Monday, May 17, 2021

2020 Tea Encounter Lao Man E Kucha (Bitter) When It’s Hot Out!

I have been saving this sample throughout the winter for the first real hot day of the year.  The first day my body feels really hot, uncomfortably hot.  These days are Lao Man E days!  Today is that day…

Unfortunately, my waiting has been too long and this2020Tea Encounter Lao Man E Kucha  (200g cake was selling for $82.16 or $0.41/g) has now sold out.  It was a rather late entry into the fray, released after Black Friday. Lao Man E at this price ain’t bad at all… least not as bad as this heatwave of Above 30C…  There is still some samples left for those that want to try it. 



Dry leaves smell of a woody paper odour.

The first infusion has a mild gamey floral watery onset with a slow developing mild bitterness that returns with a bit of watermelon sweetness.  The mouthfeeling is a bit gripping but not dry.  There is a lingering floral watermelon peel on the breath.  A chest opening Qi can be felt.

The second infusion has a floral green bitter bite.  The bitterness is really strong as expected with a bitter green overwhelming taste to it with a bit of cool throat and returning slight floral and watermelon peel tastes.  The mouthfeel is gripping and full with a bit tugging on the throat.  Nice mild open chest and light limbs feeling.

The third infusion has a sweeter bread-like sweetness a burnt toast kind of sweetness over a slightly gripping mouthfeeling and relatively more mild bitterness throughout but a slightly floral and almost honeydew melon rind and almost woody returning sweetness.  The Qi makes the limbs light and airy and the body feels deeply recharged.



The fourth infusion has a bready toast sweetish onset with a moderate bitter that comes out of that.  The mouthfeeling is slight fine sand and faintly gripping.  The sweetness here goes from onset to aftertaste and is a bready sweetness.  This infusion is the least bitter so far and is much sweeter.  The Qi is nice and relaxes the body and limbs.

The fifth is more buttery milky sweet almost floral with a moderate bitterness in the mouth and a bready finish in the mouth.  The mouthfeel is slight gripping, slight sandy. There is a low level almost fruit, floral, bread sweetness throughout.  The bitterness lingers on the tongue.  The Qi is relaxing here.

The 6th has a bitter toast sweet taste with a returning watermelon rind sweetness with a more floral finish.  Nice relaxing and slightly slowing down Qi.  Light limb bodyfeeling is pronounced and is my most enjoyable aspect of the puerh so far.

The 7th has a creamy bready sweetness to it that comes initially then stays into the aftertaste. There is a quick splash of watermelon sweetness.  Nice light limbs and open chest feeling. An almost lime melon rind finish.  Light body feeling.

The 8th left to cool is a mellow bread and rind soft of taste with a bit of coolness in the upper throat and on the breath with a honeydew melon rind finish.  This infusions is almost fruity sweet with faint bitter and a more juicy feeling in the mouth.

9th is left to cool once again and gives off juicy bread and fruity almost melon with some burnt toast kind of tastes.  There is a mild bitterness that lasts long in the profile and is the last note in the mouth after the melon rind sweetness has dissipated.  Qi feels really relaxed and slow with very light limbs.

10th has a juicy feeling with an almost rubbery moderate bitterness that puckers the mouth.  The throat feel is mild here with a bit more upper throat gripping than most infusions.  Some melon rind finish and increasingly sedate feeling from this one.

11th has a juicy muted fruity melon mild watery bitterness to it.  It has a nice long honeydew melon taste in the aftertaste.  Some chest opening and floating limbs but very mild.

12th is luke-warm and is a bit woody burnt toast not really sweet and only mildly bitter.  Not much flavor here but nice Qi continues to emit from this one.

13th oops is a good 10 second past flash steeping is woody bland similar to the 12th more floral finish… I put this into the mug..

Mug is mainly just bitter deliciousness on this end… crush that heat out with this bitterness… hahahah…



This Lao Man E is an interesting creature.  It really isn’t that bitter but nor is it as sweet as some Lao Man E I’ve tried before.  It also doesn’t really taste much like Gushu but also not plantation or Xiaoshu.  I check the site and it says its Zhongshu or middle aged tree… That makes a lot of sense… and look the description is also really similar to some of my notes… I agree with the Strong Qi and with the bread sweetness…

What it does have is a very approachable price tag for Lao Man E.  It also offers a very solid bodyfeeling of relaxed limbs and Qi that is relaxing sedating and airy.  It also offers nice variability throughout the session with lots of different and interesting tastes to enjoy throughout.  On the first really hot day of the year, I enjoy this bitter cool energy of Spring.  Very satisfying to my body on this unseasonably hot day… this is the aspect of this puerh which I enjoy the most.. the bodyfeeling… a very nice feature for this price point.

