31 Tasting Notes
I’ve noticed a tendency for the communist party themed teas to get overlooked. Serve the People was a slogan popular during the Cultural Revolution. People who went through this tumultuous period would be in their late 50s-70s now. This brick is part of the Cultural Revolution kitsch or nostalgia that began in the early 90s and has remained popular in China to this day. It is accented by Chairman Mao’s calligraphy front and back.
Enough background. http://universotea.com/content/2006-cnnp-serve-people-one-has-lot-cha-qi-and-clear-liquor-boot%C2%A0-no-errant-tastes-and
Flavors: Earth, Musty, Sweet
I got this brick upon the encouragement of my wife. Possibly one of the best ripe pu’ers that I’ve had opportunity to sample. Why? It’s juicy and fruity with a luscious quenching mouth-feel and a nutty-fruity overtone. A huigan of… more on blog: http://universotea.com/content/2007-dianxiu-brick-dianxiu-puer-tea-company%C2%A0
Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Peach
I picked this up a couple years ago when in Kunming. It has a similar taste to Bo-you’s F6, though perhaps not as sweet. Juming Tea Factory takes care to ensure that their product has no off-tastes, even fresh off the shelves. This one required no time to air out. If anything, it may have had a bit more lively taste. For more about Juming check out this blog entry: http://universotea.com/content/juming-tea-company
Over all, it’s a very straight-ahead ripe cake. The tastes http://universotea.com/content/bulang-tall-tree-2012-juming-tea-companyexpertly-fermented-mellow-sweet-no-funk%C2%A0
Juicy, wet tea, bit of tingle on the tongue, light astringency when brewed with quick bursts of 5-10 sec. When I first got it the camphor notes were much more noticeable than they are now some 4 mths later. Check the rest here… http://universotea.com/content/phoenix-tea-%C2%A0enterprise-ltd-phoenix-tuo-2012
Flavors: Smoke, Sugarcane
So a few months ago, I moved it from the zi-sha tea caddy and placed it in one of cardboard, one of those tubes. Wow, significantly improved! Much sweeter and rounder, very pleasant and nice to drink yielding many infusions without any blah, metallic taste or bitterness. So after two years and much fiddling, it’s finally an enjoyable cake. I mean really enjoyable.
I’m having the Silver Peacock Bulang Mt Habitat 2012, which I got back in March. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, especially since it’s clear that they included lots of tea bits in the cake, so much so, I wondered if mites hadn’t gotten to it to make it that way. Then on reading, I found that it’s not an uncommon practice to make the outside of the cake all sparkly and then stuff the bits inside.
Well, I tried to live down my disappointment about the bits and placed a chunk in the zisha caddy, assuming that it would mellow some of the astringency/bitterness.
About a week later I found myself wanting to try it again. I decided that there wasn’t that much astringency, really but that there was bitter and understanding the flavour profile of Ban-zhang’s that this tea was aptly bitter.
It’s now had about two months in the caddy and a few days of uncharacteristic hot. I’ve had only one infusion so far of the stuff on the edge where there’s entirely all whole leaf, 10 sec at 185. The liquor is silvery pale. The taste is rich, smoky, mature, just an ever so slight hint of bitterness.
For my tastes, brewing most raw or green tea above 185 produces a poor brew. This is no exception. I generally like to let the tea cook for five minutes or when it’s really hot till it’s totally cooled off, as it can be more refreshing this way.
This cake has a dry finish, so the thirst-slaking attributes of a fruitier tea aren’t there, not in the first round. As I remember, as the bitter taste builds it possesses qualities reminiscent of ku-ding (bitter nail) tea, slippery an bitter, but not as bitter.
No notes yet. Add one?
This is a very, very good tea. This one we tasted before purchasing and my wife was insistent on buying a cake. Sorry I didn’t get the chance to put the picture up, as it has a decent wrapper. Maybe later, I’ll figure that out.
I’ve drunk this several times. Only one time did I errantly steep incorrectly, i.e., too long, which produced a bitter an unremarkable brew.
Now to the brew done right. The times were 15s/15s/15s/15s/30s/1m.
Round #1: The potent cha-qi is evident immediately. Long-jing notes, floral and round in the mouth, hints of black pepper and citrus. Touch of tannin which is a nice compliment.
Round#2: More of the Long-jing taste, less floral immediate taste but more floral huigan.
Round #3: Sweeter and sweeter.
Round #4: Sweeter still.
Round #5: The liquor grows lighter caste, though never is it intense. Don’t let that deceive you. Pleasant citrus aroma, with a taste of lime. Mild tannins. Still floral. The huigan is outstanding. Just waiting a minute or two and you notice your mouth feels full of flowers, polite sweet flowers, not bawdily unctuous like jasmine or tinged with a bitterness like rose. Flowers I can’t place.
Round #6: Blend of sweetness and mellow tannins, floral finish that just stays and stays.
Flavors: Flowers, Lemon Zest, Peppercorn
If you’re a cha-qi junkie then this tea is nothing to sneeze at, but are we, fellow tea-lover, more than just about a power buzz?
I think that’s why I must have rated it so highly, the buzz. I just brewed up a pot of some bitsy stuff that I had sitting out, to see if I could mellow it out in later steeps. Well see.
The colour is what I’d liken to tarnished silver, the colour of champagne.
Did I mention the qi? It gets all in your muscles. Warmth from deep inside works its way up around the chest. It creeps up on you. I’m 2/3rds through my first brewing of 6 oz.
There are some teas that should definitely not be drunk on an empty stomach. This is one. I started in after breakfast of an omelet made with leeks, shitake, and ginger and some toast.
It’s jasmine, of course it’s floral.
You really have to be in a particular mood for jasmine, certainly I do. This tea is a good pick me up, but really small doses.
I steeped this first round for 10s. Still lots of tannins. I’m certainly not going to put this in a zi-sha and ruin the zi-sha container. It may whip those tannins into shape but it’s not worth losing the container.
Bitter too. All those tastes become much more apparent as it cools. Attacks the tongue. Floral and tannic finish. I might consider blending this with something. It’s too much imho even for the small amount I used. The bitsy stuff isn’t very pretty either. I’ll see if that’s something I did as I work more into the cake.
Anyway, it’s getting downgraded. A cooler temp is also definitely in order. I’ll continue to play around to see how good I can get at this one.
Flavors: Flowers, Tannin