Year of The Pig 2019 Raw Puer

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Pu'erh Tea
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Apricot, Grass, Green, Lemon, Sugarcane, Tangy
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Edit tea info Last updated by Roswell Strange
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From Bitterleaf Teas

This tea is as close to the embodiment of the true “Yiwu taste” as we can press. It has a gentle and soft character, with a pleasant fragrance and honey-like sweetness. Fruit-notes tend to develop within the first year, with a smooth honey taste returning after that.

Made from the same material as our annual Year of the Monkey/Rooster/Dog cakes, this tea is one of the more predictable ones for us as each production is quite stable year after year. One difference for 2019 is that we’ve strayed from the “traditional” compression of previous years and gone a little bit lighter this time around.

We strongly recommend this tea for beginners, as it is quite gentle and easy to accept, with minimal bitterness and a budget-friendly price. Experienced drinkers seeking a quality Yiwu zhengshan tea can also enjoy this as a daily drinker or for storing away for the future.

The material used for this tea comes from converted fangyang (放养, or “left to grow”) trees that started off as plantation terrace trees over 40 years ago. For over a decade, these trees have seen no pesticides, weed killer, pruning or fertilizers, and have only been picked during the spring.

This style of farming does come with some sacrifices though. As the trees compete for space, some require relocation (with varying success). There is also reduced output and laborious hand-weeding over the course of a month each year.

In our opinion, the results are worth it. The deeper roots and more concentrated yield produce a tea richer in fragrance and flavour than typical plantation productions in this price range. And of course, all this without the presence of any pesticides or harmful substances.

In previous years we tested this tea against the EU Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 191 and 440+ pesticides, both passing with ease. This year we decided to forego testing and will test on an alternating schedule as our confidence in this tea and relationship with the farmer is quite strong. In our experience, once someone puts this much effort into establishing a clean garden, it would be unlikely and unwise to throw it away all of a sudden.

If you’re seeking a tea that has been produced in the year it was tested, we recommend purchasing either our Dog or Rooster cakes. If you would like a copy of the lab results for previous years, please contact us.

We’re honoured to have this year’s artwork designed by Beijing and New York based artist, Qiurui Du. Please check out his website as well as Weibo, and give him a follow on Instagram for more great work.

Picking period: March 16 – April 3

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3 Tasting Notes

111 tasting notes

Nice Yiwu for the buck. Having assaulting my tastebuds and zapping my brain with border area gushu for several months this tea being young tree sat on the back burner. I did 8 steeps and found it has decent body, slight oiliness , sweet, grassy and floral notes similar to the Gaoshan maocha I’ve been drinking. At $.11g I was not expecting any other qi than a slight caffeine kick. Surprisingly I have a slight tingle in the forehead, tightening of the chest and relaxed shoulders. Not a big attitude adjustment but nice. If you want stereotypical Yiwu character on a budget this tea is a good choice. It doesn’t have the thickness or qi of ancient trees but all the flavors are there and it produces a nice headringer. I personally prefer more intense border area for Yiwu but prices of Banna teas in general are astronomical so if I were looking for nice fruity oily teas with big qi on a budget I’d opt to pay a bit more and go with ancient arbor tea from Jinggu or Wuliang which although doesn’t have the typical Yiwu character performs on par with many Yiwu teas that are much more costly.

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16060 tasting notes

I love BLT’s “Year of the…” Yiwu series so much – but I was especially excited for this year’s production since I was born in the year of the pig! I basically waited on pins and needles this year for the release, and when it finally happened I blind caked the tea. I also got a smaller sample bag of it though, since I picked up the large sheng sampler they put out this year.

The wrapper art is BEAUTIFUL, for the record! It’s very hard to top the Year of the Dog design, but this is damn close…

Here is my session summary pulled from instagram:

It’s still a touch rough around the edges from being so recently pressed, but this #puer packed some delightfully sweet and tangy fruity top notes, with a greener body w/ hints of anise and a pleasantly bitter undertone. The finish was all green beans & sugar snap peas; lovely crisp, sweet lingering vegetal notes!!

I really look forward to seeing how this tea develops over time; really happy to have it a part of my stash!


Song Pairing:


Today I was thinking how you didn’t have instagram that long ago and now you’re a pro :P

Roswell Strange

I try XD I think in December I’ll have had my account for two years? Feels like it’s been much longer though!

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