Nan Jian Tea Factory (Yunnan Sourcing)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This one wasn’t bad if you could forgive the lingering smoker’s breath taste of Eau de Ashtray that lurked in the background of every cup of this. It started off promising, although odd, with a smoked meatiness that faded into a camphor-like cooling cup of tobacco with a surprising brightness at the end, but quickly settled into more of an ashy, used tobacco with shifts into campfire after the first couple of steeps.
To its credit, the ash tray taste is not intensely strong in this tea, but it was just enough to be off putting for those of us who may really dislike that taste (it was enough I decided to stop drinking it by steep 7 and try something else when it didn’t go away, but I really hate cigarette ash smell/taste). Shame, because everything else was pretty solid and I really like camphor notes and the mid aged taste to my pu erh.
Flavors: Ash, Campfire, Camphor, Herbs, Meat, Smoke, Tobacco
Dry leaf – FUSTY, HAY, FRUIT: tobacco, old book, leather, some fruit and spice notes. In preheated vessel: soaked prune and date, raisin, wet hay
Smell – FRUIT, HAY, SWEET: light prune and date, stable, tobacco, hay and straw, noticeable caramel sweetness
Taste – FUSTY, HAY, FRUIT, SWEET: autumn leaves, stable, light tobacco, old book, dill. Finish and aftertaste develops fruit and sweet notes: caramel, turbinado sugar, dark dried fruit, lemongrass, hints of berries.
This is a good young, affordable raw that has some aged flavors going on. The old book, stable, “fusty” flavors are definitely there, but there is also a good deal of prune/raisin sweetness. Most surprising is a caramel note that just kept popping up. In addition, there were a few fresh notes that popped up as well – berry, lemongrass, and dill.
I have been brewing this in a young yixing pot and just dumping the contents into a thermos so I could drink it at work. I have to say that either the pot or the thermos method really limited the scope of the tea to the fusty flavors. I think my young pot still likes to steal some of the fruity and sweet flavors. I was surprised at the complexity when I brewed it in a gaiwan on the weekend.
Once again, an inexpensive daily drinker that just gets better the more time, and attention, you give it.
EDIT: Had another session with this one, and dug more into the interior of the mushroom and got more base material. Had forgotten that this has some smokiness to it until it airs out a little. Smokiness is combination of campfire and bbq/mesquite smoke, not overwhelming. Transforms in the mouth to dark/burnt caramel and toffee, with herbal (dill) and fragrant (incense). Finish and aftertaste lighten to green leaf/herbal and hints of red apple.
This is pretty compressed and taking off the top of the mushroom “cap” worked out best.
It smells like the ground and the first steep kinda tastes like ashes.
The second steep smells more mushroomy and umami. The SO says it smells like octopus. The taste is getting more earthy and leathery and there is less of that ash taste.
Third steep, I feel like more smokiness is coming out, which I really enjoy. I am a fan of smoky tea. The leaves are getting nicely expanded at this point, and I’m getting even more of that nice, mushroomy aroma. Gonna keep going with this one, as I’m enjoying it more with each steep. There hasn’t been much noticeable bitterness or anything, and it’s been mostly pretty smooth with a noticeable soothing sensation left behind in the throat. If anything else particularly stand-out surfaces I’ll update this. But in any case, I’ll definitely be coming back to it in the future.
Flavors: Ash, Dirt, Leather, Mushrooms
This tea is quite complex, and it is changing quite interesting from round to round.
Where i live the autumn season begins at the moment, and the color and the taste is fitting very well. I even taste some withered leaves or foliage in it, but that might be a psychological thing… with all those beautiful leaves in our garden.
I guess this one is a good example for a semiaged tea. I like to drink it now and enjoy it, but i guess for some people it could be “neither fish nor fowl” … it is far away from young sheng and at the same time it has some foliage taste wich is, what i guess, a sign of a not “fully” (or just more) aged tea.
Sidenote: i know people differ on the question what a “fully aged” tea is very much, some say 30 years, some say 14 or 20+ … etc., so i use this term with all that caution.
So the first 2 infusions had quite a obvious smoke hint underlying… but it was more a hint… and not very intense. A fine sort of smoke, like from well prepared smoked meat.
The mouthfeel is good, quite viscous, also not extremely, just good. I like the balance (again) here: a bit of brown sugar (or even dates?) in the back, quite, but not too much, astringency and a bit of bitterness that comes along with some tastes of: conifer resin, juniper berries, a little bit of this “old book” taste…
After the first 3 rounds it get`s even much sweeter without loosing the other complex aromas… good.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Dates, Fir, Resin, Smoke
Dry this tea smells like cow manure. I gave it 2 quick rinses with water at 95C and then did a quick 3 sec infusion. Still smelled like cow manure. Threw it out and did another infusion. Still smelled like cow manure. Tasted it. Yep, tasted like cow manure. Next infusion it started to get smoother and lose the cow dung taste. Even a bit better next infusion but far from a tasty tea. I think this would have probably been good on infusion 10 or more but I threw it out before that. It did have a good cha qui . I am just not into the aged shengs too much. The energy feel is good from them but I prefer the taste of a younger sheng.
Picked this one up from YS and immediately fell in love. Strangely, it’s almost identical to a ‘2006 Changtai Yichanghao’ (more than likely fake) that I picked up for cheap on ebay. So similar, in fact, that I’m just going to copy a part of my review for that tea here:
“It’s a sharp and pungent tea, with a smoky/spicy/woody/shroomy flavor, and great qi. This is my energizing tea when I’m feeling run down. It’s also comforting and makes me feel warm and fuzzy (quite literally). "
I find all these attributes and more in this tuo. The leaf quality is a bit better than my ebay cake and it just brews on and on. This tea just checks all the right boxes for me in what I am looking for in a raw puerh and it just seems to harmonize with me if that makes any sense. I feel right at home drinking it.
Flavors: Mushrooms, Salt, Smoke, Spices, Tobacco, Wood
I finally opened a tuo of this. It’s a pretty good aged sheng. Brews up light and has a mix of notes that I identify as tobacco, mesquite smoke, sweetness, and a hint of fruit (like a plum flavor?). This holds up for a multitude of steeps and is a very smooth drinker. It’ll be good to age my other tuos and see how it progresses.
Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco
This tea was part of November Yunnan Sourcing Tea Club.
my usual gongfu parameters for sheng
5.5g 100 ml porcelain gaiwan 200F
I keep sipping. i like this tea a lot. Some earthiness, hay, sweetness. overall very smooth and easy to drink. no off taste or smell. i really like the color !
This is an excellent semi aged sheng. It is well on its way to being fermented and is quite tasty. I steeped this nine times in a 3 oz teapot. It was bitter in the early infusions and bittersweet in later infusions. It had lost all of the young sheng flavor. I brewed it without sugar and it was not too bitter. It had a strong mouthfeel to it and some Cha Qi.