I used not to be a fan of raw puerh, but since I visited Yunnan and learned more about it, I’ve suddenly realised why I didn’t like it before… all the raw stuff you could get in the UK was really bad quality because we weren’t prepared to pay enough. But this is really tasty, with a smooth sweet flavour, edgy but not insecure, with a push on the finish and a long lingering flavour. A raw PuErh that doesn’t take the back of your throat off. I brewed this in a Bodum Assam 0.5L teapress and got 5 brews out of 3 grams of tea, so that’s about 6p per mug. Not bad, really!
Twelve Gentlemen Pu-Erh Raw (Sheng) 357g 2006 "Zui Tai Ping" beeng
What a tea! The Twelve Gentlemen brand is becoming one of the most highly respected small-batch PuErh brands in Yunnan, run by two youngish gentlemen in Kunming who entertained us to a tasting in 200: they are true experts on the tea and its genre, and put together a consistently good range of PuErh styles every year.
This Zui Tai Ping raw brick is of an instantly palatable nature, with a truly refreshing, well balanced flavour. The second brew is perhaps the most superior, with a sweet lingering kick as it is swallowed, an unusual but very enjoyable feature. The later brews are consistent in their leafy smoothness. The tea lacks the unpleasant metallic note to many inferior raw PuErhs.
One of the stars of the future, it is ready to enjoy now, but should also keep and mature for many years to come: and with its beautiful paper wrapper it’s the perfect gift.