Red Label Iron Discus - 2015 Spring

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rasseru
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “So not gonna lie, totally got this tea at the recommendation of Oolong Owl when I asked her what teas from Bana would get me tea drunk. And I gotta say.. I’m definitely feelin’ it. I’m hit or miss...” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “so I follow the exact instructions on the website, as I only have the one sample & trust Bana. 15 second 1st brew. Kapow. Deep almost smoked-stonefruit, spice & honey front which curves...” Read full tasting note
    85

From Bana Tea Company

The first batch of Pu-erh tea cakes manufactured under the New China founded in 1949 was named the “Red Label,” produced in 1950. This cake had two different versions: the Red Label Round Cake and the Red Label Iron Discus. These two tea cakes have long been considered the pinnacle of Pu-erh tea, with no successor that can be considered to have exceeded their quality. The Red Label Iron Discus, in particular, used an iron mold to tightly press the leaves designed to slow down oxidation. After over 50 years of aging, this tea remains rich and vibrant with a strong and sustaining aftertaste – quality that fascinates many Pu-erh lovers.

Tea master Vesper Chan has been longing for a cake possessing the same elegance as the Red Label. Combined with his decades of tea making experience and the premium raw materials he has collected for many years, he put forth his best effort to re-create this classic legend.

This cake adopts the tight pressed method to be in keeping with the style of the original Red Label Iron Discus and to ensure its future integrity. However, if consumed right now, this tea is full-bodied, vigorous, balanced, and intriguing – a little smoke, a little spice, then honey emerging at the 3rd and 4th infusions. Possessing the unique Menghai characteristics and a honey charm, this tea is expected to be a prized collective item in the future.

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2 Tasting Notes

83
200 tasting notes

So not gonna lie, totally got this tea at the recommendation of Oolong Owl when I asked her what teas from Bana would get me tea drunk. And I gotta say.. I’m definitely feelin’ it.

I’m hit or miss on pu-erh and the taste of this is… okay. Malty, definitely a strong mouthfeel. Woodsy, even. I’m supposed to get sweetness but I haven’t gotten any of that and I’m on my 7th infusion.

I followed the brewing instructions on the website and the first few infusions under 20 seconds were fine, but when I knocked it up to 30 sec it started to get really bitter. Like, “I can’t drink this bitter”. So I dialed it back to 20 to cut back on the bitterness and that definitely seems to help. This tea is definitely drinkable but it’s not WOW this amazing.

I’ll tell you what IS amazing though – the service at Bana tea. Oh my gosh. I corresponded with the owner a week before and she customized my tea order so much and was SO prompt at responding to everything and really went out of her way to make sure I got waht I wanted. I will EASILY order from them again.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g

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85
338 tasting notes

so I follow the exact instructions on the website, as I only have the one sample & trust Bana.

15 second 1st brew. Kapow. Deep almost smoked-stonefruit, spice & honey front which curves round to a bitter finish. Almost tastes a bit aged already, i looked at the soup & its a murky orange in my cup. Instantly energising, although i’m not used to the strength of a 15 second first steep – I wander off & start reading about 1950s red label puerh when I should be doing other things.

2nd steep, couldnt place the flavours but there is honey & bitterness wrapped up into one big bold flavour, zingy on the tongue. Slightly woody sharpness in the huigan.

Then the session got lighter in colour, and took on a bittersweet character. It tasted less leafy green & more like a varnished wood or the inner wood of a tree under the bark.

This flavour developed into a pretty sharp bitterness in the later steeps.

I loved the boldness of this tea, even if its for more bitter-loving or experienced puerh heads. The Bana sampler pack is a really nice one, totally recommended with a lovely range of interesting sheng for a decent price.

mrmopar

You are eventually going to make me get the sample pack….

Rasseru

You havent already? mrmopar, you’re slacking.

I am just thinking, & if its a really heavy press then maybe the 15 seconds first steep mentioned is to open it up – I had an already broken sample, I think I might have overblown it.. I might try another sample of this with less heavy initial steep times.

Babble

Trying this tonight and I agree I’m getting a lot of bitterness on thel later steeps. I cut back the infusion time to 20 sec again and that seemed to help.

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