Thursday, December 30, 2021

1999 Big Green Tree Black Stamp: Proper Dry Stored

I picked up a bunch of samples from Liquid Proust last year and this one is a famous one throughout puerh tea circles globally. Managed to somehow squeeze out a great session in a December day that was otherwise quite busy…

Dry leaves smell of very sweet and very cardboard like slight wood.

The first infusion has a watery creamy sweet taste to it with an icing sugar like finish.  It presents with a very clear dry stored taste.  There is some faint cooling mouth and a long expanding creamy icing surgery sweetness.

The second infusion has a clear almost meat-like taste, creamy sweet and clear profile.  There is a subtle touch of smoke.  The mouthfeel is a thin dry feeling.  There is a long and expansive icing surgar finish.  There is a feeling of release in the neck and shoulders from the Qi.

The third infusion has a slightly sour syrupy woody creamy sweetness.  There is this berry jelly note in there that is really nice and a very faint incense.  The woody sweetness extends into the long thin aftertaste but expands into something more creamy and sweet.  The mouthfeel is thin and full.

4th is left to cool and has a syrupy creamy consistency initially it stays and reveals a bit of distant incense smoke before intermingling with a pungent coolness.  There is a berry jelly plum jam sort of faint sort of note that comes mid profile with the incense.  The long creamy sweet aftertaste turns into an icing sugar long sweetness in the mouth.  Nice subtle shoulder release and soft euphoria feeling.

5th has a smoke and fruit creamy sweet taste upfront.  The taste is quite pure nicely concentrated and dry stored.  Nice fruity note that is hard to explain and arrives with and to counterbalance a very faint incense smoke.  A thin dry mouth coating with a soft euphoric vibe.  There is some sensations releasing the tops of the shoulders and giving the body a deep relaxation.  Subtle but profound.

6th has a rich smoky not quite fruity but almost more creamy sweet onset.  There are two notes that form an interesting polarity- faint smoke and long pure sweetness.  The mouthfeel is less thick here and overall it seems to be thinning a bit… Nice shoulder release still.  The wet leaf aroma is a sweet and spicy aroma.

7th has a syrupy warming spicy taste to it.  The texture is a bit oily still with a thin mouthfeeling long cooling and creamy icing sugar sweetness. More spicy tastes in this infusion.  Nice mild spacy euphoria with shoulder release.

8th has a smoky incense taste to it.  There is some spicy tastes, some bland tastes, some faint creamy sweet tastes.  The mouthfeel is a thin sticky sandiness to it that is a touch drying.  Nice soft euphoria.

9th has a subtle incense taste with a lesser, fading, hard to grasp sweetness now.  There is some spicier notes there.  I push with longer steeping times

10th is 30seconds past flash…and left to cool… more viscus maybe a bit more fruity… some back ground incense.  There is a bit more depth to the spicy sweetness, fuller dry sandy mouthfeeling, Nice relaxing feeling now.

11th 60 seconds…gives off a smokier, somewhat sweeter but overtaken by incense, more pronounced throat coolness but also more creamy sweet ending but still not too strong.

12th I push into minutes long infusion times… a plum and smoke presentation with a nice burst of woody, incense, and faint plum.  The mouthfeeling is sticky and a bit dry in the mouth. 

13th is a sour, incense, emerging creamy sweetness… finishes a bit cooling, mild creamy, smoke…

The overnight infusion is pretty much just a woody watery taste- not much left in these small tighly rolled leaves.

Overall, this tea is an example of a pure, clear flavored, and nicely dry stored puerh processed in the traditional fashion.  The exemplary points of this puerh is the very clean and pure taste and Qi, the bodyfeeling of neck and shoulder releasing with mild euphoria are some of the most sought out experiences, at least for me, and the polarity of mild smoke and fruity flavour with the long pure icing sugar sweet finish makes this one very nice indeed.

James’ (TeaDB) Tasting Notes


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

2006 Essence of Tea Naked Tea Horse

This Summer I picked up some other mid-aged samples at Essence of Tea along with the 2021s.  I was interested in comparing this 2006 Essence of Tea Naked Tea Horse ($228.00 for 350g or $0.65/g) to 2006 TeasWeLike Ristic Zhongcha.  They both seem like more rustic Menghai area productions.  In the end they weren’t much alike so not much comparing happened but I had a nice session with this one…

Dry leaves smell of straw, with a sweet almost licorice sweetness.

