I received a surprise sample of Meiguo/American Hao 0904 from Jim, the proprietor of Puerhshop.com, and many days and weeks of moving, unpacking, and procrastinating, Davin and I finally completed our tea room and had someone over for tea. We began our drinking with this sample.
Having misplaced my memories of the good review and cake naming drama over at Hobbes's blog, we were able to approach this tea with pleasurable naïveté. The first two infusions laid thick on the tongue, a bit smoky and meaty, with a sweet aftertaste. The tea maintained its strength through over 10 infusions, and although the never reached any appreciable layer of complexity, we all enjoyed it and felt it had promise for aging.
Another good sign: after drinking a 1999 brick made for export to Mongolia and a bowl of matcha thereafter, the aftertaste of Meiguo Hao 0904 kept its foothold on our tastebuds, renewed after we finished the other teas.
When I saw the provenence--Mahei Village, Yiwu--the tea's characteristics made sense. And at $44, perhaps the tea merits a purchase for those with Yiwu underrepresented in their collections. But for me, with my ridiculous amounts of young pu'er, I couldn't justify buying it. That said, I plan to thoroughly enjoy the rest of my sample.