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Recent Tasting Notes
Dry – Standard bittersweet ripe notes, some starch, faint earthy and sweet.
Wet – Sweet, fruity complexity (dark dried fruits), faint cocoa/chocolate hints, citrus?, thickness.
Liquor – Burgundy to a reddish-brown. mellow fragrance.
Initial steeps were all sweet and smooth with a noticeable thickness and developing some dark dried fruit notes of dates and sometimes berries? with a caramel or better yet molasses finish to it. As you continued to steep the following steeps had more bittersweet-ness to them, but maintained the character from the first steep.
Around 4-6 some changes developed and I had to adjust the steep times being a bit more conscious on the color and smell of the steep, longevity issues. The steeps here are still very smooth, but wear less thickness and the fruity notes are more active. The notes remind me of dates, molasses and perhaps a Chinese dried persimmon.
Late steeps were from the 6th to a 8th and a very forced 9th steep. The notes are still here, though they are faded and is already lacking some thickness. Still very good steeps with some camphor being detected (was there before but the thickness mellowed it a bit).
A very good and simple ripe, the longevity is a bit… inconsistent, specially considering that the description says 25 infusions…. It also depends a lot on which portion of the cake you are steeping from. The middle get just a rougher with more sticks here and there, which honestly isn’t bad I felt like the middle lacks the thickness, but it has some more bitter notes that at some points may trick you into think ‘cocoa notes’.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Molasses, Sweet, Thick
Dry – Woody bitterness with some decayed wood and hints of smoke, hidden sweetness in the back, raisins.
Wet – Woody tobacco bitterness with tart/unripe fruit bitter-sweetness, some smoke and some richer notes: raisins? and a fruity floral back.
Liquor – Amber with a good balance of sweet and bitter notes, in a very traditional way.
At first taste is straight forward Sweet up front and then immediately transitions to the bitter-decayed-wood(aged sheng) side of things. What I love about it is that withing its range of ‘harshness’ it becomes somewhat thick and smooth in a sort of oily way when it travels through your tongue and slowly develops astringency after it washes down.
In later steeps the liquor guests smoother and the thickness lingers a bit longer in the tongue and the astringency only appear a few seconds after the liquor has washed away with some herbaceous notes. The huigan continues to be sweet and obviously floral with some herbaceous/hay notes.
This is the type of tea that if you like strong traditional notes it will satisfy your craves of traditional taste, but end up in a pleasant lingering sweetness that lodges in the throat with hints of floral notes due to the very dry storage(not badly done).
This tea is very good, it has some age to it, but it also hold some edge due to the dry storage. The floral and honey notes linger in the mouth with vibrant energy even though the initial taste has some age. This is a great tea if you are looking for something that will age a lot more and retain some of the floral/honey traits and may easily become a favorite if you want those traits.
On the other hand, 1999 is an age where you expect a lot of richer and ‘darker’ notes in your tea. I was expecting to get the sweet woody-tart notes that remind me of raisins and dates and even some of those molasses/lightly-burnt sugar notes, but they are not here. So if you are looking for those traits you will most likely dislike this one. Recommend a try though.
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Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Hay, Honey, Wood
It is ‘Meh’ for me. That’s half the reason I brought it to work. It has a deep amber liquor and it has mellow sweetness and mellow floral, to me it seems flat, nothing worth paying too much attention to.
It is at $14 for 200gm, but as I said it is rather flat and tastes a bit more aged than it should, nothing off just possibly wetter storage(aged taste, not musty) on the overall scent and taste; tastes older than 2009 or maybe it is because is made from plantation and it may still be weak in Wu Liang notes.
Flavors: Floral, Sweet
This very rich Langhe mini is called “Chen Xiang,” meaning tangerine flavored. I can’t tell. What I can notice, however, is that it is a solid quality pu-er, very rich tasting that takes about 40oz of water to be become cashed. The cha-qi is in the 7 range, on a scale to 10.
This mini has a certain fullness that isn’t usually the case with minis. It’s an excellent product for those seeking to expand their pu-er repertoire, despite the absence of any tangerine flavor. Feels really good going down, especially on chilly days.
Minis often are less about the fine tasting experience as they are about getting oneself the power of pu-er. Such is the case with this mini, but among my collection this one stands out for its funk factor.
Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not talking about rank fishiness. I’ve landed at least one of those too. No, this has something to do with a certain intentionality, a boldness by the maker to have the fermentation find clear expression.
This pu-er brews rich and thick. Cha-qi is about a 6.5. Has an exceptional ability to calm the liver.