Saturday, May 8, 2021

2018 Puerist Ai Lao & Breaking My Winter Abstinence from Young Puerh


This year I did something that I have never done before in my years and years of drinking puerh.  I completely abstained from the consumption of green tea and young puerh from late Autumn to early Spring. Readers of this blog already know my seasonal preferences for tea.  It is a formula that I generally follow every year but never strictly.  This year to bring about greater harmony I completely abstained from young puerh and others teas with cold thermal energy and I feel healthier, I think.  The last puerh I consumed that was younger was this nice 2015 Nannou Dou Yi Zhai which I ended up multiple caking.  Then I just consumed semiaged and aged Puerh throughout the Winter.  It felt great and I highly recommend trying it!

As the seasons started to shift from Winter to Spring I started once again to crave younger puerh again.  I choose this very very inexpensive 2018 Puerist Ai Lao ( $25.00 for 200g cake or $0.13/g!) that I received as a complimentary sample for review in my last order from Puerist to break my winter’s fast.  I always seem to enjoy young Ai Lao area puerh as the quality of this inexpensive area seems to be quite high for the price you pay.  Strangely enough I have never tried aged Ai Lao region puerh and I left wondering how it would age out?  I think Scott of Yunnan Sourcing has a few options there.  If anyone out there has tried any, please amuse us...

Dry leaves smell of very floral sweet odours mixed with a butter tart raison odour.

The first infusion has a buttery, almost can peaches, but mainly vegetal onset with a nice oily presenting mouthfeeling full and saliva producing and lubricating.  There is a vegetal and mainly long floral finish in the mouth.

The second has a sweet oily syrupy floral lubricating vegetal canned peaches onset there is a flash of interesting complex ash woody taste that turns to a mouthwatering canned peaches taste.  The mouthfeel is very oily and lubricating.  There is an interesting warming Stomach and lower abdomen feeling that is rarer in younger puerh and quite re-assuring.  Very nice thick satisfying gushu presentation.

The third infusion has a quick moving woody mild bitter vegetal with a strong floral that moves to a more oily thick vegetal with a buttercup floral insistence.  There is a long vegetal oily floral that fades into the breath.  A nice happy soft feeling qi with substantial lower abdomen warming sensations.

The fourth infusion has a woody vegetal bitterness that moves quickly to oily almost canned peaches floral with a significant vegetal underbelly.  The floral taste is oily and syrupy and expansive in the aftertaste as the mouthfeel becomes a fine sand under oily.  The throat pushes saliva into upper throat.  The astringency of this one is felt here.

The fifth infusion is left to cool and has a peachy, woody, almost perfume edge to it.  It is nicely oily with a saliva blob taste in the mouth.  There is a noticeable mild astringency underneath.  The Qi is happy and bodyfeeling warming in the lower abdomen.

The sixth infusion has an oily buttery astringency to it initially with along floral taste over an oily throat and mouth with a chalky fine sandy underneath.  There is a faint suggestion of canned peach syrup underneath it all.  There is a nice warming in the lower and nice comforting feeling.  Nice Qi.

The seventh infusion has a ash woody mild bitter vegetal quick moving onset that turns to a long floral and oily throat feeling. 

8th is an almost ash woody mild bitter which has a floral vegetal oily taste with an increasingly sweet banana aftertaste.  Nice warming Qi flushes the face.

9th the bitterness starts to increase and the sweet taste is much less… I could have kept going with this one but ran out of time.

I mug steep this one out for a few days and am left with some pretty tasting mugs.

Overall,  this puerh is pretty enjoyable for its price.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I liked the warming Qi, oily texture, and saliva producing effect... you rarely get these qualities at this price point.  The flavour and aroma is less exciting but preforms better than it should with fruity, floral and vegetal notes contrasting some bitter and astringent suggestions.  Great young puerh for this price! 


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