A lot of people know me, for better or worse, as "the tea guy". While I don't always like this label -- tea is only one of the many things I'm passionate about -- it does sometimes cause some interesting teas to fall into my hands.
A while back, I was sitting in the coffee shop where I usually work, when someone approached me: "I heard you like tea. I have an interesting tea you might like to try." I wasn't sure what was going to be presented with; people are often giving me various tea bags, and sometimes loose teas (usually flavored ones). I was not expecting this one though: the man returned to bring me a broken off piece of a Pu-erh cake!
I asked him if he had any more information on it but he said he didn't know anything more about it.
So, how did this tea measure up? It brews a light amber color. It's definitely sheng (raw or green) Pu-erh, young, but with some age, my guess would be about 4-5 years. I'm no expert in this area though.
Relatively little leaf was needed even to produce many brief infusions.
The aroma is more floral than earthy for a Pu-erh. A slight smokiness. Flavor is rich but relatively smooth, without a strong edge. Seems relatively highly caffeinated. Starting in the second cup, a peppery quality emerges, and herbaceous tones become more noticeable. I did not take notes at the time, and am writing this review after the fact, so I'm reluctant to say more about the tea, but I greatly enjoyed drinking it.
I have a good bit more of this cake left, enough for 3-4 more brewing sessions, and I want to try brewing it different ways, perhaps paying more attention to each infusion.
Have you ever had surprises like this, receiving high-quality tea from strangers or people who were not necessarily tea aficionados?