2018 Yunnan Sourcing "Autumn Ai Lao Secret Garden" Old Arbor Raw Pu-erh Tea

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea Leaves
Flavors
Bitter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Drying, Earth, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Mushrooms, Orchid, Peppercorn, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vegetables, White Grapes, Fruity
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Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TJ Elite
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 oz / 80 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is an awesome tea and is likely one of the best autumn Simao shengs you can come across. The only slight drawback is that I would prefer a more pungent bitterness in a young tea, but I am...” Read full tasting note
    94
  • “I ordered a 25 gram sample of this 2018 raw. When I opened the foil bag, I found a nice unbroken outside edge of a beeng. When I smelled the dry piece of cake, I would have sworn I was smelling a...” Read full tasting note
    85

From Yunnan Sourcing

Entirely Autumn 2018 material from high altitude Ai Lao mountain. The Ai Lao mountains peak out at about 3200 meters, making them second only to Wu Liang Shan as the highest mountains in Simao prefecture. The Ai Lao mountain range is in the county of Jingdong which borders Chu Xiong prefecture. This tea comes from old arbor tea trees growing in an undisclosed location (Secret Garden) in the Ai Lao mountain area at 2100 meters, making this some of the highest altitude pu-erh in existence. Due to the high altitude most of the tea trees in this area are a naturally occurring hybrid of large and small leaf (sinensis and var. assamica). The trees are healthy old trees growing naturally just below the peak of one of Ai Lao’s many mountains. Ai Lao tea gardens are arguably some of the remotest tea gardens in all of Yunnan. Lack of roads and access has kept the environment of this area in pristine condition.

The tea itself is aromatic with hints of orchid aroma (兰香), and a strong mouth-feel. The leaves are fatter and more burly than the Wu Liang tea. It features lots of hairy buds that make it somewhat resemble its close neighbor Jinggu mountain teas. Honey and grass essences are present in this thick soupy tea! Very sweet and full bodied tea that remains flavorful and complex for 10+ steeps. “Secret Garden” is the most premium Ai Lao area tea that we have ever had the privilege to enjoy (or offer for sale)!

This tea was compressed in a small tea factory near Kunming where stone presses were used. Low temperature “baking” was used to dry these cakes after the compression process thus preserving their integrity! The cakes are wrapped and then bundled into bamboo leaf “tongs” with seven cakes per tong.

400 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

30kg in total produced

Wrapper Design by Lukasz Mikolajczyk

This tea has been tested in a certified laboratory for 191 pesticides, and is within the EU MRL limits set for those 191 pesticide residues.

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

2 Tasting Notes

94
359 tasting notes

This is an awesome tea and is likely one of the best autumn Simao shengs you can come across. The only slight drawback is that I would prefer a more pungent bitterness in a young tea, but I am hoping the spring one from 2019 would fare better in that regard. Otherwise it is a very clean tasting tea, memorable with hard to describe flavours, complex aroma, and a very interesting mouthfeel. It also has a sort of comforting cha qi, a great one all across the board. I find this tea to be hard to overbrew, the bitterness and astringency intensify of course, but it remains very much drinkable and interesting even when pushed.

The dry leaves smell very floral and sweet with hints of cauliflower, honey, and ginger cookies. In a preheated pot, the aroma reminds me of some cough syrup, and is quite unusual. Once wet, I detect various other aromas of peppercorn, fenugreek, mushrooms, and orchid. It is strong, floral and slightly earthy I’d say. Interestingly, there’s an additional scent I found when smelling the empty cup, which is that of incense. All in all, an explosion of aromas :D

The taste is grassy, sweet and floral with a muted bitterness and some tartness in the background. Flavour wise it reminds me of forest, hay and bay leaf, but I realize that doesn’t quite do the tea justice, I am just finding it hard to find the right words to describe it. The aftertaste is warming and dry, but not too astringent. It has a cinnamon spiciness and white grape tartness, both of which are fairly prominent. The flavour stays for a very long time and there is a strong hui gan as well.

As for the mouthfeel, the tea is full bodied, slick, coating, and soft. I found it to be active and mouth-watering as well. Drinking it makes me feel relaxed and calm, there is no caffeine rush as far as I can tell. I recommend this tea very much!

Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Drying, Earth, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Mushrooms, Orchid, Peppercorn, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vegetables, White Grapes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
tanluwils

I had the spring version this weekend. It definitely surpassed my expectations.

Togo

Nice :)
The 2019 spring cake is already on its way, yay!

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85
77 tasting notes

I ordered a 25 gram sample of this 2018 raw. When I opened the foil bag, I found a nice unbroken outside edge of a beeng. When I smelled the dry piece of cake, I would have sworn I was smelling a tie guan yin oolong. It was floral and had some bright sweet aroma. The bright sweet notes could be described as fruity or could be interpreted as something like a light sweet honey such as sourwood or locust tree honey. Sweet and sticky is what comes to mind. There was some muted hay aroma but this was slight. Sweet and floral are the dominate aromas.

I did a quick rinse and the cake looked so clean I decided to drink the wash. I’m glad I did. The quick rinse produced a light sweet taste that was very much in-line with the tie guan yin smell of the dry leaves. The soft yellow tea soup was also very much like tie guan yin. The next infusion was kept short and again the tea produced a sweet floral oolong-like tea. For the third infusion, I let it go for 20 seconds. That was enough to bring out some bitterness. It also produced a very nice hui gan in this third infusion. Sweetness kept coming long after the slightly bitter tea was swallowed as well as a mouth watering sensation that lasted for minutes. For the remaining infusions, I drank this with dinner, and pushed it a little harder to bring out more flavor to better stand out against the meal I was eating. It will produce bitterness if steep times are extended, but with the bitterness, you get the nice hui gan. I went long, but did reduce the water temp to around 195 F.

If steep times are kept short, this raw puerh is surprisingly sweet and drinkable now, or if you don’t mind some bitterness and want a more intense experience, it works now. I would love to know how this one will age.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Orchid, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
Togo

I also got a sample, can’t wait to try it myself :)

HaChaChaCha

That’s great. I’m looking forward to your experience with this tea, and the tasting notes you get from the tea.

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