"Diamond Cutter" 2002 Lincang Qiao Mu Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Dark Wood, Earth, Fig, Heavy, Honey, Oats, Red Fruits, Wet Earth, Apricot, Camphor, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Wood
Sold in
Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Bitterleaf
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Tea: TTB review: Bitterleaf “Diamond Cutter” 2002 Lincang sheng Prep: 60cc gaiwan, 4g. Longish steep to open her up, flash steep x2, 10s, 10s, 20s, 30s, etc.. Sessions with this tea: 2 Taste: this...” Read full tasting note
  • “A very thick and hard brick of tea; this is truly a diamond cutter. The leaves give off an aroma of grape seed, oat, granola, some fig, as well as some other dark heavy fruits. I break off a piece...” Read full tasting note
    75
  • “Having emerged from my Alter Ego session desirous of more, I turned to another Bitterleaf brick – the appropriately named Diamond Cutter. I avoided serious injury when liberating a session’s...” Read full tasting note
  • “Got home from work, brewed this up, and instant diarrhea. This is the definition of a middle aged tea because the taste is mature and the hue is right in the middle, but you have no texture....” Read full tasting note

From Bitterleaf Teas

This 250 gram brick of aged Lincang raw puer is an excellent middle ground for those who seek both the deep smoothness of a ripe puer and the present flavours of a raw puer. This 14 year old tea balances those two things exceptionally well. On one hand, it’s had time to develop a deep camphor-like scent and medium-orange soup. On the other, it still has some lingering raw vibrance and fragrance, not to mention a lasting huigan.

This tea has plenty in common with its 2002 bamboo stuffed counterpart, but overall tastes slightly more developed and hints towards a little extra time in humid storage. This is an excellent tea for both drinking now, as well as continued storage.

This tea has spent much of its life in Lincang County, Yunnan, and more recently Kunming dry storage. The soup has a clean taste and appearance, with minimal storage scent.

About Bitterleaf Teas View company

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6 Tasting Notes

43 tasting notes

Tea: TTB review: Bitterleaf “Diamond Cutter” 2002 Lincang sheng

Prep: 60cc gaiwan, 4g. Longish steep to open her up, flash steep x2, 10s, 10s, 20s, 30s, etc..
Sessions with this tea: 2

Taste: this tastes like young apricot with the skin still on, astringent at first with lots of sweetness at the end. Unfortunately the sweetness is stevia and thin and plain and kinda boring, without many extra notes. As the tea steeps out there are some non-specific woody notes.

Body: mouthfeel starts medium, eventually turns thin. Moderate energy. Not much going on in my body or headspace with this tea

Sample: chunk o’ cake traveling around in the box. This is hard to break and fragments a bit.

Summary: I wonder if this tea would have been more interesting as an adolescent. The flavor is understated in both astringency and sweetness, and the body is very mild. Maybe I could leaf this a lot harder? Maybe it has changed temperatures too many times as a result of the traveling box? This would probably be described by many people as “clean.” I guess I like my teas just a little bit dirtier.

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75
503 tasting notes

A very thick and hard brick of tea; this is truly a diamond cutter. The leaves give off an aroma of grape seed, oat, granola, some fig, as well as some other dark heavy fruits. I break off a piece and take in the aroma of heavy wood. I warmed up my pot and placed the chunk inside. The scent is pushed up into thick honey aroma along with some grape jam. The brick carries signs of some age, but due to compression it has some time to go. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. I lift the lid after the first steep and identify the sweet and syrupy scent. The brew begins sweet yet rustic; a mild astringency lingers in the cup. I taste a lot of heaviness on the earth tones, and I suppose this what they meant when the referred to Shou in the description. The flavor moves into heavy muddled flavors. This was an odd tea. I couldn’t identify too much. I note astringent, earthy, dark wood, some fruit, and odd. The qi was very heady; I felt as though I would tip over. I thought this to be a very cloudy brew. Personally, I wouldn’t prefer this tea; however, it is a decent aged tea for the price. I could see some people enjoying this tea, but I don’t think its for me.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BH7fE7JA-Qy/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Astringent, Dark Wood, Earth, Fig, Heavy, Honey, Oats, Red Fruits, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Liquid Proust

This is that colon cleanse ;p

Haveteawilltravel

aggressive is a good word for it haha

Bitterleaf

If you think this gets things moving, just wait till our crab legs up.

Haveteawilltravel

hahah, I was given some so my friends and I drank them at a get together one night… quite the experience…

Bitterleaf

Yeah, I wish I was warned the first time I tried them. The ones we’re getting didn’t have as dramatic effect when I had it. Perhaps I was just lucky that day, but it was more enjoyable and less, how do you say, “medicinal”. Lasted over several long boils too.

