I had some of those traditionally stored, loose puerh so common in Hong Kong today. I’m no longer sure which particular one was the one I was having. I don’t clearly label these, and they’re not too easy to tell apart, as anybody who’s tried these things would know.
In Hong Kong these things are often not named specifically — usually only with very generic names to denote differentiation of grades, partly, I think, because they’re all blends, so it’ll be difficult to name them anything anyway, since they’re not specifically any one thing. Generally speaking, they are called “Old Puerh”, “Top Old Puerh”, “Aged-taste Puerh”, etc for cooked, and for raw, often they are named “Home-stored puerh”, “Carefully stored puerh”, “Old age puerh”, “Unknown year puerh”, etc. denoting different grades. Home-stored puerh from shop A is obviously not going to taste the same as the one from shop B, and prices can vary very considerably.
This one…. is probably something that might be called “carefully stored puerh”. It’s not great, it’s not too bad, or at least that’s what I remember of it, since last time I tried it was a year ago. This time, however, it presented a problem — the tea is drying. Very drying. After the first cup or two I had to drink some water to moisten my mouth. I don’t know why, but for some reason, it didn’t agree with me. The taste is mostly of an aged puerh variety, a bit bitter/medicinal, but pleasant enough. The drying factor, however, was new. I wouldn’t have missed it if that happened last time I tried.
The colour of the tea is quite dark.
I don’t exactly know why this is the case. Could it be that it was exposed to sunlight or some such? Something happened to it in the year that it sat in the container? I don’t know. I am thinking of airing it out a little before trying it again, to see what happens. Weather here’s been wettish, which is good for airing out problems like these. I hope to fix this, although I really don’t have much of it left.
The wet leaves are stiffish. They’re dark, and small. I don’t think this is Yunnan leaves. Vietnam, perhaps?