Official Pu of the day


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Teaism » Jun 12th, '14, 22:44

Enjoyed a nice rare tea last night with a humble high level tea friend. Tried something different yesterday. I invited him over to have just one tea. Usually tea sessions come in many round of tea but this time we wanted to spend time just on one tea, so I offered a rare 1993 Seven Sons cake done in Tong Xing Hao recipe. We took our time to evaluate, brew and enjoy the tea, in a quiet and tranquil discussion on tea, in a world of our own with the tea.

It was a great experience to enjoy great tea with a humble and quiet high level tea friend especially with all the time in the world to do so. The tea was well stored, clean, sweet, thick, smooth with very nice aged profiles, bold, wise and mature, but the whole experience taste even better.

Cheers! :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby JakubT » Jun 14th, '14, 16:27

For a couple of days, I've been drinking YS's 2012 Manzhuan... I can not say I was really impressed. It is all right, but I'm starting to believe that Manzhuan is a bit of an inferior area, compared to areas near it. The only good tea I had from there was the Shi Kun Mu's 2004 cake and even that one was not superb.

1997 CNNP Red Mark is still as good as when I tasted the sample for the first time - i.e., very, very good. I'd be happier if I could afford more than one cake.

2013 Chawangpu Lao Yu - I'm drinking this basically daily now, where I study and it is pure, clean and all-around good. Despite its age and strength, it is not too "cold", nor doing bad to my stomach.

And from the are of non-puerh, I again revisited MarshalN's curated TGY set and the teas have gotten so much better. The fire (which felt possibly too dominant when the teas were new) is giving way to lovely plummy tastes, while there is still ample strength and fullness (much unlike worse grades of TGY). While I did felt I did not completely understand the merits of the tea when it was new, I now can definitely tell why it is much better than generic teashop TGY...
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Jun 14th, '14, 17:53

This blogpost is very useful for people who want to get Yiwu...

http://teadb.org/yiwu-puerh-may-2014-re ... 014-report

The only real caution I might add is that people always overrate Yongpinhao at first.

In keeping with the thread, I just finished off samples-- a blend of bulang plantation maocha from teaclassico, the last gram of 2012 EoT Bulang, and some 8582 to round it up to 7g. Good enough for the day, taste is relatively thin. Body is decent enough. Nothing else remarkable.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Balthazar » Jun 15th, '14, 10:23

I'm getting close to the bottom of the pile of samples I ordered earlier this year, and both today and yesterday I've been drinking autumn leaf tea. I don't think I've ever had autumn puer before (although I wouldn't be surprised if its present in many of the blends I've had), but I know autumn harvest is generally considered inferior to spring harvest. And I have to say my first introduction to this season of tea very much confirms that impression.

Yesterday it was the Gua Feng Zhai 2011 Autumn, from Tea Urchin, a tea I was very much underwhelmed by. This is probably the most forceful experience I've had that validates the suggestion that us beginners really need to sample instead of assuming that what this or that person likes a lot will necessarily mean that you will too. I note that this tea has received positive feedback from several bloggers (although Hobbes was more reluctant), so I may be in the minority here. In any case, I found the flavor a bit uninteresting and somewhat "off," and the energy a lot of sheng gives me was not really present here. The endurance (as in number of steeps) is good, though.

Today's tea is pu-erh.sk's Yiwu 2012 Autumn. I am liking it a bit more than yesterday's GFZ, it has energy and is "pleasant" in the same way as most Yiwu teas I've tried (especially after the first few steepings), and the endurance is good. But it's not really doing anything special for me, and there is something missing which I am in lack of words to describe precisely...

As for the sampling more generally, I've found the last few months hugely interesting and educational. Two thumbs up to those vendors that offer samples at reasonable prices!
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Jun 15th, '14, 14:56

I think it's very hard to have an open mind about autumn puerh because of all the negative 'folklore' about its properties and lack thereof. I've come across some bizarre theories and statements regarding autumn harvest. Nevertheless, there is a reason that it is less expensive than spring harvest, but choosing wisely, you can get very good autumn harvest teas.

I would bet that blind tasting you, you could not guess the difference in many cases and would pick some autumn harvest over spring. Some of the best wine tasters in the world have been fooled in blind tastings by wines thought inferior because they came from places not of the terroir of a particular grape. We are a very impressionable animal.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Balthazar » Jun 15th, '14, 15:20

Well, yeah, expectations do matter. And at this stage I definitely wouldn't be able to tell in a blind test whether a given tea was from a spring or autumn harvest. The "general consensus" seems to be that autumn tea from a given area is usually not as good as spring tea from the same area, and even if this is often the case there will of course be a number of autumn teas that are still very good (and better than a lot of spring teas), but it might (as you suggest) color how people actually approach these teas and create self-fulfilling prophesies of sort.

So yeah, there is the expectation factor, which may or may not be huge. But in other cases where I have expected that I will like one tea more than another (because, say, it's more expensive, or it's generally been receiving more positive reviews) I found that my taste buds prove my initial assumptions wrong many times. (Since I have a pretty horrendous memory I almost always forget which one of my samples were most expensive and usually don't check until after I've tasted the tea.) In this case too, I expected to like the TU tea as it received good reviews from a number of people (including MarshalN), but in the end found it a lot less interesting than any other tea I've tried from the same price range (the GFZ sells for $97 a cake, the Yiwu from pu-erh.sk is around the same price per gram).

