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Recent Tasting Notes
Just finished my mini cake, and I wish I had more! For the price this is a lovely cake to go to when you want something comfortable and flavorful. It can endure brew after brew and yields a full and thick woody brew with hints of cocoa, TCM, incense, and leather. I’ll be buying a few more to stock away. I don’t think this is a tea with long term aging potential, but it will be even more pleasant for a few more years.
So I brewed up about 7 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at about 210f. Two customary rinses to get the funky junk of the pile off. This tea has lost that fermented smell and wasn’t funky at all. I see some reviews saying it is fishy but I imagine these are older tastings and this tea has had time to mellow out. I did quick steeps at first at about 5-8 seconds. I find this ripe to be a light smooth mouthfeel but not lacking at all. I brewed a bit heavy to see what it had. I noticed a really nice caramel flavor or honey sweetness on the back end. It has the traditional coffee-esque bite that a good ripe has. Definitely a good morning tea. A medium energy to this one. Not too strong, not too weak. It didn’t give a ton of infusions like some other ripes but gave enough to enjoy. Not a bad tea. More age will make it even better.
I actually did this two days ago so I am doing it again tonight.
I am pretty sure I grabbed this from Jasetea after roaming their website. A Yunnan Sourcing tea from 2009 and sold out on the YS sites.
I got all the shake and little pieces from inside the wrapper to brew with. I think it was about 12 grams and in the gaiwan to steep.
I rinsed it and let it sit about an hour before brewing to open the leaf up a bit.
This one is just about to get into the darker gold/copper color.
The brew was done in 3/3/3 sec brews. It sips light and goes quickly into a full thick almost oily coating with a nice good bitter punch to it. It gives some sweet but it is a while after sipping and the bitter subsides before this comes to front.
This one is turning into a good strong tea in its middle age. I will be interested into seeing how this ages in the future.
Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Sweet, Thick
very solidly compressed. 2 20-sec rinses, then (15s): Clean aroma; no earthiness. Woody with a hint of fruit; bitter at the finish. 2nd (15s): more fruit, hint of caramel in nose. Taste is mostly just woody, with a bit of earth, but less bitter than before. 3-6th steeps similar. OK but not much character.
Interesting note: when I bought this tea a few months ago it was priced at $4.00. Now it is $4.80.
150ml easy-pour gaiwan, boiling, using my standard times for pu-erh: rinse/30/60/90/120/360, Stevia added.
Yesterday I finally tackled the task of compartmentalizing all of my pu-erh; I decided to keep my sheng (raw) in a cardboard box that four Teavana teacups came in (the size of a small shoe box) and my shou (cooked) in a tall terra cotta wine brique with a cork top I found at a goodwill recently. Unfortunately, I found that this mini-cake almost fits in the brique. Then I thought, “Well, almost is not going to stop me from putting this cake in here!” Anyway, I had yet to try this tea, so I decided this was as good time as any to take some tea from the cake by trimming some off one ‘edge’ so it could fit, and then brew up the ‘trimmings’; in the process of trimming a little at a time while seeing if it would fit it turns out I had to take enough tea for about three steeping sessions; so I decided to brew up about 5-6 grams right away and then put the rest in a plastic bag (I plan to brew the trimmings sometime over the summer.)
I am sitting here writing this after the tea is all gone, as I wasn’t planning on writing this review. So, my observations here are general. Later this summer I plan to pay more attention to the flavor and aroma for a more thorough review.
This tea is different than any of the other cooked pu-erhs I’ve had: it was lighter in flavor, smoother, and even seemed to have a kind of fresh quality to it without any of the musty-ness that most of the other cooked pu-erh seems to have had. It wasn’t harsh, edgy or too fishy either, as I was expecting from reading about how young cooked pu-erh can taste. It had a beautiful reddish-brown color that was much lighter than the color of the cooked pu-erh I had just yesterday. This is my first mini-cake and I have to say, overall, I am impressed with the entire experience; it’s very different than brewing up a sample or a mini tou. I may try brewing this up in my Yixing next time.
Although I still don’t find cooked pu-erh to be something I would drink for pleasure, this is probably the best tasting one yet. As varied as I understand the selection of pu-erh teas to be, and as deeply rooted in Chinese culture as it is, I decided to invest my time and energy into exploring this class of tea hoping to unearth a least a few of it’s hidden treasures. For me this is a kind of long- term experiment, undertaken in large part because of how pu-erh seems to not only captivate tea enthusiasts worldwide but to hold their attention for a lifetime.
This one is pretty good, very dark liquid, very smooth slight earthy sweet taste, with some woody notes maybe even hints of cinnamon. This one is just full of flavor, good for everyday drinking.
This one would be for someone new to puerhs, it is very enjoyable with offensive flavors.
The aroma is decent too, only a slight fish scent at the beginning, not too bad, i like it :)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Wood