It’s a long time since I reviewed a puer tea. The forecast for Poland is some snow and frost starting tomorrow so it seems fitting to brew a bit of this. (Although young puer is meant to cool you body in Chinese medicine, I’m primarily attracted to those teas in cold weather, go figure).
This 2006 Organic Pasha Shan from Haiwan factory is an early 2009 purchase from Yunnan Sourcing (actually tasted from 200g mini cake which I paid $17). Tight compression, prying the leaves out of this is a pain (as can be seen on the below photo). Small leaves ranging in colour from pale green to medium. Aroma rather subdued (tobacco), even in warmed gaiwan.
|My puer prying knife has left visible traces.|
I first tasted this with a safe 5g leaf / 130ml water ratio. A very pale infusion, inexpressive and underwhelming, with a hint of vague tobacco aroma and a simple, herby, dry-tasting but unbitter palate. Better in 2nd and 3rd infusion, still with not much little aromatic expression: green tobacco and a bit of earthiness, with a bit of musk / sweat underneath, developing a bit of bitterness and an interesting austere architecture on the palate, really quite dry, with very little sweetness. Infusion #3 is really interesting in its linearity from a subdued attack towards a more intense and defined finish. A healthy amount of clean, citrus-flavoured ku. Surely an interesting tea although hardly very charming at this stage.
|Not too dark, not too light a predictable colour for a 4-year-old puer.|
Retried recently in yixing teapot, consistent with the above notes, perhaps a little quicker to open up in the gaiwan. I don’t get a lot of intensity out of this, and looking at the wet leaves I think there’s more than a bit of plantation leaves intervening. For a half-plantation tea (diplomatically speaking) it seems a bit expensive at $40 per cake today, but at least it’s got a personal flavour profile and there’s hope it will develop a bit more personality. Stay tuned for updates down 2012.
PS Another review of this tea is here.
Source of tea: own purchase.