Drinking this gongfu style while doing some reading for my thesis. This is a strong and earthy tea, good for dozens and dozens of brewings by the look of it. It mellows down and grows sweeter with every brewing, but I still probably wouldn’t recommend it for people just starting out into the world of pu’erh. The leaves, both dry and after brewing, are on the long side, with no sourness or much astringency to them. I was very tired when I came home from work today and brewing several rounds of this made me sit up and take notice! This won’t be an everyday tea for me, but I can see myself drinking it at times like these. A perfect study tea for me!
2011 Haiwan Lao Tongzhi - Classic 1999 100g Ripe Pu-Erh Tea Cake
These little 100 gram cakes were pressed in March of 2011 from a blend of fine grade (small size) fermented leaf material from Menghai County, Xishuangbanna. It was compressed in March of 2011, and has been stored in Dallas, TX since May, 2011. This tea is smooth and sweet, with a moderately thick mouthfeel that reminds me of gong ting (imperial grade) ripe tea. While this tea would certainly benefit from further aging, this tea is quite drinkable now with relatively little fermentation taste for its young age.
About Yunnan Haiwan Tea Industry Co:
Mr. Zou Bingliang, the owner of the Haiwan Companies, was the manager of Menghai Tea Factory before leaving in the late 1990s to form Haiwan with two of his closest associates. Mr. Zou was in charge of all operations at the Menghai Tea Factory, including overseeing all aspects of the closely guarded secret fermentation methods used in the production of Menghai’s famous ripe Pu-Erh teas. Using the experience and expertise of Mr. Zou and his comrades, Yunnan Haiwan Tea Industry Co was founded in 1999, and this factory has established a solid reputation for producing high quality sheng/raw and shu/ripe Pu-Erh tea during its short history.
The brand “Lao Tongzhi” (老通知, Old Comrades) is one of the brand names Yunnan Haiwan Tea Industry Co produces tea under, and was named for the two friends or comrades who started the company with Mr. Zou. “Jingdian 1999” (經典1999; Classics 1999) is a product line named they named after the year the company was founded.