Alex’s (Teanotes) Tasting Notes

Peace

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

2015 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai: Lots of Ban Po Lao Zhai!

I had mentioned that that Puerist has about ¼ of their catalogue from the Nannou producing area.  Specifically all of their productions are from a garden that is “on a ridge between Duo Yi Zhai, Ban Po Lao Zhai and Shi Tou Zhai.”  The 2015-2020 are also all processed in a similar style by the same farmer.  I believe from tasting this puerh that it might be different from the 2013PueristBan Po Lao Zhai that I purchased last year.  For someone looking for a vertical sampling of a higher quality Nannou, look no further…

This 2015 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai goes for approx. $83.00 for e200g or $0.42/g.  Let’s give it a try...

Dry leaves smell of faint creamy sweetness.

The first infusion has a watery creamy sweet taste over a background of faint raisin there is some low lying coolness and a full chalky feeling in the mouth and even mid throat.  The Qi is invigorating and chest opening.

The second infusion has a strawberry woody almost raisin full initial taste.  There is some dirt woody sweet raisin in the background.  A cool low pungency in the mid-deep throat and a full chalky mouthcoating with subtle oily saliva feeling on top.  Nice sweet creamy raisin finish.  Strong warming and invigorating Qi sensation and open chest feeling.

The third infusion is cooled down but gives a creamy sweet caramel raisin with a low slow moving cool pungency in the throat over a creamy full fluffy mouthcoating and deep open throat.  Vibrant Qi and open chest bodyfeeling.

The fourth infusion has a thick creamy sweet raisin onset with a carrot dirt like base and a low moving cooling deep throat which pushes out a lot of creamy carrot sweetness and almost fruity mango and dirt tastes.  The taste is nice and condensed and full feeling and is creamy sweet into the distant aftertaste.  Nice thick chalky fluffy mouthfeeling and deep open throat with salivating oily returning.  Nice.

5th strong creamy almost strawberry carrot raisin taste a bit woody and caramel.  Thick chalky mouthfeeling with a returning grape woody creamy sweet taste.  The flavors are condensed and mouthfeeling thick and chalky.  The Qi is invigorating.

6th has a strong almost syrupy sweetness with a low menthol pungency which pushes out a woody juicy fruity menthol and grape aftertaste in a very full chalky puckering mouthfeeling.  The throatfeeling is deep with a saliva bursting sensation.  Vibrant invigorating deep sighing Qi washes over me.  Body feel is a chest expanding feeling.

7th has a smoky meaty creamy sweet woody condensed taste that hits a pungent menthol deep throat and turns quite sweet- grapes, creamy sweet, woody, carrot, dirt, caramel… flavor is very complex here and nice.. deep throat and full mouth.  Invigorating Qi.  Very nice.

8th has a strong fruity punch thick mouth woody menthol taste with an emerging creamy raisin and almost grape sweetness over a dirt woody carrot taste.  There is a strong condensed taste throughout with a deep throat pungency and mouthwatering effect.

9th is cool but packs a good thick punch of complex Nannou flavours- woody, raisin, grape, dirt, carrot, menthol, cooling, creamy sweet, even a mild bitterness.  The mouthfeeling is chalky and throat opening is deep.  Very nice.

10th has an increasingly mild bitter onset with woody, dirt, carrot, not as creamy sweet. Vibrant shaking surging Qi.  Deep throat.

11th has a juicy fruity taste creamy sweet, slight smokey woody dirt.  Tastes are condensed and excellent.  Vibrant Qi. Chalky full mouthfeel and deep throat. 

12th has a tangy fruity woody carrot dirt mild bitter slight smoky full feeling.  Condensed with a low menthol and creamy sweetness.  Thick. Enlivening.  Long sweet and slight woody smokey finish.  Heart palpitations with open chest feeling.  Buzzing feeling.



I mug steeped out the rest…

This is a very lively, flavourful, and powerful Ban Po Lao Zhai!  Lots of complex and very dense flavor presentation here as there still lots of young puerh notes in there but also emerging semiaged notes as well.  Qi is the best part with a surging powerful vibrant Qi at some points of the session, even Heart Palpitations and chest opening stronger bodyfeelings.  Nice deep throat stimulation and mouthwatering effect over a chalky full mouthfeeling.  It’s all about the maximum experiential effects with this puerh and it does not disappoint!  One of the reasons, I could guess, Mark keeps pressing this garden is because the package you get here in terms of quality is hard to beat for this price.

Peace

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

2018 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai Selected Trees Dragonball: About Selected Trees Puerh


One of the areas of special interest of Puerist is its focus on Nannou, and specifically its most famous village Ban Po Lao Zhai.  11 of 42 offerings at Puerist (1/4 of their current offerings) come from Nannou.  Out of these 2 of their offerings are more specific offerings for those who want to dive into the world of selected tree or single tree productions.  The two are 2017 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai “Single Trees” and this 2018 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai “Selected Trees”.

