19 Tasting Notes
Nice looking cake with consistent leaf size on the smallish side, plenty of silvery tips in it. It is lightly compressed, and a breeze to break off a needed quantity.
The first thing that jumps out at me in the wet leaf is an intense savory, meaty aroma, almost like some luncheon meat or salami. There’s a whiff of leather in there. Visually the wet leaf looks respectable with a good mixture of leaf sizes.
The liquor is light orange with a greenish hue. On the mouth it is slightly thick, nothing near a satisfying, velvety liquid, but it is there.
Not big on aroma but also with very little bitterness. Quite minty on the throat with a fast and big hui gan and appropriately big and fast cha qi.
Later infusions get flower notes criss-crossed with wood and smoke leaving a puckery aftertaste for a long time.
All in all a very nice cake, slightly better than the economy grade tuos of Xiaguan or Haiwan but I’m not buying the Ancient Tree moniker. Looks like a plantation tea, perhaps blended with a minuscule amount of old tree leaves. Nevertheless it is an enjoyable plantation tea and a cheap one for an 2006 produced cake.
The tuo itself is very lightly compressed and individual leaves can be easily separated which is really rare amongst ripe pu-erh.
What an excellent ripe pu. Completely devoid of any fishy or damp smells. Its fragrant, clean tasting with an excellent thick mouthfeel. Liquor is deep amber with plenty of cedar and mahagony aromas interspersed with a tiny bit of mushroom and a hint of sweet maltiness, a combination that instantly makes you want to drink more. Later infusions got more darker and more earthy with a touch of welcome biterness on the finish to cut through the sweetness.
Hui gan is mild, yet satisfying but the cha qi hits early and hard, just the way I like it.
After a couple of days of aclimatizing I started another session with this tea and the change is astounding. Now its more flowery on the nose, more buttery in the mouth with a nice sweet huigan as a perfect finish. Now its a lot less vegetal and more balanced. Brewing conditions are similar to the last one but I used less leaf and perhaps slightly cooler water.
I’ve just thought of air as the enemy of the light floral green oolongs like this one, but you’re saying it improved between sessions. How did you let it acclimate? or do you think it might have just been the luck of the brewing?
I think it suffered from the trip from china and I brewed it as soon as I got it. I kept it in my usual airtight tins so no air involved in the process. Also, after brewing it this weekend I think the main problem in my first session was in leaf quantity, more precisely, too much leaf that didn’t let the tea breathe in the gaiwan
brew vessel: 120 ml gaiwan / water: Brita filtered / tea quantity: covering the bottom of gaiwan
Wet leaf gives off a cornmeal aroma intermingled with green beans. All single leaf, small to medium sized. no stems.
Liquor is somewhat thin, lovely yellow/pale green color. Tea is really veggie heavy (green bean, corn, spinach) in every brew with a tad of mintiness on the back palate. The thing is, it lacks something to make it a well rounded tea. After enjoying 6 infusions I have a feeling something is missing and that nags me throughout the session.
I had a sample of this from Red Lantern Tea ebay shop.
It is a lovely tea, very fruity, pears are prominent underlined with a slight citrus note. There’s a hint of smoke but way back in the background. There is no bitterness at all. Mouthfeel is pleasand and quite thick. Chaqi isn’t very powerful and the aftertaste doesn’t linger for long.
Its a very nice tea for casual drinking since longer brew times didn’t mess it up at all.
Wet leaves are showing heavy aromas of smoke and tobacco and that transfers to the tea itself. Still slightly bitter but really heavy on smoke and tobacco. I find it, ultimately, a onedimensional tea without much complexity. It has a stong ‘huigan’ but accompanied with dryness in your mouth.
After 8 infusions the flavour profile doesn’t change at all and starts to become slightly boring.
I cannot see myself drinking this tea regularly cause of its signature Xiaguan smoke and simpleness. I like my teas lively and complex even if they are more bitter. I tasted the ’09 version of this tea and liked it a bit more, go figure!
I was blown away by the initial strong aromas from the dryleaf and the wetleaf. Its the usual hay but enveloped in a twang of citrus. Liquor is pale green with a touch of orange. Tea itself is still too young so the ku bitterness lingers for a while in your mouth while providing a nice buttery mouthfeel and just a hint of tobacco.
This is a very subdued tea right now, maybe aging will let it develop further so I’ll revisit it occasionally