First tasting of the day is Fu Yuan Chang Raw cake from Yunnan sourcing and the third item from the monthly raw puerh club. This tea is lightly aged at about 8 years old. I really like tea at this point, age has taken off some of the rough bitter edges, but it hasnt quite gone all the way into deep earthy tones yet.
I started this by doing a wash, there was a tiny bit of particulate but it seemed a single wash enough to clean the leaves and then get them to open up. I tasted and smelled the wash and it was vegetal, astringent and gave off a strong green tea aroma. The liquor was a pale golden color, not at all surprising, showing a bit of age but still keeping the young raw characteristics.
The first infusion darkened slightly and mellowed as well, bringing out some honey, grass, hay, umami and sweet flavors and aroma. There was a slight bitterness and astringency as well, but it was very subdued. It smoothed out alot in the first infusion.
The second infusion got some more vegetal and hay aromas as well as a bit more honey and sweetness. It has a nice mouthfeel as well now as the leaves are opening up a bit more. The grass and hay are still there as well, it seems to be blending a bit better now with the flavors mixing more completely.
The third infusion was the best, a bit more bitter, but the rest of the flavors popping out more strongly. It was also the most complex, with some of the flavors and aroma’s subtle and I couldnt quite get them all.
The tea seems to have some staying power and I figure I will get at least 10 infusions from it. As is normal with pu’erh it seems to peak around 3rd or 4th infusion and then slowly come down from there. The leaves are now fully opened up and the tea was at its darkest in the third infusion. A medium golden color. The fourth was almost but not quite as dark , even though I steeped it a bit longer.
I highly recommend this tea if you like the in between stages, the place between a young and an aged raw. I happen to love it at this point, as the tea still has some bite, but has lost some of that young bitter astringency.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Hay, Honey, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal