2012 Douji “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake From China Cha Dao

RawPuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  China Cha Dao

Tea Description:

2012 Douji  “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake 357g

Material:  Mengku, Menghai and Si Mao wild arbor tea trees leaves. Is a mixture of 80% Spring Tea and 20% Autumn Tea!

Taster’s Review:

While this 2012 Douji “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake from China Cha Dao no longer appears available on the vendor’s website, the 2011 and 2013 examples of this tea are currently available … hopefully my review of this tea might help you make a decision about it!

This tea brewed up surprisingly light in color because I generally expect a dark color from a Pu-erh, but, then I had to remind myself that not all Pu-erh are alike!  Case and point IS this Pu-erh, not just because of it’s color, but because of the flavor.

The aroma is more vegetative than it is earthy, and the flavor is reflective of that.  It does have a slightly earthy taste, but, for those of you out there that tend to shy away from Pu-erh because of it’s strong earthy character, this tea will be more to your liking, I think.

My first cup is sweet and smooth and very mellow.  There is virtually no astringency and absolutely no bitterness.  It is just … SMOOTH.  The texture is that of a light broth:  very soft and comforting.  It is a relaxing cup.

My second cup delivered a more intense flavor.  This cup is slightly more earthy than the first was, but the earthiness is not the usual earthiness that I associate with a Pu-erh.  This is more like a vegetative earthiness.  Warm yet crisp.  Sweet, but a little less sweet than the first cup, this is still a very mellow and smooth drink.

My third and fourth cups of this Pu-erh developed a more savory kind of taste to them:  earthy, vegetative, and almost salty.  There is more astringency at this point than in the first two cups, but, still it’s a very small amount.  Each cup becomes a little less smooth, but more complex.  It’s as though the softness lifts to reveal the layers of flavor.

Overall, a very pleasant Pu-erh experience!

Mengku Arbor Tree Ripened Puerh Cake Tea ZhenMu LingYa 2007 from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

With a century-old history, abundant rainfall and sunlight, Yunnan owns a reputation as “South of the Colorful Clouds”. She feeds her people and the land they live on with her own stream. This time TeaVivre brings you Pu-erh lovers the ZhenMu LingYa, within which the passion of Yunnan Pu-erh people you can feel. This Ripened Puerh Cake Tea ZhenMu LingYa uses fresh leaves of Mengku arbor tree as material. The tea workers have years of experience in making Pu-erh tea. With their hands and professional experience, they made the fresh tea leaves into this beautiful ripened Pu-erh cake. Using the Mengku arbor tree of high quality as material, this ZhenMu LingYa has the pure and mellow flavor of ripened tea. You could see the golden pekoe covering on the dry leaves. As the cake was suppressed just fine in tension, you could enjoy breaking the cake.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Like I do with most Pu-erh … I put off trying this Mengku Arbor Tree Ripened Puerh Cake Tea ZhenMu LingYa 2007 from Teavivre for a little while, but, I’m glad to be sipping on it today.

I brewed a chunk of this cake in my gaiwan, and I managed quite a few infusions from one small chunk.  The first infusion was earthy (most Pu-erh teas are!) but I liked that the earthy notes were subdued.  The flavor is deep, rich and mellow.  Really smooth without any astringency.  The sweetness is reminiscent of molasses!

My second infusion was a little more earthy than the first, but it was still very sweet and smooth.  By the third infusion, I found that the earthiness had really subsided to the point where I really found myself enjoying this Pu-erh.  Sure, I liked the first and second infusions just fine, but, my palate was much fonder of the third infusion!

The fourth infusion produced a slightly smoother taste – the taste was still very smooth in the first three infusions, but here I notice that the flavors tend to meld and become more unified.  It becomes a very smooth drinking kind of tea, with lovely sweet notes, hints of earth, and a sweet, caramel-y, molasses-y kind of taste all coming together in a seamless flavor.  It was really nice and mellow – the kind of cup that you like to enjoy after a meal.

I could have very easily taken this tea through even more infusions … although it was getting late.  My personal tea time had come to an end before this tea was ready to quit!  A really enjoyable Pu-erh … not my favorite, perhaps, but, certainly one I’d be happy to enjoy again!

Another Verdant Tea Giveaway!

Hello Everyone!

This is not a giveaway that we are hosting, but, since the Verdant Tea giveaway last week was so immensely popular, I thought I’d let you in on another giveaway that Verdant Tea is hosting themselves! This is a great opportunity for those of you who still want that taste of Verdant Tea!

Here is a copy/paste of what David from Verdant Tea sent to me:

By the way, we are starting a giveaway today for the last ounce of our 1996 Mengku Sheng Pu’er. If anyone who doesn’t win the Tea of the Month subscription wants to participate, it is another chance to try Verdant Tea. Here is the product page for that Mengku: http://verdanttea.com/teas/1996-wild-picked-mengku-sheng-puer/  And here is the link to the giveaway: http://verdanttea.com/giveaway/

This was sent to me this past Friday, so, the giveaway has only been going on for a few days.

Best of luck to you!  And don’t forget, we have a different giveaway going on every week during our Season of Giveaways!  How long will this season last?  I don’t know for sure, but it’s going to be a very happy, generous season, indeed!

Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds Pu-erh (2007) from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This Palace Pu’er Tea (Gong Ting 宫廷普洱) carefully selected by Teavivre is produced in Mengku, Lincang, which is a representative producing area of Yunnan pu’er tea and one of the famous five tea-producing areas in Yunnan.

The pure flavor, the mellow taste, the exposed gold coins make this kind of high-quality tea deserve to be appreciated carefully.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said before (more than once), I’ve not always been so fond of Pu-erh.  I think my taste buds have not only matured, but, also that I’ve learned more about the best way to brew teas including Pu-erh and this really has made a huge difference in how I’ve come to enjoy it.

But even so, Pu-erh still sometimes scare me, especially when they come off smelling very earthy.  And that is just what this tea did.  When I opened the pouch, I didn’t notice it quite as much as just after I brewed it.  When I poured it from my gaiwan, I really noticed a strong, earthy smell – it smelled of earth, reminiscent of peat, and also slightly of leather and wood.

I took a very apprehensive sip, but was so pleased to discover that this tastes less of earth than the aroma had lead me to believe.  Instead, this tastes sweet and remarkably smooth.  No bitterness or astringency at all.  It has a buttery sweetness – not so much like a buttery note that you might experience with a green tea or an Oolong, but more of the buttery taste in butter toffee or browned butter that’s been poured over the crust of a freshly baked loaf of bread.

It has an earthy flavor too, of course, but, it isn’t as prominent as I expected it to be.  It is very mellow tasting, and the flavor seems to improve with each subsequent infusion, so do take the time to explore this tea thoroughly!

A really amazing Pu-erh.  And after a visit to Teavivre’s website, I noticed that this particular tea is 10% off through July 15!  Time to stock up on this, you’ll be glad you did.