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Recent Tasting Notes
Brewed in gaiwan (approx 100ml, 10g leaf), boiling water, gonfu style, you know the drill.
First few infusions (1-4) come off as rather weak and a little uninteresting. However, the tea quickly improves, and remains energetic with good mouth feel throughout subsequent steepings. Had to stop after about 10 infusions, but I’m sure this could have survived at least another five (and perhaps more).
A few days ago after a longer period of taste cell capacity loss (flu) I decided to examine myself and taste one of the older samples I have had at home to see if perhaps I have been recovering well. The sample is 2008 Gedeng from pu-erh.sk. For those who might have not known, GeDengShan (革登山) is a famous Mengla tea mountain. As this tea belongs to very delicate ones, having a good olfactory impression would therefore prove the test positive and lucky me, I have smelled something.
It consists of strangely shaped large leaf and some stems, falls apart nicely when using needle in a moderate way. Dry leaf in a hot teapot smells after ripe plums, wet leaf brings a different smell, rather soft and light, something like vanilla or gentle tone of strawberries. The smell is promising, however, I had to struggle with proper brewing method.
It took me a while to understand that this particular tea needs her time, it is a good teacher of Tao. The first time I was probably too impatient and tried to squeeze her up too many times in very short time. The second tea session I decided to use my intuition and dedicated the first infusion 30 second long bath (5g / 80 ml). It was a wise thing to do.
This tea is too delicate to be pushed in any way. You just cannot help it, brewing tea is the real art of conversation skills. I perhaps did not ask the tea properly the first time I tried to make her adapt to my own needs. It should have been done the other way round, I know now with all respect. This tea needs care. If you allow her time, she will give you much pleasure.
Do not expect any intense flavour, the aroma is a sort of clue for your imagination but the flavour keeps its secrets. If you are patient enough, after a few cups it will appear in all its beauty. It is not one of those kinds of tea you can drink without your full awareness. Well, of course you can but believe me, in this case it is a complete waste of time. I cannot tell you much about the particular characteristics, this tea is very hard to define. Each time I try, it simply runs away. It does not like being categorized. It is simply good.
To see the photo documentation and read the whole review, see my blog entry:
The dry leaf is beautiful dark green, long, and easily separable. Wet in a hot pot it smells intensely after raspberry and blackcurrant. The first infusion is rather light yellow, with an ochre tone, it smells after fruit and honey. The taste is very intense, typically NanNuo, something I really enjoy, with absolutely amazing huigan.
This tea is just fascinating. Being quite young, it offers typical bitter kuwei which goes hand in hand with returning sweet and altogether it creates a wonderful palette of tones. The bitterness gets stronger in the second, third and fourth infusions, it is never paralyzing though. After the sixth infusion the taste becomes much more balanced, still accompanied with wonderfully intense Bergamot orange trace, provoking sweet aftertaste and mouth-watering effect. This tea’s got simply everything.
2010 Pu-erh.sk NanNuo
Bitterness / Smokiness: High / None
Aroma: Sweet and spicy, interesting, typical NanNuo
Flavour: Bittersweet, intense with Bergamot orange special bonus
Aftertaste: Intense, immediate, sweet and refreshing
To read the whole review, see my blog:
I like the leaves of this particular sample: clean, easily separable and simply beautiful. The smell of dry leaf is sweet, fruity and ripen, I was even able to identify a hidden tone of chocolate dipped cherries. I truly enjoyed the way the tea broth got thicker, the taste rounder and sweeter with every infusion. The aftertaste came with a nice refreshing citrus trace. The fourth infusion was surprisingly creamy, I was not expecting this to appear and it was really a nice surprise. After the 6th or 7th infusion I could feel a slight trace of astringency and dryness, perhaps due to the little aging of the cake. Nevertheless, it was all in norm and did not affect the regular taste much.
It is in general a very friendly cake and I would recommend it especially to those who would like to try some of the young ancient tree cakes and do not know which one to go first. I must say it is one of the best Yiwu cake samples I have tried so far. However, I seem to run out of words when describing typical taste of this particular area.
If you want to read the whole review, see my blog:
In general the huigan of this particular tea is not very intense but when I decided to double the dose I usually use, it made wonders!
The tea soup is much deeper, thicker and definitely more complex. It even has that sweet effect which can be observed on wine glasses when the wine tears roll down the glass leaving “bridges” on the side of the glass. I would call it something like “honey effect” as the colour, aroma and taste reminds me of honey. It even pours down slowly from a narrow mouth of my teapot, as if it was full of sugary nectar.
8g-10g / 100 ml:
Aroma: sweet, fruity, specific yiwu
Taste: sweet, fruity, honey and nuts, thicker
Aftertaste: stronger in higher amount of leaves and longer steeping , sweet and nutty
If you are interested in reading little more about this tea session, see my blog entry:
The Jing Mai sample’s aroma is definitely sweet and fruity and the sweetness is well identifiable in the first infusions too. So is the bitterness which is not as strong as in my yesterday’s testing. Jing Mai just feels like You Le’s weaker sister, if it ever can be compared (sorry if you think it cannot). The first infusions were quite strong, I even thought for a minute I somehow happen to put too much tea in my little teapot but the fourth and fifth infusions were suddenly much weaker than the previous ones. I continued with warmer water and longer steeping but it unfortunately did not bring any better effect as the taste got really stable, even unshakeable by the influence of higher temperature and time. I ended up, however, with quite many brews and I really enjoyed the way the tea broth changes its colour, starting from shaded darker yellow to sparkling golden…
To read the whole review and view the photos from this tea session please see my today´s blog entry: http://teadropping.blogspot.com/2011/10/2009-douji-jing-mai.html?spref=fb
The smell of dry leaves in warmed teapot is just indescribable. It smells of something very very concrete, I just don’t know what it is. It reminds me of forest fruit jam or marmalade. The tea broth of the first brew is very thick and it becomes golden and transparent in later infusions as the tea leaves work exposed to air and water. I have been continually sticking my nose into the leaves for half an hour to be able to describe the aroma of wet leaves and it is typically gushu-ish fruity style, rather lighter and sweet, in contrast to the taste of the flavour. The flavour could be probably best described as soft sweet with higher bitterness and some astringency which altogether creates a nice symphony of tastes. After the sixth or seventh brew the color turns sparkling golden and the bitterness tones down in a very nice constellation, as if the tea got something MengKu-ish within to offer, a slight trace of bitterness which never paralyzes nor disappears, it just stays there and it gets smooth but long lasting. The aftertaste brings a tone of grapes.
To read the whole review see my blog: