It has been a long time since I’ve tried Mannuo puerh. It’s funny how sometimes literally a decade can go by without you sampling from a certain region. Mark sent me two of these throw back puerh producing regions that I haven’t sampled in a long time. These are places that put out good tea but that just have not been featured that much by Western puerh vendors over the last years. Anyways, this was another that was recommended by twt_reddit and was supplied free for review by the enigmatic Mark Turner. This 2017 Puerist Mannuo sells for approximately $160.00 for 200g cake or $0.80/g.
Dry leaves smell of dense sweet raisin and dried plums.
The first infusion has a sugary sweet watery raisin plum taste. There is a touch of slightly tart cherry but mainly just this watery smooth plum taste. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and has an expanding aged fruity taste that bridges sugary.
The second infusion has a dirt forest nuance over watery plum and raisin tastes. There is a full simulating taste developing from a soft but lip drying mouthfeeling. There is a lingering coolness that ties all the sweet layers together. Mainly sugar and plum and raisin something you usually get from older than 2017 material. Classic sweet raisin/ grape Mannuo taste profile here. The cooled cup tastes more sugar and long caramel with plum/raisin overlapping.
The third has a dirt grape, raisin, plum onset. There is a caramel taste as well that rides the faint pungency and expands in the mouth. There is such a nice mid deep throat pungency here that really tosses out and expands caramel taste. There is a very soft bitterness and lip drying over a soft mouthfeeling. There is a nice obvious Gushu feeling and Mannuo profile here. The Qi has a soft feeling in the body with a touch astringency in the Stomach with some chest opening. It has a relaxing effect on the mind.
The fourth infusion has a woody, dirt, grape/raisin/plum, with an emerging and expanding caramel sweetness. This puerh seems to be still strong on the Stomach- it is still being despite its more aged tasting Xishuangbanna storage. The bitter astringency is stronger in this infusion. My Heart really feels it with a strong chest racing and mental alertness. My mind races under the power of the Qi here. It is very strong.
The fifth infusion is left to cool then tastes of sweet plum/raisin with icing sugar and an emerging caramel with a low level astringency that beats up my Stomach. This is a powerful Mannuo yet has a layering of sweet Mannuo tastes. There is a cool pungency that resides in the mid-throat and pushes out some caramel notes with icing sugar top sweetnessess. The lips are a bit dry and the mouthfeeling soft. My Heart races and my mind feels like it might explode. This packs a lot of power!
The sixth infusion has an icing sugary and slight grape and raisin sweetness initially then there is a bit of a floral buttery finish with some rubbery forest wood. The sweet highnoted taste is highlighted here. The mouthfeel and liquor has softened here and there is no longer any astringency. More of a smooth sweetness.
The seventh infusion has a touch of astringency with icing sugar, floral, faint raisin and wood. This puerh has this elegance to it now with a lot of buttercup florals showing up. The mouthfeel has become a soft sticky almost sandy and the liquor has lost a lot of thickness but also astringency. There is still a faint pungent cool but much less now and not as obvious in the mid throat like the early infusions. Now more a straight sugar with floral and faint astringency. Strong chest thumping Qi here. With vibrant alertness and subtle relaxation.
The eighth has a more plum, dirt wood onset with more caramel emerging. There is some faint bitterness and astringency up front. There is a tighter mouthfeeling and lip dryness is back. There is almost a coco, dirt woody, and plum finish. Saliva from the renewed astringency pushes into the mouth from the throat. Qi is big, chesty, and getting a bit spacy.
The 9th has a faint fruity dirt woody onset with a faint floral finish. There is a faint astringency and some faint mouthpuckering Qi. Not really any deeper throat or simulation now and no saliva effects with this flat soft sandy mouthfeeling.
10th had an almost peach with raisin layered faint sweetness with a faint woodiness. There is a touch of faint astringency and an almost floral not quite peach finish. The mouthfeel has flattened and there is also a mind flat bitterness lingering throughout. The Qi is more relaxing now although still quite present in the Chest.
11th has a woodier and peachier presentation initially. There is some cool pungency in the throat and a yeasty bread subtle sweet finish over a faint flat bitter. The mouthfeeling is flattening out. Qi starts to give a deep relaxing sensation with still lots of chest bodyfeeling and light headedness. Pretty big Qi.
12th has a fruity bitter woody almost coco onset with a flat faint bitter and faint coco finish. The mouthfeeling is flat slight pucker sand and throat feeling is upper not mid and no longer simulating there. Big relaxing now.
13th has a flat peachy dirt kind of bitterness to it in a flat mouthfeeling. Still strong in the Heart and Chest! Has both a sedating feeling and acuity sharpening now.
14th has a mild bitter woody taste with not any sweetness left to savour. There is some dry woody, slight not really coco over a flat sandy mouthfeeling.
I put this into a long mug steeping…
The result is a creamy woody buttercup sweetness with a mild full bitterness and a bitter-sweet coco finish. It tastes really nice mugged here. Full coco woody and slight sweet almost mineral. Nice. Big. Qi. Still lots to enjoy in the cup.
Overall, this Mannuo is a powerhouse of Qi- Heart pounding, ultra-alerting, acuity focusing, yet relaxing. This is the great part of this puerh. The other interesting thing I like is the progression throughout the session. The taste starts layered mainly sweet raisin sugar plum and in the end of the session is more of a peachy coco bitterness. In between there is a phase of floral qualities and even caramel and woody tastes have their place. The weakest point of this puerh is that its throat feeling doesn’t always hold the tastes, it’s quite unreliable infusion to infusion, but when it does its very satisfying. Overall, a really nice Mannuo puerh. Haven’t had a Mannuo of this quality since I tired the 2011 Essence of Tea Mannuo like 10 years ago… I can’t even remember really what that one tasted like… and it looks like I didn’t post on it either… Do you remember that one (see here and here)?
Thanks again Mark!