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Recent Tasting Notes
Porcelain gaiwan, 200-210 Ozarka water
Full disclosure – I have never had a liu bao before today, so salt all comments heavily before tasting.
My first note is that, should I ever drink liu bao again, I have been quite forcefully taught by this experience that a single quick rinse is not at all sufficient to the task at hand. Probably if I had a little more experience, the appearance of the first steep would definitely have clued me in.
I imagine if one were to be buried alive and forced to drink rainwater seeping down through the topsoil in order to survive, it would provide similar sensations to that first “steep”.
After I used an industrial strength road grader to remove the mud caked onto my tongue and proceeded, however, I was rewarded with several brews of a pleasing earthy and warming character, much more like I was expecting. I did not feel the thickness in the mouth that an excellent shou will provide, but this may have been due to inexperienced brewing. It also may have been the dry storage finepuer openly noted in the vendor description.
All in all, it left me desirous of trying more liu bao – but probably not this one.
Complex; sweet and smooth. This is a 500g melon shaped bowl tea with very tight compression and the picking resulted in lots of pieces – even a bit of tea dust. Deep red-orange tea liquor which is rather clear and bright. Fruity sweetness – stonefruit and honeydew on a lightly woody base. No smoke or off-putting tastes found. Nice mouthfeel and the chaqi builds over the session. Overall an interesting aged tea – complex; appealing flavor profile dominated by a fruity sweetness; good longevity. The tight compression is the only negative factor.
I decided to buy a cake of this based on the positive reviews by DigniTea and TeaDb. I don’t regret it, but some of you might since I got one of the last cakes, Finepuer is now sold out of it. It is a beauty. Nice golden color, very hearty and thick, very little bitterness. Floral and sweet, bit not overly so. I think this will continue to get better with age, I am glad I have one for the collection.
This tea has received lots of attention, and rightfully so. It’s probably the most interesting teas I’ve purchased so far. I imagine this is what semi-aged raw pu’er tasted like before the advent over picking and of heavy fertilizers. The leaves are intact, have a dried fruit scent and when brewed release a pungent sugar cane/honeyed/high floral fragrance.
The first few steeps are bring up well-ripened black plums, pungent floral sweetness, brown sugar, minerals, sweet hay, and prominent menthol. The cooling effects are quite pronounced and very pleasant in the mouth. My friend who never had pu’er tried this with me. She and I both felt an uplifting energy spread from our mouth, inducing a very relaxed feeling (tea drunkenness). I used about 5.5 g for 100 ml of water—the tea leaves still release sweet fruity notes and a very long aftertaste accompanied by that pleasant cooling sensation in the mouth.
I’ve had this for about 1 year and there seem be increased fruit notes. I brewed this using a gaiwan, yixing, and nixing teapot and the aftertaste seems more enhanced with the nixing, whereas the yixing brings out more of the high-floral aromas. Considering the strength, unique character, and longevity of this tea, claims of wild tea trees origins don’t seem too far fetched.
DaXueShan (DXS) tea is a favorite of some and I include myself in this group. This one is particularly good. Most of the DXS teas we hear of are from the Mengku side of the mountain. This particular cake is from the Yong De side.
Made of decent material (reported to be gushu), now with six years of proper aging. Many intact whole leaves used to make the cake. Deep golden, clear soup. Sweet yet complex taste (mix of stonefruit, wood and leather) giving it a pleasant thick body. Active mouthfeel providing a nice feeling in both the mouth and throat. Many might detect a small amount of bitterness but I think it quickly becomes sweetness and then a nice cooling effect emerges. Solid depth and good Qi found in this sheng.
I have picked up several aged cakes from FinePuer and I have been very happy with each one. However, I must say that this is definitely one of my favorites due to the pure enjoyment of drinking a cup and the surprising thing is that it is the youngest of all my FinePuer purchases. I like this one a lot and I highly recommend it to those looking for fine puer. If you have not done so already, check out James’ comments on TeaDB.
I have grown quite fond of shengs from Mengku and YongDe. This “DaXueShan” tea does not have too much age on it but 5 years is worth something for decent sheng leaf in terms of development. This is an appealing tea – very smooth; many whole leaves; thick soup; decent body; pleasant sweetness. I should clearly note that there is a bit of lingering bitterness although this is light. In my opinion, overall mouhwatering tea with a pleasant aroma and an enticing kuwei which adds to the complexity. I quite enjoyed this cup and now I’m anxious to see how the profile improves in another 2-3 years.
review is baased on 2 5gram tasting notes.
once in yixing pot second time in gaiwan.
Well, here it is: the LEgendary Red Mark, with almost 10 years of age.
Volumptuous, mostly intact leaves brimming with vitality, when rinsed, relase a satisfyingly strong prune-plum aroma and flavor.
In the yixing session : unsurpassed thickness of tea liquid, leaving prominent oily coating in the mouth.
Still a bit too young and cold on the stomach.
Certainly worth a try at only a few bucks for 10 sample.
An important educational experience.
I find it much easier to asses quality of puer after drinking this.
The leaves are impressive, perhpas this is what old arbor leaf is like when not over picked. Very simmilar leaf on the xiaguan 2004 blue mark that I got with the same order. the blue mark was darker and more aged, Less fruity, more coffe-like in a way.