The first infusion has a sweet licorice caramel onset with a base of dry wood and green twigs.  There is a spicy taste that is simultaneously fresh and warming that develops with some breath coolness then a fading creamy sweetness Overall a creamy, sweet, oily feeling.  The drier Kunming storage is evident here.  The sweet taste really lingers in the mouth a long time later.  This first infusion reminds me of the Mengsong area profile.

The second infusion very sweet onset- icing sugar, creamy sweet, caramel- a nice complex and obvious laying of sweetness that is very nice.  There is some faint bitterness then some coolness, some complex spice then a long fading sweetness.  There is a strong oily texture with oily saliva producing.  Nice long lasting sweetness.  The Qi is mainly in the head with some head stuffiness.  Has a strong feeling underneath the layers of sweetness.  A bit harsh on my empty stomach but tastes of refined sweetness.

The third infusion is left to cool and gives off a syrupy caramel, icing sugar sweetness with a spicy complex middle taste almost a mint herbal type of taste both warming and cooling spices and subtle woody incense.  There is a bit of incense smokiness coming out now less oily texture but still significant saliva producing.  Heady/ stuffy Qi feeling.

The fourth infusion has an herbal caramel sweetness to it.  More of a savory, smoky, spicy, woodiness to it now sharing space with the sweetness that dominated the first few infusions.  There is a flat bitterness to it as well.  Still some signs of floral and sweetness of its youth in here.  Stuffy head Qi, like a head pressure and dopey feeling.

5th infusion has a woody, soapy, with a bit of caramel in the onset that has a flat bitter and incense note on it.  The bitterness is increasing infusion to infusion and is now the dominant taste.  The mouthfeeling doesn’t have that oily texture anymore and is mainly pucker, silty, slight dry.  Strong stuffy head.

The 6th is left to cool and has a smoky caramel woody onset with a herbal taste and cooling mouth and sweet incense caramel sweetness.  There is still some oily taste in here but also a flat pucker bitter mouthfeeling as well.  Finishes both cool caramel and subtle pill bitterness.  Heady.

7th has a light fruity fresh sweetness onset with some caramel undertones and faint bitterness.  This infusion shows off its base taste with the smoky, bitter, spicy tastes less obvious here.  Nice flat silty tongue coating.

8th has a smooth fruity caramel taste the rest is pretty background now.  Just light smooth sweet floral caramel sweetness.  Nice display of the dry stored base flavors here.

9th has a fruity sweet floral with some incense in the distance.  Nice woody dry storage with lots more floral showing in this infusion.  Some icing sugar tastes in the aftertaste.  Oily and silty thin mouthfeeling.

10th infusion was a 20second beyond flash steeping and it is more bitter and gripping in mouthfeeling.  Some bland woody tastes come out with the longer infusion times.  Stuffy brain feeling.

I push this one a bit more and it fades out quickly into blandness… but was pretty good while it lasted.  

This one and 2012 Essence of Tea Cloud Watching are both nice more dry stroed teas… these are the things I was hoping to see from Essence of Tea when they moved their teashop to Kunming.  I like them both but maybe priced a bit too high for me to move on them.  Better than most older Kunming storage cakes I have.

Shah8's Tasting Notes


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Please Help ID 1970s? Puerh Cake

This cake is one of my last remaining cakes from the 90s/80s/70s.  I had mentioned before that I had some number of these in the past but I mostly drank through them all many years ago… because they are delicious.The only cakes that survived were ones with some sentimental value.  Some older shu puerh managed to escape my insatiable hunger for aged puerh simply because I drink so little shu.  This cake survived because it was given as a wedding gift and had this type of sentimentality attached to it.

Back in the day you could receive something significantly aged like this or even a Laobanzhang as a wedding gift… nowadays the closest we get is a tong of 2013 Xiaguan Love Forever… hahahhaha… still pretty good.  This is what I know of this cake…  I believe it was purchased by a Korean shop keeper who went on a puerh buying trip to Taiwan in the early to mid 2000s.  It was stored briefly in Korea then I stored it in BC where I sampled it once or twice.  I recently opened it again in Good’ol dry to the bone Saskatchewan where I currently reside.  It is the same cake that Marco recently blind sampled here.

