Throughout 10-12 steepings, this tea maintains a consistent pale gold, similar to slightly watered-down honey. I was surprised that the liquor didn't turn a dull yellow much sooner.
Thin, but not off-putting. Its acidity coats the mouth with a saliva-inducing layer, its sweetness makes the tongue tingle. Around the 6-7th steeping, a slight bitterness crept in, making my mouth feel slightly dry, but it vanished almost immediately.
Slight buzz: would pass a breathalyzer with flying colors, though your mother might notice you acting a bit strange. ("Honey, for the love of God you better not be smoking those marijuanas again. You'll ruin your life, do you hear me? That's the devil's herb. He smokes it before his hell-orgies and I'll be damned if you bring that evil-voodoo-black-magic bullshit under my roof!")
As advertised, this is a solid daily drinker at an extremely reasonable price-point. It's a tea you can brew up mindlessly and not feel guilty about it, while at the same time still find hidden complexities in a focused solo-session. In the two years since I purchased this cake, the flavors have already evolved quite a bit. I do not remember the saliva-inducing acidity, nor do I remember the leaves' endurance, which is impressive for $22.00USD. This tea should be a first choice for beginners, and also should not be overlooked by more experienced drinkers. Due to its mild flavor-profile, it's my go-to pu-erh for when I'm hanging out at my apartment with friends who don't drink a lot of tea. Considering how mellow this tea is already, I wouldn't expect it to be a great candidate for long-term aging, but that's not to say don't do it. That said, I'd be extremely surprised if anyone stores this tea for 10-15 years. It's highly addictive as a budget-priced daily, and I doubt that anyone who purchases this tea will be able to resist drinking through his/her entire stash within the next couple years. I'd recommend picking up this cake in your next order, before I contact Paul to ask how many more beengs he has left, and then promptly purchase every last one.
*Sheng Gut has no affiliation with White2Tea; this review was not commissioned. However, the lack of commission was not by choice. I'm more than willing to accept commissions and write flagrantly-biased reviews. I mean it--try me! Send me some $$$ and I'll write whatever the fuck you want me to. Just drop me a little line. A little something quick. Just like: "Hey Sheng Gut, I have some plantation huangpain that I'm advertising to my Western clientele as some legit-ass 1,300-year-old Lao Ban Zhang GuShu, can you help a brother (or sister) out?" And I'll reply all like: "Hell yeah, motherfucker. Let's sell some tea!"