Final destination on the taste tour through Yunnan. What a treat it’s been!
Region 4/4: Puer/Simao. Location 3/3: Ai Lao
NOTES ON TEA
Not bad for its price point. It is a light, fruity, and sweet raw at its present age. Has much in common with a Dragonwell green tea experience. However, the flavors can get a bit thin at times. I found myself pushing it quite early on (3rd infusion) in order to maintain body and flavor.
Overall, it is very refreshing – nice floral and fruity sweetness, with a bit of honey notes. Minerality and hints of smoke prevent it from becoming too sweet and boring. Some citrus notes pop up that help to awaken the palate and make everything interesting again.
Dry leaf: sweet, citrus (almost like an orange candy), fresh grass, floral. In preheated vessel – some sweet prune and raisin notes come forward
Smell: not much in the nose – some light grassy and hay notes, some mildly sweet vegetal notes, some dried apricot.
Taste: honey, light floral sweetness, light citrus, a sort of Turkish Delight vibe, fresh grass, dried apricot. At times has a development very similar to a green tea, with a finish that is reminiscent of a white tea. Something like a rocky minerality is present, but is in the background. Light citrus and lemongrass notes in aftertaste, also honey in background. Some smokiness (campfire – not unpleasant) wafts in and out when brewed harder. The smokiness is almost less of a flavor and more of a vehicle for some added body and sweetness.
NOTES ON REGION
Can’t really pin this one down. There are no common flavors that the three teas shared. The Wu Liang was very smoky and vegetal, the Jing Gu sweet and foresty, and the Ai Lao light and fruity. Overall, I can simply say that I feel like this region gives you some good return for your money. The Wu Liang, despite its ashiness, had the vegetal strength that the Menghai area teas had. The Jing Gu gave a great old arbor depth of experience. The Ai Lao, despite its lightness, was sweet and enjoyable. All are at a fraction of comparable teas.
It is a region worth exploring. It seems to offer something for everyone, and at a bargain.