2011 Yunnan Sourcing "Cha Tou Sheng Yun" Ripe Pu-erh tea brick

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Edit tea info Last updated by AllanK
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 oz / 142 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is a nice Lao Cha Tou brick. There was a fair amount of fermentation flavor but it had partially cleared. The fermentation note was a little weak. A little bitterness crept in in the middle...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “Sampled a while ago, but didn’t have time to write out any notes – revisiting after a few months of aging/airing out: Brewed in my porcelain Jingdezhen gaiwan with Los Angeles municipal tap water,...” Read full tasting note
  • “I broke off about 6-7g into my 100ml gaiwan and brewed at about 210f. I had to give two long rinses as this is from a brick and a “nugget” ripe. I bought this after having the 2009 and falling in...” Read full tasting note
    83

From Yunnan Sourcing

“Cha Tou Sheng Yun” (茶头圣韵 aka Cha Tou Sage Verse) is our Cha Tou (Tea Nugget) ripe pu-erh brick and our second production (our 1st production was in 2009 and is sold out.)

Cha Tou is a kind of tea nugget that forms naturally from the pressures of compression and heat that occurs during the fermentation process. Typically during fermentation process to make ripe pu-erh there is a pile of tea about 1 meter high. It is kept wet to allow the fermentation process and the pile is turned every few days to allow for an even degree of fermentation, moving the tea from the bottom of the pile (where it is hotter and wetter) to the top of the pile where it is cooler and drier. The “cha tou” are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together. The best cha tou are ones that have not been over-fermented and are smaller in size.

We drank more than 10 different “cha tou” before deciding on this one, we think the best of them all! The tea was fermented in 2010 at the Jinggu Tea Factory in Simao. It is creamy and smooth, already having lost some of its post-fermentation funk it’s tea liquor is a clear and deep red-wine color. Aging this for just a few months to a few years will bring out more complexity and smothness. Like all good cha tou ripe teas this tea can be infused more than 20 times!!!

This tea was compressed in a Kunming tea factory using a hydraulic press. A high degree of compression is needed to get these little tea nuggets to stick together. 200 kilos in total were produced.

Net Weight: 250 grams per brick
Fermentation time: August-September 2010
Harvest Area: Jinggu County of Simao Prefecture

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3 Tasting Notes

88
1692 tasting notes

This is a nice Lao Cha Tou brick. There was a fair amount of fermentation flavor but it had partially cleared. The fermentation note was a little weak. A little bitterness crept in in the middle steeps after the leaves had opened up. There was a general evolving sweet note to this tea. There were some chocolate notes. And towards the end of twelve steeps you might say a fruity taste developed although it was weak. Overall this was a very good tea.

I steeped this twelve times in a 200ml gaiwan with 15.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 minutes. There were a few steeps left in the tea but twelve steeps from a 200ml gaiwan is a large amount of tea.

Preparation
Boiling 15 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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26 tasting notes

Sampled a while ago, but didn’t have time to write out any notes – revisiting after a few months of aging/airing out:

Brewed in my porcelain Jingdezhen gaiwan with Los Angeles municipal tap water, just off the boil throughout.

Looking at the dry leaf – brittle seal brown chunks could be petrified guano, but have faint cocoa and fish aromatics. After a rinse, the wet material suggests leaf litter, smothered campfires, steamed banana leaves, brine, and a finishes with a vaguely phenolic note (not quite band-aids).

10 steeps at 10 seconds each, and another 5 steeps at 15-25 seconds each: Russet to seal brown liquor, enveloped in steam which seems almost supernaturally thick. Smooth, earthy, with the sweetness of a potato on the palate, and hints of loam, root cellar, river stones, hen-of-the-woods, hay loft, and horse trough in the finish. No bitterness; decent thickness. Pleasant and easy drinking despite the above descriptors. Consistent across the session. Caffeine (I hesitate to say cha qi) builds gradually but never overwhelms.

A tasty shou, a serviceable daily drinker (that will go on infusing all day), and even better as part of a savory/spicy breakfast.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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83
38 tasting notes

I broke off about 6-7g into my 100ml gaiwan and brewed at about 210f. I had to give two long rinses as this is from a brick and a “nugget” ripe. I bought this after having the 2009 and falling in love. It was sweet, thick and had a dark molasses finish. This one isn’t quite there yet. Its pretty good now but not as sweet and could use another year or two. I still enjoyed this tea but I have already been spoiled by the 2009 and am comparing. I am glad I bought this brick and can’t wait to visit it in the future tho I will probably break some off for a taste in just a couple of months to check on it. The 2009 is sold out except for some samples I think…which I should hoard…but this one will be just as good in a couple of years I think. Sweet, tobacco and earthy flavors and scent. My favorite.

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

Have you had it recently? How has it changed over the past 9 months?

SilasSteep

Ill pull it out next session and let you know. I imagine it has gotten somewhat better!

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