2015 Yunnan Sourcing "Autumn Ba Wai Village" Raw Pu-erh Tea

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Honey, Spicy, Tannin, Tea, Autumn Leaf Pile, Compost, Cut Grass, Dates, Hot Hay, Sweet, Creamy, Grass, Rum, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Berry, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Metallic, Mineral, Orchid, Peach
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 10 oz / 308 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Ba Wai Village is in Mengku County of Lincang. It’s 1.9 kilometers (as the crow flies) southeast of Bing Dao village in the highlands on the eastern side of the Mengku River. Bing Dao on the western side of the river is at 1550 meters altitude, whereas Bai Wai is at 1800+ meters altitude.

The Ba Wai Village tea garden tea trees where our material comes from are 100-250 years old and grow naturally without human intervention. The trees are typical Mengku large leaf varietal that have grown in this area of Yunnan since ancient times. The leaves are olive green, thick and stout. The brewed tea is thick and sweet with bitterness that fades and transforms into something cooling and lubricating in the mouth and throat.

A total of 34 kilograms in total was produced. We pressed these tea cakes with a stone-press and used low-temperature drying to preserve the integrity of the tea.

Net Weight: 400 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)
Harvest time: October 2015
Harvest Area: Ba Wai village, Mengku county, Lincang Prefecture
Total Production amount: 34 kilograms

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4 Tasting Notes

2958 tasting notes

I did a short western brew to reduce caffeine content. I know this isn’t the proper method but I didn’t have time to steep it properly if I wanted to take it with me this morning.
15 second rinse in cold water, 12 second steep in hot water (boiling)

The liquid is a medium amber colour and smells very strongly like honey and light fermentation.

It does not taste super sweet like I expected, more like fermentation with a strong “tea” flavour characteristic of strong white or black teas. It does have a bit of the honey flavour (but without the sweetness) which is very nice. The odd thing I noticed is that I found the liquid “spicy” like when you taste vinegar and breath through your nose it is almost “stings” to breath through your nose. I don’t know, maybe my travel mug has soap residue on it or something. I will be trying this again in the future to see if I can get rid of that.

Flavors: Honey, Spicy, Tannin, Tea

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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41 tasting notes

Full review:

Text of the blogpost:
Not pictured: lots of snow
The dry leaves smell intensely pungent and fruity, definitely some attractive leaves in there too. I give them a quick shake in the heated gaiwan, and the smell turns almost boozy, with glimpses of tropical fruit. I sip of the rinse and the profile is already quite clear: pineapples, sugar cane, green nettles. The wet leaf aroma is light green sweetness, like an early Spring day. Now that I think if it, I don’t remember where in Yunnan this tea comes from, which is just as well.

Leaves after the first steeping, just starting to open
The first cup immediately gives it away as another Mengku tea, with its very active kuwei (bitterness that immediately transforms into sweetness) and creamy green flavors. I check quickly to confirm this an indeed, Ba Wai appears to be situated about 2km south of Bing Dao, one of the most famous, and one of most lucrative, puer growing villages in Yunnan. Scott seems to have struck some measure of gold this tea and its cousin, Nuo Wu (review pending); this is quite good, even compared to Spring teas of the same price point (and many at price points above this one if we’re being honest).

There are fruity and rummy notes dotting a base of creamy sweet goodness. That said, the kuwei is really the star of this show, being forward and sharp as a tea from near Bing Dao should be. On steeping five (or maybe four :S), the soup is a bright gold. Though it has softened somewhat from the initial steepings, the flavor remains deep, pungent and sugary. I start to push it a little harder wth the next infusion, and a coarser, more lingering bitterness emerges. Keep in mind that I probably caused this with a long steeping, and also don’t mind it anyway… Goes to show how much life these leaves have though.

Tea table succulent
The last steepings finally show a bit of autumn-wateriness (leaves picked in the fall have a higher water content than those in the spring), but there’s still sweetness and texture, so this might fade as these cakes dry out a little more… This is still a very young tea after all.

Overall a very nice tea, especially at the $64 price point, I think that it outperforms many other in the $50-$100 range. If you like this kind of tea, there’s really nothing wrong with it, and would probably age fine if that’s what you’re into. If nothing else, this could be a really nice summer-time tea.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Rum, Stonefruit, Sugarcane

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673 tasting notes

Ru Yao dragon teapot gongfucha

Dry leaves: very floral and sweet smelling

Wet leaves: floral, sweet and fruity (peach)

Light steep: I taste/smell; strong minerals. Medium metallic. Light peach orchid, floral, sweetness, honey, fruity (peach)

Medium steep: I taste/smell; medium minerals, peach orchid, sweetness, fruity (peach) (berries). Strong honey, spices, floral and metallic. Light bitterness.

Strong steep: I taste/smell. Strong but somewhat pleasant bitterness., honey, metallic, honey and spices.

All in all an amazing tea! Could use a few weeks aging though :)

bonus photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BB795JHp4wT/

Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Metallic, Mineral, Orchid, Peach, Spicy, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 10 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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