I think this is a lovely little cake. It has the charming Jing Mai aroma, almost no bitter taste and very light astringency which dissolves instantly.
It is a 100g small cake. Unlike most cakes of its size, this cake is made by manually compressing with a stone mill. The cake is even looser than most manually compressed large cakes and is very easy to dissemble. The loosely compressed cakes may not be suitable for decades of aging. But it's quite drinkable now anyway.
What's good about it being loose is that one doesn't have to crush a lot of leaves when prying on the cake. The cake is composed of consistent leaves from old trees. It's nice to get them as almost whole leaves in brewing.
This cake is very inexpensive. Some of my friends say, unknown small factory inexpensive products of arbor tree or ancient tree can rarely be good... don't buy them... I followed the advice. I didn't buy them. This one was given to me for free and I love free stuff! :-D The manufacturer said, "If you hire someone to do marketing for you, you've got to spend money. If you hire a designer to make your product or store look good, you've got to spend money. If you put on advertisement, you've got to spend money. If you hire people to write good things about your products, you've got to spend money. Then, I thought, instead of doing any of the above, I would rather give up some money by giving tea for free to people so more people will know my products." That's how I got this little cake. And I like the manufacturer's philosophy. Recently, Dayi has put on its smart looking commercial on the major TV station (and the most expensive one) of China, which is said to be a 50 million rmb ($7.5M) deal. We've got to have some puerh manufacturers that give us free tea instead of letting us pay the expensive TV advertising bill.
And this little cheap unknown cake, I ended up liking it a lot. Not that I would start buying unknown cheap little cakes. But I can surely consider buying more after tasting some sample.
The cake is claimed to be a product of ancient tree (but ancient tree in Yunnan can mean any tree of 100 years or older, not necessarily "ancient-ancient"), and from early spring (there are indeed quite a few buds and spring twigs). Still I am not sure of its age-ability (but at least, after its first 3 years, the cake stays well). And of course arbor trees or ancient trees can have different conditions and different levels of rarity. But the price for such a cake surprises me. Anyway, the quality of this little cake is more than reasonable for its price. And I know I've yet to experience more to fully understand why there is such huge price difference between teas, or, in other words, why such huge quality difference between teas of the same price range.
8 months ago