2012 Gao Jia Shan "Wild Tian Jian" in a Bamboo Basket

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 oz / 190 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Wild Tian Jian from Yun Tai Mountains. This is the original An Hua tea varietal thats has grown in the mountains of Gao Jia Shan and Yun Tai Shan for centuries (maybe longer).

The tea after processing is not fully dried when it is then hand packed into the lovely hand-woven baskets. The compression is medium to light and allows for good aging and environment for naturally occuring living bacteria (much like probiotics) which are helpful to the overall health of th drinker.

The taste of the tea is complex with some molasses mineral sweetness, earthy (but not smoky) taste and a kind of aroma similar to a good oxidized oolong. Cha Qi is pleasant. With later steepings the complexity gradually fades leaving something sweet but never astringent or bitter.

2012 harvest and production

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3 Tasting Notes

2207 tasting notes


Another from Dark Matter 2016. This is an odd one to describe, because it’s complex without being obvious. That seems an odd thing to type, but sometimes when a tea has a lot of flavours, it just has a lot of flavours. They’re easy to pick out, and you can list them. Not so here. It’s difficult to work out exactly what I’m tasting, and (of course) it’s all coming from the tea rather than added ingredients/flavourings. Regardless, I’m going to have a bash.

The initial sip is sweet, in the way of brown sugar. It’s not as dark or as deeply flavoured as molasses, although it’s heading in that direction. The mid-sip is woody and earthy, quite a contrast with the opening sweetness, and that develops into a mild smokiness that lingers into the aftertaste. Running underneath all that is a soft creaminess.

No single element becomes overpowering, and it’s perfectly smooth with no bitterness or astringency. It’s not my favourite of the Dark Matter teas, but it’s certainly a thought-provoking, take-your-time kind of tea. It wouldn’t, or couldn’t, be a daily drinker for me – it’s the kind of tea that needs contemplation, and not a hurried work day rush. Worth trying – when you have the time!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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101 tasting notes

From Dark Matter 2016 :

I didn’t rinse. 1st steep was about 10 seconds. It was a bit fishy, but more of “this would be good in noodles” kind of way so I ended up finishing it. 2nd steep was around 25 seconds and had a bit of a bitter taste. By the third steep it was gone and a mineral flavor came out. I feel like it faded rather fast, but later steepings still retained a bit of funk. I also started to get a bit of mouth coating feeling at the end.

It might be interesting to see how this would age but otherwise there’s nothing here to really catch my interest.

Boiling 3 g 6 OZ / 190 ML

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55 tasting notes

The first time I steeped this tea it had a bit of a fishy flavor so I threw out that steeping and tried again. Fortunately the second and third steepings tasted much better. So I recommend rinsing this before steeping it (I know some people do this as a matter of routine but it just seems wasteful to me to throw out perfectly good tea so I always try it without rinsing first to see whether it needs it).

If you make sure to rinse it first, I’d say it’s a good tea, although not my absolute favorite Dark Matter selection. I didn’t take notes for a full review yet but I have enough leaves left for a bit more tea (I brew Western style) so I guess I can do that later. I’m on the third steeping now but it’s not very representative because I accidentally steeped it for like ten minutes lol.

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