So it is my birthday today, and I wanted to have a special tea. I was between this one, Master Han’s Yunnan Black and the legendary Golden Fleece that I have yet to try. However, this one won out because it has been sitting there in my drawer, a nice large brick, just waiting for a special moment. And today seemed like the perfect time to break into it. Also, I decided that it’d be a nice tradition to have a gongfu session of this tea every year on my bday, and I can see how the aging is going in a semi-regular fashion, although I will probably have it more often now that I actually got into it. But this will hopefully be my birthday tea for many years. :)
So I had to break into this beast somehow. I scrolled back through my tasting notes to find Bonnie’s suggestions and also went to Verdant’s site and watched David’s video on how to break into pu’er. So I tried using a flathead screwdriver first to pry into it sideways, but that wasn’t working and was just making dust, so I tried a knife like Bonnie said, and the sharp tip did the trick. I also cut a small corner off. I have no idea how much I put in my gongfu pot, but it seemed like enough to make a good few cups.
I did 2 rinses for about 15-20 seconds with boiling water. Then I steeped for around 10-15 seconds for the first, going to try to keep to that for the rest of the steepings. The liquor is a beautiful dark red, and it smells so good, like caramel and vanilla with that lovely earthy note! This smells nice and rich and tasty, I prefer the scent of this to the xingyang 2007 actually.
Mmmm this tastes so nice and warming. A lot of caramel and sweetness in this one, but there is a nice burst of earth and maybe a bit of fruitiness even to this steeping. Something fresh behind the sweetness. It is also quite smooth and this is making me feel pretty good and relaxed. To me it is definitely sweeter and a bit smoother than the xingyang. I like this.
Overall, this is a very nice shu. I am very happy I finally opened up my brick of this and found that I like it, because I have a lot of it to drink eventually! I’m excited to have more cups of this and have a nice relaxing day drinking this tea and trying to not worry about school. Happy this was my choice of a new tea on my bday!