Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sample # 1 From Thomas at Tuo Cha Tea (Later found to be a 2007 Xi Zhi Hoa Pu Zheng Yuan Cha )

As you may or may not know, this sample is a complete mystery. Thomas sent four samples that were numbered with a corresponding sheet which told their names. Korean Customs must have gotten a little curious and went through, ravaged the package, thereby misplacing this important paper inside. So one cannot know for sure what sheng puerh bing this tea came from.

The dry leaf is a mix of blacks, orangey reds, mixed with some light white green leaf. The smell of the dry leaves are soft with no particular nuance standing out.

The first infusions of this tea bring about a quick sweet coolness covered by strong dry astringency, tasting of true earthiness- mud and dirt, it carries with it an aftertaste of sour rubber. Somewhere between the sweetness and the rubber is the taste of fruit, maybe plum or raisin, that only reveals itself for a short time before being cloaked in rubber and dirt. The qi of this tea is initially felt in the stomach and creeps out from there.

In later infusions this tea develops a smoothness in the mouth, the rubbery, earthy flavour becomes more subdued and the subtle fruity profile stands out. There is a spiciness that travels up the nose, in the mouth the nuances of flavour are many.

These flavours are excessively enjoyable among the back drop of a mouthfeel that seems to reach its balancing point as dryness seems to slightly dominate a cool smoothness.

The chaqi of this sheng is stimulating but quite relaxing. Its affects are similar to the calming alertness and absolute peace that come along with the consumption of fine matcha. Although its affect is much like a matcha, its feeling is warm and cozy, a feeling often felt in autumnal puerh. After the third infusion one just feels at peace. One really prizes such chaqi in puerh. As the sessions progressed throughout the week this chaqi was still evident.

The flavour and mouthfeel of this tea also really hold on for days after. Thanks Thomas for a tea that seemed to transform from tolerable in early infusions (possibly due to overstuffing the put) to one that was completely enjoyable in all aspects. Do you have any guesses as to which puerh this could be?

Edit: It was later found out that this sample was a 2007 Xi Zhi Hoa Pu Zheng Yuan Cha (2007 Xizihao “Pu Zhan”) sold by Hou De Fine Teas. Find other reviews by Thomas at Tuo Cha Tea and Hobbes at The Half-Dipper.
Double Peace


  1. With help of the leaves and my flimsy memory I think this one is the 2007 Autumn Xi-Zhi Hao "Pu Zheng Yuan Cha" from HouDeAsianArt.

  2. Thomas,

    After checking out your tasting notes ( ) and Hobbes ( )one is sure that this sample is the 2007 Xi Zhi Hoa Pu Zheng Yuan Cha (2007 Xizihao “Pu Zhan”).

    Firstly, the pictures and description of the leaf is dead on. Hobbes description of “large, unbroken, and well handled, many still covered in the fine silver fur of youth” fits perfectly with this tea.

    Secondly, the description of the liquor as “thick and fragrant” and “deep yellow” described by Hobbes also fits perfectly.

    Thirdly, your description of the tea as “strong but not untamed, the crystal clear liquor calmed my head and slowed the time running by” sums up the charater and qi of this tea, what a wonderful tea.

    Finally, Hobbes description of “later infusions show a cooling sensation in the mouth” was also experienced.

    Thanks again for this wonderful tea. One remembers reading both Hobbes and your posts on this tea and thinking it would be wonderful to try such a tea. One's opinion is that it might be worth the high price just to see how it will age.