Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2010 Denong Ancient Tree Sheng Brick

On Saturday I purchased this 100-gram puer tea brick from fellow Seattleite Jeffrey McIntosh. Jeffrey recently returned from Kunming, China, where he spent several months intensively studying all aspects of puer tea. He has a very good relationship with Denong (德農) Tea Company and imported these bricks himself. Lucky for us, he is now selling top quality puer teas to North American Chinese tea lovers like me!

Jeffrey's 2010 Denong Ancient Tree Sheng Brick.

On first sight, the wrapper looked familiar to me. I now remember having tried a couple of very nice Denong bricks a few years back. Those bricks were from Bana Tea Company and had similar size and floral paper design.

I also found it interesting that, besides the brick's Chinese name (德農古樹普洱生茶), the wrapper is entirely in English. Perhaps the producers fully intended this one for export?

This brick was marketed as very smooth, and very clean and natural. The wrapper even includes a certification sticker from SGS Taiwan to back up the seller's (in this case Jeffrey's) claim that there is zero pollution, pesticides, or other residues (i.e. bad stuff) in these leaves.

Sure looks good to me!

My wife and I spent some time getting to know this brick on 3/13/11 after we finished our Sunday gardening.

I used my ~100 ml gaiwan with about 5 grams of dry leaf and boiling water. A three second rinse opened the session nicely with a wonderful fruit and herb aroma. It was hard to describe the scent, but I'd say it had a hint of strawberry.

I pushed the leaves through 9 satisfying infusions and, as advertised, found no bitterness. The soup had a great amber color and good throat-feel but it lacked slightly in the mouth. The wet leaves always smelled so good but were elusive in the cup.

I found many things to like about this brick. It had moments of great complexity yielding snap pea, rosemary, bay and straw flavors. It also delivered a syrupy eighth pour that coated my mouth nicely.

Although I have had other sheng puer teas that I have liked just as much or more for the same price, I am still very pleased with my investment. This pretty little tea brick left me feeling light, clean and refreshed and I look forward to many future sessions.


learning to pull radishes said...

Yes, I was reminded of Bana Tea's Denong bricks as well (of which I've picked up several -- so good), by the appearance of the wrapper. But who is this Jeffrey guy, and where does he sell his teas in Seattle? This local gal would love to know :) Thanks for the great posting!

Brett said...

Jeffrey is a young(ish) man that I met at Puer club at Teacup last month. (Do you know about our Puer club BTW? We'd sure love to have you come by sometime.) Anyway... he used to work at Seattle's Best Tea and now he works at Healeo. I don't think he has a website or a blog yet but he's on facebook and twitter and seems like a pretty cool fellow to me.

Jeffrey McIntosh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeffrey McIntosh said...

I am Jeffrey McIntosh, I currently work with Denong tea company out of Kunming, Yunnan and now I am Healeo's Tea buyer. My full website is coming soon, in the meanwhile my contact information is on my site.


All the best,