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Lincang

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea (Red Tea)

Where to Buy: Teabook

Tea Description:

This is a one time purchase of our beloved teabook Subscription box without the renewing feature, makes a great gift! We purposely seek out high-elevation, quality tea from small farms that don’t use pesticides.

Free glass tea tumbler
18 tea packets of two quality selected varieties
1 special collection tea packet

Great tea wherever you go!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is a great tea.  Whether you call it a Black Tea or a Red Tea it’s sure to impress.  The sample I received from Teabook was perfectly portioned to fit in their tea tumbler that I also received in the box they sent me but the Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook itself also fit nicely into my strainer/steeper to have a regular cuppa as-is, too!

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is of Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.  Suggested water steeping temperature was 195 degrees and the loose leaf tea is an impressive, clean black tea (or as they state on the package Red Tea).  Here in the US we tend to call it a Black Tea but many other countries categorize it as a Red Tea.

It has a nice medium strength black tea base that ends a bit sweeter on the end sip.  It also makes a great iced tea.  I was able to get multiple infusions out of it, too!  Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is hardy and hefty and stands up to many of my black tea favorites!  Two thumbs up!

 

2011 Phatty Cake Pu-erh from Mandala Tea

phattycakeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy: Mandala Tea

Tea Description:

The material we chose is grade one leaf picked in 2006 and ripened in 2007.  The raw material is from the most remote area in Lincang and is far from cities, roads.  This makes for a very pure tea with no worries about pollution from cities.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Confession time:  I have been putting off trying this 2011 Phatty Cake Pu-erh from Mandala Tea for a long time.  Why?  Because it’s pu-erh.  It’s all about that seemingly ingrained attitude toward pu-erh.

Fortunately, since it IS pu-erh, a little aging isn’t going to hurt it and may actually prove to be beneficial.

Since it’s a rainy night and I wanted something mellow and contemplative to sip on a night like tonight, I figured it was the right time to finally try some of this Phatty Cake!  I pried some of the material off of the cake – just enough to be about a bamboo scoop of tea leaves – and put it into the bowl of my gaiwan.  Then I heated my kettle to 190°F and did a 15 second rinse before infusing the leaves for 30 seconds.

I didn’t take this for the usual 45 second infusion because by the time we reached 30 seconds, the tea was quite dark.

This first infusion is quite nice.  Mellow.  Deep and smooth.  No astringency.  A sweet, caramel-y flavor with notes of earth.  The earthiness reminds me of mushroom and tobacco.  Now, I’v never actually tasted tobacco, but my father had a pipe at one time and the taste of this tea evokes thoughts of the aroma I remember from the pipe tobacco.  As I continue to sip, I pick up on a raisin-y quality and the sugary sweetness that goes along with the dried fruit.

My second infusion (30 second infusion) tastes a bit earthier than the first.  Definitely a stronger tobacco note.  Toward the finish, I’m picking up on a slight mineral-y note.  I am still getting that deep sweetness – but it’s more of a dry fruit sweetness than a caramel-y note this time.  I’m not getting much caramel this time around, and I miss it.

Later infusions mellowed out a little bit on the earthiness – and I was grateful for that.  I found the second cup to be a little too earthy for my liking and without the lovely caramel-y notes to accompany those earthy tones, it was a bit of a disappointment.  But my third infusion (another 30 second infusion!) had a lighter earthy note and it was sweeter with notes of molasses.  Quite nice!

I found that I liked this tea better with each infusion after the third infusion.  As I’ve already said, the second was a bit too earthy for me, but after that, I was experiencing some really delightful sweetness from this tea.  I also noticed that as those earthy flavors lightened up a little, I was able to explore some wonderful flavors, including a hint of mint!  That was a pleasant surprise!

Mandala Tea doesn’t have their Phatty Cake in Cake form, but it is currently available as a loose tea.  Mandala is a top-notch company, I recommend them highly!

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha from Teavivre

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea TuochaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Tuocha, a compressed tea in hollowed hemispheric shape, is mainly produced in Yunnan. This 100g Tuocha is from Fengqing, Lincang, Yunnan.

The materials of Tuocha are from Fengqing large tea speices. Fresh tea leaves will be made into dry tea in traditional craft method after being picked, then will be pressed into nest shape. The appearance of Tuocha reminds you of mountain. While smelling the faint scent of Sheng Pu-erh, you will have the feelings of being in beautiful scenery of Yunnan.

Sheng Pu-erh has strong flavor for first sip. Yet the sweet aftertaste will bring you a wonderful impression. You can feel a hint of sweet as sugarcane remaining in your mouth. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

 Sweet!  This Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea from Teavivre has an enjoyably sweet flavor, a sweetness that is balanced with notes of sharpness and notes of vegetation, wood and earth (think mushroom).   As I continued to sip, I started to pick up on notes of stone fruit.

I like that with the very first infusion (following a 15 second “rinse”) the flavor is strong and well-defined.  I could taste these flavors with this first cup, I didn’t have to wait until the third or fourth cup to start experiencing the lovely flavor.  I usually find that Pu-erh tends to have a mellow flavor, but this is a bold Pu-erh, and I’m appreciating the differences that this tea offers.

Later infusions surprised me with even stronger flavors!  I still experienced the amazing sweetness, fruit notes (I think I even tasted a hint of grapefruit!) and woodsy tones.  Full-flavored with notes vegetation, but this isn’t like the same kind of “vegetation” that I’d experience if I were drinking a green tea.  This is more like the vegetal flavor you’d experience from a woodsy mushroom.  It’s deep and earthy and flavorful, but in the distance you can taste notes of vegetation.

A deep sweetness – the description above suggests a “sugarcane” like sweetness, and I agree with that assessment – is present throughout the sip, from start to finish.  It lingers in the aftertaste.

A really enjoyable pu-erh experience!  I managed eight infusions from this tea and I suspect I could have gotten even more – the flavor wasn’t quitting!  This tea has many different flavors to explore – a delightfully complex tea.

And when I visited Teavivre’s webpage for this tea, I noticed that this will be part of the #3 Sale Round from August 4 through August 5.  Mark your calendars!