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2005

2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen

ShuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh Tea

Where to Buy: ES Green

Tea Description:

This cooked(ripe) loose-leaf pu-erh tea has been produced in 2005. Slim tea buds are covered with gold fuzz. Neat and clean.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen is a ripe, cooked loose-leaf pu-erh tea from 2005.   For these tea leaves you will see slim tea buds that are covered with gold fuzz.  The leaves from the 2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen are neat and clean as is the flavor of the offering.

Even though this 2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen smells a bit like wet wood and old cigars once infused it was quite pleasant to the palate!  This infused very dark but also held up to multiple infusions, too.  After a few moments at room temperature the flavor seems to peak at it’s flavor rush to the taste buds.

Pu-erh teas – it seems – I either love them – or hate them.  This one is the first one I put in the middle category because I do like it quite a bit but also can’t say I LOVE it and have it have it every day.  It is an offering to linger on – to take your time with – to appreciate and enjoy the time and artisan-ship that went into it.  It may not be for everyone but if it is for you then by all means…celebrate it!  I, for one, will have another cup!

2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea

2005-Changtai-Yun-Pu-Zhi-DianTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Crimson Lotus Tea

Tea Description:

This is a very special puerh prepared by the Yunnan Changtai Tea Industry Group. The blenders who work for Changtai are true masters of their craft. The leaves in this puerh are a blend of 15 mountains, Spring picked in 2005. The name for this cake “Yun Pu Zhi Dian” means “Top of the Clouds”. Since Yunnan means “Southern Clouds” this name has a double meaning. It refers to the heavenly experience and also that this puerh contains the best from Yunnan.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve often thought of pu-erh as a cooler weather type of tea because it’s a tea that I prefer to be served hot.  As the tea cools, I find that the flavors begin to mute and become lost.

And yes, I do drink hot tea even in the summer months, in fact, I drink more hot tea than I do iced tea in the summer months, but, I don’t drink as much hot tea in the summer as I do in the cooler months.

2005-Changtai-Yun-Pu-Zhi-Dian2So when I drink a pu-erh, I’m often reminded of the cooler days of autumn and winter, but as I sip this 2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea, the tea seems to be evoking thoughts of late spring and early summer.

Perhaps it’s the lovely notes of fruit that develop throughout the infusions, starting off with a soft hint of apricot and in later infusions, I notice that the sweet apricot notes are accentuated with a contrasting sour note of tart apple.

Perhaps it’s the lovely background note of flower that seems to bring to mind thoughts of floral aromas filling the air in the spring.  Or maybe it’s the delicate woodsy notes and hints of vegetative earthy tones that remind me of the trees as signs of their springtime foliage begin to grow.

This tea is beautifully smooth and sweet with notes of fruit and honey.  In the earliest infusions, the fruit notes are strongest, but as I continue to steep, the honey develops and the fruit begins to wane somewhat.

Meanwhile, the woodsy notes are developing.  These aren’t musty wood notes, but clean, vibrant woodsy tones.   The tea has a sweetness to it that is balanced with the aforementioned notes of sour apple.

I’ve only just been introduced to this company – Crimson Lotus – but I am quite impressed with this tea.  They specialize in Pu-erh teas.  Those new to Pu-erh will find this a fantastic resource of teas that are good ‘starting out’ Pu-erh (and since they specialize in Pu-erh, they’ll be a great resource of knowledge for you too!)  And for those of you who are more experienced with Pu-erh, I think you’ll find that Crimson Lotus has an amazing selection of intriguing teas.

As for me, I highly recommend this Top of the Clouds Sheng!  It’s delightful!

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005 from Teavivre

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw PuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

The Fengqing Zhuan Cha Ripened Puerh Brick Tea 2005 is small but has full weight of 240g. The brick is in the size of 13.5 cm long, 9 cm wide and 1.5 cm high, which makes the tea easy to store. Brick tea is a kind of compressed pu-erh tea. This Raw Pu-erh Brick Tea has yellow and bright liquid, stronger flavor than ripened brick with strong astringent taste. Yet the bitter taste differs from other teas’. A strong sweet aftertaste comes after the liquid fills in your mouth, as well as the long-lasting mellow flavor promoting the secretion of saliva. The sweet aftertaste still remains even half a minute later. This Raw Pu-erh Brick is picked in 2005’s spring and summer, and pressed in the same year. Aged Pu-erh Brick teas will become more profound after years of store. It is regarded as an eatable antique in China.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Although I’m not always enthusiastic to try a pu-erh, after having tried a good number of pu-erh teas from Teavivre without disappointment, I found myself actually looking forward to trying this 2005 Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea.

After a quick rinse (15 seconds), I infused my first cup for just 45 seconds and achieved a very strong, deep flavor with notes of mineral and a somewhat salty/savory note.  The description above suggests “promoting the secretion of saliva” and that’s what I’m experiencing from this tea.  The salty note from the tea encourages my mouth to begin watering.

This is earthy but not in the same way that a ripened pu-erh would taste.  This is more earthy/vegetative sort of taste.  I note hints of kelp.  By mid-cup, I start to notice some bitter/tart notes that brighten the overall flavor.

