Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 觀自在早春南糯山七子餅茶

Back on November 5th, I posted a review of Yunnan Sourcing's Banzhang Chun Qing Puer. That cake was the most expensive of the four new sheng puer cakes (生普洱餅茶) to which I recently treated myself. Today I'll review the least expensive of these four puer treasures. This cake is called: "2009 Guan Zi Zai Zao Chun Nan Nuo Shan tea cake (觀自在早春南糯山七子餅茶)." According to Yunnan Sourcing, these cakes were made entirely from wild arbor, spring harvested, sun-dried leaves from Yunnan's Nan Nuo mountain (南糯山). That information and much more can be found here.


I used 5 grams of dry leaf in a small, black-clay gaiwan. The leaf was given a 3 second rinse with about 200° F water. My first impression of the aroma was green grass and green banana. It had a hint of flowery sweetness that reminded me of the way Hawaiian air can sometimes smell.

My first three infusions were short (15, 15 and 20 seconds). The broth was was nice, but too thin and crisp. At the fourth pour, a little more creaminess made a welcomed appearance. My taste buds must have been on a tropical vacation because my flavor notes for this session included lilikoi and papaya. These occasional pleasant flavors were elusive and they were sometimes muted by the cake's other grassy, bitter or peppery tastes.

Although the leaves were plump and pretty and the flavor had a few tasty moments, I wouldn't rate this tea too highly. It is just an OK tea at a fair price. I'll have to change some of my brewing parameters and give it another chance later.

1 comment:

Maitre_Tea said...

I sampled this tea a while ago, and I had mixed feelings about it too. It was soft in the mouth, and the floral/orchid note you mentioned stuck out the most to me...but the broth was a little thin though, which bothered me a lot. It was too gentle IMO, and not something I like from a pu-erh. At least the price is right though.

Also, this tea performs horribly brewed competition style...notes of sour cigarette and burnt smokiness abounds