3 Tasting Notes
I broke this little cake before heading out to work – note to self: be more circumspect around sharp pointy objects, especially first thing in the morning!
I used about 1/3cake in my infuser cup and after as quick rinse let it steep for just the time it took to fill the cup (5secs, no more).
Already this little beauty was the colour of christmas pudding. Sweet first impressions, with a slight smokey, camphor undertone. A cool mineraly feel in the mouth and a nice balance. Comforting already.
4th & 5th 250ml steeps and I’m probably starting to ask a bit too much from this Shu. Some fleeting hints of sweet tobacco, liquorice and dried fruits and its all done by the 6th.
Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wood
Unwrapping this cake, only a faint aroma of duiwei was detected. This is my first ripe pu’er and I was worried about encountering this.
The cake broke quite easily, and small bits could be crumbled off by hand.
2 quick rinses and the first 15sec steep is soft, biscuity and slightly earthy. A golden orange colour in the piao-i.
I left the leaves covered for 30 minutes to open out and the second steep (15secs) was a treacle brown, now with hints of plum in the smell of the leaves. An element of fig in the taste and more earthiness coming to the fore. Still very smooth.
An enjoyable puer although little complexity so far.
Flavors: Earth, Fig, Malt, Sweet, Warm Grass
2 quick rinses and a 15sec steep. Ouch- heady flavours but a bit too full-on with a tannic aftertaste that I wasn’t expecting. Good balance though, and reducing the 2nd steep to 8secs gave a smoother experience. I took in the smell of the leaves – old paper strangely mixed with the tang of the sea (and of course, the smoke!)
I left the piao-I lidded for a few hours and re-steeped, again for 8secs. Flashes of camphor coming through the smoke. The lingering tannic feel in the mouth was now more palatable – I bought five bricks of the 002 Whale and although it’s enjoyable now I think I’ll wait a few more years before opening the rest in the hope that the tannins masking that lovely pu’er ‘earthiness’ mellow out over time.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Dark Wood, Earth, Smoke, Tannic