pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou
2007 YQH Qizhong last night. 7g 100ml gaiwan. Wet leaf aroma had strawberries which reminded me of young sheng which was an indication something wasn’t right. I was right, it was too strong and bitter. Lots of power on this one, although it’s the antique wood and dark fruit profile that I want, better luck next time.
2007 Spring Peacock cake.
Bought this one in a sample from Tea Masters. I got a part near the middle of the cake. A little compressed but nothing to worry about. Started with a 10 gram chunk to start with. I gave a 15 second rinse to let it break up a bit.
Ist steep about 5 seconds showed some orange color and a sweetness of the tea.
2nd steep orange as well a little bit darker. Some of the floral came into the cup as a secondary note. There was some bitterness as well.
Subsequent steeps were pretty close to the second steep. I haven’t fully steeped it out yet. All steeps were right off boiling on the water.
I think this is a decently priced mid tier tea from the Kunming/CNNP factory. I think storage has been good enough to take most of the harsh edge off. I think it will develop more as time goes on. For the price on this one it isn’t all that exciting but you could put it in your rotation without breaking the bank on cost per gram.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Sweet
Hi gang, I just purchased a tRuth ripe puerh tribute cake dedicated to the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg from Mandala Tea. Proceeds of tea sales from the 200 cakes made go to a Women’s Shelter. Artwork is lovely on the wrapper, but I have not tried the tea yet (it was pressed on 11/15/2020). I got several cakes as wintertime presents for friends especially since I have had good experiences with Mandala Teas ripe puerh in the past. Peace, Jim
So glad that you got some of this. It’s great tea and I’m so grateful for your support as we really wanted to pay tribute to a great woman and support other great women in the process. Thank you. If you are able to let the tea rest for another few weeks, I think you’ll be very pleased with the results. It has already changed since arriving here just a little over a week ago. Enjoy and thank you! Garret
Mandala’s Antwerp’s Placebo again. It’s a young ripe. I’ve yet to really grok any pu-erh and so I rarely drink them. Antwerp has become my winter morning tea 4 days out of seven. Call me a philistine (and I will admit to that) but I brew this Western and very strong. It brews up quite dark but there’s no fishiness or barn yard-iness to it. If anything, it has hints of bitter chocolate and a touch of that almost vanillic old book smell.
I’m so glad you are enjoying this. It’s been super popular here with tongs of it leaving HQ regularly. We have an acupuncturist customer who brews it the same way you are doing it. That same tea garden is where we got the leaves to make a tribute cake to RBG in honor of all the advances she has made for women and equal rights. It’s incredible tea, as well, younger, but a bit more complex than last years leaves used for the Antwerp’s. Thank you for your write up and support!
Garret-I have yet to purchase anything from Mandala that is not a delight to drink. I think I have repurchased Antwerp at least 3 times now. Not only do I enjoy the taste but it can be rebrewed several times so it’s also economical. Doing business with you is always a pleasure. : )
This year, I’ve managed to sample all my Simao and Yiwu region teas. Over the past month or so I took a ‘Trip to Changtai.’
These are the teas I tried:
Overall, I’d say I can appreciate Changtai teas. There were several solid mid-aged picks including the 65th Anniversary, Tian Xia Tong An Gold Edition and Yun Pu Zhi Dian. I found that Guangzhou dry/natural storage seems like a good avenue to explore. I wasn’t a fan of the wet storage character of Banna Yunwu Cloud cake. The last tea, a supposed Lao Ban Zhang, I have no information for. That one was definitely my favorite. Bang for buck, the Tian Xia got me hands down.
I was going to dip into Lincang teas next but my collection of Menghai teas is much larger so I’m probably going to start chipping away at that.
Bana Tea Company 2003 Small Tribute ripe puerh – what a calming, relaxing, mellow, flavorful tea. Flavors are primarily woodsy, with a hint of olive, and a following cocoa and citrus flavor. It is just quite pleasant to drink on a rainy afternoon. I could not find it on the Bana Tea website any longer (or on Amazon where I originally got a sample before purchasing a cake from Bana), but if you have some, or know Linda at Bana Tea and can get some, this is quite nice at the moment.
2011 Menghai Dayi Golden Phoenix Tribute raw.
I’m enjoying my second session this evening. Also had earlier this week and it was so powerful I had to spread the steeping across two days. There’s an acidic-metallic drying tinge early on but it’s somewhat balanced by a complex character in the mouth, moderate camphor, a strong returning sweetness quick to show and a lingering buttery caramel-floral plum aftertaste that rises in the sinuses. This seems dry stored to me. I bet this adolescent leaf will be very pleasant eventually.