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64 tasting notes

Having emerged from my Alter Ego session desirous of more, I turned to another Bitterleaf brick – the appropriately named Diamond Cutter. I avoided serious injury when liberating a session’s worth, but this was largely due to good fortune, not good technique. Remember kids – if you’re going to buy old zhuancha, you may be wise to also buy a steel gauntlet or two!

Due to my ineptitude and handling this solid plank o’ tea, there was some dust in my pot – I thought it might enliven the first few steeps in the event that the tight chunks were slow to get going, as Matu has previously reported. This proved utterly correct – the first couple of brews ended up slightly like trying to enjoy a fine Symphony with the bass cranked to max and the volume unnecessarily high. If you do include dust in your brew, heed my advice and select your vessel on rapidity of pour speed. You’re welcome.

After the system shock of those first couple of brews, however, this provided exactly what I was after – a nice woodsy, tobaccoey, satisfying brew. The only shortcoming I can find is that the texture left a bit to be desired – but it is only my first attempt, and some of the weight I measured undoubtedly escaped in the rinse and early steeps due to being powder. It is something to be mindful of if you like a nice coating of motor oil to your brews, however.

If you need a tea in your life that can serve as a nice chaser after the brandy and cigars phase of dinner, this may very well be right up your alley – and doesn’t have the sticker shock that most teas of this sort entail. However, it’s not a tea whose flavor lingers in the manner of EoT’s BingDao Peacock or Bitterleaf’s Mad King, to name just a couple examples.All in all, as seems to be Bitterleaf’s MO, it’s a good tea at a very fine price. Not their best offering, but I’ll be glad to have it whenever it finds its way into my cup. And at the price, I needn’t be stingy on having a session whenever the mood strikes.

And I suspect it may frequently.

Bitterleaf

This is one of the worst cakes to make samples of. Anyone who’s picked up a sample may have noticed they range from 25-30g, just because there’s no point in trying to shave off a few grams – you just get dust-waste. Glad you enjoyed our “aged tea for the masses” :)

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1108 tasting notes

Got home from work, brewed this up, and instant diarrhea.

This is the definition of a middle aged tea because the taste is mature and the hue is right in the middle, but you have no texture. Completely thin and smooth, but it needs some wet storage to give it GIRTH.

curlygc

Ah, Lincang. It’s like liquid Colon Blow.

Bitterleaf

Hopefully this wasn’t on a taco bell day

t-ching

@bitterleaf didn’t you know every day is Taco Bell day for LP

Bitterleaf

[email protected] ah that explains it ;)

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90
455 tasting notes

My first review from the Puer TTB! This tea’s name is well deserved. I almost injured myself trying to break off a sample from what was in the box, and ended up having to snap what I did take in half, as going at the little chunk with a pick anymore would have been too dangerous. I ended up getting a 7.5g chunk, perfect for my 120mL gaiwan.

I honestly wasn’t too excited to drink this after seeing how compressed it was…I figured I’d have a frustrating session of trying to fight this tea to come apart, and that was slightly the case. Really though, once this tea got going, it was amazing. Absolutely my favorite example of aged puerh so far, though do note I have only tried a few of them.

The dry leaf had little to no smell, maybe a bit of hay, but once rinsed (I did two rinses to help open it up), it had a nice woody flavor with light camphor accents and a fruity seeming sweetness.

The first five steeps were decently light, both in color and flavor. I wasn’t surprised by this, as I could still see that most of the tea was compressed into a little square, with just bits and pieces coming off, despite my proddings with my gaiwan lid. These steeps had a slightly damp woody flavor, like mossy wood, but nowhere near as wet tasting as any ripe puerh or even some of the wet-stored teas I’ve tasted. There were also very slight apricot notes on the aftertaste. The tea had a decently creamy texture as well. These first steeps were interesting, because at this point I had no idea what this tea was going to become. Would the wet taste increase to the point where it was off-putting? Would that apricot taste get more prominent and feature heavily later in the session?

On steeps 6 and 7, I could tell this tea was starting to find its legs. I could see the chunk opening up more, and I started getting nice notes of mineral and honey sweetness with that same creamy texture.

Then on steep 8, I increased the time a little bit and BOOM! Diamondcutter woke up. Nice orangey liquid, camphor woody sweetness. It was cooling, moreso in the lower throat and chest than in my mouth, and it made my tongue feel all tingly. I suddenly got pretty sweaty, and realized I was in it for the long haul with this tea. Since I started the session at about 10 at night, this became a late night tea session. Good times.

Steeps 9-13 were awesome, though didn’t boast quite as much qi and body feeling as steep 8 did. Extremely drinkable, with no discernible off-flavors, even the slight dampness from earlier is gone now. Camphor/woody and mineral sweetness that transformed around steep 11 into a sugary front of the sip with a deep honey finish. Thick and creamy texture in the mouth.

