A gift sample from Puerhshop, I brewed this tea once and thought it forgettable. Appropriately enough, I forgot I had it. Upon rediscovery, my opinion has changed.
1 Malty, stronger on sides of tongue. Clean, simple. Aroma is walnuts and soil. Guest co-reviewer Davin remarks it reminds him of dried bamboo.
2 More complex: grains, the flavor of black pepper without the bite, still not as earthy as it smells.
3 Davin, not knowing anything about the tea, had to ask if it was shu or sheng--a good sign! Mellow but not weak. Soil creeps in.
4 More soil and earth, but still clean. Oddly enough, no aroma in the empty cup or pitcher!
5 Best infusion. Sweet like a gourd (winter squash?), leaves a tingly feeling on my tongue.
6 Consistent flavor as 4 & 5 despite slight decline in strength. What a friend calls "rocky" flavor. This infusion drinks cold with no awkward acidity or aftertaste.
Verdict first: this shu impresses. A great buy for someone who's only had bad, fishy shu pu'er, Dayi's Yin Xiang cake redeems the name of shu. And for any doubters, this tea's traits define why I love Menghai Factory shu pu above all others. Pricier, but worth it I think. When I'm in the market again for cooked tea, this cake is on my list.