Fish and hay and dirt is what I get. I am an oolong fanatic, just dipping my toe into puerh. But this is not my gateway.
“Fish and hay and dirt is what I get. I am an oolong fanatic, just dipping my toe into puerh. But this is not my gateway.” Read full tasting note
“3-stage filtered L.A. water just off the boil into my white/brown “turned” Jingdezhen gaiwan then into one of my rough clay Japanese tea cups from the 1990s. Breaks apart fairly easily by hand....” Read full tasting note
“Not bad, but nothing special either. I’ve sipped on this shou now and then for a year, and it’s remained steady. Fast infusing, to a dark, rich liquor, smooth & creamy without that fishy taste...” Read full tasting note
“At work and thinking back on my session with this little gem a few days ago. This was the first time I felt as though I had any inkling of what cha-qi might mean. Third steep just kinda took me up...” Read full tasting note
This tea was pressed 15 years ago (in 2005) by a small Menghai tea factory. These are 25 gram Golden Melon tuo cha (金瓜沱) made from a blend of Gong Ting, Te Ji, Grade 1 and 3 ripened tea leaves. They were stored in Kunming for 12 years in relatively dry conditions.
The dryish aging conditions have preserved the character of this tea, while allowing it to mellow and gain complexity. The tea is sweet, creamy and very thick and expansive in the mouth. It’s a very active and textured ripe tea that has all attributes a good aged ripe pu-erh should have.
Each melon is roughly 25 grams, and can give you 3 to 5 good sessions.
Each Melon is individually wrapped in off-white gold-flecked paper.
Company description not available.
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Pu-erh tea*Haiwan*Aged 5 years*ripe cakeanning haiwan
3-stage filtered L.A. water just off the boil into my white/brown “turned” Jingdezhen gaiwan then into one of my rough clay Japanese tea cups from the 1990s.
Breaks apart fairly easily by hand. Small (but not overly broken) leaf material.
Liquor is a clear, burnt umber to auburn gradient.
After a 20 – 30 second rinse, flash brews a few times before you have to start extending the infusions before the color/flavor starts to fade. Goes for maybe 10 infusions, beyond which you’d need to actively boil the tea.
Free from off notes (fishy/sour/funk/etc.), but a touch weak overall. Can grow bitter if pushed, but is largely dusty/earthy/woody with hints of mushroom and old leather. Pairs well with food. A smooth but unremarkable ripe.
Not bad, but nothing special either. I’ve sipped on this shou now and then for a year, and it’s remained steady. Fast infusing, to a dark, rich liquor, smooth & creamy without that fishy taste or “humid” odor. As others have noted, the melon is tightly compressed, but it does break up once you get into it, and since the tea itself has been fairly well chopped before pressing, you don’t need to worry about damaging the leaves. I rinsed 5g (1/4th melon) under hot running tap water for 15 sec in a stainless mesh infuser, then steeped in 7 oz boiling alpine spring water for 30 sec. Re-steeped 8 more times, gradually lengthening to 4 min on #8. Enjoyable, but would be better suited as a base for something flavored. I’ve got 4 more melons that I’ll sip on and gift away over the next years, but won’t buy more.
At work and thinking back on my session with this little gem a few days ago. This was the first time I felt as though I had any inkling of what cha-qi might mean. Third steep just kinda took me up and away… unexpected, especially as I was distracted by studying. Pretty cool.
Flavors were nice and grounding, but I’ll revisit on that front later.
I brewed this tea Gong Fu as I do for most teas.
Somehow, this ripe pu’erh is better than the Yunnan Sourcing Cozy Pu’erhs, a hard feat to accomplish. The steamed leaves have a typical pu’erh scent with a nice creaminess indicative of a well aged shou (much like the Cozy pu’erhs). The tea liquor itself, however, is insane. It has amazing notes of cocoa, acorn, old DRY wood, and a pleasant creaminess in both flavor and mouthfeel. Whenever I drink this tea, I feel like I am transported to an old Japanese village in the woods.
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Nuts, Wood
Yummy. Brothy and earthy. Cocoa and bitterness as well but it’s quite mellow. Aroma reminds me of… dank castle armories. Strange association but not an unwelcome one.
Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Mushrooms, Savory, Wet Rocks, Wood
A tightly compressed tuo that has a disheartening tendency to break apart into small particles. the base tea is not one of the best but the lengthy ageing balances it out. In the taste first that you feel is a strong metallic flavor like… copper. Which is immediately replaced by warm grain, aged wood, bamboo and sugarcane sweetness. Somehow it reminded me of the whiskies from the Highlands. With subsequent steepings the sweetness intensifies, while the metallic overture fades away.
An interesting combination of flavors but not very complex.
Flavors: Bamboo, Grain, Metallic, Sugarcane, Sweet, Wood
Today I woke up and didn’t want to drink ANY of the tea that I’ve been happily sipping on over the last couple weeks. I wanted something new and exciting, alas, all I could find are a couple of these shou tuos (which I had buried at the back of my cupboard for emergencies as I was really not overly fond of this tea when I first bought it). I clearly need to buy more tea.
Anyway, to my happy surprise I liked these little tuos far more the second time around!!! I’m starting to think I happened to drink an off cake last time because there’s absolutely no compost/fishy smell today. This brew is woody, earthy, and slightly sweet when you drink it, but I will be honest — it smells like a barn. The scent of hay or wheat is strong, although not as prevalent in taste. My gaiwan is still stinky after rinsing it! There’s also a very nice leather/smoked flavour that I find is more common with shengs. The liquor is thick, rich, and pure black like coffee for the first four or five brews. Excellent re-steep value and mouth feel.
All in all, I’m now kind of wishing I bought more of these as they were very inexpensive at the time. I hope my third and final tuo tastes like this and not lacklustre/borderline disgusting like the first round. Fingers crossed!!!
Flavors: Earth, Hay, Leather, Smoke, Sweet, Wheat, Wood
This is a very nice aged tea. It seems to me that the more I drink it, the more I like it.
The wet leaves smell of old, slightly decaying wood in a damp environment, like a castle basement. Reminds me of one ambient & noise music festival called Hradby Samoty, which happens at a castle every year. I also get some chocolate and dried fruit notes coming through. The liquor is fiarly mellow and smooth. It is quite sweet, resembling prunes and cheesecake, but also has cocoa bean bitterness and little bit of mushroom broth, especially in later steeps. I get a slight cooling effect in my throat and the aftertaste is spicy I would say. There is absolutely no astringency, rather the mouthfeel is soft and mouthwatering.
I think the price these are selling for is very good and I think I will be getting some more once I finish the ones I have.
Flavors: Broth, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Decayed Wood, Dried Fruit, Earth, Mushrooms, Plum, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet