5 Tasting Notes
Fantastic tea! It is enjoyable from the very first sip. Though it is hard to tell from the picture, these cubes are really cubes, not flat. They are shaped like a baby’s wooden letter block. I used less than half of one cube, about 5g of tea to 8oz water in a small clay pot. The taste was great immediately (whereas other teas kind of sneak up on you), and it has a nice long finish too. Tea soup is a pretty reddish brown. Lots of nice mineral notes and slight bitterness. Coats your mouth and has a long, earthy aftertaste. Second steep was just as delicious. It has a metallic/mineral taste that I just love in a good ripe puerh. It coats your tongue and mouth and just keeps on giving. If you buy 100g, it’s only 7 cents/gram, which is great for such a good tea, but if you get a whole Kg, it will be only 4 cents/gram! That makes it one of the best bargain puerhs I’ve ever seen, amazing for the quality of tea you get.
Ever wonder why they called it “cooked” puerh?
This is one of the most unusual teas I’ve ever tried. I was expecting the “mini brick” to be the size of, say, a small paperback book. Instead, it’s smaller than a pack of cigarettes! Very densely packed too, and very ripe. The dry tea smells lovely, like fragrant tobacco. And the brewed tea tastes something like tobacco too. Another review I read somewhere called it “ashy” and I think that’s accurate. It tastes roasted, almost burnt. It’s not smoky, exactly, but I think “ashy” is a good description. Or maybe charcoal. There’s no fishiness in it, but there is very little fresh tea taste left. Instead, it tastes very very “cooked.” And I don’t know if it is me, but the wet leaves give off a peculiar smell I can only describe as kind of like petroleum, or turpentine, or linseed oil. I started to think this stuff was so composted it was on its way to becoming crude oil. I’m not saying I don’t like it though. It’s just very strong and a little peculiar. I’ve only been into puerh for a few months, but I’ve tried probably a dozen ripe teas, and this was the most unusual. Let me know if you have the same experience I did, especially with regards to the smell.
At first, this tea was pretty subtle. It took a while to open up; I rinsed it for almost 20 seconds first, and the water barely got darker. The first cup was very subtle, with dominant woody taste. Still fairly light in color. It was the second steeping where it really came alive! Then I smelled a distinct smoky aroma, and the flavors really came out: a little smoke, some rich roasted flavors like toasted rice, shiitake mushrooms, earth. Utterly delicious! Maybe my favorite ripe puer so far (I’ve tried about five or six so far, and have been drinking nothing but puer for several months). Great bargain at $6 for 125 g mini cake at Chawang Shop. Highly recommended!
This was the tea that got me in to Pu-erh. These tightly packed little cakes are packed with flavor. A little bit of fishy aroma, but not overly strong or unpleasant. The brew is dark and rich, very earthy, and almost caramel like. I loved it and used it all up before even digging in to the other teas I ordered.