Wednesday, August 24, 2022

2022 Tea Encounter Lao Man E: Bitterer

 It’s a hot one so I go for this free sample of 2022 Tea Encounter Lao Man E which sells for $120.00 for 400g cake or a mere $0.30/g.

The very hairy and white bud heavy dry leaves have a sweet melon odour to them…

First infusion has a very pure soft creamy mild bitter.  The taste is very pure, clear and singular.  It has a soft rind taste to it with soft faint sweet edges and a watery mouthfeeling with a bit of dry on the roof of the mouth.

The second infusion has a warm spicy edge to it with watery taste and a mild bitterness throughout.  The roof of the mouth is dry and mid throat opens up a bit.  Lots of simple pure and clear tastes.  The bitterness is really long and you can feel it throughout the mouth and into the throat.  It beats at my empty stomach a bit.  The Qi is heady and shoulders heavy.

The third infusion has a bitter warm spicy onset with lots of saliva astringing bitterness.  The bitterness is stronger than most Lao Man E I’ve tried.  The bitterness is such it removes the saliva from the mouth and makes me gag.  The processing of these leaves is very light almost like a white tea.  Super bitter bomb here!  Bitter lovers take note.  The bitterness is uncomfortable with my empty stomach so I take a break to eat…

The fourth infusion has a buttery bitter onset with a floral and subtle spicy taste under the strong bitterness.  Qi is a bit relaxing in the mind with some heavy shoulders.

5th infusion is left to cool and give off pill bitterness and floral melon and warm spice finish. Stong bitterness here across the profile.  I’m also using less leaf than usual.  Pure taste with a rubbery vegetal finish minutes later.

6th hasd a milky creamy bitterness to it with a warm spice finish.  The texture is watery slight oily and the mouthfeeling is a flat bitter tugging feeling.  Relaxing feeling with heavy limbs.

7th a buttery milky sweetness is flanked by a bitterness that is becoming a bit less now.  Nice creamy sweetness in the returning sweetness. Dry roof of mouth and watery oily texture with a tinny but of tugging which is less now.  Nice long creamy sweet almost melon taste.

8th is left ot cool and is a creamy sweet milky bitter onset with a long creamy taste with bitterness close by.  Nice watery with somewhat oily texture and subtle mouth gripping. 

9th is left to cool and is a bitter buttery sweet mildly oily taste with edges of sweetness.  There is less and less bitterness with each infusion.  Nice relaxing feeling.  Lingering buttery melon taste. Nice relaxing Qi.

10th is also left to cool and again is a nice creamy milky sweet bitterness.  There is some mild tugging mouthfeeling and mid throat sensation. Nice relaxing feeling.  With an aftertaste of melon and butter.

11th has a buttery woody melon bitter onset with a bit of warm spice in there and a long reaching creamy sweet bitterness.  Nice relaxing feeling.

12th infusion has a more melon taste to it.  Nice oily watery buttery taste.  There is a lesser bitterness here but still present. 

13th is a minutes long infusion by accident and it has a oily apricot bitterness with a creamy melon buttery finish and warm spice underneath and oily texture and mouthfeeling.  Bitterness is not overly strong this late into the session and I do another long infusion … Nice relaxing vibes.

14th has a thick viscus oily buttery apricot bitter onset with a bit of warm spice then some melon bitter edges. 

The long mug steepings have a nice sweet melon floral and underlying bitterness.  Super tasty.  I put the spent leaves into a long cool infusion in the fridge for a few days in this heat wave and it gives off super sweet melon, vegetal green forest, and strong floral tastes with a lesser bitterness.

So refreshing during summer’s heat!  It’s been a while since I have consumed a LaoManEr this bitter and fresh… I like it!


Sunday, August 14, 2022

In A Gushu Sort of Place Without Gushu

 Recently I have been a bit far away from my typical day-to-day life.  It’s made me reflect a bit on my daily rhythms with puerh tea…

 It’s got me thinking that in my typical day-to-day life it often runs almost effortlessly like a well ran factory.  Sometimes I feel like a cog in this cosmic wheel of life and the strong push of factory puerh feels so right in the energetic rhythm.  It pushes me along so comfortably and smoothly.

But other times I feel like an old tree just feeling the energy of life as it undulates through me. When I feel like this, the deep energies of Gushu puerh feels so right in this energetic rhythm.  

Recently there have been many weeks of just feeling the energy flow through me… this is my rhythm.  These are Gushu times but I’m far away and I guess I didn’t bring enough Gushu…

Oh well.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

2022 Tea Encounter Spring Release

 For the last five summers Tiago of Tea Encounter has sent me his latest Spring release of puerh for review on this very blog.  So every year I indulge in the freshest of puerh during the hottest season and I am happy.

Every year there seems to be something new to report from Tea Encounter- most often some improvement or change.  This year it is a new website and warehouse based in Kunming. It’s a good move as I think the Kunming storage will do the type of Tea Encounter sells well as the years pass.  It will also give us buyers quick and direct access to Tea Encounter’s puerh.  It removes some of the shipping costs and import fees, I’m sure.

What about the 2022 Spring puerh releases?  This year Tea Encounter released 10 puerh under their Tea Encounter label.  Five of these we have seen in the past From Tea Encounter which include the 2021 Tea Encounter Yiwu Guoyoulin,   2020 Tea Encounter Chawangshu (Xiao shu), 2019 Tea Encounter Laos Gushu, 2021 & 2020 Tea Encounter Lao Man E. This year’s release most definitely has more budget options with mid aged trees selected, some blends of fringe Yiwu/ border areas, and lots of xiao Shu selections keeping the prices lower.  Even the Gushu releases are on the cheaper end of Gushu with none of the over the top Chawangshu Gushu or Chaping Gushus of the last two years. I’m excited to try these… please join me….