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Recent Tasting Notes
This story begins a year ago when I was about to throw this tea out. I smelled it – dirt. I brewed it – dirt. I tasted it – dirt. Things were not going well, and this tea and I were not seeing eye-to-eye.
Luckily, I stuffed it in with my ripe pu’erh stash and figured it deserved a second chance at some point.
Between now and then, something happened – the tea changed, I changed, we both changed… I don’t know, but I really like it. Yeah, it still has a lot of earthiness, but that earthiness has depth and dimension – sweetness, dry Irish stout-like body, notes of cherry wood and carob. There are even camphor notes that waft through your nose and make the whole thing just a fascinating experience.
You could tell me this was some really old, fairly expensive ripe pu’erh, I would believe you. In fact, I would buy this over quite a few ripe pu’erhs I have purchased.
Really glad I hung on to it. Well worth a re-purchase.
Dry leaf: earth, potting soil. In preheated vessel – carob, wet bark, hints of camphor.
Smell: cherry wood, potting soil, carob, camphor.
Taste: wet earth, cherry wood, carob. Irish stout-like body with a dry richness and subtle sweetness. Hints of camphor weaving throughout.
This was an interesting and fairly tasty tea. It did seem to have some fermentation taste in the beginning. But this taste was not unpleasant and not quite the same as a ripe puerh. I am at a loss for how to properly describe this tea. It was initially sweet. When it opened up there was some bitterness for a couple of steeps. There was a very slight wet storage aftertaste, I could taste it but just barely. The tea got progressively sweeter as I resteeped it. By the twelfth steep it had developed something of a subdued fruity flavor but I couldn’t pin it down specifically. I like this more than most of the other liu baos I have tasted.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 minutes. There were a couple of steeps left in the tea but twelve was enough for me. I would recommend this tea but anyone who has not tried liu bao, it doesn’t taste like ripe puerh which it generally tries to emulate.