Thursday, March 20, 2014
Dragon Tea House, Yi Heng Xiang Pigtails Old Tree Puerh 2008 Raw
Handmade, old tree leaves from snowy mountains in Linchang, Yunnan, China.
I have several puerh samples to review. I am really trying to get to them. Honest I am. So much tea, so little time! But not this day. Today I find this cool offering is up next on my 'to be reviewed' list. Notice how the cake looks more organized than most? Taking a quick look it almost has the appearance of feathers. As the cake is broken up it comes apart in hand rolled plaits or pigtails. The art of tea processing is so varied and fascinating.
This is a sheng or raw puerh from 2008. Putting my nose in my sample bag gives hints of light smoke and citrus. Interesting. Let's see how this profile changes when steeped.
I used boiling water and steeped 1 minute with about 8g of leaf. Normally I would steep for 30 seconds or so but I did not do a separate rinse with this tea. The liquor is deep golden colored and the aroma is dark and smoky. The leaf scent offers an additional kelp note. I'm intrigued.
I oversteeped and kind of overleafed on purpose. The result is leaving me searching for words. What I experienced is the light aroma of smoke as the cup is lifted to the lips. It disappears as soon as liquid hits the lips. Next, I get a creamy vanilla sensation, quickly followed by a sharper metallic or mineral sensation. Sharper is maybe the wrong word. More pronounced maybe, as this is a mellow cup. That sensation changes to a floral orchid meets light lavender note. All this is followed by a sensation like kind of like sniffing ashes except here it is pleasant, so that description doesn't seem to correctly identify the experience. Truly a unique sheng experience.
If I sip quickly it is almost leather like and spice in taste. This cup does have some cheek tingling and a dryness in the aftertaste. There is also a kind of sticky sensation but not as pronounced as I sometimes get with puerh. As I sit here typing I have a cooling sensation in my lungs from this tea. Awesome!
This is a very cool puerh. If you like raw puerh this one is worthy of a try. At the time of this writing a 100g cake is a very reasonable $10.99
Visit the Dragon Tea House website.