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Recent Tasting Notes
Last night, my grandfather (who is a fifth-generation tea master) and I sat down to enjoy a tea while playing Go. This week was my turn to bring the tea, so I selected the 2007 ChangTai International Puerh Appreciation Memorial Tea, which is a large 400g cake. This tea was purchased in 2010 from Hou De Asian Art and has been stored since then on a natural rock ledge in my puer aging cave with humidity is constant 70% year-round and temperatures from 72F-78F depending on the season.
This is a strong, smokey tea with the strength to age well. Of course, the tea was prepared gong fu style which is the only way my grandfather will drink tea (or anything else for that matter). The tea lasted 22 steeps before showing any sign of fading. The tea is now a decade old and has notes of dark chocolate, mineral, roast grain and a touch of buffalo grass.
Whenever I supply the tea, we end off the session with my esteemed grandfather estimating what the tea costs. “Young Master”, said my revered grandfather, “I believe that this tea would be fairly priced at around $57 a cake”. “But most respected Grandfather”, I replied, slightly shocked that he had the wrong price, “it is currently listed at $67.50!”. My honorable grandfather turned and asked with an elusive smile “Is there a tong discount?” And when I checked later that night, sure enough Hou De offers 15% off 7 or more cakes. Since this cake is certainly good enough to order by the tong, once again my admirable grandfather had demonstrated the awesome tea wisdom that only a lifetime of being a tea master can bring.
Flavors: Buffalo Grass, Dark Chocolate, Hot Hay, Limestone, Roasted Barley
I generally prefer a more robust, savory, smoky tea and this does not disappoint. It has all those qualities but never overpowering. There’s a subtle sweetness that balances well with the wood/smoke and savory mushroomy goodness. There’s some great age to this as well. A bit on the dry side, which is my only real complaint. Nice sweetness in the aftertaste though (Gan). I like this tea.
Flavors: Forest Floor, Mushrooms, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood
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