I drank the spring 2006 Jingmai cake in a cup today…. brewed the usual way you would if you were lazy — just throw the leaves in and pour some hot water, and refill as necessary. It makes…. green tea. Drank this way, with a low amount of tea leaves for the cup, it tastes entirely like any regular green tea, nothing too unusual, nothing too bitter, and after a few infusions, the astringency and roughness of a green tea showed up. If you didn’t tell me this is maocha of Yunnan tea, I might not even notice.
After all, this stuff is green tea, and for the longest time, they had bags of these kinds of sun-dried maocha for sale as green tea in China. That, of course, is no longer the case. Anybody selling maocha on its own like this in tin bags for cheap must be crazy. All of a sudden, puerh is puerh as soon as it’s pressed into a cake. Technically speaking… puerh is still only puerh after it’s gone through all the fermentation.