Here are my tasting notes on this aged beauty… 

Dry leaves smell of dried out old faint oldness.  The rinsed leaves smell of old woody, a faint bit urine like, old puerh smell.

First infusion has a sweet candy plum taste that indicates some drier storage at the end with a subtle oily texture with a rich aged almost nutty taste to it that suggests some Traditional Hong Kong storage early in its storage history.  There is a bit of fallen leaf mulch taste in the mid profile a bit of cooling then a sweet candy finish.  Nice relaxing feel off the bat.

The second infusion has a sweet dry cherry taste with some subtle richer medicinal menthol woody taste initially there is a nice mild oily texture in the mouth especially in the front and a bit of sticky dry lips and slight drier throat simulation.  Nice deeply relaxing Qi so far but also a bit powerful in the chest.  A bit of body feeling in the wrists and hands and a subtle tingle in the face.  A cooling throat throws some returning plum cherry sweetness.

The third infusion has a coco smoothness an emerging camphor woody medicinal leaf mulch taste.  It has a bit of a creamy sweet woody finish.  The feeling is a bit chalky oily in the front of the tongue but also drying on the lips and back of the throat simulating it slightly.  Nice deeply penetrating Qi with some chest expanding and arms tingling.  There is a subtle bitter astringency that lingers minutes later.  The Qi has a lingering and deep power to it common with puerh from the 70-80s.

The fourth infusion has a deeper richer nutty sweet oily mulch taste with the sweetness being mainly the nutty taste with only a little sweetness trying to punch through the camphor cooling finish on the breath.  The mouthfeeling is simultaneously oily and dry which is an interesting dynamic feeling.  The Qi is also both deeply relaxing and deeply energizing a nice aged Qi feeling common of things a bit older.  There is a woody not quite coco but almost oily nuttiness left in the mouth.  The bitter and astringency is faintly appearing after the fact in the aftertaste minutes later.

The 5th has a sweet oily nutty woody left onset with a camphor mid-profile and a faint chalky candy over a woody drying base.  The sweetness is faint and comes out with more bitter astringency on the breath.  Deep chesty Qi feeling with deep relaxing and rejuvenation.

The 6th has a medicinal rich almost but not really nutty sweet and oily deep taste.  There is some oily texture in the onset and some dryness in the finish.  Overall, not much sweet.  Nice deep relaxing now.  Some faint bitter astringency minutes later with a chalky nutty woody leaf mulch finish.

The 7th has a medicinal onset with a woody old books taste with sharper woody bitter astringency and not that much nutty sweetness.  A lingering mouth coolness with a camphor. 

I push harder with a 20 second added to flash steepings…

8th has a woody old woody taste with some sweetness woody underneath that is hard to access.  More of a woody varnish leaf mulch taste here.  There is some coolness on the breath woody finish.

9th infusion has 30 seconds beyond flash and is left to cool and gives off a rich nutty taste that moves toward a camphor.  There is a woody finish.  There is a distinct chestiness to this puerh nice relaxing and reassuring energy also deeply energizing.

10th a few minutes long steep… pushing it hard here… rewarded with nice rich nutty sweet oily tastes.  Thick camphor woody nutty finish.  Some dryness and gripping in the throat.

11th is left for a good 10 minutes… deep rich nutty woody onset that turns into a cooling camphor in the throat.  Nice woody overlay.  Warming Qi with a chesty feeling and deep energetic relaxing.

12th I do a quicker 5 min steeping… it gives off lighter woody varnish type tastes with not much other taste in there some faint cool camphor but that’s about it.  This old stuff usually has to be pushed pretty hard…

The next morning I push it long and I do this for the next few days savoring the old puerh taste that is pushed out…

Most definitely 70s or 80s material with some Hongkong Traditional Storage… I need to get me one of those puerh yearbooks… hahahah

Is there anyone who can give me more info on this oldie? I would really appreciate it!

Marco’s Blind Tasting Notes