This is not meant as a critique of either vendor, I've liked almost everything I've received from both (and will definitely order more from them in the future), and I am too inexperienced to make any sort of useful comment regarding whether or not these two teas are "typical autumn teas" or if such categorization even makes sense...
Last edited by Balthazar on Jun 15th, '14, 15:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 15th, '14, 15:31

Tead Off wrote:I think it's very hard to have an open mind about autumn puerh because of all the negative 'folklore' about its properties and lack thereof. I've come across some bizarre theories and statements regarding autumn harvest. Nevertheless, there is a reason that it is less expensive than spring harvest, but choosing wisely, you can get very good autumn harvest teas.

I would bet that blind tasting you, you could not guess the difference in many cases and would pick some autumn harvest over spring. Some of the best wine tasters in the world have been fooled in blind tastings by wines thought inferior because they came from places not of the terroir of a particular grape. We are a very impressionable animal.


the western palate will more commonly pick the autumn tea over the spring. experienced asian/chinese tea drinkers will prefer the spring tea over the autumn. If not processed differently, via blind tasting it is possible for some to quickly differentiate between spring and autumn.

A lot of autumn tea maocha is kept in storage and then blended into spring tea. The proper storage of autumn tea over some time can end up with some mimicry of spring tastes.. minus the boldness. Actually a lot of so called "spring tea" from all various merchants may contain autumn materials. If you're bored enough you can do some leaf sorting after every drink to see the proportion. Not that blending the seasons is a bad thing.. the aim of blending is still to fill up short comings and also generate new found complexities..

here's a recent yiwu tea i sorted for fun. there are obvious differences in the stalks, the leaf texture, leaf venation patterns with the seasons.

Image
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby William » Jun 15th, '14, 15:56

kyarazen wrote:
the western palate will more commonly pick the autumn tea over the spring. experienced asian/chinese tea drinkers will prefer the spring tea over the autumn. If not processed differently, via blind tasting it is possible for some to quickly differentiate between spring and autumn.

A lot of autumn tea maocha is kept in storage and then blended into spring tea. The proper storage of autumn tea over some time can end up with some mimicry of spring tastes.. minus the boldness. Actually a lot of so called "spring tea" from all various merchants may contain autumn materials. If you're bored enough you can do some leaf sorting after every drink to see the proportion. Not that blending the seasons is a bad thing.. the aim of blending is still to fill up short comings and also generate new found complexities..

here's a recent yiwu tea i sorted for fun. there are obvious differences in the stalks, the leaf texture, leaf venation patterns with the seasons.

Image


Which of the two is autumn's harvest?
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Jun 15th, '14, 16:18

Westerners, judging from my own experience, and reading from archives, are substantially more likely to dismiss autumn tea than easterners, *when* they noticed that it was an autumn tea at all. The vast majority of autumn tea were sold by the likes of Puerhshop, which most people just bought cheap to drink, and the premium teas that received sustained attention usually have not had a spring complement sold with it ('05-'07), so autumnal qualities were usually not discussed. Teas that did get sustained comparisons, like the YS teas from 2010 and 2011 were pretty much straight-off dinged for being autumnal, from what was in the cup. And dinged pretty hard.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 15th, '14, 22:53

shah82 wrote:Westerners, judging from my own experience, and reading from archives, are substantially more likely to dismiss autumn tea than easterners, *when* they noticed that it was an autumn tea at all. The vast majority of autumn tea were sold by the likes of Puerhshop, which most people just bought cheap to drink, and the premium teas that received sustained attention usually have not had a spring complement sold with it ('05-'07), so autumnal qualities were usually not discussed. Teas that did get sustained comparisons, like the YS teas from 2010 and 2011 were pretty much straight-off dinged for being autumnal, from what was in the cup. And dinged pretty hard.


even many drinkers here and in mainland will dismiss autumn tea once the label is there, but at the site of manufacture, blending easily conceals. more advanced techniques would include sandwiching the poorer quality tea in the middle of the cake and the surface/back to be nicer leaves,
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » Jun 16th, '14, 00:53

Tead Off wrote:I think it's very hard to have an open mind about autumn puerh because of all the negative 'folklore' about its properties and lack thereof. I've come across some bizarre theories and statements regarding autumn harvest. Nevertheless, there is a reason that it is less expensive than spring harvest, but choosing wisely, you can get very good autumn harvest teas.



Very true.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 18th, '14, 14:57

was given this tea, supposedly from 2008 as the label says. the price was shocking.

just based on appearance wise, any one want to guess how much was paid for this tea cake?

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Image

Image
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Jun 18th, '14, 16:09

There are a lot of very good looking cakes with expensive looking picking and care for leaves that don't make good tea. Plenty of terrible looking bings that would start a bidding war here if it was ever available. Though most premium teas look good.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby debunix » Jun 18th, '14, 18:28

Enjoying an extended thermos session with 2012 Yunnan Sourcing 'Jia Bu' sheng, a sample from a June 2012 order (I just checked), that I only opened yesterday. I put some dry leaf in the thermos, covered with hot water, took to a lunch meeting and enjoyed; added more hot water and drank (and shared) another pint through the afternoon and early evening; and then today topped up with more hot water, and it's still tasty and sweet, mild anise flavor, very pleasant stuff--and these were hardly conditions to bring out the best in it. It's still available.....hmmm....
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 19th, '14, 01:32

shah82 wrote:There are a lot of very good looking cakes with expensive looking picking and care for leaves that don't make good tea. Plenty of terrible looking bings that would start a bidding war here if it was ever available. Though most premium teas look good.


hmm... this cake only costs $3 USD... :shock: :D
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