2010 Spring Kunlu Mountain from Wymm Tea (Ancient Tea Pu-Erh)

Spring2010Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-Erh

Where to Buy: Wymm Tea (Ancient Tree Pu-Erh)

Tea Description:

Kunlu Mountain is located within Ning’er Hani and Yi autonomous prefecture county in Pu’er city. Kun means “valley” and lu means “sparrow” in Dai minority group’s language, together Kunlu means a valley inhabited with sparrows. Kunlu Mountain sits at the end of the Wuliang mountain range, where Lancang and Honghe rivers divide. Kunlu Mountain’s altitude ranges between 1410 and 2271 meters, and is considered one of the higher mountains within Pu’er city region. A combination of early-cultivated and wild-grown trees forms the ancient tea tree forest, which covers 10,122 mu (equivalent to 6.75 sqkm) on the mountain.

Kunlu Mountain once served as imperial tea garden for the Qing emperors over 200 years. After successful bureaucratization of Cheli Xuanweisi in 1729, E’ertai (Ortai), the governor-general of Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi tri-province, established a tribute tea factory in Ning’er village, Pu’er Fu (known nowadays as Xishuangbanna). Every year, only the best and most delicate tea buds harvested from Kunlu Mountain in early spring were sent into this factory, in which they were carefully pressed into shapes or processed into paste. These products were presented in front of the Qing emperors after a 6-month, 4100-km route done solely on horseback. These products were carefully supervised by feudal officials and guarded by soldiers.

Taster’s Review:

This 2010 Spring Kunlu Mountain from Wymm Tea (Ancient Tea Pu-Erh) doesn’t appear to be listed on the Wymm Tea shop any longer.  There is, however, a Pu-Erh called Kunlu Sheng Pu-Erh from Ancient Tree 2010 Spring which I can only assume could be comparable.  Don’t quote me on that because I haven’t tried that offering yet.

I mainly wanted to mention this offering from Wymm Tea because it was the very first Pu-Erh experience I had from this company and it was a great one.  This Pu-Erh is right up my alley.  It’s not the muddy-thick-wormy-earthy-tar like pu-erh that I have had from other companies.  This is more of a gentler-earthy yet semi-floral Pu-Erh experience.  I think this is a great Pu-Erh to start with if you are trying them for the first time.  It will NOT scare you away from Pu-Erhs as a whole and will NOT make you pre-judge other Pu-Erh’s but at the same time it’s very pleasing and will set a standard for other Pu-Erh’s.  This is very well-done and I can’t wait to try additional offerings from Wymm Tea!


2010 Xing Hai Raw Beeng Cha from Canton Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Another classic puerh from Xing Hai, made from authentic leaves, grade 5 –7, harvested from the large, mature tea bushes of Meng Hai.

A good quality raw puerh, it will keep improving for 10 years or more. For best aging results, store in a well-aired location with a constant temperature. The Xing Hai Beeng Cha is a young puerh and shows the classic characteristics of mild flowery notes with a traditional bittersweet finish. It will develop more woody notes as it matures.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the more I am sampling different Pu-erh teas, the more I’m realizing that I really do like them.  I still suffer a bit from a couple of bad experiences concerning Pu-erh, but, really, the number of good experiences I’ve had outweigh the number of bad at this point.

unfortunately, it's too overcast to see much of a sunset today, just a sliver of orange in the distance ... and not very easy to see in this picture.

This is a really nice raw pu-erh, quite sweet with pleasing floral notes.  I don’t think I’ve had a pu-erh where I really noticed such well-pronounced floral tones before.  Usually, I taste earthiness, and yes, I taste that here too, but, I don’t think I’ve had a pu-erh where the focus is more on the notes of flower over the notes of earth.

The sweetness is very molasses-like … in fact, had I not prepared this cup myself, I would have thought that whomever did prepare it for me added a dollop of molasses to the cup.

Overall, the cup is very smooth – no bitterness, no astringency – and it has a very mellow character.  A very enjoyable cup of tea, I find it to be an especially enjoyable tea to enjoy in the early evening while watching the sunset.

