2012 Yunnan Sourcing "Yi Dian Hong" Ripe Pu-erh tea mini cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Earth, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Wood, Fishy
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TeaExplorer
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 oz / 101 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Dry leaf: EARTHY, FRUITY, CEREAL (sweet hay, rich compost, almond, grits, cooked corn, hints at molasses, coffee...” Read full tasting note
    92
    apefuzz 15 tasting notes
  • “Brewed gongfu style in a 100ml gaiwan. Very thick, got many steeps out of it (8-12). Great huigan and mouthfeel. Strong cha qi/energy. Started sweating and feeling quite pleasant after the third...” Read full tasting note
    90
    bscottx 2 tasting notes
  • “Just finished my mini cake, and I wish I had more! For the price this is a lovely cake to go to when you want something comfortable and flavorful. It can endure brew after brew and yields a full...” Read full tasting note
    81
    pmunney 28 tasting notes
  • “So I brewed up about 7 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at about 210f. Two customary rinses to get the funky junk of the pile off. This tea has lost that fermented smell and wasn’t funky at all. I see...” Read full tasting note
    84
    SilasSteep 37 tasting notes

From yunnan sourcing (private label)

Our 2012 “Little Bit of Red” production is made entirely from Menghai area material fermented in 2009 and 2010. Similar to last year’s blend, but with 35% Gong Ting grade ripe tea (instead of 30%). The remaining 65% is a nice semi-aged (in Menghai) Grade 3 tea from 2009.

Fermentation level is medium, so this cake still has a little bite to it and more room for improvement with aging. The fermentation “dui wei” flavor is mostly dissipated and the taste will gradually improve over the years to come. The fermented material was stored in Menghai for 2 and 3 years before being pressed into these 100 gram mini cakes.

Single cakes or tongs (7 cakes wrapped in bamboo leaf) are available for purchase!

About yunnan sourcing (private label) View company

Company description not available.

5 Tasting Notes

92
15 tasting notes

Dry leaf: EARTHY, FRUITY, CEREAL (sweet hay, rich compost, almond, grits, cooked corn, hints at molasses, coffee grounds, stewed berries, vanilla bean, dark dried fruit – prune, date)

Smell: EARTHY, BRINY (hay, compost, oatmeal, grits, bread pudding, pleasant “ocean” notes – brine, seashore)

Taste: EARTHY, CEREAL, NUTTY (hay, rich earth, leather, grits/cream of wheat, raw nuts – almond and Brazil nuts – dark mushroom, buttery, creamy vanilla, hints of vanilla bean, stewed fruit, red fruit, ripe banana, cinnamon, nutmeg). One very pleasant characteristic of this tea is noticeable bourbon note that weaves in and out on the palate during several infusions.

The only bad thing about this cake is that once you start to get to know it, you begin to regret only having 100g of it. For my palate, it is easily one of my favorite ripes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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90
2 tasting notes

Brewed gongfu style in a 100ml gaiwan. Very thick, got many steeps out of it (8-12). Great huigan and mouthfeel. Strong cha qi/energy. Started sweating and feeling quite pleasant after the third steep. Very little bit of the fermentation taste, gone after the first couple of steeps.

Throughout there was a strong earthy, woody, almost floral flavor. Not malty, maybe a touch of black-tea-style sweetness. Nutty flavors increased with each steep.

Absolutely great tea for the price.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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81
28 tasting notes

Just finished my mini cake, and I wish I had more! For the price this is a lovely cake to go to when you want something comfortable and flavorful. It can endure brew after brew and yields a full and thick woody brew with hints of cocoa, TCM, incense, and leather. I’ll be buying a few more to stock away. I don’t think this is a tea with long term aging potential, but it will be even more pleasant for a few more years.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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84
37 tasting notes

So I brewed up about 7 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at about 210f. Two customary rinses to get the funky junk of the pile off. This tea has lost that fermented smell and wasn’t funky at all. I see some reviews saying it is fishy but I imagine these are older tastings and this tea has had time to mellow out. I did quick steeps at first at about 5-8 seconds. I find this ripe to be a light smooth mouthfeel but not lacking at all. I brewed a bit heavy to see what it had. I noticed a really nice caramel flavor or honey sweetness on the back end. It has the traditional coffee-esque bite that a good ripe has. Definitely a good morning tea. A medium energy to this one. Not too strong, not too weak. It didn’t give a ton of infusions like some other ripes but gave enough to enjoy. Not a bad tea. More age will make it even better.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

That old funk mellows over time pretty well.

