Sunday, August 30, 2009

2008 Awazon Puer Cakes

A few days ago, I received a small order of Awazon (阿佤山)* puer cakes (普洱餅茶) directly from the source. I have ordered from this tea company several times in the past and I am always very happy with their prices, quality and service. The two teas I imported are 2008 Awazon "Jingmai Ancient Tree" Organic Sheng Puer cake and 2008 Awazon "Manjing Ancient Tree" Organic Sheng Puer cake.

Jingmai (景迈) Cake


Naked Jingmai


Manjing (芒景) Cake


Naked Manjing

This afternoon, my wife and I cupped both of the teas together using two small gaiwans, each with about 5 grams of dry leaf. I steeped them about 10 times before I was "waterlogged" but I'm sure they had a few more brews in them.

The wet leaves have a very pleasant aroma. It was not very smoky with an earthy, wildness that reminded me of raking leaves. My wife mentioned a "dried fruit" aroma, and I would certainly agree.

The Jingmai always yielded a slightly lighter, crisper and fruitier broth, while the Manjing's was consistently stronger, woody and more robust. My Jingmai notes included: "honey, clarity, and apple," and my Manjing notes included "floral, cedar, and peppery."

The next time I brew these cakes, I will take more time to savor their thick full bodied tea soup and I will brew them a little lighter because they are very young and lively.

Cupping the teas on a sunny Sunday afternoon.


While I definitely plan to keep a few of these cakes for my own puer collection... I would like to sell some too! I currently only have six cakes of each tea available (so they may sell out quickly). The cost is $5 per ounce or $40 per whole 357 gram cake. Payments can be made via cash, paypal or check. The tea can be shipped (add $5), delivered or picked up depending on your individual needs. Please email me at blackdragontea@gmail.com if you're interested in buying some of this wonderful organic puer tea. Thank you!

My daughter examining the puer cakes.

Or, you may choose to buy directly from Awazon in Kunming (昆明) China. In that case, please tell them that you read about their tea on my blog. 謝謝您!

*The Awazon tea factory uses the spelling "zon" for 山 (mountain). The standard pinyin is "shān."

8 comments:

starshinesmonet said...

I was most fortunate to receive a tasting of these fine teas this morning and was happily impressed.

The Jingmai (景迈) Cake was had the most wonderful aroma of raw honey (still on the comb), but the taste was more fruit, mild and less woody than one might expect from a pur'h -- even a sheng/raw variety.
This one DEFINITELY preferred having an audience, because when we had a second tasting later in the day, with a much larger group, I got a much better sense for its personality. I suppose it only likes to come out and say hello if there are enough people to appreciate the fullness of its complexities, so that's fine.

The Manjing (芒景) Cake was much stronger, as Brett said it was "punchier" and I observed that it was more 'shy' than its predecessor, and needed a slightly longer steep time. However, it didn't necessarily require a full audience to peek out and make introductions.

In the end, despite that yummy raw honey-comb scent, I decided to purchase the Manjing (芒景) Cake.

I'll make a point to call you in 10-20 yrs when its good and ripe, eh, Brett?

p.S. Quite off topic, but for those who haven't tried the new Yinzhen yet - DO! It's absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! It was like tasting the ghost of a Darjeeling or a 1st flush Ceylon, while still tasting like a white. Very creamy, a little toasty, but very light and smooth also. Not quite wisp, but more... otherworldly. I HIGHLY recommend it.

~Micha

starshinesmonet said...

So, part two of the continued adventures of Micha & Puerh - lesson #1: One should not have two LONG tastings of Puerh in one day and prepare to sleep for the next 48 hours! I have yet to get more than an hour and a halfs' night of sleep -- that was some GOOD stuff, Brett. Very good! See you tomorrow (I'll let you know if the effects still continued to take place until tonight as well then)...

starshinesmonet said...

So, part two of the continued adventures of Micha & Puerh - lesson #1: One should not have two LONG tastings of Puerh in one day and prepare to sleep for the next 48 hours! I have yet to get more than an hour and a half's' night of sleep -- that was some GOOD stuff, Brett. Very good! See you tomorrow (I'll let you know if the effects still continued to take place until tonight as well then)...

Michael said...

Once again Brett has exposed us neophytes to finely and traditionally prepared pu'er tea. I had thought pu'er had to have a heavier flavor, but his steeping techniques and this new tea have yielded a lighter flavor, with only hints of the deep pu'er I have come to know: it was a pleasant surprise ... I sip the tea as we speak. And although not his forte, even threw in a macha taste test. Thanks again Brett for your expertise and love of tea!

Jason Witt said...

Thanks for the link to this company from China. I've just recently started on my Pu-erh journey but I'm already tired of the common "ripe" selections available here in the US. I've experienced some of the better raw Pu-erhs and I'm sold on how wonderful they can be. --Spirituality of Tea

Brett said...

Micha - Xiexie for the wonderful comments. It's so nice to read your notes on the teas we tasted together.

Micha, Michael and Jason - You're welcome. I can tell that you all truly love good Chinese tea.

Terje said...

To Brett

I was wondering if you have had any more sessions with the awazon teas? they look nice, but how would you rank them? Do you think they have potential for aging?

Sincerely
Terje

Brett said...

Hi Terje, The cakes are very nice and I feel have good potential for aging. I feel their rank is fair for their price.