6 Tasting Notes
Based on the description and the price I was initially concerned with what I was going to be getting when I ordered this tea. Fortunately, I was delighted to find it was an incredibly great tea! This is a tea I’ve frankly been avoiding posting on here because I didn’t want too many to find out about how awesome this tea is. Basically the second I first opened the bag it comes in, I knew it was going to be something delightful – the aromas coming from the bag a light earthy tone with distant smells of camphor and menthol. The leaves themselves are in good shape as well. The aroma of the tea when wet is very pleasant, invoking feelings of nostalgia with the light earthy smells. The taste is one of the key things to this tea that I find hard to pass up. This is a very reasonably priced and well made aged puerh from the 1990’s. The aging has been done perfectly, and this comes through in all facets of this tea.
When I made this up with some friends, we basically came to a conclusion on this tea that it is “a perfect introduction to puerh for many, and one that is both affordable and of high quality”. While I’ve had aged puerhs from as far back as the early 70’s, which are amazing, this is a very good puerh for every day consumption that won’t hurt your wallet.
Just another note – this is a tea that takes a while to lose all flavor, so I find myself steeping it many more times than other teas. It opens up nicely after the first few steepings and mellows out very nicely after a while.
I’ve come to really enjoy this tea more and more each time I prepare it. I’m amazed at how crisp and mellow this tea is at this stage. The leaves of this cake aren’t just large they’re HUGE. I compared this cake with another cake from Nannou from 2007 (this cake is 2006) and was very impressed with this cake in comparison. In general top notch flavor, it’s not bitter, and it’s great tasting now – but I plan on keeping some for aging purposes.
For steeping it, I’ve found the higher temperatures seem to work well with it, I prefer to use a yixing pot with it, and let it steep for a long time after the first few times. This is a very approachable pu erh, and as noted, I’m enjoying this tea more and more with each tasting.
Update: The first time I steeped this, I didn’t use enough leaves which prevented much of the flavor and aroma from coming out. After giving more time and more leaves I found it to be a very good tea, and had to reassess my initial post. I could smell an apple vinegar aroma off the tea, which was very pleasant, and yet this scent didn’t translate into a sour taste or anything unpleasant with the tea taste. The taste was very pleasant, upon steeping for nearly an hour it became very fruity in both aroma and taste. Very good tea! I’d disregard my initial posting below, and leave it as a cautionary note about using the right amount of leaves when steeping.
I really wanted to like this tea more, but while it is a good tea, I didn’t find it particularly exceptional in any area. The chocolatey aroma of the dry leaves left me initially impressed, but after steeping it, I didn’t find it open or expose anything amazing in the flavor department. The taste was pleasant with smooth well balanced flavor notes, the chocolate aroma accented with a slight nutty and earthy flavor was good. Despite this, compared to some other cliff tea I’ve had – it wasn’t as strong for flavor as I would like, so I may try steeping it with more tea next time and that may help. Again, certainly not a bad tea, in fact a very good tea, but just not one of my top ranking teas either.
Simply an amazing tea, the combination of a great aroma mixed with outstanding flavor at a great price make this tea easily one of my favorite teas. The smokey flavor and rich malty and earthy notes come through, and you can let it pick up considerably depending on how long you wish to steep.
Very unusual but interesting tea! The tea had a very smooth and pleasant taste similar to many young puerhs, was advised to steep for 20 seconds, which was good advice. I let it steep a little longer and it was much stronger – not too bitter, but probably too bitter for most. Generally speaking, feel that it’s a good tea, I’d be curious to see what aging does to it, as I’d imagine the bamboo and other earthy notes will become stronger, supplemented with the slightly smokey taste, I’m sure it would be great! In the interim, good puerh, but think I’ll save some of it to age it and see how it ages.