For me Nannou has always been a favorite.  In my earliest of puerh drinking days Nannou was always known and it has a rich history with puerh production.  The price of Nannou puerh is also quite reasonable for the quality you receive, at least to me with a strong robust flavor and Qi with significant mouth and throatfeeling and a nice deep camphor coolness.  As a result Puerist can offer these more specific productions at a price that won’t completely kill the bank account and put you into years and years of debt… hahahah…

This complimentary dragonball was composed of the same material as this 2018 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai Selected Trees 200g cake thatgoes for approx. $178.00 for 200g cake or $0.90/g.  For those who don’t know, “selected trees” are usually considered both the oldest/ largest trees in a garden which usually have a noticeable difference in taste compared to the rest of the garden.  In my experience that difference is usually a softer and more ethereal Gushu puerh experience while still having lots of qualities of the garden it is located in.

Let’s see how this special treat goes down…

Dry leaves smell of faint creamy sweetness.

After a 30 second rinse and then wait period I flash steep the first infusion and get a watery creamy sweet infusion with an airy expanding sweetness.  There is a creamy fluffy chalky light mouthfeeling with a saliva producing effect in the mouth.

The second infusion has a creamy watery initial taste that has a nice expanding creamy sweetness over a still watery profile from the balls not unfurrowing.  A nice slippery chalky tongue and saliva producing throatfeeling.  This is a smooth creamy sheng.  Nice long creamy sweet sugary aftertaste.  A nice subtle Qi feeling puerh.

The third infusion is a very smooth in taste and feeling with a creamy airy surgery taste and slippery mouthfeeling with a mild saliva producing effect after a very faint cooling and then long subtle creamy sweetness.  Smooth in the mind as well- just calm focus with a bit of Heart beats.



The fourth infusion has a woody creamy taste initially over a slippery mouthcoating.  There is some almost vegetal sweetnotes that appear before a slow to evolve cooling which pushes out a freshmint and creamy sweet faint long finish.  The Qi is really smooth and with Heart beating slow-down bodyfeeling.  A faint astringency can be felt on the empty stomach.

The fifth infusion has a creamy sweet woody onset that has a bit of vegetable taste.  The low lying coolness triggers a long aftertaste of faint creamy and sugar tastes. The mouthfeeling is starting to become a mild puckering feeling that can be felt on the lips.  Qi is mellowing with slow Heart beat palpitating effects.

The sixth infusion has a creamy melon watery smooth taste that has a low building faint coolness in the throat that turns to a creamy surgery taste.  Some vegetal faintness, almost woodiness comes out in the aftertaste. Hear beats slow and mind feels very relaxed.

The seventh has a clear sugar creamy sweet initial taste over a fluffy chalky thin mouthfeeling.  There is a bit of a vegetal woody creamy taste that returns after a mild pungency but also a long sweet taste.  Cool calm feeling with slow strong Heart beats.

The eighth a mild pure clear orange creamsicle with woody onset with a sugary returning sweetness.  The sweet taste rides long into the aftertaste on a backbone of ethereal cool pungency.  The clam in the mind is juxtaposed with the beating of my Heart.

The ninth infusion has a creamy woody sugar pure taste.  There is an expansive and opening coolness deep in the throat that carries sugary pure tastes into the distance.  The mouthfeeling has a mild chalkiness to it, lips dry, throat opens faintly but deeply and slowly embraces a deep pungent taste. 

10th has a mild astringent bitterness to it with a woody almost orange taste upfront and an almost dirt taste underneath. 

11th has a mild watery creamy sugary taste to it.  A tight mouthfeeling is developing.   Kind of finishes a faint creamy pear taste. 

12th the taste is most definitely weakening here with a faint watery sugary woody taste and increasingly gripping mouthfeeling… I’m going to try to loosen that dragonball with a pick….  Very relaxing Qi… too relaxing this snowy spring day…

13TH has a buttery woody sugar-melon creamy upfront sweetness.  There is an interesting full creamy sugary melon condensed sweetness here and a slightly drying mouthfeeling.

14th I add 20 seconds to the flash to push something more interesting out… and it does a fuller flavor presentation of sugar, creamy sweetness, woody, vegetable, and slight dirt with an overall sweet taste over a thin sticky mouthfeeling. 

15th oops… left the water in the pot for a good 10 minutes… intensely floral fruity almost rose with a strong saliva producing effect.  Strong creamy fruity tangy taste almost like orange blossoms.  Not much bitterness at all really.  A bit of mouth puckering sensation and more invigorating energy when pushed this hard….