ITFA Global Tea Taster’s Club, October’s Shipment, Part 1: SiaoSyue – Winter Jin Syuan

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Produced By Dignitea Garden

For More Information, visit the Tea Farms webpage

About ITFA Global Tea Taster’s Club:

By subscribing to the Global Tea Tasters Club, you will receive tea from ITFA tea farms 6 times per year. Each time, we will select a different region to feature and as we grow in tea farm members, so will your tea experience.

Your tea will also be accompanied by info about the tea and the tea farms themselves.

To know where your tea is coming from, who has grown and produced it, to taste the difference in teas from around the world…what could be better?

Taster’s Review:

October’s shipment of teas for ITFA’s Global Tea Taster’s Club brought me teas produced in Taiwan.  And when I think of teas from Taiwan, I immediately think Oolong!  And, yes, this shipment featured three different Oolong teas (as well as one Black tea).  Yay!  I do love Oolong!

And of course, my favorite Oolong is Ali Shan!  And so what better way to start off these tastings from October’s shipment than with an Ali Shan Oolong?

This Ali Shan Jin Shuan SianSyue Oolong from the Dignitea Gardens is the first tea that I selected from my October package, and it is LOVELY.  It has a remarkably light roast to it, giving it a hint of nutty, buttery flavor without a strong roasty-toasty taste. 

It is remarkably fragrant, with a beautiful floral note that reminds me of something between orchid and lily.  This floral note translates to the flavor, but while the floral taste is there, it is in keeping with the overall lightness to the cup, and does not overwhelm.

In one sip, I notice not only the delightful floral notes, and the nutty flavor, but hints of buttered popcorn, and a very subtle undertone of spice.   For such a light tea, there is a surprising amount of flavor and body to the cup.

This tea is a perfect example of why I adore Ali Shan so much.


2010 First Flush Premium Oolong from Mauna Kea Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  This flush is sold out, however, keep an eye on Mauna Kea Tea’s website for updates on when this year’s harvest is available!

Product Description:

Our First Flush Premium Oolong Tea is the first harvest of the year. This is medium oxidation oolong which has slightly fruity flavor and bold floral aroma. Hand harvested and processed. Naturally oxidized under the sun.

partially oxidized leaves are then hand-processed to enhance floral aroma and bring out full flavor.

Organically Grown at our farm in Hawaii.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve never been to Hawaii.  I hope to go sometime, but until then, I like to think that I’m experiencing a bit of Hawaii through Hawaiian-grown teas like this one from Mauna Kea.

The aroma is fantastic.  It smells much the way I imagine the air in Hawaii to smell:  floral, vegetal, and fresh.  A very aromatic, vibrant fragrance!

The flavor is sublime!  It is very delicate and floral, with a kiss of vegetation to the background.  There is a beautiful fruity essence to the flavor as well, with flavors that remind me of sweet plums.

The sweetness to this cup is remarkable, no additional sweetener is required.  In fact, I feel that adding sweetener to this cup would ruin this tea.  I has such a lovely delicate quality to it.

I recommend brewing this tea in a gaiwan to get the most out of this tea.  Drink it hot to enjoy all the subtle nuances to it.  This is truly a rewarding tea!

Yiwu Wild Puerh Cake 2010 from Qing Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Qing Tea

Product Description:

Yiwu moutain is the biggest mountain among the famous 6 mountains in Yunnan. The region grows a great amount of old tea trees.This puerh cake uses spring tea leaves from Yiwu and is shaped in traditional way. The soup is already friendly and rich of sensation.

Taster’s Review:

I am still a little afraid of Pu-erh… I think more than anything, it’s that very pungent earthy aroma that puts me off on the stuff.  However, I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the sample pouch that I received of this Pu-erh and noted very little (almost NO) earthy scent.

This translates into the flavor as well, with very little earthiness detected in the taste.  There is some earthiness in the flavor, it just doesn’t dominate the cup.

What I am finding most intriguing about this tea is an almost wild note in the background.  I don’t know if one can actually taste the “wild” in a wild-grown Pu-erh, but, this flavor is a bit different from any other Pu-erh that I’ve tried.

There is a lightness to this particular Pu-erh, and this allows the flavor to come off as a bit more crisp and bright.  I taste notes of spice in this tea, as well as a hint of sweetness.  It has an almost rustic tone to it.  The finish is dry.  A very pleasant Pu-erh!