2014 Yunnan Sourcing Impression Raw Pu'erh Tea Cake

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Apricot, Floral, Green Apple, Orange, Smoke, Brown Sugar, Honey, Nectar, Stonefruit, Vegetal, Drying, Maple, Thick, Tobacco, Sap
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Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 30 oz / 879 ml

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15 Tasting Notes View all

From Yunnan Sourcing

This year’s Impression cake shares some similarities with it’s 2012 counterpart. It’s a blend of different teas, but this year we used mao cha from 2011-2014 (both Spring and Autumn) harvests. The mao cha we used is a blend of 24 distinct areas, including Yi Wu, Menghai, Lancang, Jing Gu, Wu Liang, Ai Lao, Mengku, Yong De, Bang Dong, Mangshi (Dehong) and Pu’Er. Being a blend of so many areas I really feel that this tea has just about everything to offer the drinker. It is bitter and astringent, but very balanced in that. It lasts very long in the mouth and throat and is very infusable. It’s exciting to notice the different teas taking their turn at center stage (much a like live Jazz solo improvisation) during the long brewing session.

In 2012 I created the first impression blend to be an alternative to a Xiaguan or Da Yi 7542, but now (especially this year’s blend) it has far surpassed those mass market teas in both quality and value! I also feel strongly that this tea being very strong in aroma, mouthfeel, bitter/astringent, infusability and Cha Qi, makes it a good choice for long-term aging!

Stone-pressed in the traditional manner.
357 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

This tea has been tested in a certified laboratory and has passed the MRL limits for pesticide residues as established by the EU Food and Safety commission. For more information about MRL testing and the EU Food and Safety commission click on this link.

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15 Tasting Notes

66 tasting notes
So I’ve had a cake of this 9 year old sheng for over a year and not had a chance to try it. When I opened the humidor I immediately noticed the incredibly pleasant aroma of tobacco leaf, and was eager to brew it up. On my second steeping now (5 grams in 7oz boiling spring water) and the leaves have fully expanded and are large & quite green. I don’t taste the apricot or honey others have reported, but it’s definitely young, bright, fragrant and tasty. Not astringent or fishy. Reminiscent of Tie Guan Yin to me. I think this cake will be an extended adventure.

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261 tasting notes

Date drunk: 2020 Sep 19th

- 7g in 230ml Yixing teapot
- Rinsed once
- First infusion (95˚C, 30s)
- Rating: 82
- Second infusion (96˚C, 0:40)
- Rating: 80

- Verdict: After tasting the other “higher-end” raw pu-erhs, I have to lower this rating. Nothing special except for the slight smokey tobacco note, really just a daily drinker and I might get the [[2018 Yunnan Sourcing Mengku Huang Shan Wild Arbor Raw Pu-erh Tea]] instead and skip this entirely.
- My Rating: 81

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 230 ML

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4 tasting notes

Apricots upfront with a honey nectar finish. Light veg. Cerebral and calming. 10-12 infusions.

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Honey, Nectar, Stonefruit, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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7 tasting notes

Dry leaf appearance – medium-sized leaves and a fair number of silky, golden-haired buds distributed throughout

Dry leaf smell – menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, tobacco, dried apricots, slight hint of wintergreen

Wet leaf smell – boiled plums, raisin bread pudding, golden raisins, dark bread dough, slight tartness, raisin bread french toast – the smell of it caramelizing on the pan, autumn leaves, slight smokiness, burnt tobacco,

Liquor – deep golden yellow that is well on its way to becoming a nice orange hue

Texture – thick and very soft; gentle going down the throat; coats the tongue and palate and leaves the slightest tingle

Taste – immediately sweet like some kind of light nectar or syrup but it leads into a relatively standard raw taste; flowery, but I’m not sure what – perhaps orange blossoms; there is a hint of a Grand Marnier-ish flavour; very sweet at first, moves into a savoury bready taste, but finishes in a slight almost pharmaceutical bitterness – but not in a bad way, as strange as it sounds. Each sip is like a little journey

Empty cup – it’s like a simple syrup that has been lightly infused with a citrus zest

Mouth finish – the coating lingers and the tingle intensifies – especially on the tip of the tongue – as the pharmaceutical bitterness quickly subsides to produce a very sweet salivation that closely matches the initial taste of the liquor itself

Wet leaf – beautiful, healthy-looking and full leaves and buds for the most part; the few broken leaves are likely my fault since I’m away from home and don’t have access to a proper pick or knife.

