33 Tasting Notes
This last Sunday an amigo brought by the Bamboo Fragrance offering from the Phoenix Collection, the ripe variety from ’03. It is very tasty and remarkably beautiful, clear and sparkly. Full-on funk factor, umame, and quite warming. Good cha-qi.
I was given very quick infusions, fewer than five seconds. Very sweet. The mustiness of wet storage melds very nicely. Ironically, it still tastes quite clean. Nice tea especially for the funk-meisters.
Flavors: Earth, Peas, Sweet, Umami
This cake has a deeply satisfying quality about it. I can see it becoming a favourite among those who like a rich-tasting pu’er with lots of sweetness, without the off-tastes. Sometimes, it takes a while for a ripe cake to air out before being ready for consumption. This is hardly the case with this 1938, though just to be on the safe side, you may want – See more at: http://universotea.com/content/2005-cnnp-lucky-brand-1938-prime-grade?ovr=1#sthash.BDTd6KB0.dpuf
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.
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