16th I push hard again and get a very floral orange blossom dirt clear fruity mainly sweet taste.  There is just a bit of bitterness here over a smooth chalky mouthfeeling.  Qi is stronger in the mind and in the Chest with these long steeps.

17th I push hard again the next morning with these leaves a get a strong candy like taste over a sugar backdrop with faint woody.  There is a nice orange blossom taste with a lingering floral sweetness.  The leaves sitting a day really allowed for nice candy-like tastes to develop.  Nice focusing Qi this morning with still noticeable slow calming Heart palpitations.

18th I do another long infusion… this is a great puerh considering the lack of bitterness and astringency.  It gives you a lot of diversity in a session.  The tastes are of a chalky woody almost fruity carrot like creamier sweetness.  The creamy sweetness lingers in the aftertaste and combines with subtle candy.

I mug steep out the rest… and it’s pretty delicious with the dragonball still unfurrowing… its sweet sugar with a bit of a dirt woody background and low cooling throat with long dirt sugary feeling.  Nice focusing relaxing Qi with slow Heart beats.



The gushu has a nice smoothness to it with a focus on sweetness.  The contrasting distinct slow heart pounding with a very very relaxing feeling is an interesting and more rare Qi experience for me.  Overall the effect is a very mindful and centering feeling.  These Qi sensations are what Gushu is all about.  This puerh also has the ability to be pushed really hard to get more intensity of Qi and flavor due to the low/lack of bitter/astringent taste.  This gives you a lot of flexibility.  Nice sugary creamy sweetness and low pungency with long pure aftertastes can be had or stronger orange blossoms and dirt woods if pushed harder.  Overall, very nice high quality gushu thing.  It’s refined in a way that I would have not guessed it as Nannou.  My experience with this region is long into the era of stronger older school factory Nannou.  This more refined Gushu has subtle suggestions of Nannou that can easily be pushed out at will or you can opt for more elegant things.  Very nice.

Peace

2019 Puerist Mengsong Dragonball: A Complex Evolving Mengsong




This is the second complimentary dragonball sampling I’ve done of Puerist’s offerings.  There is another that will follow this one as well.  The dragonball is the same material as this 2019 Puerist Mengsong 200g cakethat goes for approx. $75.00 or $0.38/g I do believe…

Dry leaves smell of faint spicy almost faint fruit.  I give the balls a 30 second rinse then wait a few minutes.  I give the pot a gentle shake.

The first infusion has a watery vegetal taste with a woody creamy taste that is quite watery still with the balls not opened up sufficiently.  There is a sticky mouthcoating developing with a fine peachy taste in the aftertaste even in this early attempt.

The second infusion has a woody almost bland bread onset with a full tight chalky mouthfeeling with tight dry lips.  There is a faint peachy taste that lingers in the aftertaste.  This infusion is still pretty faint and clear and pure in taste but strong in mouhfeeling and lip dry tightness.  The Qi is a bit sedating.  It almost tastes like an Autumnal production here.  There is an interesting bodyfeeling over the Liver and Stomach.



The third infusion has a watery bland almost bread woody onset.  It develops a faint elegant peachy, peach pie finish in the mouth.  Stomach expanding Qi sensation very mild.  The mouthfeeling mainly on the tongue and lips with little in the throat.  A faint astringency develops.  The mind has a sedated feeling to it.

The fourth infusion has a watery almost peach water dry wood onset.  The peach kind of disappears then returns.  It has a bit of a soapy Thrills gum edge to it.  The Qi is warming in the body and has a Stomach expanding sensation and lower ribs expanding feeling.  The mind is sedated.

The fifth infusion has an almost milky watery but long expanding soft faint peach taste.  The mouthfeeling is tight on the lips and sticky mild tight on the tongue with very little throat stimulation.  The Qi is warming and rib and Stomach expanding.

The sixth infusion has a peachy fruity pure clear taste.  It’s a simple taste but pure and clear and vibrant.  It causes a bit of salivation and has a bit of an oily chalky feeling in the mouth.  The aftertaste is a fading peachy juicy taste.

The seventh is a floral buttery almost fruity pear type taste.  It is pure clean and not that strong.  A bit of dry lips and thin sticky tonguecoating.  Slightly sedating Qi.

The eighth infusion has a bit of mild woody floral butter pucker very faint with a more brackish clear woody taste here.  A clean simple profile. Thin dry tongue coating.

The ninth becomes even woodier.  Less floral and fruity.  The sweet fruity taste is almost gone completely now.  There is a bit of astringency.  Thin woody with a building strength to it.

The 10th has a soapy fruity taste in there with floral and woody notes.  This infusion has a full woody fruity saliva producing oily sensation once again.  The mouthfeeling is becoming stronger and so is the euphoria producing feeling.

The 11th has a tangy juicy woody pear taste, very clean simple tastes, with a chalky/gripping mouthfeeling.  There is a flat bland finish- a bit floral dry wood.  Qi has a faint feeling in the lower ribs and a mild hypnotic feeling in the mind.

12th infusion has a mild bitter dandelion leaf onset with a buttery woody finish.  Not much sweetness here.  Dry lips and tight mild tonguecoating with a chalky dry mouthfeeling.  Very cozy, warming, relaxing and euphoric Qi feeling.  I feel comforted and a bit spaced out.

13th is a strong bitter floral buttery woody taste.  The stronger the bitter taste, the more pronounced the overall clear flavours.  The taste of this puerh kind of just fades into the distance without much coming or going.  The Qi is euphoric with a building underlying power now.

14th is an almost syrupy peachy floral woody bitter up front taste that fades after a saliva blob of taste runs through.  Nice alerting Qi.

15th is a syrupy woody faint fruity bitter that fades into the distance.  Dry lips and chalky tight tongue with very little throat stimulation as it has held throughout.  Qi is starting to give me a power surge.  Lots of dynamic change in the Qi sensation throughout this long session.  Very nice.

16th a bitter splash of fruity floral taste drops into dry wood and fades.  Sticky mouthfeeeling and dry lips.  Nice vibrant Qi starts to build and course through the body.  I feel re-energized from the experience.

17th an almost flat sweet gasoline like with woody bitterness onset that has a vegetal floral woody finish.  The taste is still changing here.

I come back to the pot the next day…

18th & 19th have a creamy woody almost plum peachy faint fruity taste.  Thin sticky tongue coating with dry lips.

I mug steep this out…

It give off a very floral soapy Thrills gum taste.  Tasty floral and vegetal taste.  Surprisingly not much bitter or astringency.



Overall, this puerh in dragonball form offers lots of dynamism of both taste, mouthfeeling, and Qi throughout the session.  This is partly due to its tight compression but also from its raw material.  It has lots of subtle flavors of floral and tart fruits, peachy notes and more syrupy notes as well as bitter dry woods, vegetal notes and bitter dandelion tastes.  The first half of the session is pure and faint with a clear peachy taste.  The later infusions thicken up and add elements of bitterness to the sweet.  During even the pure simple tastes of the early session there is lots going on with the Qi sensations with this one as well and same for the mouthfeeling that is sometimes very saliva producing and other times very gripping and dry.  Lots of variability here.  Bodyfeelings are not as common but appear as warming body, feel limbs, and rib and stomach expanding feelings…

Lots going on here people for those who like dynamic, evolving, and complex puerh with a nod to the Mengsong character.

Peace


Sunday, May 9, 2021

2018 Puerist Zhang Jia Wan: A more Edgy Zhang Jia Wan!

 

These days I am really enjoying a deeper appreciation of softer and more subtle tasting puerh.  Years past I have enjoyed these things but always under the shadow of “how can they possibly age into anything substantive?”  These days I have come to terms with the idea of them being consumed and appreciated young or just aging them terribly dry and living contentedly with the subtitles that remain.  In this mindset problems in the future are overlooked for the enjoyment of the present... and boy did I ever really enjoy this one... turns out it wasn’t one of those overly faint experiences.

This 2018 Puerist Zhang Jia Wan goes for approx $84.00 for 200g cake or $0.42/g.  My experience so far with the Zhang Jia Wan area is lots of gentle and subtleties this one had that but it is just done so well...

Dry very small leaves smell of faint dry distant floral and sweetness- almost like a light faint honey.

The first infusion has a very soft creamy honey smooth profile with no bitterness but an oily fullness.  There is a fresh watery oily mouthfeeling that gives this puerh a full feeling although it is decisively light.

The second infusion has a almost minty fresh meadow olive oil taste with a honey undertone.  There is a faint fresh coolness then returning floral honey almost creamy candy strawberry taste that combines into a vibrant and refreshing sensation with a sticky soft but full mouthfeeling.  This is a very nice Zhang Jia Wan.  The Qi is light and airy in the body.

The third infusion is left to cool but gives off a vibrantly delicious mouthwatering cooling taffy, no bitterness nor astringency and a very long floral sweet taffy candy-like returning sweet aftertaste.  Very nice chalky soft and full mouthfeeling.  Nice peaceful Qi sensation.  Very nice overall.



The fourth infusion has a creamy oilive oily floral and creamy sweet presentation.  There is a creamy chalky long floral candy sweetness that comes from the fresh long pungency.  This puerh has a very vibrant and enlivening presentation but very smooth and peaceful in the body.  Nice open airy Qi in the body- like a subtle floating body.

The fifth infusion oops good 20 second infusion there… a strong cool minty pungency with an oily taste and long candy floral cooling breath and aftertastes.  Strong but not bitter or astringent even when pushed too hard.  Nice sticky chalky taste. 

