Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teavivre, Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013

Sample Pack
Teavivre Description:
Xi Gui Raw Pu-erh 2013 is quite changeful in taste. Maybe you are familiar with the typical bold and unconstrained features of raw tea, or have tasted the mild and gentle characteristic brought by our Wild Tree Pu-erh. But this Xi Gui tea is a combination of both.

The initial several steeps bring high aroma and pure sweetness, also a hint of stringency, followed by a quick sweet aftertaste. The tea liquid leaves sweet and rich fragrance, lingering wonderfully in the throat. You can feel saliva secreting spontaneously in your month.

About seven or eight steeps later, the teas shows more tender and mild flavor, carrying a light orchid fragrance, tastes mellow and pure, along with a long, sustained aftertaste.

Sample provided by Teavivre.

10 g Dry Leaf
My Review:
Today we start the month of September with a pu-erh. This is a raw pu-erh, harvested and produced in 2013, so it is quite young. Very young raw pu-erh can be quite astringent and bitter. We shall see how this one behaves after steeping.

Upon opening the sample, the leaf is lightly compressed and much of it is loose. It is various shades of silver, brown, and olive green. The leaf is mainly long and lightly twisted. Some of it is flat strips and with the coloring pattern it reminds me of bacon. Yeah, I'm such a guy. The leaf has a floral aroma mixed with hay.

Honey Colored Liquor
I decided to sort of follow Teavivre's suggestion and use the entire 10 g sample in my Yixing pot. I did use a lot more water than suggested. They used a 100 ml gaiwan (a little over 3 oz), I chose to use 8 oz as my large Yixing will hold at least that much. Boiling water was added and the first steep was 20 seconds.

I was rewarded with a honey colored liquor.  Using the gaiwan, Teavivre shows the color as light yellow. Possibly mine would have as well if I had taken the picture in a white cup, but I doubt it.

The wet leaf has a definite seaweed aroma. There are no off scents in the leaf or the cup. The leaf appears to be two leaves and occasionally two leaves and a bud, which explains the silver in the dry leaf.

Bracing myself I take the first sip... I can relax now. This is actually quite mild. Sure it is slightly bright like raw sheng tends to be but not in an overpowering way. It is slightly mineral and slightly mushroom, yet neither are strong or offensive. Crisp, I think fits this nicely. The aftertaste really hangs on and seems floral to me.

A Huge Pile Of Wet Leaf
I noticed on the second cup it started out light yellow but by the time I was through pouring it was back to honey. So my slow pour is adding some steep time. Tastewise this is very similar to the first cup but stronger and a little more astringent. The aftertaste reminds me of tieguanyin oolong. I am also noticing brief notes of leather as I exhale after sipping. I caught this on the first cup as well and thought it was just wishful thinking (I love leather in pu-erh).

Cup three was the sharpest so far, but still good young sheng flavors.

Cup four returns to a more mellow cup by reducing the bright puckering bite. It now begins to pick up a more fruity flavor like maybe apricot. The aftertaste still lingers with an oolong like floral quality.

This shows no signs of letting up but that is a lot of tea in one setting so I'm going to stop here with the review.

If you enjoy raw pu-erh, or are just curious, this is a really nice one.

You can find Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013 here.

No comments:

Post a Comment