Haiwan Tea FactoryEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I appreciate the Anning Haiwan Tea Factory for their decent quality, fairly priced factory teas (Laotongzhi or “Old Comrades”). This one is a solid, inexpensive ripe pu’er brick, composed of middle grade larger mature leaves. This is a basic, straightforward shupu but pleasant enough to be considered a good everyday drinker. A value purchase since it is a 500g brick with all the characteristics that one should expect from a reliable shu – clear reddish-brown color; a smooth and balanced woody flavor; understated warm creaminess; reasonable longevity. I think I prefer the 2006 Haiwan Chen Xiang Zhuan brick I sessioned last week. Both are in the $33-$35 price range but since the earlier described ’06 shu is a 250g brick and today’s tea is 500g, this “Old Tree” is probably a better value for an everyday drinker (like finding a “buy one/get one” special).
I pulled a single mini Tou Cha from my Pu Erh stash, which I think is this tea, judging by the labels on the wrap. I washed it well, and made the first steeping at about 40sec. It was dark in color, this tea seems to be a one that keeps on giving. Rich and earthy, it has some bitter notes, but they seem to decapitate with the later steeping. Its quite silky and mouth watering, but a bit flavorless. I add some sugar for sweetness.
Have been tried today Haiwan No.968 shu puerh. Nicely blended Tuocha tea composed entirely from Menghai area tea material. The brewed liquor is red and thick, giving a bit sweet after-taste.
stringency(терпкость) – none
Smoke – none
Dryness-(mouth) – none
Mouthfeel – really thin, smooth
Aftertaste – fair shu, a bit sweet
Flavor – really good taste of shu puerh, thin and easy.
Easy going, light puerh tuocha, absolutely affordable. Should be good for storing long time, as it could be more mellow and smooth.
I received this tea in the mail today. The first thing I noted was that the smell of the dry leaves reminded me of these “jerky” treats that I used to buy for my dog. It was a smell similar to hickory smoke. Yuck! I brewed it up anyway, and the broth was pretty bland except for some smokey/sour notes.
I haven’t had the opportunity to taste many raw pu’erhs, but this one might be my favorite yet. It still tastes “green”, but it doesn’t have that sharp, bitter flavor that I normally associate with raw pu’erh.
This was a cake I purchased to experiment with aging pu’erh, and I am looking forward to seeing how it changes with age.
Where to start! First off this was two days ago! This was my first puerh and my first experience using a gaiwan (no spellcheck, I don’t mean Taiwan). It was amazing, even though I’m quite sure I did a lot wrong. :) It felt great to just set aside some time to really drink tea and enjoy it. Not that I don’t enjoy tea normally, but I usually just make it and then grab the cup and go do something else (like write about it on Steepster!). Anywho…
I did a quick rinse of the tea and then moved into the first infusion. This tea is nice a smokey (I love a smokey tea). The leaves smelled very smokey after the first infusion, but this lessened as the session went by. I have some awesome pictures I’ll link to later! So back to the first infusion, smokey and earthy, very smooth and maybe a bit creamy (not sure if this is the right word). The liquor was a really pretty deep straw color. I got about 10 infusions out of this but I don’t think I did the increments right, not long enough. However, I only used a bit of my sample, so I will try again tomorrow!
Also, I’ve been reading about “cha qi/chi” and I think that it may have occurred/the tea may have it? (Or it’s all in my head! :P) I’m not sure what the proper way to use the word is, but the Tea Masters blog says it nicely:
“You may feel the Chi because your whole body feels warm and you start to sweat. And/or your mouth will be secreting saliva because it tells you it wants more of that tea. And/or your mind will feel crystal clear, as if you had breathed very pure and fresh air.” (http://preview.tinyurl.com/d5mtomu)
I’m a little hesitant to rate this, only because I have no other puerh experience to really compare it too! However, I really enjoyed it so a high rating it gets. :)
This Shou Zhuan Cha tastes like buttered noodles. a thick broth with a warm, sweet melty aroma and smooth flavor. the 3-6th infusions are the best and it seems to die after the 8th. you can get 15+ infusions if you use more leaves and just keep doing immediate infusions but i enjoy the flavors more when the leaves have some more room to expand in my yixing pot. I’ve only had 3 or 4 ripe Zhuan cha and when this one is brewed right it’s fantastic but I think the 2007 Zhao Li Qiao from Dobra is more consistent.
I got a small sample of this puerh with an order from Jing Tea Shop. It came in a tiny bag that kept slipping to the bottom of my puerh box, so it was overlooked, quite literally, for a long time.
I set up a first infusion series this evening without remembering to weigh the small piece of leaves first—d’oh! It was likely between 1 and 2 grams of compressed leaf, set up in a cheap 60mL yixing pot. Water was heated to 205 degrees.
I first flash rinsed, then set up my first infusion and….forgot about it, for several minutes. I did sip that one momentarily, but though it had very promising anise and caramel notes, a strong bitterness on top of that made it undrinkable.
I managed the next half dozen infusions better. I put a splash of cool water into the cup while preparing a flash infusion of the tea, and the little bit of cool water drops the temperature when I add the tea so that I can drink it straight off, without waiting for it to cool. The liquor is anise-caramel-sweet, with a mild earthy undertone, delicious. Gradually I’m increasing the time for each infusion, up to about 45 seconds now, and while I think I’m going to get another half dozen infusions easily, it’s sad to think of how many I missed due to that first mistakenly long infusion—probably a good 6-8 more infusions were lost.
Fortunately, even the small sample should provide 2 or 3 more small sessions like this one.
First time drinking this tea in a while. Like most bricks, it is challengingly compressed, and one of the teas that inspired me to buy some particularly pointed letter openers. Success! several grams of tea have just soaked up their ‘flash’ rinse quickly in my gaiwan. Earthy, sweet, fruity, plummy scents arise—makes me want to eat it as much as drink it.
Greg warns about overly long steeps at first—suggesting a possibility of off flavors. I find nothing like, but perhaps this is in part due to letting it ‘air out’ loosely wrapped in my puerh drawer. The first two steeps—no more than 30 seconds between the—are combined in my small yunomi, and deep red-brown liquor, and I want to drink fast but am waiting….tap, tap, tapping impatient feet—for it to cool. And the first sip is rewarding—deep, sweet, lovely, all the things promised in the smell of the wet leaf. And nothing whatsoever ‘off’ about it.
The leaves are still swelling and will eventually fill a good part of the gaiwan, so this should have a lot of steeps in it.
10 or so steeps in, the gaiwan is at least 1/3 full with very broken up leaves. It still requires a bit of care to avoid oversteeping—and responds well to a little dilution if I overdo it. Earthy, sweet, fruity, plummy. Rich body. Compared to the Norbu private label Lao Tou Cha nugget brick, this is an earthier tea, but equally delicious in a different way. And like that tea, it is very potent due to the density—a little goes long way. I really thought it was such a thin little sliver when I dropped it in the cup….
Many infusions later—certainly more than 20, maybe closer to 30—it is getting on towards sweet water, that gentle ending, but this with what are still very short infusions. Will give it longer to see if I can coax more out of it before we’re done. …… 1.5 L into it, the kettle is empty, but the tea leaves still have some sweet & spicy scent left.