The sixth infusion has an oily silky floral almost honey sweet taste to it.  There is a strong wave of cooling minty pungency then a candy almost woody aftertaste.  The mouthfeeling is starting to be more sandy sticky and the Qi continues is airy and light armed journey throughout my body.  I feel at peace.

The seventh infusion has a fresh minty, oily floral taste that returns as a fresh minty and creamy candy taste.  The mouthfeel is an oily feeling with a slight sandy more sticky feeling.   Nice peace exudes from this puerh.

The eighth infusion is left to cool and gives of a creamy sweet fresh minty toffee taste.  The mouthfeel is full soft sticky taste.

The ninth has an almost melon taste with floral and cool pungency.  The oily texture is waning a bit but has a nice sticky sandy feeling with a fading longer sweet melon floral almost woody aftertaste and less candy now.  Peaceful feeling flows through the body.  Very harmonious Qi.

The 10th has an almost soapy woody not that floral taste now.  There is little to no bitterness nor astringency.  Nice chalky floral finish a bit sandy now but still exceptionally smooth in taste, texture, qi, bodyfeeling.

The 11th has an almost empty melon sweet taste with a bit of wood. There is a light melon and woody floral.  Overall better than average stamina in this one too.  Nice peaceful feeling.

12th I go for a 30 second steeping.  It’s very woody and melon still no astringency or bitter and it feels like the taste is still significant even as the mouthfeeling loses all oily texture and is mainly a full sandy chalky.  Peaceful feeling.

13th is another 30 seconds and pushes out a very peachy woody taste.  Almost a melon and woody bland taste.  The mouthfeel is becoming more sticky and chalky.  This is a very nice representation from this area- nice stamina too.

I mug steep it out… it is faintly bitter wood bark and empty floral.  The dry wood bark really takes over but still a cooling throat and dry mouthcoating.



Overall, this was a really nice Zhang Jia Wan experience with the puerh not being overly opaque but rather gentle with substance.  Yet still managing to pull it off with the fact that there is no bitterness or astringency… that is hard to do and hard to please someone of my tastes… but this one seems to aim to please.

Peace

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! 

Peace

Friday, May 7, 2021

2019 Zheng Si Long Autumn Yibang Ma Li Shu: Building Power

I have been sipping away at this semi aged 2013Puerist Ma Li Shu that I purchased last year and wonder how this will compare?  This 2019 Zheng Si Long Autumn Ma Li Shu goes for $51.18 for 200g cake or $0.26/g. Thanks Tiago for sending this satisfying sample...

Dry leaf is of a mossy sweet floral woodiness.

First infusion has a watery floral with a soft returning creamy sweetness.  A strong heady Qi seems to be coagulating in the mind.

Second infusion has a soft creamy pear sweetness over a pure clean watery body.  There is a base taste of dry wood.  The taste is pure light and clear.  The mouthfeeling is as soft as the flavor with a sticky lips and mild mossy faint toungcoating with faint lingering cooling in the throat.  Qi is a mild spacy relaxing feeling.  There is an Asian pear aftertaste minutes later.  There is a faint opening below the ribs.

The third infusion there is a woody dense pear taste and orange peel that moves fast to a light pure icing sugar finish.  There is some mouthwatering over a fine clay like taste.  There is long pure sweet pear-sugar aftertaste is really nice minutes later.  Nice relaxing mind stopping Qi.  Slight opening bodyfeeling in ribs and chest.



The fourth infusion has a creamy sweet candy and floral pear like dense high-noted complex light onset which comes with a quick moving bitterness with a faint sugar that bridges the gap.  Very Sticky, almost dry, lips and clay mouthfeeling with this complex sweetness is really nice here.  Light limbs and Open chest sesnsation and mid slowly effects. Very nice infusion with a Qi sensation that is really strong in the mind and pushing me into an extreme spaced out.

The fifth infusion has a peachy banana woody mild bitter pear like onset.  There is a clay puckering monthfeelnig with very dry lips.  The aftertaste is a bit dry woody with a sugary finish, slight candy, Slight more woody.  Big Qi sensation.

6th has a quick bitter lemon peel with pear and slight floral creamy surgar-honey.  Nice sticky lips and clay thin coating on the tongue.  Faint rubbery woody taste that fades when the sweetness returns into a fading out of pear taste on the breath.  Mind stopping Qi.

7th Ooops… a good few minutes went by… very dense peachy taste, almost soapy floral peach with dense clay sticky tonguecoating and dry lips.  A bit bitter but not overwhelming so.  Strong floral presence in the accident strong push.  Big Qi is chest and relaxing mind.

8th is left to cool as work gets a bit busier than I imaged and I’m honestly pretty spaced out from the Qi here… peach-pear with a touch of orange rind and faint slight wood that turns to a fading candy on the breath.

