2019 Yunnan Sourcing "Ai Lao Secret Garden" Old Arbor Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bell Pepper, Bitter, Bread, Burnt Food, Coriander, Floral, Forest Floor, Grapefruit, Grass, Molasses, Nuts, Pear, Smoke, Spices, Sugar, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal, Zucchini, Alcohol, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Grapes, Green Bell Peppers, Lemon, Salt, Sour, Tangy, Tannic, Umami
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 oz / 80 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Gongfu Sipdown (1535)! Thank you Togo for the sample! I think this is my favourite, so far, of the sheng samples you shared with me! It’s been a lazy, mellow kind of day and I’m finding this sheng...” Read full tasting note
    91
  • “Today, this sheng seems even more flavourful than a year ago, which is no mean feat. It is very similar, but maybe a touch sweeter and quite tangy. Some new notes include grape skins, sea...” Read full tasting note
    94

From Yunnan Sourcing

Entirely first flush of Spring 2019 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 existance. 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.

250 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)
38kg in total produced
Wrapper Illustration by Giovanni Crispino

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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4 Tasting Notes

91
12453 tasting notes

Gongfu Sipdown (1535)!

Thank you Togo for the sample! I think this is my favourite, so far, of the sheng samples you shared with me!

It’s been a lazy, mellow kind of day and I’m finding this sheng rather peaceful and approachable. The dry leaf aroma was sweet and fruity which is why I picked it, and stacking infusions two at a time in this larger teacup I’m getting a lot of those same characteristics. The liquor is so thick and syrupy with sweet notes of overripe apricots drizzled in honey, and fresh floral white peach pushing to the forefront of a more simple grassy and playfully vegetal backdrop. I’m not sure if it’s something I would appreciate at all times, but currently it’s mirroring my mood and the beautiful stillness of this moment as if it was made just for it. I really don’t think there’s anything greater you could ask for out of a session…

Ten steeps total.

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVyIxV7F5uU/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx6kZLxRL3w&ab_channel=YokeLore

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94
749 tasting notes

Today, this sheng seems even more flavourful than a year ago, which is no mean feat. It is very similar, but maybe a touch sweeter and quite tangy. Some new notes include grape skins, sea buckthorn, alcohol as well as some more generic fermented fruit flavours in the sweet and sour finish. The aftertaste then also displays hints of lemon and sugar.

The aromas are also definitely still there, with some new notes of sea salt and fruit tree flowers before the rinse. The overall profile remains fairly stable for now though.

Flavors: Alcohol, Floral, Forest Floor, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grapes, Green Bell Peppers, Lemon, Molasses, Salt, Sour, Sweet, Tangy, Tannic, Tart, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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