Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2008 Raon (Korean Wrapper) Puerh

This puerh came from a Korean tea shop owner and puerh enthusiast that has a shop on the same block as ones former residence. It is composed of this mao cha, posted a few years ago. The Korean Nei Piao (larger description ticket) describes the tea from its origin 1800 meters above sea level that is either from an area between two famous Yunnan puerh producing areas or tasting somewhere between the typical taste profiles of two famous tea areas.

The dry leaf is somewhat tightly compressed. It has many down covered leaves which smell of slight creamy sweetness. There is a slightly sour edge that blends into these leaves.

Water boils vigorously, things are rinsed vigorously, steam rises from the table. The first pot is prepared.

It is very sweet right off the bat. There are strong sweet goji berry flavours initially that give way to smokier, deep, murky, chalky tastes. These deeper, grittier flavours are short-lived as this tea finishes sweet, light on the breath. The mouth and throat are painted in a full sensation, a theme that would continue for the duration of the session.

The next few infusions sees more of the same but with some bitter elements and even tobacco notes lingering during the middle grittier presentation. This rougher middle seems to harmonize quite nicely with the lighter, sweet initial and aftertastes. The initial tastes although very light and fresh is beginning to develop an airy malty, hazelnut profile. The aftertaste becomes more creamy and filled with the berry flavours detectded in the initial sweetness. The chaqi is powerful but not at all violent and pushes ones mind into an ultra state of alertness very early in the session.

Mid session, the initial sweetness is less fruity and more malty, hazelnut, and grainy- it is still quite sweet. The light smokiness that was barely detected in the first infusions is long gone and the throat feel is very noticeable. The grittier notes in the middle are rounding out. This tea is quite sweet and flavourful.

By the eighth infusion things are tasting flat with dry wood notes popping up replacing the once strong sweet flavourful profile. The aftertaste is still long now with very muted creamy, gummy sweetness. This tea doesn't present much stamina, but after getting such a kick is the stamina even necessary?

Content with dragonflies circling ancient red cedars outside,
one examines the medium spent leaves.



Sir William of the Leaf said...

So this tea is a puerh tea from Yunnan that was bought by a Korean tea dealer/shop owner and fashioned with a Korean wrapper?
Not a korean produced puerh, along the lines of ddok cha?

Matt said...

Sir William of the Leaf,

You got it.

The Korean dealer makes yearly trips to Yunnan to acquire puerh. Although he is Korean, he specializes in Chinese 'bo e cha' (puerh). There are a few shops in every major Korean city that specialize in puerh. Peurh tea is becoming more and more popular in Korea, it seems to be riding on the increased popularity of loose leaf Korean green tea.