46 Tasting Notes

80

Drunkards beware! This Burmese treasure is a bona fide sock-knocker. Selected from trees between 200-500 yo, it deceives by disarming through a very blah aroma and appearance. The cake is packed very loosely, enough to put Charmin to shame. Early spring material with a ratty leaf here and there, along with lots of bitsy material Boo!

Now that you’re thoroughly turned-off, let me tell you that I often, in fact usually, commit the faux pas of sampling the rinse water. Stunned as you are, imagine how I felt when I tasted something utterly belied by its non-existent fragrance. Smooth , smooth vanilla. Then from that very sampling, I started to notice a most redoubtable cha-qi. The kind that makes my eyes itch, head lighten, and makes me want to stretch my shoulders and back.

The first few infusions have tannins, but afterwards it’s all very smooth sailing, the smoothest I’ve ever tasted. Vanilla is the overriding theme, I think I smell a bit of banana in the gaiwan. The power qi effects fade as well. You might get 10 infusion from it by increasing your steep time.

Steep on, Steepstarian, steep on!

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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77

This one is playful with a curious undertone of bitterness, ostensibly Naka material. Knowing nada about Naka, I say ostensibly because the very same wrapper is mostly used to sell a certain ripe. Red ripe, get it? Imprinted on the wrapper is the “sheng” character, so relax already.

Been working on it for two days now. I’ve noticed if it gets back-to-back steepings, the second or third will be decidedly bland, but if it gets an hour or so between steepings it comes back with a fruity, floral, bitter effect. Light mouthfeel. Leaves and broth produce an outstanding aroma. If you over infuse, the bitter overpowers the experience. Yields more than ten infusions and the body seems to be developing as it “cooks.” Yiwu types will enjoy this.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Fruity

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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drank 2015 CNNP Ran Wu Bie Yi by CNNP
46 tasting notes

Still smells like it needs to breath a bit. Will rate later.

mrmopar

Agreed the young ones need the still period before getting into.

JC

Amen, I got too eager/anxious yesterday with a 2015… it wasn’t that bad, but id definitely wasn’t good. Self-control -1

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59
This one smells like roasted walnuts once you pour hot water over it. The broth is very light, the colour of Yunnan Gold, one of the lightest pu’ers ever and the taste follows suit. Sometimes I detect elements of dried fruit, a touch of cardboard, a bit of zing on the tongue. Doesn’t last very long. This one is a bit of an enigma. Has the nice walnutty taste when it’s cold, but warm just doesn’t deliver as much punch as I’d otherwise like. The tannins in it suggest that perhaps with a few more good years of storage that it will shine. One nice bit is that it comes with lots of official inserts to insure authenticity. Fun to look at but this one is a bummer so far.

Flavors: Cardboard, Walnut

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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73
Just tasted for the first time and have only given it a couple infusions. Slight notes of smoke, very fruity aroma. The second infusion struck me as being noticeably salty like soda grass and woody. Intriguing.

Flavors: Grass, Salty, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 140 OZ / 4140 ML

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73

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77

This one is aging up nicely with the classic clean taste of Langhe punctuated by some pronounced camphor notes. It’s more than half the price of the Imperial Round and tastes about twice as good. Looking forward to how it’ll taste next fall. One of my favourite of the Langhe offerings. The “shuang” fresca is really nice, especially since it wasn’t there when I first got it.

Flavors: Camphor, Chocolate

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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83

Vanilla and camphor play together in this tasty and gorgeous offering. Leaves the mouth full of the camphor “shuang”… and vanilla. Smells great. Has some bitterness in the later infusions and very slight smoke in the first couple. It’ll give you at least 10 infusions and once it gets going only takes about five seconds. It’s a drinkable cookie, with the bitter tweak that characterizes most raw pu’er.

Flavors: Camphor, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
Asaf Mazar

One of the best puers I have had so far is the 2005 jinnoushan red sun drum that I got at yunann sourcing for just $35. Its it out of stock. strong apricot jam aroma. right now I am left with the broken leaf material from the center of the cake which is more bitten tobbacco not apricot.

Yang-chu

Yepper. This one in quite popular. I have another of their cakes, which is considerably less tasty and packed considerably tighter. I’m letting it sit, maybe it will shine, but I have my doubts.

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79

2007 Hong Kong Returns Square Brick, Kunming Tea Factory, 100g. I can only give this a rating of being on the lower end of the the mid-tier. The taste is solid CNNP material: full and producing numerous infusions, but the brick itself is packed just too tightly. It evokes the taste of their “60” commemorative cake but that one isn’t packed to smithereens. The date on this is 2007 but upon research, it turns out this series was produced for five years and I imagine that the one I got is not a day over 2012, so it’s very young tasting. The 100g square brick is part of a commemorative series marking the 10th-anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. There is also a 250g, 357g, 1000g, and 2000g offerings, raw and ripe, each with varying designs but usually featuring the HK skyline. Though the tea is good, I suppose it’s mainly for storing or gifting. The one I have, I’ve broken up and placed in a zisha guan to taste on a regular basis as it ages.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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89

2004 Bamboo Fragrance, Jiu Long Tea Co. 100g. This crystal clear treasure is quite exceptional, sweet with a “mediciney” taste that isn’t exactly what I’d liken to camphor but perhaps the mark of camphor after it has aged a bit. It’s from Guannan County, Yunnan, which is far, at least relatively, west of the traditional pu’er regions of Lincang, Simao, and Xishuangbanna, and just north of Vietnam and west of Guangxi Province, as opposed to bordering Burma and Laos. This treasure is exception for reasons beyond its unique location but is worth noting that its taste does not strive to approximate the Menghai standard.

Flavors: Earth, Medicinal, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
JC

This sounds good.

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Bio

I’ve been drinking Chinese tea since the early 90s when I was a student at Peking University.
My attention has focused on pu’ers, since by profession I’m a doctor of Chinese medicine and sometimes find it a useful lifestyle addition.
From there, I started importing, mostly for patients and other health professionals but also as an interesting hobby that can deepen individuals’ understanding of Chinese medicine.

Location

Los Angeles

Website

http://universotea.com

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