15 Tasting Notes
It was so tightly compressed that I ended up ruining a good amount on my first attempt at loosening. Luckily, once I got the hang of it, and brewed a pot, I was impressed. Even forgetting for a moment that it is a choppy leaf, the taste is very smooth and full. I will definitely order again.
Yixing pot (150 ml) with a couple chunks of tea and boiling water:
Rinse: Very typical Menghai smell. Like wet soil and camphor.
1st infusion: Notes of cinammon and oak. Not a powerful flavor at all. It is enjoyable. As Wang Jidong would say, it has “lost [some of] its tea property”.
2nd infusion: I let it brew for maybe 30 seconds by accident. However, it was still smooth. Not much complexity, much very solid tea.
3rd infusion: Good. A little spicier and stronger, even though I brewed it for about 10 seconds. Leaves are probably starting to unfurl.
gonna stop now
finish the rest free of examination
I just received a sample of this tea with an order from puerhshop.com. I’m about to try it in a 150 ml yixing pot.
The rinses: Both were a vibrant orange color. Neither smelled very strongly. The spent leaves in the pot have a mediocre smokey/tobbaco smell.
First infusion: Deep orange/brown liquor. The scent is citrus, sweet, and a little woody. It tastes more energetic than most ripes I drink (perhaps because I usually drink ripes of twice this age). I’m noticing hints of cinammon and a very faint buzzing on the tongue. There is also the faint taste of watermelon rinds. There is also a very faint barnyard scent on the cup after I finish. To me, it is pleasing. However, this tea was ultimately mediocre (read: not bad, not good).
Second infusion: This cup is cloudy (maybe I added too many leaves) and dark, dark orange. It is not a very aromatic liquor. Tasting it, there is not much, however, I wouldn’t call it mellow. No off tastes (yet), but nothing to speak of either. It almost has coffee notes, and definitely has a sharp, lively texture.
Third infusion: I let this one sit for about ten seconds before pouring, hoping for a stronger flavor. The scent of this one has fruit, in particular baked apples (with cinammon). This cup is much creamier and milder than the previous two. Still, I can feel a buzz on the tip of my tongue. However, nothing special is in the flavor.
Fourth infusion: It has become slightly more bitter. No problem, but I’m growing tired of the drink, and I think I’ll put it away.
Overall, I do not recommend this tea. There are better. This is my first real exposure to Yiwu region teas, and maybe it’s just not for me. However, I can’t imagine a tea so cheap is representative of the region’s craft.
There’s nothing wrong here, but not much right either.
Flavors: Apple, Biting, Citrus, Cream, Smoke, Wood
I ordered a 357g cake of this, and boy am I impressed.
It’s actually a rather subtle and complex mouthfull, with hints of flowers, peach skin, and an ever so slight grassiness. Of course, being a young pu-erh, there’s plenty of astringency too. However, it’s far from overwhelming and is balanced by a faint smokiness.
The leaves were very loose around the edge of the cake, so I was able to use nothing but my hands for the first taste.
The spent leaves are full and luscious.
Worth the money and then some.
Flavors: Astringent, Flowers, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke
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Let it air out for a few days and the flavor has equalized (no fish). Very enjoyable and round. Gives a smooth, mellow and earthy mouthfull. Smells like fresh soil. Overall, a good brick.
(Split the brick and took leaves from the middle: smokier and not fishy.
Starting to notice significant fishiness… Putting this back in the box.
When I opened the packaging, I noticed it was glossier than the pictures suggested—an auspicious beggining. Upon further examination, I found the brick was really quite lovely. A nice mix of stems and leaves.
I placed a fair chunk into my 150 ml gaiwan. I’ve done about four steepings with boiling water for 10-20 seconds. I have to say, the deepness and clarity of the liquid was quite impressive for such an affordable little brick. The leaves have a wonderful earthy/smokey smell from the beggining. However, the liquor has stronger notes of overripe cherries and maybe even oak. I can’t say which I enjoy more.
With each steeping, the liquid has become darker and smokier. This is really a great thing for a pu-erh. I want the tea to peak after no fewer than 5 steepings.
As for the spent leaf, it takes its time opening up. I’m only on my 4th steeping, so we’ll see what the striations continue to do. However, from the look of the leaves, it seems the leaf integrity is solid, and the leaves are more or less whole. This is a sign of good quality, so I’m satisfied here. We have to remember the tea has been waiting for 8 years at this point!
I’m excited to see how this brick ages. That is if I can keep it sitting in my shou box long enough to find out!
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, petrichor, Smoke, Stewed Fruits, Tobacco, Wet wood
Not your standard pu-erh. I have the 2012 100 gram cake.
To start with, this pu-erh is rather dense. Not exceptionally so, but enough that you’d be better off steaming it apart.
The leaves are fairly choppy. This is a downside.
The liquor has a really appealing color and not too much debris.
As for drinking the liquor, this tea packs a hard punch: not so much in intensity of overall flavor, but more in the strength of the individual notes it possesses. I almost want to say it hardens the water, if that makes any sense at all.
I found it does many brews well, and I’ve only been using a fairly small amount in my larger ceramic pot with boiling or just below boiling water.
I recommend not brewing this tea for too long. I tried five minutes at one point and it was enough to upset my stomach. So one minute is all it really needs to start.
This is not a tea for a pu-erh novice. It is unusual and difficult. I don’t regret buying it, however. It’s just a more demanding tea than is typical.