Monday, April 13, 2015

Wymm Tea, Menghai Wangshuji shou pu-erh in third grade 2008

Wymm Tea Description:
This shou pu-erh brews with a rich and honey flavor and long-lasting jasmine rice aroma. Small buds from high mountains in Menghai County, located in west of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, are picked to make the tea in 2008. Pu-erh tea has the potential to ferment over time, and this tea has been post-fermented for 6 years since production. Post-fermentation gives the tea vibrant flavours and richer aroma as well as deep wine colour.

Sample provided by Wymm Tea

My Review:
First, thank you Wymm Tea for the samples and the patience while I am recovering from a recent illness.

I received this in a padded envelope containing a hand written note and a brown paper wrapper tied with twine. A neat logo that I think is pressed into leather was attached to the string. The packaging looks awesome. Inside were four samples from Wymm Tea. Each is wrapped in rice paper. According to their website it is handmade. The paper is folded around the sample and tucked under securely. A small printed sticker on the outside identifies the sample.

Inside the rice paper is the chocolate colored leaf. This has not been compressed and is made of large lightly twisted leaf. The leaf scent is much to my liking. Wymm calls it a long lasting jasmine rice aroma. Having never smelled jasmine rice, I find it to be more of a boot leather scent, but I really like that smell.

I used the whole sample in my brown clay teapot. I won't call it Yixing anymore because at the price I paid there is no way, however I like it and it works well. Wymm recommends 3 rinses with boiling water, each at 10 seconds. The first I used maybe 3 ounces of water. The tea was red wine in color, so I drank it. Yeah, I just can't do rinses.  

I let the leaf soak up what moisture remained in the pot for several minutes and did another 'rinse'... that I drank. If it tasted bad after the first sip, I might pour it out, but really it was very tasty and full.

So admitting I am not going to follow instructions, I brew my first real cup. Wymm suggests 7 g of leaf to 250 ml (abt 8 ounces) of water. I am using about 6 ounces for each cup. The steep was supposed to be around 5 seconds but ended up more like 10. The cup is dark, resembling coffee. It is not inky black, just dark chocolate in color. The steeped leaf is almost black and has that wet vinyl shiny look that always reminds me of the monster in Alien. I may not be wired right but I am seldom bored.

The taste is much like the rinses. Instead of boot leather like the dry scent, this is old family Bible leather. There is a gentle sweetness to it. I find it immediately warming and comforting. There is no bitterness and nothing off about it. This is nicely smooth with no rough edges. There is a woodsy cedar spiciness late in the sip that adds just enough bite to be interesting without adding distraction.

Man, it has been a while since I have had shou pu-erh. My tummy is thanking me with sounds of appreciation.

For the next cup, I poured the boiling water into the pot, placed the lid, and immediately started pouring. The result was still nearly a coffee colored cup. It looks like wine as it pours. I just can't pour fast enough. The taste remains as in the previous.

I feel comfortable saying this will steep many more time throughout the rest of the day. I hope to get the opportunity to find out. This is a very lovely shou.

You can find Wymm Tea, Menghai Wangshuji shou pu-erh in third grade 2008 here.

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