752 Tasting Notes
I was honored to have a very limited pu-erh shared with me on Monday. I was at Shang Tea and Shang shared a pu-erh with me from one of his friend’s farms. It is called Meng Hai County Pu-erh because of the county it comes from. It is a shu from 2006. Fermented 6 weeks. It was the only pu-erh served in the Olympics Tea House in 2008.
I liked it quite a bit in the store. I told Shang it was pretty much the first pu I’d had that I could honestly say I really did like. I came home with some.
Making it here at home and I could not duplicate the flavor. Not even close. It was much more like what I expect of pu – earthy and musty but not in a way I enjoy. I could drink it but it would never be my choice. So I emailed to find out how it was prepared at the shop that day. Found out that by that point in the day, the pot had been mixed with Golden Needle King! That would explain why I thought it was drinkable. I lumme some Shang Golden Needle.
I didn’t make an entry for this tea as they only have a very limited amount in the store and it is outrageously expensive. If you are in town and interested, stop by the shop and inquire. :) I’d be interested to hear what a real pu-head thinks of this.
Ooo… this is bizarre. I had this at work today with filtered water, Western style. Having at home tonight, gong fu style, bottled water.
Here are my notes from work: Oh, hello, honey & bread! Moderate body but big flavor. So close to Taiwanese Wild Mountain black but from China. Dry leaves have a yeasty, fermented fruit and wine-y single origin chocolate type of scent. Steeped liquor is mainly a bready scent. Flavors of honey, yeast and fruit. There must be more of this obtained before they are out again. Western, 4 minutes, 205F, 2 tsp/10 oz.
And tonight at home: Similar scents, but sweeter. The liquor actually has a sweet aftertaste that is making me think of what licorice root does to my tastebuds. It creates a weird sweetness that lingers on my lips and in my mouth. It’s nothing I enjoy. I actually rinsed out my mouth three times to make sure I didn’t have anything sweet lingering from food earlier. I’m only going to get through 10/30/45 seconds. I’m giving up and not wasting the rest. I’ll steep again Western style and see if it is my water or the steeping method. If it’s like this Western style at home, then I don’t need more of it which is both disappointing and a relief. I won’t spend that much on work tea. I don’t drink cheap tea at work but nothing this expensive either.
Scent of dry leaf is very sweet and brown sugary. After steeping, taking the lid off the gaiwan and inhaling I get an overlay of smoke on top of an underlying sweet rock smell. Tasting at 30 seconds and this has a mild bit of smoke but not unpleasant, somewhat woody and sweet but at the same time highly mineral/rocky and a little dry and dusty. At 60 seconds, while inhaling the aroma from the gaiwan is sweeter and more malty, the flavor is more dusty and the campfire smoke is more pronounced along with a barnyard note.
A pleasant and good quality jin jun mei but not one I personally need to keep on hand. Luckily I still have a good stash of my ultimate jin jun mei so I have time to find a replacement. :)
I have tried this twice now, once gong fu and once Western. I preferred it Western I think.
This is either a much lighter Yunnan than I am accustomed to or I underleafed. I did steep for 5 minutes when I did it Western and it was still tasty, as I would expect.
I still have some to experiment with, thanks for a very generous sample from TeaTotaler! It is quite a nice, balanced cup.
Holeee cats – the chili pepper & ginger in this just about knock you out to smell the dry leaf. Without sugar, the pepper is the foremost taste. Definitely a bite. Unfortunately, it kind of consumes the tea which is one of the main reasons I was anxious to get this blend. With sugar and cream it becomes an excellently scented, but moderately spiced chai and the pepper is moderated by the cream. Need to try again with some different parameters before rating.
Trying this one in the new bat gaiwan tonight (thanks to Amanda ‘Soggy Enderman’ Wilson for the lead on where to get one!). I still like this, but sadly, I think my tastes or my tastebuds have changed because I don’t like it as much as I used to. I’m getting far more mineral notes tonight along with some tobacco and some bitterness in the later steeps. Maybe not actually bitter but very metallic. It was never a quenching tea, always more on the dry side but I’m not even getting any malt tonight. Oh, well. I have a whole lot of it and this is from an admittedly old batch, though I store in relatively tightly sealed, opaque tins. I haven’t opened the new package from this year yet. Maybe that will be different.
I know it’s possible that medications can change what you taste. I’m on a new one and possibly the problem it’s supposed to cure could also be impacting – minor GERD with a minor hiatal hernia. So I’ve been cutting back on my tea intake since I’m supposed to watch my caffeine levels (in addition to not eating anything I normally eat…). Oh, and lose weight. I don’t know how I’m supposed to do that when a major part of my dessert substitutes are liquid caffeine. :)
Very nice. Mild, smooth, apple-y in initial steep. Second steep was a little sour but not in a bad way. The smell is very much a Fujian black though there isn’t any of the mild smoke I have gotten lately with teas from that region. Glad to have this on hand. It isn’t one I have to keep around but it will be enjoyed as an every day tea while it lasts!
Hm. Not sure I could pick this out as pu-erh but then I am not the most experienced with that type of tea. There are little soft caramel bits covered with tea in the mixture and it smells like chai. It wasn’t an exceptionally strong chai, more a scent of caramel and spice. I added some sugar about halfway through the cup and the spices popped a bit more. Nothing really stands out to me here but it wasn’t horrible either.