As a big fan of the now already sold out Eden huang pian, I’ve been itching to give this one another go. I did try it a few months back when it was still very young and concluded it needed more time. I had 8.5g of my sample left so I dumped it all in a 130ml gaiwan. Quick five second rinse followed by a five minute rest. The aroma off the wet leaf was really creamy. The wash had a soft mouthfeel. The flavor was strong, really strong. I was getting a blend of mineral and creamy. Some bananas as well. Bananas in whipped cream. The taste of bananas was left lingering in the mouth and the empty cup smelled like burnt sugar.
I proceeded to do ten infusions, the timing for these being 8s, 6s, 8s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 75s and 2 min. The tea soup already had body in the first steep. Smooth texture. While the flavors themselves were light the tea was strong. I was getting garden soil counterbalanced by slight sweetness. The finish had a combination of both fried and raw bananas. The steep that followed saw a slightly diminished texture. I was tasting cream, mineral rich soil and a whisper of caramel. There were definitely raw/unripe fruit in the finish.
The third infusion continued to brew up strong. It had a mineral taste that dominated everything. It’s rare that I’ve gotten so much flavor in a single cup of tea. What I was tasting was primarily that garden soil. The tea had a very clean, clear profile. Whenever I drink a tea this strong, I have very few doubts it would age well. I could definitely feel the tea at this point, but it wasn’t anything overpowering.
Steep four was sweet. Really sweet. I was also still getting the unripe fruit as well. Bananas, cream… crazy huigan. The garden soil from before was still there hanging in the background. From this point on the body became quite thick with the increasing brewing times while the taste became mainly sweet with the earthiness still present and the minerals sometimes overtaking the sweetness. Steep eight is the point at which the flavors were clearly starting to taper off, but it took until the tenth steep that the tea started tasting nasty and I decided to call it there.
Examining the leaves at the end of the session, they look quite a lot smaller than you typical sheng pu’er picking. While not that well versed in tea picking, this to me would either indicate that these are mixed leaf varietal which I know grows in some parts of the greater Yiwu area (not sure about Man Zhuan) or are perhaps first flush pickings picked at an earlier stage into their growth. Either way, I’m attributing the strength of this tea at least in part to the smaller leaf size which generally tends to contribute to stronger brews.
All in all this was a great tea. It has developed a lot since I had it this summer, and if the huang pian gives any window into which direction the tea can be expected to develop, I would expect it to become hella fruity in the coming months and years. The texture is already very good and I can definitely see Eden becoming a bit of a texture monster a decade down the line. While not cheap, the tea definitely delivers what you’d expect at this price. If I had more space in my pumidor, I’d definitely grab a bing, but as things stand right now, I’m forced to make some tough choices. While Eden was very good, at its current state it didn’t blow my socks off and if I’m going to invest in another Yiwu that’s pretty much what a tea needs to do at this point. I may need to revisit this one six or twelve months from now if it’s still available and see how it’s progressing. Regardless, Eden has definitely earned my recommendation.
Flavors: Banana, Cream, Earth, Mineral, Sweet