9th has a peachy woody a bit of bitter orange peel.  Faint cooling at top of throat turns to sugary candy peach woody.   Very satisfying if not that complex right now.

10th is left to cool and I get a more woody dry bitter balanced with creamsicle tastes.  Big open chest Qi.

11th has a bitter woody orange peel with an almost creamy sweeter finish with a gripping but dense tonguefeeling and relaxing spacy Qi.

12th has a bitter dry woody with underlying peachy suggestions.  The mouthfeeling has become quite strong and gripping on the tongue and lips with the upper throat opening as it has throughout the session.

13th is a bitter orangey floral wood onset that is a balance of flavours with bitter being the strongest.  There is still lots of flavor here.  This puerh has great stamina!  Powerful Qi in the chest and mind but not at all harsh on the body.  The 14th is much the same with still a strong presence and flavor.

The mug infusions afterward are super flavourful still with a bitter and sweet blend of tastes.

Overall, nice complex light sweet fruity florals a touch of bitter and dry wood.  Nice sticky almost clay faint mouthcovering.  Big spacy Qi in here.  Nice to drink now and space out or just age it out very dry for the powerful Qi experience.  I had a great day with this one.  This is a good value option for those looking for Qi and power and don’t want to break the bank.  It was a busy day but I was so spaced out I didn’t care… hahhahha….

Vs 2020 Tea Encounter Autumn Chawangshu.... these are almost the same price and both Autumn.  The Chawangshu is more complex and Balanced with less stamina as it gets weaker fast.  The Ma Li Shu has a power that builds throughout the session but has less balanced taste that tends to be more varied highnotes throughout most of the first half of the session.  The last half is a nice bitter and sweet balance.  Both nice cheap options with enough elements to enjoy for their price.



Alex’s (Puerh Notes) Tasting Notes

Peace

Thursday, May 6, 2021

2020 Tea Encounter Autumn Chawangshu: Value + Chawangshu!




This was Tea Encounter’s only house autumnal offering and is picked from small younger bushes in the famous Chawangshu area.  It came from the same area and farmer as their now sold out Spring production.  This one was a free sample for review of my order of a few of these delicious 2015 Nannou DuoYi Zhai cakes that I decided to pick up months after sampling.  This 2020 Tea Encounter Chawangshu of whichonly 20 cakes were produced goes for $48.49 for 200g cake or $0.24/g… being both Autumn and from young small bushes you won’t really find cheaper Chawangshu…

Dry leaves smell of paper and lime woodiness.

First infusion is a lime woody creamy woody potato taste with a very subtle bitterness.  This infusion shows how young this puerh is.  It’s very green tea like.  Has a faint coolness with nice potato and creamy woody returning sweetness on the breath.  Slippery soft/ soft chalky mouthfeeling with a mid-upper throat opening when aftertaste dwells.  Qi is starting to subtly build.

The second infusion has a spicy woody potato taste with a full mouthfeeling of chalky mild coating and nice upper-mid throat opening sensation.  The texture is nice and oily.  The taste is a balance of salty, sweet, bland, bitter, and pungent.  A long aftertaste of wood and potato lingers on the breath has the most sweetness almost melon and comes after a slight cool pungent throat.  Nice warming hug Qi feeling that is pretty subtle.

The third infusion has a melon floral onset with a sweetness that splashes up into the mouth.  There is a bit of woody potato there is a chalky moderately full feeling in the mouth with a long aftertaste in the upper-mid throat and nice oily texture.  The Qi is nice and warming with a comforting feeling in the body and building spacy feeling in the mind.  Overall this infusion has a sweet oily feel to it which is quite enjoyable.  It offers me strange comfort for such a young puerh.



The fourth infusion has a pungent gamey border tea taste to it with a melon, potato, and woody underneath to give it some depth.  There is a nice chalky mild full mouthfeeling with upper-mid throat opening and a nice mild-moderate oily texture to the liquor.  The Qi has a nice revitalizing and comforting feeling this sunny morning.

The fifth is vibrantly sweet and juicy with a pungent gamey boarder tea flare to it.  It has a nice oily texture.  The cooling pungent in the upper-mid throat hold the sweet melon taste long on the breath.  This infusion has a mild sticky mouthfeeling slight warm chest feeling and nice vibrant mind Qi.

The sixth infusion has a chalky fruity floral pungent onset which spreads into the mouth.  There as subtle notes of potato, wood, but a chalky melon floral taste.  Nice feeling of comfort in the chest and happy feeling Qi.  The aftertaste is long.

