This affordable aged pu'er brick from pu'er giant Xiaguan Tea Factory is from their Baoyan ("holy flame") line, which was originally intended for export to Tibet and Mongolia. It's made of mostly broken leaves, with some nicer leaves on the face. Despite the lower grade leaf, the Baoyan-branded pu'er teas are beloved by drinkers because they age well and relatively quickly and are inexpensive.
Xiaguan Tea Factory obtains most of their raw material from Lincang and Feng Qing, Yunnan, regions with their own distinctive terroir, compared to Xishuangbanna.
This Baoyan is still in its adolescence, offering some deep and complex aged flavors like wood, leather and tobacco, while still offering some of the younger notes like hay and sharp florals. During steeping I found this to be remarkably forgiving for the grade: It will become bitter if steeped longer, and a bit sour/plummy if under steeped.
The aftertaste length is average, and the mouthfeel is smooth for its age, becoming astringent if steeped long, but otherwise comfortable. I had a cooling effect in one infusion, and by the time I was done with this tea, my ears and hands were warm. It's a fun sensory experience.
I recommend a ratio of 7g of leaf to 100ml of water. If brewing large chunks, I suggest starting with a long rinse (30 seconds) to soak and loosen the compressed leaves; otherwise, if mostly loose, you'll want a very short rinse because the broken leaf will infuse very quickly. Either way, once the leaves are rinsed and open, I suggest shorter infusions.
This tea was stored in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province until we purchased it in 2019. It has been stored in Seattle since then. Guangzhou's humid climate ages pu'er faster than drier climes.