I remember when I first tried this aged sheng puerh well over a year ago, courtesy of Peter at pu-erh.sk. Back then it was one of the better puerh samples I had ever tasted, and although there was still a hint of mild astringency I decided to purchase 2 400gram cakes. This seemed to be a wise decision as the price at the time was 140 euros. Today the price has doubled to over 280 euros per cake which is now out of my price range unfortunately. Both cakes have been sitting for over a year now, so I decided to see how things are coming along. Here are my tasting notes.
In my opinion this quality tea deserves to be brewed in a decent quality yixing…I did not get the same satisfaction brewing this in a porcelain gaiwan. I would also recommend not using boiling water…let the water sit for 5 minutes after boiling before steeping. After 2 mandatory rinses I smell the wet leaves. Beautiful camphor notes fill my nostrils with a nicely aged aroma and sweetish overtones. In short, it smells lovely and inviting.
The first proper 15 second steep reveals a very pure, clean, amber liquid. I slowly sip the warm pure liquid and I begin to smile. The taste has that lovely Yiwu warmth, thickness and sweetness. The astringency that was present a year ago is now gone. Vibrancy on the mouth is very interesting, with a tingling sensation that develops on the tip of the tongue and slowly creeps its way to the back of the throat. This is elegance personified.
Subsequent steepings yield the same results. Camphor notes, sweetness, warmth, comfort etc. I ended up steeping this many, many times it goes on and on and for me never gets boring or one dimensional. I found the QI in this one to be pretty strong, starting with a positive lift in my mood, then giving me a very deep sense of calm and tranquility. The session lasts well over 2 hrs. This is a tea not to be rushed…when and if you decide to get this tea set a few hours aside to fully absorb all its character and beauty.
So, overall you can see that I love this tea. It has such an elegant, pure, clean character that is simply irresistible. If this is what the tea tastes like now, I would love to see what it will be like in the next 5-10 years. I just hope that I will be able to save some as I could easily drink this everyday.
The big question now is “Is it worth 287 euros”. Well that is up to you to decide. If I could afford it now I would buy this again in an instant, so yes I would say it is worth the price. A 7 gram sample only costs 6.50 euros so there is no excuse not to try it out. I would be very surprised if you were disappointed. Beware; its elegance and beauty may just charm you into making a full cake purchase :)
Flavors: Camphor, Sweet