I initially break off a chunk that’s too big for my gaiwan, so I ease it in slowly. The aromas after I rinse the piece are deeply green, giving hints of damp moss and cooked vegetables. The first brew, even now a deep golden hue, is quintessential sweet, creamy Yiwu, one of the oldest and most renowned puer tea growing regions in Yunnan. As with many teas from these mountains, it’s story is that of a smooth, mouth coating soup with a distinctive dark straw base. There are rich, sweet and savory flavors throughout the second infusion with vibrant dark green vibes that I’m just all about.
There does seem to be some deal of wok charring, an imperfection in processing that gives it something of a rough smokey edge, but only slightly… Unfortunately for this tea, the smoke contrasts especially poorly with its sweet and subtle nature. For other areas that yield teas with more forward and busy profiles like Bulang and Mengku, this isn’t as big of a deal, but for a tea that stakes itself on being subdued flavor wise while being thick and sweet, the smoke just hurts a little more. Again, not the biggest of deals, it just is what it is.
Returning to what I enjoy about the Poundcake, the color of the soup is simply gorgeous. It I has almost a copper tone and seems to glow with its own light. The fourth infusion releases a small amount of bitterness, as it should, and this really seems like the height of the leaves’ release of flavors; there is now more of a tobacco base even, with cooked vegetables and sticky rice. Some real Chinese village stuff here…
The fifth infusion mellows out nicely, while the bitter edge has picked up. Also the smoke which had been bugging me seems to have mostly steeped out, and I’m getting more pleasantly floral and honey background notes now. Overall this is a very pleasant, if not perfect tea, and a good representation of terroir. Speaking generally from my own mostly secondhand knowledge and limited experience, this is what most Yiwu teas should be. There are some notable exceptions though, so with that teaser, I’ll leave it at “to be continued…”
Once again, you have sat through the ramblings of a tea drunken lunatic, and aimless wanderer of life.
Go now in peace,
Special bonus feature: Osho Tarot of the day: