Through the generosity of a tea friend, I am tasting my way through a number of samples of aged raw puerhs. I had also ordered a few additional raw puerhs to sample. When I first began drinking loose leaf teas, I tried everything (green, black, oolong, ripe, raw, etc), and gravitated toward mildly roasted Wuyi rock oolongs. However, I have always been curious if there are puerhs out there that I would love more if only I found the right ones. I already have a number of cakes in storage that were purchased several years ago with pure chance. With the help of a tea bud, I have already found a couple of puerhs I like in these samples, and I’m working toward sampling my way to my preferred sheng region, cultivar, etc.
I am creating tasting note placeholders here on Steepster as I go through the teas that I intend to come back later and add more detailed tasting notes. I was given enough sample material for at least two sessions (thank you!!) and so that will allow me get to know the outstanding character of each tea and those traits that are more common across raw puerhs.
So far I have tried:
2004 Yang Qing Hao “Te Ji Pin” Raw by Yang Qing Hao
2007 XiaGuan FT Shan 4th golden wrapper by Xiaguan Tea Factory
2008 Menghai “SPRINGTIME WATER” RAW by Menghai Tea
2010 “AUTUMN NAN NUO SHAN” RAW PU-ERH TEA BRICK by Yunnan Sourcing
2012 Baotang Raw by The Essence of Tea
Since this little summary of my experiment is posted under the 2012 Boatang Raw tasting note, here are my initial thoughts on this tea:
Brewed gongfu style in 70 ml clay pot with 5 gr of material. One rinse and very fast initial steeps of only 5 seconds, gradually increasing (very little).
Flavors/Aromas I pickup in this tea are a lot of sweetness. That’s very evident. I also get a little bit of cocoa in the early steeps, but it is nothing like the strong chocolate flavor that comes through with black (red) teas. It’s definitely tannic and possesses some bitterness, and in later steepings still reveals some young sheng characteristics. It’s smooth in the mouth and has very little astringency initially, but the tea does become more astringent after awhile. If I smack my lips, I get something like a blackboard chalk in the aftertaste.
In the 2010 “AUTUMN NAN NUO SHAN” brick, I felt some pretty strong qi or caffeine buzz or something going on very quickly. With this 2012 Boatang, I feel a little something in my body, but it came on slowly and is far more subtle.
Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Leather, Sweet, Tannin