Friday, August 31, 2018

2010 Fangmingyuan 0842 “5 Year Anniversary” and Thoughts on Old School Blends

This tea was likely made to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of Fangmingyuan with their own take on the classic 7542.  From the name I wonder if there is aged mao cha in the blend?   This 500g Qing bing goes for $55.22 or $0.11 /g- crazy cheap!

Dry leaves smell of a vibrant pungency and menthol like sugary sweetness.

The first infusion has a muddled initial taste then gives off some hay and mild woods before building into a nice clean menthol sweetness.  It peaks then slowly and strongly transitions to a long creamy sweet aftertaste.

The second infusion again starts kind of muddled and slightly turbid as it slowly transitions to menthol then to a long creamy sweet Nannou like deliciousness.  This tea a very light watery viscosity and is mainly felt on the tongue as a sticky resistance there.

The third infusion starts with a more slightly bitter woody peony odours taste then transitions to a sweet returning menthol with hay.  The long cottony creamy sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

The fourth infusion starts with a mucky initial taste with a woodiness in there it transitions to a hay menthol taste then to a long creamy sweetness with a decent astringency in the finish now.  The tea viscosity is on the lighter side with some tongue stimulation and a middle deep opening throatiness.

The fifth infusion has an almost fruity suggestion in the initial taste along with mild bitter then taste moves predictably to menthol and woods.  The aftertaste is now slightly smoky before it gives way to creamy sweetness later on.  The qi is a bit of floating distension behind the temples.  A touch euphoric and relaxing stuff too.

The sixth infusion starts off with the aftertaste now and feels much denser in the mouth.  Things coalesce here and taste of a mix of wood, hay, creamy sweetness, barely floral and fruit, and faint smoke.  The Qi is building in the head and the euphoric feeling is backed up in line.

The seventh, eighth, and ninth have a smoky slightly bitter backbone woody nuance and creamy sweet finish.  Mild menthol lingers in the throat.  The mouthfeel becomes slightly gripping on the tongue and the throatfeeling is now more superficial.

The tenth has a distinct fruity melon note initially then goes to hay and wood before a menthol like returning sweetness and mild creamy sweetness.

In the eleventh infusion I notice more grain qualities and woodiness with still a lot of the above attributes.  Little bit of fruit in there as well.

This charming puerh reminds me a bit of the simpler, blended, early-mid 2000 puerh that have enough interesting aspects to them but in an uncomplicated taste and mouthfeel and in an older processing style.  I have a few cakes of puerh like this and really enjoy them for what they are.  Overall, they are blended enough that the tea offers some different qualities in there but the processing of the maocha isn’t always as clean.  When drinking these types of cakes you can kind of tell that the leaves have a certain level of quality to them.  This “5 Year Anniversary” offers a stronger almost Nannou back bone and nicer qi than most in this category.  Very drinkable for that price point.  I can't imagine anything from a Western vendor that is this cheap and still enjoyable, and trust me, I spent a year looking. 

 I like the Qing bing 500g size too!



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