SilasSteep

Yeah I’m finally starting to see that with some of my teas. Thankfully time is on our side with the funk!!

mrmopar

Yes. I rarely drink any shou under 2 years age. Just sit on it and let it get better.

SilasSteep

Yeah I am the same. I have tried some newer ripes and they were undrinkable to me. A 2015 Menghai V93 is one to be specific. Tho I did try it again months later and it has mellowed some already. Should be good with more time.

mrmopar

The 2008 and 2009 V93’s are peaking out now in my collection.

SilasSteep

Nice. They get a bit pricey when I see those for sale. Gotta pay for age tho I guess.

mrmopar

Buy early grasshopper!

TeaExplorer

mrmopar is a wise man and worth heeding.

The 2009 version of the Yi Dian Hong is very good right now. I also laid in some of the 2012 when it was cheaper, hoping it becomes nearly as good as the 2009 in a few more years (perhaps around 2018-2020).

SilasSteep And I shall heed the advice. It definitely can use some more time TeaExplorer but if the taste now is any indicator it will be a tasty tea in a few more years.

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171 tasting notes

Preliminary Review

Interesting note: when I bought this tea a few months ago it was priced at $4.00. Now it is $4.80.

150ml easy-pour gaiwan, boiling, using my standard times for pu-erh: rinse/30/60/90/120/360, Stevia added.

Yesterday I finally tackled the task of compartmentalizing all of my pu-erh; I decided to keep my sheng (raw) in a cardboard box that four Teavana teacups came in (the size of a small shoe box) and my shou (cooked) in a tall terra cotta wine brique with a cork top I found at a goodwill recently. Unfortunately, I found that this mini-cake almost fits in the brique. Then I thought, “Well, almost is not going to stop me from putting this cake in here!” Anyway, I had yet to try this tea, so I decided this was as good time as any to take some tea from the cake by trimming some off one ‘edge’ so it could fit, and then brew up the ‘trimmings’; in the process of trimming a little at a time while seeing if it would fit it turns out I had to take enough tea for about three steeping sessions; so I decided to brew up about 5-6 grams right away and then put the rest in a plastic bag (I plan to brew the trimmings sometime over the summer.)

I am sitting here writing this after the tea is all gone, as I wasn’t planning on writing this review. So, my observations here are general. Later this summer I plan to pay more attention to the flavor and aroma for a more thorough review.

This tea is different than any of the other cooked pu-erhs I’ve had: it was lighter in flavor, smoother, and even seemed to have a kind of fresh quality to it without any of the musty-ness that most of the other cooked pu-erh seems to have had. It wasn’t harsh, edgy or too fishy either, as I was expecting from reading about how young cooked pu-erh can taste. It had a beautiful reddish-brown color that was much lighter than the color of the cooked pu-erh I had just yesterday. This is my first mini-cake and I have to say, overall, I am impressed with the entire experience; it’s very different than brewing up a sample or a mini tou. I may try brewing this up in my Yixing next time.

Although I still don’t find cooked pu-erh to be something I would drink for pleasure, this is probably the best tasting one yet. As varied as I understand the selection of pu-erh teas to be, and as deeply rooted in Chinese culture as it is, I decided to invest my time and energy into exploring this class of tea hoping to unearth a least a few of it’s hidden treasures. For me this is a kind of long- term experiment, undertaken in large part because of how pu-erh seems to not only captivate tea enthusiasts worldwide but to hold their attention for a lifetime.

Flavors: Fishy

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
TeaExplorer

I have been working on the 2009 version of this tea and have laid in some of the 2012 for aging. With the 2009 I use 8 grams in my 100mL gaiwan with short steeps (10-15 seconds) and get a rich, balanced full bodied cup. I put it in a similar category to the 2009 Mengku Rongshi Golden Buds Ripe, flavor-wise, but less expensive. After reading your review I’ve decided to pull out one of the 2012’s and give it a try this week.

SimpliciTEA

Glad to read you like the older version. I would be interested to read what you think of this one. I plan sometime soon to try doing steeps with a quality pu-erh for shorter times, as you mention.

mrmopar

Agreed this is a really good inexpensive cake. I have a few of these aging myself.

Terri HarpLady

thinking I might have to jump on the bandwagon…
As always, you guys are such a bad, or is it good?, influence on me, lol

mrmopar

Both Terri!

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