Big Old Ass Tree 2019 Hekai Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea Leaves
Flavors
Citrusy, Fruity, Gardenias, Green Apple, Hay, Nutty, Plants, Smooth, Stonefruit, Straw, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal
Sold in
Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TJ Elite
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 oz / 120 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Sipdown (283) So Roswell Strange shared this with me (thank you!) and its a puerh and a non-flavored one at that so I was particularly worried about trying it. I don’t like puerhs so I didn’t have...” Read full tasting note
    61
  • “I’ve never had a Hekai/Pasha/Nannuo tea that I would love and this offering from BLT doesn’t change that. It has a smooth texture and well-balanced profile, but nothing really stands out about it...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “Gongfu! I’m really enjoying all of the virtual tea sessions I’ve been having with tea friends – it’s something I’ve done even before Covid-19 but I will admit that it’s increased since all the self...” Read full tasting note
  • “Smooth and mild. Woody and mildly bitter. Relaxing qi. I think this tea will open up and offer some rather interesting flavors over the next year. Beer comparison: English mild brewed with Kent...” Read full tasting note

From Bitterleaf Teas

To be fair, this tea actually comes from several big old-ass trees, not just one. And if you don’t believe us, well… ok then.

Located just south of Menghai, along the edge of the Bulang mountain range, Hekai teas have some expected bitterness, but not to as high a degree as if you head further down the road. This tea’s bitterness is quickly replaced by a lasting sugar-sweetness in the mouth and throat. This tea easily fits in the “balanced” category, but don’t expect it to hold your hand like a gentle Yiwu.

We recommend this tea for focused drinking, as the flavour and energy develop well through the steeps, providing a thoroughly enjoyable session.

This tea comes from Manlong village, which these days is equal parts tea garden and public park (for better or worse). Among the trees ranging from 100-800+ years in age and adorned with small, informative plaques, semi-wild pigs, chickens and other small wildlife roam.

But of course, a tea isn’t wholly defined by how old the tree is or what animals walk around under its branches. What’s important is that it performs in the cup, which this tea most certainly does.

Picking period: Pre-April 11

About Bitterleaf Teas View company

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4 Tasting Notes

61
5848 tasting notes

Sipdown (283)

So Roswell Strange shared this with me (thank you!) and its a puerh and a non-flavored one at that so I was particularly worried about trying it. I don’t like puerhs so I didn’t have high hopes here. Yet I decided to brew it up yesterday as part of september sipdown.

I decided to use my gaiwan to brew it and full disclosure…I didn’t like it. However, I was incredibly surprised at my reasoning for not liking it because it was not for the usual puerh/muddy/mushroom/dirt/etc. reasons.

I tried really hard to write this note yesterday by the way but could not access the page. Kept getting a 404 error so instead I took very brief jot notes.

When I started drinking this, the first thing I noticed was a very drying floral quality to it. Like potpourri or like when you get something like the tiniest bit of sanitizer or deodorant in your mouth and it has this horrible drying/bitter quality to it. I got that for the first 5 steeps so those mostly got dumped.

At the 6th steep, I noted that it was still floral but the drying aspect was going away . I also thought it was maybe buttery or possibly had a pea note.

My notes for steep 7 are: floral, but better though still not great. Beans and grass. I then wrote “green tea?” since once I got through the more bitter steeps, it started to have straight green tea qualities. I am not a huge fan of straight green teas either but I do prefer them to puerhs so it was weird to be getting those tasting notes here.

Steeps 8-10 were similar to steep 7 but with a fuller body. They were also less floral. The more I steeped, the more I got oolong instead of green tea.

Ultimately, it was fine. I don’t think I would flag it as a puerh based on the flavors I got. In my case, that is a huge compliment. With that said though, it was not really a tea that possessed flavors I would want anyways. As such, I didn’t like it but I liked it more than expected. Is that a success? Who knows…

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80
634 tasting notes

I’ve never had a Hekai/Pasha/Nannuo tea that I would love and this offering from BLT doesn’t change that. It has a smooth texture and well-balanced profile, but nothing really stands out about it to elevate it above the rest. 

In dry form, the aroma is a mix of floral and fruity notes with a distinctive nectarine scent. After the rinse, I find the smell interesting but also hard to identify. Some weak associations would be gardenia flowers, wet hay, seeds, and garden pond. In the empty cup, there is a mostly creamy scent. In total, the aroma does seem to be quite unique for a sheng, but it didn’t turn out to be very memorable to be honest.

The liquor has a very refreshing, juicy character. There are fruity notes (citrus, green apple), as well as straw, grape vine, and butter flavours. The finish is tart and provides a transition into the mildly spicy and sweet aftertaste.

Flavors: Citrusy, Fruity, Gardenias, Green Apple, Hay, Nutty, Plants, Smooth, Stonefruit, Straw, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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11102 tasting notes

Gongfu!

I’m really enjoying all of the virtual tea sessions I’ve been having with tea friends – it’s something I’ve done even before Covid-19 but I will admit that it’s increased since all the self isolation and I don’t mind one bit. Last night I had a multi hour (and multi tea) session with a local Montreal tea friend, Teajay, and this was one of two teas that I steeped up!

It was also a fun way to participate in former Steepster friend, Boychik’s #puparty tag – basically an encouragement for all of the instagram tea community to brew and share some pu’erh tea virtually with one another! This was obviously the one that I chose! It tread the line between bitter and sweet beautifully, with notes of bitter greens, cane sugar, and ripe stonefruit & red fruit all mixed in. Great huigan, and really warm body feel after I got a few steeps in! I ended up brewing it out completely, over nine lovely steeps.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-cRSlIg78f/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKnJS2eJ2ac

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105 tasting notes

Smooth and mild. Woody and mildly bitter. Relaxing qi. I think this tea will open up and offer some rather interesting flavors over the next year. Beer comparison: English mild brewed with Kent Golding hops. As it is now, not a tea that really excites me but I’ve had similar teas that really developed in the following months and have a feeling this may do the same. If I were feeling adventurous I’d gamble on a cake but I have enough of the sample left to revisit in the fall and decide then.

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