Tuesday, September 3, 2019

2015 Yunnan Sourcing Mu Shu Cha and A Bit On the Mother Tree Puerh

What exactly is Mu Shu Cha (aka Mother Tree Tea)???  Well, it’s a bit of a puerh oddity that seems to be only produced in the Mengku producing area.   They are some old large leaf varietal that is often referred to as “Primordial”.  It is my understanding that they are called “mother trees” because they are they ancient varietal which gave birth through selection the common puerh varietal.  They also seem to only be found at reasonably high altitudes.  They kind of have their own separate flavor, mouthfeeling, and Qi profile.  I kind of think of them somewhere between a wild tea/ Yesheng and puerh.  During my recent sampling of the Yunnan Sourcing Brand I thought to pick up some recommended Mu Shu Cha to see if it sparks my interest in a deeper exploration of this unique type of puerh….

I actually have quite a long history of sampling and drinking Mu Shu Cha.  I remember sampling the Shuangjiang Mengku Mu Shu Cha releases when they first came out in the Mid-2000s.  I believe 2005 is their first production and I’ve never even heard of Mu Shu Cha productions that pre-date these Shuangjiang Mengku.  It’s a bit of a different profile and I never really fell in love with its very unique character.  A sweet taste and euphoric Qi is what I remember most from these.  This is kind of like wild tea/ Yesheng and shouldn’t be judged next to more standard puerh varietals, Mu Shu Cha has a different stereotypical profile than other puerh.  I had never tried aged or semi-aged Mu Shu Cha.  This sample will be 4 years of age in completely Dry Kunming storage at Yunnan Sourcing’s warehouse. Although I have tried the Yunnan Sourcing 2011 and 2017 version of Mu Shu Cha in the past, this sample (a 400g cake goes for $192.00 or $0.48/g) was to test the waters as to whether I want to explore more Mu Shu Cha for purchase…

Dry leaves smell of intense strawberry, raspberry, and airy sugary sweetnesses.

The first infusion has a slightly bitter onset with a flat grainy taste that follows there is a low lying fruity nuance underneath a cereal taste.  The mouthfeel is slippery and there is almost a metallic finish in the mouth.  There is an almost non-existent mouthwash aftertaste in the mouth along with edges of dry dirt and grains.

The second infusion has a grainy almost raspberry dry dirt and wood nuance to it.  It’s an unusual single note taste that has more of a grain and berries taste in the finish.  The taste is real muddled in the initial taste then becomes this interesting grainy fruity strawberry taste in the aftertaste.  The Qi is migrating to the mind and it becomes at ease and relaxed a bit euphoric even.

The third becomes more fruity sweet strawberry.  That sweet note is there initially with mild bitter, dry wood and dry dirt muddle and a more clear barley grain taste.  It then becomes clear and vibrant and almost pungent in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is slippery and almost sandy and the throat feeling feels empty.

The fourth has a slightly bitter and more cherry fruit taste initially.  The bitter cherry taste is strong and vibrant.  There is a slight sour astringency developing.  The mouthfeel is slightly gripping now and the throat is stimulated.  There is a hollow fruity nuance in the aftertaste.  The Qi is dizzying now and starting to build on being euphoric.

The fifth infusion starts a bit buttery bitter and vegetal there is a distinct fruity cherry note with some muddled vegetal, rubbery, dry dirt like base.  There is some bitter cherry and almost beetroot sweetness in the aftertaste.

The sixth infusion starts with a moderate bitter fruity onset with a muddled beetroot base.  The mouthfeel is slippery/sandy with an open/ vacuous throatfeeling.  The sweet cherry-strawberry almost vegetable taste is then found in the aftertaste over a muddled, beetroot base taste.  The Qi is spacing me out my mind floats away.  Profound clam is found within.

The seventh infusion starts with a thick syrupy sweet cherry sweetness. There is a quick lingering candy sweetness in the aftertaste.  This infusion is very thick and distinctly sweet with any of the base tastes all but disappearing under heavy sweet fruity syrup.  Very nice infusion.  The mouthfeel is slippery and almost sandy the throat opens mid-way in a vacuous manner.  Qi has a nice euphoria going on.

The eighth infusion starts off brilliantly syrup thick dense sweet fruit note.  The note kind of trails off into a fait candy like taste with a very faint base of slight sour and biter and muddle beetroot tastes.

Ninth infusion has this thick syrupy fruity taste that transitions into a long candy like taste.  The mouthfeeling here is slippery and the throat opens mid-way to a sweet candy faint coolness.  These infusions are super delicious with a grounded dense syrupy sweetness which transitions to a distinct candy on the breath.  The base tastes are non-existent here but the sweet tastes are thick and full.

10th starts a touch bitter then syrupy dense and thick fruity cherry syrup sweetness which transitions slowly into a candy like sweetness.  The mouthfeel is sticky and slippery and reasonably full giving the sweet tastes a completeness.  The Qi continues to be heavy in the mind, slight euphoria.

11th is much the same as the last handful infusions a super enjoyable thick dense syrupy fruity sweetness than transitions to candy and faint pungency in the throat.  Big head qi.  Slippery full mouthfeeling.

12th has a velvety almost syrupy fruity cherry sweetness that trails into a candy like sweet aftertaste.  The repetition here indicates that there is a really stable streak of infusions with optimal taste.  The Qi continues to relax with mild euphoria.

13th has that same dense strong syrup sweetness that turns to candy but in this infusion the candy taste is coming quicker and lasting longer.

14th is much the same syrupy sweet dense deliciousness there is a touch more bitter in there now which overshadows the sweet candy finish.  I feel very relaxed just sitting here drinking tea and staring out the window.

15th infusion is much the same. The tastes is so dense, and obvious, and unchanged infusion to infusion that this post is really sounding redundant.  The Qi is making me feel sleepy in this relaxing feeling.

16th is much the same.  The syrupy sweetness is real delicious and thick but monotone deliciousness for sure.  The mouthfeel also remains stable after many infusions.  The Qi becomes very sleepy and tranquil feeling.

17th is holding stable.  I’m totally impressed with how long and stable the taste and mouthfeel is here.  It tastes solid.

18th, 19th, 20th the taste is stable and thick syrup fruity sweetness with suggestions of candy in aftertaste.  I’m totally impressed with the stamina of flavor for this one.

I run out of daytime to drink this and it is put into an overnight infusion…

Stamina of taste, thick unwavering juicy sweetness that converts to candy on the breath is impressive.  Movement of Qi in the mind throughout the session is also notable.  Its starts relaxing then moves to a touch of mild euphoria then to a sleepy feeling.

I ordered this Mu Shu Cha to see if I want to sample more extensively to look for the best option.  I really like Yunnan Sourcing’s Kunming dry storage and what it has done to this cake and will likely do to the Mu Shu Cha series.  I’m just not too sure if I really am in love with the general profile of the Mu Shu Cha…

I wonder if you have ever tried any Mu Shu Cha?  How did you like its profile?


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