Body feel – a light, heady feeling followed the first infusion, and it brings a nice focused feeling. This is another nice one for reading. Edit: by the eighth infusion, I no longer feel capable of reading… This is one strong tea! It’s really turned me inward and I’m now just sitting here staring into space and contemplating life and the nature of reality.

I bought this tea on a whim and it seriously paid off – I love it! I thought it would be interesting to try, especially since I’ve never had a raw in this age-range, but I wasn’t expecting this much! It’s a really engaging tea that goes from sweet and innocent to a burly powerhouse throughout the course of the session, though there is no unpleasant bitterness or astringency. It is a well-rounded and enjoyable daily drinker, though I may have to get another cake to see how it ages out.

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62 tasting notes

Brisk, floral, honey, astringent

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33 tasting notes

Relatively high astringency for the first 3-4 steeps, hitting my empty morning stomach really hard. Plenty of flavor coming through, though. Tobacco and earth. Had some bread to settle my stomach and came back to the tea a bit later.

5th steep is nice! A little smoke and mushroom and dirt. Goes back and forth between bright/grassy and dark/deep/woodsy. Astringency is quite low now. Very manageable. Later steeps are even more mellow. Beautiful tea.

At 8.1c/g, this is an instacop. In my mind is rests between a sheng and a shou in terms of what type of flavors I’m craving. It has a edge and power of a young sheng with the some of the deep, rich, darker flavors of a shou.

205 °F / 96 °C 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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167 tasting notes

[tasted summer 2016]

Dry leaf: SWEET, FLORAL (honey, honeysuckle, green apple, fragrant floral)

Smell: SWEET, FLORAL (sweet, bitter floral typical of young raw; green apple, hint of ashy smoke)

Taste: SWEET, HERBAL, NUTTY, GRASSY, FRUIT (thick honey sweetness, white pepper, fragrant floral – lilac? lily of the valley? – ashy smokiness, bitter green wood, sharp herbal like basil or cilantro, nutty oiliness, light raisin, astringent, dried apricot, fresh hay, sweet grass)

What a great find. Flavors are intriguing – a lot of personality, a lot of notes to pick up on, nothing unpleasant or flat. I’m not even a young raw kind of guy, but this was really nice to drink. It has a full mouthfeel, plenty of rich oiliness, and enough bitterness to keep things fresh and interesting, like any good young raw should. As far as I can tell, it has plenty to build off of as it matures.

Other folks seem to have been a little more critical of this cake than I have been. So, either I’m a cheap date, or this thing has aged wonderfully in the past few months. I found it to be much more interesting and pleasant than more expensive and older cakes.

In my opinion, this is an economy raw that is punching well above its weight class. Well worth purchasing several cakes, as I will be doing

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26 tasting notes

From a 25g sample. The tea started out with a fairly upfront bitterness and really dried my mouth out. There was some woody/grassy/hay flavors that hid under the bitter note. After 3 to 5 steepings, the bitterness started to fade, but there was no underlying flavor that was revealed. After around 7 to 9 steepings, it just tasted like a weaker version of the start.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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485 tasting notes

This was a good tea. Not particularly complex, but not bad in much of any way. First few steeps had an increasing mouth-drying effect, but this waned in the later steeps as the sweeter flavors came to the fore. The first steeps itself was quite sweet. Reminded me of brown sugar or maple perhaps. Throughout, the tea had honey notes, and in the mid-steeps these were accompanied by a lightly smoky tobacco flavor. The smoke was more apparent in the nose than the taste. Could feel the sweetness coating the mouth, especially in the early steeps. Even though I oversteeped a few times and the leaves were totally loose, I didn’t really get much of any bitterness out of this, even when it was mouth-drying.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Drying, Honey, Maple, Thick, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1113 tasting notes

Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #16

I have been rather curious about the Impression cakes so I was glad to see a portion in the TTB. I used a nice 6g to have a session with which was a nice mount because it brewed a deep cup every time. Unfortunately I picked up bitterness from this even in the 8th steep so that’s about as far as I could go. To me this might just be a tea to buy and store for it to improve as it ages since it is a decent price for an entire cake. I’ll have to try some of the 5+ year old Impression sometime soon to see if they have a better mouth feel and taste.

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