Saturday, February 7, 2015

Teavivre, Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2008

Teavivre Description:
Tribute grade pu-erh: abundant golden pekoe covering on the buds, nicely crafted. The taste is smooth and thick, carries strong nut’s fragrance. If you love ripened pu-erh, choose this golden cake.

Sample provided by Teavivre

My Review:
It's shu time! This large leaf ripened pu-erh comes from 90-120 year old trees found on Bulang Mountain in Menghai, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China.

This was a sample portion that came in the usual silver bag. Removing the leaf reveals a lot of golden tips throughout the compressed cake. The aroma is a light barnyard and nicely sweet with some dried grassiness.

I used the 90 ml gaiwan today and the entire sample (approx 10g). The water was kettle heated to boiling.

The first steep was about 12 seconds. As I have mentioned before, I seldom rinse the leaf, instead I increase the first steep slightly.

The result is a orange brown cup. The shape of the cup distorts the evenness of the color. The aroma is still somewhat barnyard. The taste is dusty but sweet. It has no rough edge or off tastes. It is actually quite smooth. It is a little earthy and like damp forest woods. Very nice.

I noticed a cooling sensation in my lungs and it seemed to allow for deeper cleaner breathing.

The second cup was steeped at 6 seconds. It is much darker. It is more coffee colored but with a red tint that the camera isn't showing.

This cup is a little more rough edged but not unmanageable. It has more of a cedar briskness. I didn't notice the aroma, so the barnyard must be fading. It just hints at leather.

The third cup I began pouring as soon as I could get the lid on the gaiwan and a proper grip. This is even a deeper burgundy. The aroma is spicy cedar and light mint. This is dry like a red wine. It has a spicy cedar wood flavor. I also catch more of an earthy loam note along with hints of leather. This is the best cup so far.

Cups four, five, and six, were all prepared just like the third with little more steep time than it took to fill and pour. I combined them. The brew seems to be growing even a deeper burgundy in color. It shows no signs of letting up, but this will be my last cup for this review.

Much to my delight, the taste continues in the same vein as the previous cup. This retains the dry cedar briskness, followed by a rich loamy earth. The leather continues to stay out of the limelight but hints at an old book leather.

With this cup I am noticing the faint touch of inner cheek tingle.

Possibly my favorite thing about this pu-erh has been the calmness that fills me as I sip it. I believe I am more mellow than the tea I'm sipping. Yep, feeling pretty groovy. I think I'll turn on my lava lamp (I really do have one), and crank up some Pink Floyd. This isn't magic psychedelic stuff, but it is pretty far out man ;)

You can find Teavivre, Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2008 here.

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