I steeped this tea eight times before I was ready to move on to something else – but I do suspect that this tea would have kept going strong for at least two or more infusions!  With each infusion, I noticed a deeper flavor than with the previous cup.  The flavor keeps developing.

I’ve often used the word mellow to describe a pu-erh but I don’t think that word applies to this tea.  The savory/bitter notes are very unique to me.  I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to pu-erh, in fact, I think of myself as just the opposite.  Pu-erh is the tea that I feel least knowledgeable about, and with each new experience, I feel as though I’m learning something new and after each experience, I feel as though I’ve so much more to learn!

That said, I can’t recall a tea quite like this one before.  It has a brine-like flavor to it … but not a fishy-brine taste.  The brine here reminds me more of a vinegar-ish type of taste, the savory/bitter/salty notes you might experience from vinegar.  The earthy notes here are very mushroom-y.

A very intriguing tea!

2005 Lao Lin Cang Ancient Arbor Sheng Pu-erh Tea from Life in Teacup

AncientArborSheng

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Tea Description:

Production Year – 2005
Season – Spring
Production Region – Yunnan
Factory – Lao Lin Cang Tea Factory
Style – Sheng

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review: 

The dry leaf aroma of this 2005 Lao Lin Cang Ancient Arbor Sheng Pu-erh Tea from Life in Teacup is a gentle, earthy scent.  Generally, I find myself kind of put off by the strong earthy notes of Pu-erh but, this is such a subtle earth scent that I’m not finding it off-putting at all, and the sweet tones are very intriguing.

I steeped this the way I would typically steep a Pu-erh – in my gaiwan.  I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds (following a quick 15 second rinse), and the flavor was earthy and sweet, with a woodsy note to it that is sweet.  There are hints of a fruit-like note to this as well.  It’s a mellow tea with a pleasant sweetness.  There is also a cleansing astringency to this that I don’t usually find in a pu-erh.

The second (1 minute) infusion delivered a flavor that is less earthy and more sweet.  The woodsy note has developed and I am tasting more of the fruit taste now too.  The finish is sweet and the aftertaste is clean.

The next two infusions, I noticed that the earthy tones began to develop, and these tones meld together with the fruit and woodsy notes, and are softened by the sweetness.  Subsequent infusions, some of the earthiness begins to taper, and I find a nice balance of fruit and sweet wood tones.

Overall, a pleasant Sheng – mellow and relaxing.  The sweetness of this one keeps me sipping!

Fengqing Golden Buds Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2005 from Teavivre

fengqing

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This Golden Buds Puerh Cake made in 2005 is the high-end products from Fengqing Sanning Tea Company.  There’re plenty of highest quality tender buds with white tips.  The buds which turned to be golden color after fermentation were combined with other levels Puerh maocha which contain much flavor content so that this Puerh cake has the characteristics of pure aroma, mellow taste and quick sweet aftertaste.  This puerh cake is produced in Fengqing, Yunan.  Fengqing is the original place of the world-wide famous Dian Hong Tea.  And it is also a classic place of Yunnan Pu-erh.  It is a place in Lingcang which is one of the four famous Pu-erh production areas.  It can be said that this Puerh cake is the most representative and highest quality one.  It is quite good for the Puerh enthusiast who has much experience of drinking Puerh tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was a little hesitant with this Pu-erh, because the aroma of the dry leaf is very earthy.  And the fragrance doesn’t soften all that much once it’s brewed either … so I was a little scared, to tell the truth.  It’s that strong earthy flavor that I am usually puts me off when it comes to Pu-erh, but I remained hopeful and decided to give it a shot!  And I’m glad that I did.  This Fengqing Golden Buds Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2005 from Teavivre is really quite nice!

The flavor is not nearly as earthy as the aroma suggests.  Yes, there are earthy tones, but they’re really quite mild, and evocative of a mushroom-y kind of taste rather than of peat or other less-than-appealing earthy tastes.  It also has a really delightful sweetness to it, that reminds me of a cross between molasses and caramel.  Nice!

I also taste notes of flower in the background, and these flavors seem to develop as I continue to sip.  It never becomes a really strong, pronounced flavor, but, I like how this note sort of teases the palate.

I brewed this Pu-erh the way I usually would, with a quick 15 second rinse, and brewing the first infusion at just 30 seconds, and 45 seconds for the second.  The first two infusions were then combined into one cup, and it created a surprisingly dark brew!  Darker than most black teas that would be brewed for 3 minutes or more!  And like most other Pu-erh, this one is good for many more infusions, I spent all afternoon with this tea and it was a delightful experience.

The flavor is rich and complex yet delightfully mellow, and I appreciated that the earthy tones were much more subdued than the aroma suggested to me.  While it does possess some of the flavors that I would expect from a Pu-erh, I found myself happily surprised by this one.  If you are one who appreciates a really lovely, lightly earthy Pu-erh – one that’s sweet and pleasantly floral! – this is one you should put on your MUST TRY list!