2019 Yunnan Sourcing "He Kai Village" Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Dark Bittersweet, Sweet, Wood, Bitter, Caramel, Char, Citrus, Cocoa, Coconut, Coffee, Compost, Cookie, Floral, Flowers, Grapefruit, Honey, Meat, Molasses, Oak, Pastries, Red Apple, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sour, Thick, Vegetables, Vegetal, Wet Earth
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Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 oz / 155 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I recently ordered over a dozen ripe samples from Yunnan Sourcing. This ended up being the first one I tried. I weighed my sample and put half in my 160ml Yixing zini teapot – this ended up being...” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea is among the more expensive ripes that YS has produced and one can tell it’s not your standard shou. In fact, it is one of the most unique teas in the category, but in ways that are not...” Read full tasting note
    85

From Yunnan Sourcing

Spring 2018 He Kai village material wet piled in summer 2018! This is an incredibly rich tea with mineral and floral notes with a long lasting sweetness!

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2 Tasting Notes

123 tasting notes

I recently ordered over a dozen ripe samples from Yunnan Sourcing. This ended up being the first one I tried. I weighed my sample and put half in my 160ml Yixing zini teapot – this ended up being 12.9g. My other teaware consisted of a cha hai and teacup both made from Jianshui clay.

The Hekai starts off sweet and fragrant, moving to pleasingly bitter in the early mid steeps. After this I experienced a complex woodiness before the tea started simplifying. While not the most viscous tea, there should be enough body to satisfy most people. Mouthfeel is a similar story and the light syrupy texture offers enough tactile feel to not make the tea feel disappointing in the mouth.

I don’t seem to be very sensitive to the wet pile taste in young shu, so I might not be the best judge of this, but at least to me this Hekai tastes quite clean, without crossing the line of tasting TOO clean. I found the tea to have a quite noticeable, mostly grounding cha qi and I even felt quite lightheaded after the session, so I would recommend eating something before and after the session. For those looking for a really casual brew this might be a bit of a minus.

All in all I was very pleased with this tea. It actually reminded me a lot of the Yunnan Sourcing 2016 Golden Needle ripe, which I’m a big fan of, but which unfortunately sold out rather quickly. That tea has more of a berrylike, winey character in typical Bulang fashion as I recall, while this one is more woody, etc., but their profiles share a lot in common. I’d actually say this one is probably somewhat higher quality, while in terms of taste the Golden Needle may have had more of a wow factor on me. While I’ve noted the Golden Needle to have aged nicely so far, I’d expect the Hekai to possibly have even higher potential in the long term.

The Hekai is a very nice ripe and relative to the price especially so. While it’s somewhat more expensive than your average shu, the quality should be very noticeable to a seasoned drinker. I’ve drunk many a tea that offered similar quality at double the price. Those who haven’t been fans of single origin ripes in the past are unlikely to be converted by this one, but to others I would definitely recommend sampling it if you’re at all interested.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 13 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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85
793 tasting notes

This tea is among the more expensive ripes that YS has produced and one can tell it’s not your standard shou. In fact, it is one of the most unique teas in the category, but in ways that are not always immediately obvious. Despite having a complex flavour profile, I found the experience being mostly anchored by the mouthfeel and cha qi. Unlike a lot of other ripe pu’er, this is not a tea to drink on empty stomach – it is more of a powerhouse than a comforting tea in terms of its energy.

As for the smell, I can detect notes of beef and yorkshire pudding before the rinse and wet earth, coconut shell, caramel, fermented citrus fruits afterwards. There is a very pungent empty cup aroma, which hints that the aftertaste is going to be strong too.

The liquor has a lot of different tastes going on, ranging from honey, cookies, cocoa and roasted nuts, to grilled aubergine, red apple, chamomile, and oak wood. The finish is very sweet and yields to a long-lasting floral sweetness. On top of that, the aftertaste displays an interesting vegetal sourness and a grapefruit bitterness. It is somewhat reminiscent of wood, molasses, and medium roast coffee.

The texture of the liquor is buttery and smooth with a full bodied, bubbly character. After swallowing I get a sandpaper-like mouthfeel which is not drying.

The cha qi is subtle, yet very strong and warming. I find it to be quite disorienting without being defocusing.

As I wrote earlier – a unique tea. It is hard to speculate how it will age, but it’s delicious already.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Char, Citrus, Cocoa, Coconut, Coffee, Compost, Cookie, Floral, Flowers, Grapefruit, Honey, Meat, Molasses, Oak, Pastries, Red Apple, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sour, Sweet, Thick, Vegetables, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

HeKai has some good material grown there. Nice review. Now I am tempted…

Martin Bednář

It seems like a nice cake.

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