot of difference between them really and there the pu erh session ends and a mug of Margaret's Hope darjeeling waits.
Well, it was just a pound in the end I would have to say it was a learning experience. I would recommend anyone ordering from Jing Tea London to spend an extra quid for this sample, it's such a cheap way to have a little look at pu erh. What I wouldn't recommend is that anyone spent £34.60 on a bing like this, it just didn't stand above a very average pu erh that costs just $12 or so.
As their website states, '.. this pu erh produces a rich golden orange liquor with the scent of warm autumn leaves and rich wood and tobacco flavour notes.'
I am suspicious of youngish sheng producing orange soups, to me it suggests tweaking.
At least yesterday was good.