12 Tasting Notes
Sometime ago I tasted this tea from a friend and I enjoyed it but I was unaware of parameters used so I’ll base my review on the revised parameters I used as using water under boil makes the bitterness more pronounced.
Upfront bitterness comes through immediately followed by a great sweetness which makes one salivate and wanting more tea. Just before the bitterness hits you there is a pronounced earthy/musty taste comparable to a well matured shou.
Colourwise it is deep copper colour at the beginning but it reduces to lighter levels as one goes through the session. The aroma after the initial 2 rinses is slightly earthy but sweetness comes to mind all the time This sweet aroma remains throughout the session in the tea liquor, teapot and sharing vessel signs of a very well matured tea.
No signs of astringency have been found.
Revised parameters: 2.5gms tea leaves 40ml water 90 degrees C first steepings time was around 5 seconds which increased slowly with later steepings.
Flavors: Earth, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes
After the early morning stint with a young sheng I have now moved to the opposite extreme. I am now sipping a 1999 sheng that is trying to be shou. It is a half fermented raw pu’er with around 17 years of age: 1999 Hua Yuan “Jing Brand” raw pu’er from Yunnan Sourcing. A very clean and pleasant tea that was very well stored with the only light wet piling aspect coming through from the wet leaves and not transpiring to the liquor. Next week I am buying a cake for further storage.
2.9gms 100 degrees C 55ml pot
Very much of what Lindsay said a couple of months ago.
Today it was time for me to try one of the teas of the four cake set of raw pu’er White2Tea Basics. This is the 2015 Spring with a mushroom aroma and beautiful sap green coloured leaves and burnt sienna twigs. The tea is of light to medium thickness of a yellow ochre colour with the liquor slightly astringent and bitter apricot flavour due to its young age. Back to humidor storage it goes to mature further.
2.2gms 90 degrees C 55ml pot
This is a sheng tobe sipped slowly and savoured rather than gulp it down. Very high quality tea. Completely transparent liquor.
The aroma of this tea, dry and wet leaves is sweet with the liquor of honey colour. Very dense tea reminds me of a lightly viscous honey.
Flavours (I am inexperienced): honey, creme brulee.
Short steepings of 5-7 seconds with 90 degrees C filtered water.
In 2015 I bought 2 cakes of this type in continental Europe from 2 different retailers. I’ll be addressing them as cake #1 and #2.
Aroma of both dry and wet leaves: #1- smoky and heavy smoke when wet while #2 slight camphor aroma
Taste: both cakes teas are copper colour, pleasant, smooth and slightly sweet. With #2 being a bit more rounded off in the mouth
Neifei: #1- none and #2- yes
Inside label: both yes but with differences and slightly different printing. #1 spelling: Chitsu pingcha, puerhcha. #2 spelling: Chitse bingcha, puechcha. Also the label of #1 is a lot more yellowish.
Leaves: #1 leaves tend to be smaller on top of the cake and they crumble a lot more with the centre of the cake unlike an iron cake. #2 leaves on top of the cake are larger and looser although the centre of the cake is very hard still almost like an iron cake. Overall appearance #1 is redder brown with #2 darker umber colour.
Wrapping: #1 was wrapped with a final flap across the diameter of the cake. #2 was wrapped radially with no final flap.
The cake was easy to pry and it contains a very good amount of light coloured buds. The wet leaves have a beautiful yellow tinted sap green colour with few burnt sienna twigs.
The wet leaves and the liquor is very aromatic and with a pleasant taste. The first three steepings have a yummy orchid / oyster taste followed by a very nice caramel burnt sugar taste. Afterwards the burnt sugar aftertaste falls away somewhat but over it still remains a very plesant young sheng for one to sip. The density of the soup (gumminess) is medium to high which made it even more pleasant.
The first steepings were very rounded off with smoothness to the palate with no astringency or bitterness. On the third steeping and later ones a little astringency came through but nothing for me to worry about.
Like all young raw pu’er it has caffeine that made my ears ring a bit after the second steeping. I must be getting too old for young raw pu’er teas.
All the first 4 steepings were done in around 5 to 7 seconds steeping time.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Orchid
Thanking the generosity of Terre de Ciel in France I have obtained samples of their Jingmai teas of which this is one of them.
The tea leaves required two rinses to remove the slight storage aroma. The liquor is firstly deep yellowish orange turning in later steepings to a combination of burnt sienna to which it was added a bit of Indian yellow.
The leaves are of a burnt umber colour with burnt sienna twigs after the two rinses. Both the wet leaves and to a less extent the liquor have a burnt sugar aroma together with the typical orchid aroma of gushu pu’er teas.
Comparing to the 2006 version of this tea unsurprisingly it is less rounded off on the taste but it has no bitterness and very little astringency if at all. It has, also without surprise, more caffeine than the 2006 tea.
The first three steeping times were 5 seconds each.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel
This is a slightly tight compressed tea cake fairly well matured in China except for the past few months in the south of France all in dry conditions. After a rinse, the first four steepings have a golden orange colour and a caramel like aroma but not over-powering. For most part the liquor is smooth with no astringency or bitterness. Not much caffeine has been found as expected for a middle aged tea like this but it made me feel relaxed. After 4 steepings the leaves have a burnt sienna colour still with a burnt sugar aroma.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Orchid