pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou
I got a ripe pu’er sample from Bana Tea Company http://www.banateacompany.com/ when I was at the LA International Tea festival (see my blog post on it http://oolongowl.com/oolong-owl-owlbombs-2013-los-angeles-international-tea-festival-2013/ )
Annoyingly, the package doesn’t say which pu’er it is from their tea line up. It has an interesting rustic, mushroom, and clay flavor. Pretty good stuff! Actually, the pu’er I tried from their booth was pretty good, I even bought one.
YS 2012 pasha mountain sample again, but more interesting this time, though i don’t think i did anything different, some bitterness and citrus notes.
And it just keeps going and going, on the 3rd day and like 40th steep and the same 5g of leaves are still going strong, it just won’t quit.
well, it was a free sample so definitely got my money’s worth.
It’s funny how different the same tea can come out from session to session, especially puerhs. The last time all i got from it was some mellow grassyness, and I wrote it off as thin and bland and boring, but this time it was all “wow, so this is what really great young sheng is supposed to taste like”. From the same chunk of tea just a few days apart, don’t know if it was a larger amount or different brewing, or just my own mood and perceptions, but it was like a whole different tea. I’ve got enough left for 1 more session i think, but if it comes out like that again I might have to spring for a cake just to see how that strength and longevity ages
Having a Menghai 100 year of the revolution tea. Well this is one of those “special” pu erhs that lives up to its reputation. This tea brews dark as in a heavy fermented tea and exhibits the characteristics of a much older shou. It has a touch of dryness with a hint of woodiness that is followed by a sweet caramel molasses note. it has a hint of a peach taste at the very end that really works in this tea. I was really afraid to try this one and give notes on it as I was afraid it would be further than my simple notes to elaborate on it. All in all, well worth the cost. multiple flavor notes and very reminiscent of some small ultra high grade teas offered by some sellers we have in the US. If I hadn’t known it was a big factory production I would have argued adamantly that this was a small production. It will get a top rating as this one has all the things I like in a shou.
For shu, most of the time, small production is not a good thing and big factory production is the way to go. I only have one cake of this tea with broken wrapper, because by the time I was curious about this tea, it was already quite expensive – I think overpriced, but still a good tea.
Yeah I was thinking of some of our small factories like Mandala , Verdant and TeaVivre. I have had great tea from all these guys. But hey i did get a price way cheaper than they are currently. I think I got them before the pricing jumped up.
Well, after a two week cold and sinusitis, I am back drinking proper tea again (I am clearly not a good Marxist, what with proper tea being theft and all that … I’ll get me coat). Today I decided to open up a beeng cha that I bought at the beginning of summer, a 2012 Mu Ye Chun sheng puerh. It’s young, but thoroughly enjoyable: sweet, mellow, slight bitterness, but best of all I can feel the tea in my whole body. I am impressed with the endurance of the aftertaste too. No idea how well it will age, but I think I may get a couple more beengs to store away, while I drink this one.
I just noted that Yunnan Sourcing has a 6.5% off sale going on for everything on both the China and US websites, so I couldn’t resist ordering. Here is the list: 2012 YS Kue Ju Shu Pu ripe puerh and snow chrysanthemum tea brick, 2012 YS YI Dian Hong ripe mini cake, 2011 YS Hui Run ripe cake of Bu Lang Mtn, 2011 YS Mang Fei aged mao cha mini raw cake, 2011 YS Man Tang Hong Gong Ting ripe cake, 2011 YS Man Tang Hong number 2 ripe tea cake, 2010 YS Yi Dian Hong ripe mini cake, 2012 Xiaguan Jia Ji Tuo raw puerh (green box), 2004 Xinghai ripe tea brick of Menghai. Some of these were sample packs (25 grams), most were mini cakes just for trial. I’m looking forward to reporting on these soon.
Shhhhh, I’m trying to be on an ordering hiatus!
(Whispering) when does the sale end?
From the YS website:
Current Promotions and Discounts:
6.5% off all products! 7 day sale starts 10/13 and ends 10/20 (midnight).
Enter code: YS65 during checkout!
Oh dear …
I guess I had better look at their website again. I have been wavering over buying some more sheng from them, but this could tip me over the edge.
Javan, I am totally blaming you for my relapse. I have just ordered some more of the 2005 Tibetan Flame (because it is my dirty little secret) and a bunch of older sheng samples (because I cannot afford full cakes of the older stuff, but feel I deserve to try it!). Ah well, at least I do not order tea from YS too often and it will be my birthday soon, o I can give the tea to people so that they can give it to me. :)
What a glorious way to go, Roughage! And happy birthday (ahead of time). I’m looking forward to hearing about those older sheng samples.
Thank you. I am looking forward to sampling the older shengs. My only real experience is with young sheng, so I am hoping for some kind of epiphany.
Today’s sheng pu-erh is a 2003 Ge Deng from a sampler of older shengs purchased through http://www.zhizhengtea.com/shop/Zhi-Zheng-Sampler-3-older-teas. This is a fascinating website, and I have enjoyed their tea in the past. The Ge Deng brews up a mahogany/light orange color (first four steeps in Yixing teapot after rinse were combined) and it is a satisfying cup. Slight grassiness and astringency still present, but I can sense the deepening of the tea as it matures. This tea feels like it opens up the nose, but I can’t quite taste camphor, only sense it. There is a hint of citrus in the tea as well. It is a satisfying and intellectually stimulating tea. Thumbs up.
Enjoying a session of the 2006 Mengku organic single estate series. This tea is wonderful. No astringency and slight fruity notes. Can’t wait to drink this tea a couple years down the road!
To inaugurate my newest yixing teapot, I brewed Master Han’s 2012 sheng puerh described at http://verdanttea.com/teas/master-han-2012-sheng-puer/?
It is lovely, with the earliest steepings being fruity and green with a depth to the green taste which Verdant tea describes as olive oil, but that I would describe as a certain fullness of deep green flavor. Later steepings bring out the youthful astringence and a certain hardness which I think bodes well for aging.
I’m somewhat disappointed with the pot, but not the tea. I decided to give a local merchant my business with the purchase of a larger pot, and I purchased the pot I most liked from their inventory, but did not test its pouring. I seemed to me to be not of the same quality as my two other pots, but I decided to try it anyway. It seems to have a small design flaw which keeps the tea from pouring strongly. I’m going to keep the pot after having seasoned it last night, but I did order a different pot from Yunnan Sourcing today. More on that another day. The new pot is to be dedicated to sheng puerh, and Master Han’s is certainly a good young one.
Having the 2013 Menghai “Year of the Snake” tonight. This is a well behaved young sheng. It brews up with an amber color as opposed to the green found in most young shengs. This leads me to believe some older maocha was blended in this cake. It has very little astringency, coats the tip and sides of the tongue with an almost citrusy oily feeling. This still does not have the depth of flavor that i would have expected. It is very light and does not have that “in your face I am sheng” to it. It has the minerally taste similar to some oolongs I have sampled. Lets hope it ages well.
I’ve been hitting the 2005 Xiaguan “Tibetan Flame” over the weekend (again). It’s rough round the edges but fun, sort of like Typhoo for yak herders. Actually, it’s better than Typhoo in every way, except for not being able to buy it at my local supermarket. I love the smoky, rough flavour of this tea.