Steeps 14-18 were slightly diminished. On steep 14, I noticed the first signs of this tea’s demise – when many teas are already long dead! Still very drinkable and smooth, just the flavors are a tad weaker.

Steeps 19-24 were also quite tasty. These were the “courtesy steeps” I often do when teas have basically given all they can. Steep times of multiple minutes, usually with pretty meh results. Not the case for Diamond Cutter. There was still a lot more goodness to get out of it with these longer steeps, maybe even better than the previous few. The thickness of the tea, slightly diminished before, returned in these long steeps, with smooth woody notes and a honey sweetness. I probably could have gotten a few more long steeps, but it was nearing 1am, so I didn’t want to wait around for 15-30m steeps.

I got 24 steeps out of this, and even counting the first 5 or more steeps as basically rinses, that is an impressive number. I have been mostly unimpressed with other aged sheng I’ve tried, though i haven’t delved deep into that world of tea yet. Most other aged teas I’ve tried have made me say something like “this is good/interesting, BUT…” and that “but” may be it tastes like leather for half the session, or it tastes like a damp basement throughout, or any other number of weird things like that. I think the difference is that Diamond Cutter has had very clean, probably dry storage. It is very tightly compacted, but has aged enough that there is absolutely no bitterness left, even from a region known to have a bit of that bitter bite to it.

Having tried this tea, I am very excited to try the rest of Bitterleaf’s sheng offerings, both from the TTB and from my first order with them which is on its way as well. I may have to pick up some more of this Diamond Cutter for my collection. Maybe I’ll split a brick with somebody, as even one session with this tea seems to become an all-day affair, but I’d likely have to take a hack-saw to it to break the brick in half. Then again, it would also be one that would be nice to have a whole lot of. Don’t let Diamond Cutter’s rough exterior steer you away – it’s a wonderful aged puer, extremely drinkable with soft, clean, smooth flavors.

I’m going to use the rest of my sample to experiment with breaking the tea up more in the gaiwan as I steep. This time, I just used my gaiwan lid to help it along a bit. Next time, I’ll employ my puer pick or a fork to see if I can make it open up faster and get to the good stuff sooner. I’m not sure if that will make for a less interesting session or not.

Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Honey, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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45 tasting notes

Very balanced tea that has really impressed me. To be honest, this is my favorite aged sheng to date (despite my love for the uber clean almost unfermented character of the multi-hundred-dollar 2005 LBZ or 2002 red yi wu zheng shan from YS). I really think the balance of good storage conditions and tight compression have led to a really great tea.

The dry leaf is highly compressed, and has a subtle scent of camphor. A small chunk is all it takes to fill a gaiwan once its opened up, but due to the compression, I had to use a scale to really know how much to put in. The piece looks so small, but I know it’ll fill the gaiwan soon enough…

I rinsed the piece of tea with boiling water, and let it rest for a good 10 minutes before proceeding. The rinse released a pleasant aroma characterized by subtle camphor notes with prominent musky sweetness I usually associate with much younger teas. There are no off scents: zero smokiness, no sourness, no dank character. It’s just pleasant and clean.

The first two brews were 10s long, and resulted in a dark golden brew. Clearly the tea is still opening up, but these first sips were pleasant with full body, no bitterness, a bit of camphor as expected from the aroma, but also with a pleasant dianhong-like character with sweetness and a mild malty character. The sweetness lingers (hui gan?) and the bottom of my empty cup smells like honey and flowers.

The next two brews, again 10s long each, reveal a deep red liquor that maximizes the flavors from the first two brews, in line with the unraveling tea that is expanding in the gaiwan. Again, this reminds me quite a bit of a camphorous, slightly drying dianhong. The texture is pretty much identical.

The tea is fully opened up now. Steeps 5, 6, and 7 bring out even more sweetness, while also bringing forth a bit more drying character. The dryness really isn’t an issue at all, in fact I find it pleasant, since its perfectly in balance with the sweetness and body. The camphorous character is more in the background now.

Eight and 9 were pushed to 15 seconds, with a deep red color defining the liquor. There’s no sign of this tea losing steam, and the flavor and aroma are still strong as ever.

10, 11, 12, and 13 all were pushed from 20 – 40 seconds, and the color is becoming more golden in color again, losing its deeper red tone. The brew is smelling more and more like the later steeps of a dian hong, with a slight savory mushroom aroma. The body is still remarkably thick, and the sweetness and camphor are still there in the flavor but pushed the the background. Still very satisfying.

Overall, a great cleanly aged raw puer. Definitely grabbing at least one brick of this.

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