Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dai Fragrance Puer Cake

A few years back my friends Robert, Jessie and Tiffany gifted me this fine cake of shu (aka 熟, aka black, aka cooked, aka ripe) puer tea. It is called Dai Fragrance (傣香) and was purchased from Seattle's own New Century Tea Gallery. I'm not sure of the vintage but I estimate it to be early to mid 2000's.

Along the bottom it reads: 中國 (China) 雲南省 (Yunnan Province) 勐海 (Menghai) 雲妹工藝茶廠出品 (Yun Mei Gong Yi factory produce) and the internal ticket includes the famous Menghai "Dayi" logo. I've never taken the time to translate the text in the middle of the cake.

Here she is.

This cake has been one of my "go to" cakes lately and I've been looking forward to sharing a blog review of it for a little while now.

The dry leaves are mostly small and dark but they do have quite a bit of gold and rust colored flecks. The compression is loose and the aroma is malty and mellow.

Sans paper.

A few of the early infusions can have a coffee-like-acidity if over steeped but mainly it is silky smooth. I'll usually do a nice long ten second rinse before I steep the first infusion. Then I'll do many super-hot short infusions. This way it tastes clean and pours thick as oil. To me, it yields a very nutty flavor that reminds me of walnuts, amaretto, and cocoa. I'm sure some folks would disagree (because every one's palate is so different) but in my opinion this cake is neither earthy nor smoky.

The soup.

This "Dai Fragrance" cake is a winner in my book but I'm not sure why it was given its name. Do the Dai minority people have a particular marketable aroma? I bet a few of my readers have the experience and/or connections to wager a guess. If so, please leave me a comment.

No comments: