2005 Jinuo Shan You Le "Red Sun Drum" Pu-erh tea

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Thomas Smith
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195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 oz / 100 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

From Yunnan Sourcing

Aged 5 years in Banna * Purely You Le Mountain tea * Stone-Pressed

This is produced by the Jinuo Mountain tea factory of Xi Shuang Banna and is composed entirely of Early Spring 2005 You Le Mountain tea from 50 to 70 year old trees near Longpa village. Jinuo Shan is the name given to “You Le Mountain” by local Jinuo minority group that lives in the area.

The Jinuo Mountain tea factory was started in 2003 by a development grant given by the Xishuangbanna Prefectural government to develop You Le Mountain tea production with the aim to increase the standard of living of the local Jinuo inhabitants.

About the Jinuo minority group (translated from 2004 Guoyan Jinuo Minority cake nei piao by Aaron Davis):

The Jinuo ethnic group, also known as Youle, is unique to Yunnan. They primarily inhabit Jinghong municipality’s Jinuo mountain. The meaning of “Jinuo” in the Jinuo language is “descendants of the maternal uncle,” reflecting the fact that Jinuo society was once matriarchal. Jinuo people tend to live in open space cleared from virgin forest. Their grass houses are built to resemble Kong Ming’s hat [note: Kong Ming is another name for 3rd century Chinese hero Zhuge Liang]. They have a long history of tea growing, believing tea was given to them by Kong Ming. Consequently, they revere him as “father of tea.” Their primary cash crops are tea and rubber.

The tea itself is smooth and already suprisingly aged by its 5 years in the relatively warm and humid climate in Banna (Xishuangbanna). The tea is spring picking and thick and stout in appearance. The tea liquor is golden-orange color and with a fast sweet after-taste.

Special attributes:

  • Single-Estate You Le Mountain
  • Early Spring Harvest
  • Banna aged (one of the best storage conditions I have seen for a Banna stored tea)
  • Stone-Compressed
  • Traditional “primitive” processed mao cha
    Date: Early Spring 2005
    Net Weight: 357 grams per cake

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9 Tasting Notes

93 tasting notes

Just had the softest expression I’ve experienced from this tea thus far. 6.6g in a gaiwan holding about 100mL using water just shy of a boil. Single rinse and untimed infusions starting around 15 seconds and building to about 45 seconds on the sixth infusion.

Not nearly as sweet as I’ve had, but very thick and very smooth. Rich, dark gold infusion with good transparency. Light pollen-like liquor aroma with just a hint of white peach. The tea itself didn’t exhibit it, but the emptied cup carried the wonderful perfumey aroma of Da Hong Pao as I have come to expect the tea to present. Alas, I was sharing this with a couple folks and it was very tasty but very different from what I’ve experienced.

Based on the brewing round we did, I wouldn’t choose this tea to age but enjoy now (okay, this is partly me easing my conscience for blasting through two cakes in such a short time). Should still be very interesting down the line, though.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Oh yum, sounds like a fabulous time.

Thomas Smith

Good finisher to a round from a 1999 Shu Tuocha, a cupping lineup of six Long Jings, and a round of the 2006 Mao Cha I’ve reviewed before.


Wow, buzzzzzz! You must all have been feeling really happy after all that fine Puerh. I rarely get the pleasure of tasting with other people but when I do, I enjoy myself so much! I usually take Puerh to my tea shop for the guys there to sample with me. It just begs for sharing sometimes it’s just so good.

Thomas Smith

Hahaha, I work as a barista so it takes a LOT more than that to feel buzzed from caffeine (assuming I’ve eaten and had any water ahead of time). Each brewing round was only taken to 8 infusions in this case at most, with only about 1oz per infusion consumed by each person. I did wind up downing the remaining 3oz or so left in each of the cupping bowls of the 6 Long Jings, though…


I wasn’t referring to caffeine. That much tea gets me tea drunk but now I see it wasn’t a huge quantity. I went to a tasting not long ago that was about 24-32 oz in an hour which left me a bit giddy.

Thomas Smith

Yeah, whenever I do cupping lineups I only consume about 100mL max from each bowl (which can still be a lot – I try to make a point to spit when tasting 10 or more teas side by side aside from swallowing for pass throughs at hot, warm, and cool intervals) and the largest size pots I brew are 250mL. Dancongs generally leave me consuming about 1.2-2.5L using a 150mL pot or 100mL in a gaiwan, but those are extreme examples with kinda ridiculous amounts of infusions from the same leaves.
I don’t really buy into the notion of tea drunkenness or primary health benefits in tea (I think reduction of stress has far more effect than any chemicals consumed from the leaves, even with Matcha). I do get a wonderful feeling of calming and sometimes relaxed yet intensified joy after drinking tea for a few hours straight, but it is very much akin to the same endorphin rush feeling I get when sitting in nature / meditating, listening to music I really enjoy, reading an engaging book, birdwatching, or hiking. I actually get this most from just sitting for hours in the redwoods or watching the fog rolling in off the ocean, but I rarely have the time for that anymore.

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66 tasting notes

sweet and fruity
Beautiful cake glistens with shiny silverish golden buds. Distinct, whole leaves are easy to pry apart, as expected from a stone pressed production.
Review is based on a few sessions using approx 6g/100-150ml water in 180ml duan ni pot.

Dry leaves in warmed pot exude a strong ripe fruit aroma. Certainly the most intensly fruity sheng I have come across. Sweet, golden infusions with a tangy apricot/orange character with a slight hint of tobacco and honey. It’s somehow more like a phoenix dan cong oolong than a pu er.

Clean and crisp with zero smokiness/storage smell. There is some astringency with longer steeps.

Seems to have a gentle qi and to be relatively low in caffeine. It does not appear to deliver as intense a shift in awareness and body sensations, and is not as not as thick/rich/complex as the better (older and pricier) shengs I have tried. All factors considered, In its age and price range I would say its solid choice.

In summary, this is a sweet, tasty, clean, very drinkable sheng. A great everyday tea and a sure bet for those used to sweet drinks and who are new to pu erh. I wonder if it will develop more qi, complexity and thickness as it ages.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I just received a shipment from YS that has a sample of a 2010 Hai Lang Hao “Cha Wang” that is from what I’ve read absolutely intense. At $210.00 a cake it better be…

Asaf Mazar

Looking forwards to your review on that one. Ys seems to be generous with their samples though on this last order there was none. I am gravitating towards older’ circa 1990’s vintage these days as they are much mellower. Great stuff at essence of tea esp. 92 da ye loose leaf.

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15 tasting notes

This is one of the best Jinuoshan TF You Le cakes I’ve had. Probably the second best. It’s rather quickly aged, however not too much, no wet storage smell is there.

Very powerful, fruity, flowery, definitely an easy-drinking and enjoyable tea with good potential for further aging I dare say.

I rate it a little lower than the 2004 Jinuoshan TF You Le early spring 400 cakes as it is not as refined and complex. Still a great drink…

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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255 tasting notes

A very easy sheng to drink. Not terribly complex but powerful, smooth, fruity (peach and pineapple) with a moderate sweetness. Beautiful whole leaves with very few bits and pieces mixed in. Fairly light colored tea liquor which is very clean. No smoky or fermentation undertones. The aroma is rather sweet and a bit like a field in the springtime. The aftertaste is long and very warm, with just a hint of astringency. Quiet, calming qi. Decent number of resteeps – I’ve done six so far. All in all, a solid sheng with decent age and IMHO worth owning. I picked this up at Yunnan Sourcing a few months ago but it is now out of stock. However, I have seen a few JinuoShan cakes at Cha Wang Shop but not this particular year. FollowUp note: good for 10 steeps.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

I am drinking this now as well. Second day and still good.


That’s an unusual coincidence for a tea about which no one has written recently:-)


Yeah it turned out to be a good one. I only had a sample but now wish I had a cake. It seemed to be pretty dry stored as I don’t think it showed its age in the color. I couldn’t believe how smooth it was. A lot of older stuff has a little “sharpness” to it. Not quite a bite but a little less. Kind of like metallic note to it. Now I am on the third day of it. Just about gone but I will steep this one to death.

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512 tasting notes

I’m really liking this one a lot, so good :)


I have heard this is really nice.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

it is pretty good, great energy and it steeps like forever :)


i think this is a raw pu-ehr right?


Yeah I think it is.

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