The seventh infusion has a pungent gamey onset with a fresh cut of sweet melon. I really like the taste of this puerh pungent, gamey but very refreshing with a nice balance of elements.  Nice cooling throat with an almost lime like refreshing aftertaste with melon sweetness.  Nice chest warming with

8th has a stronger potato taste with a slight woody melon underneath.  The mouthfeeling is chalky and mild to moderately full with a upper and mid throat opening where the long aftertaste dwells.  I like the mouthfeel of this puerh too- it’s not super strong but does the trick.  The feeling in the body is very comfortable and comforting.  Qi in the mind is happy.

9th has a woody potato almost but not that sweet melon.  Overall these last few infusions are more savoury than sweet and have a simple balance to them.  The Qi is really nice and cozy despite this puerh’s youth.  I like this taste, mouthfeeling, and Qi.  Works great together for the price.

10th has a lime mango creamy sweet onset over an increasingly sandy mouthfeeling and open top throat.  The mouthfeeling, aftertaste, Qi, and complexity is falling off quickly here.

11th is the same with a buttery melon woody tasting thing in a chalky almost sticky sandy mouthfeeling with some open throat sensation.  The taste is a bit like chalk and melon with woody tones.  Qi is happy and bodyfeeling is vague but comforting.

12th I push into a long infusion here… it cools down and gives off a syrupy almost potato sweetness with a bit of melon and wood.  Nice oily feeling still with not much bitterness. A mild silty mouthfeeling kind of sandy now with a mild open throat that holds some cooling and woody melon aftertastes.

I put this one into mug steeping…



Overall, this Autumnal xiaoshu Chawangshu production has good value and is quite enjoyable for the price.  It is solid in taste complexities, mouthfeeling and throat opening, liquid texture and Qi.  Overall, I am fond of puerh from this area and the overall package is nice for that price.

Peace

Edit: the next day I did some mug steeping with the spent leaves and felt that this puerh was a bit weak on stamina which makes sense given its pedigree.  It was more of an insipid potato, sort of woody pond almost but not quite sweet blandness. Not bad at all for the price you pay.

Double Peace

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Puerist: Samples Round 2…

Okay… after a blind order of 2018 Puerist Wa Long Guo YouLin and going through some free samples that were sent for review, I put in an order of 2013 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai of the last tong of 5 was put up on the site a few months ago.  There is a lucky person out there who took home a few of these and I took home the rest.  I managed to get two cakes of the 2013 PueristMa Li Shu as well (If you bug Mark he might part with one).  Overall, the 2013 Puerist Ban Po Lao Zhai is my preferred go to over winter.  I called it gold before and I’m sticking with that.  Probably one of the best Nannou I’ve tried and I’ve tried a lot of Nannou.  Anyways… that purchase also came with a second wave of complimentary puerh samples to review…

As the Winter turns to Spring each year it’s really nice to sample some younger puerh from years past.  It feels right in the body and if you were in Yunnan you would be able to drink right off the bush… but we are so far away and know that we probably won’t get to experience such new pleasures for a few months.  So this is a suitable alternative.

Over the next month or so expect to see some posts on more of what Puerist has to offer (all really nice Puerh) as well as some fresh Tea Encounter stuff as well…

(For more info on the secret which is purist see here.)

Yay! Spring at last…

Peace

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Wistaria Puerh Ranked/ Overview

I am grateful to have received some of these top picks from the Wistaria Tea House which I really enjoyed sampling this winter.  In this post I will simply rank them in order of enjoyment not considering price with a brief statement about their old school cred…

1-      2003 Wistaria Zipin Tuo- highest old school cred out of these samples with a distinct old school processing and feeling mixed with a bit of factory feeling, the qi and bodyfeelings are substaitial, this one is widely thought to be the best of the bunch by many others… and I concur.

2-      2007 Wistaria Lanyin –This is very bitter and ehas a very strong Qi and bodyfeeling, overall a strong puerh in an old school sense but produced more in line with newer processing, very clean and spacious tastes, this puerh is all about the Qi that takes you places

3-      2007 Wistaria Hongyin- very muich a new factory style that we saw coming out of China at this time, this purerh is all about the very complex layered sweet taste experience with stronger Qi layered in.

4-      2003 Wistaria Qingteng- has a strong robust Qi sensation and a compartmentalized dry stored sweet and pond taste.  Not much old school feeling here other than the Qi sensation maybe.

5-      2006 Wistaria Taihe Maocha-produced in more of a way leaning to modern gushu type productions this is a really enjoyable puerh with a very interesting mouth numbing feeling.

The prices of these, like many other Taiwanese Botique puerh vendors, is strongly controlled by the vendor and the prices of these are of good value for what you get compared to other things out there these days.  I think mainly you have to be alright with the dry storage of these puerh.  All of these are pretty enjoyable for me and I think it’s completely possible that I do a purchase of many of the above cakes and put them to a speed test to find out which I really prefer… they are all so enjoyable, I really don’t know which would come out on top…

Peace