So, I was about to write a fairly dismissive review of this tea. I’ve gone through half a cake, and have also designated it as a daily drinker due to its age and its inexpensive price tag. But I never really looked forward to it – it was always a little bland.
But, it needed a fair review, so I sat down, threw a FISTFUL of leaves in a gaiwan, and steeped that sucker hard to get all the flavor I could out of it.
And you know what? It developed a bit more personality. Still on the lighter end of things, but tasty.
It’s still definitely a Yiwu. I know that this is absolutely a budget Yiwu (so you get what you get), but it still just has those light, woody, kind of sweet, kind of floral notes that just are too irritatingly subtle for me. It’s like a mouth full of background flavors that you have to sit and search for, rather than having primary, bold flavors that build on your palate. Such has been my experience with budget and non-budget Yiwu teas alike…
So, if you enjoy a more contemplative cup, this is a good choice. If you are a Yiwu fan, this is certainly a nice budget option. But, if you are just looking for a cheap puerh with some decent age on it, I would recommend YS’s 2007 Bo Nan Mountain “Yun Wu Yuan Cha” or 2007 CNNP “8891 Red Label.” Those have a bit more personality, in my very humble opinion.
Dry leaf: honey/honeysuckle sweetness, woody, sweet tobacco leaf, dried dark fruit – raisin/prune. In preheated vessel – syrupy prune/raisin sweetness, sweet tobacco
Smell: tobacco leaf, date, raisin, woody
Arrival is woody, straw, and hay; some green tobacco leaf.
Development is light woody smokiness and black tea blend. Some pleasant astringency. Body develops with an interesting combo of woodiness and creaminess.
Finish is bland. Get some cardboard-like notes and a palate-clearing astringency.
Aftertaste is very light. Light sweetness – marshmallow, flan; some light floral; some light lemongrass.