Bitter End 2022 Laomane Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Acidic, Biting, Bitter, Bittersweet, Floral, Fruity, Pear, Vegetal, Yuzu
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Roswell Strange
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Not an interesting tea by any metric (other than bitterness?). I got this tea from my recent BLT order, and it just doesn’t ascend above average when it comes to young sheng. Decent leaves and...” Read full tasting note
    65
  • “Gongfu! Sipped on this while thinking about the ways my relationship to bitterness has changed since becoming a regular tea drinker. Though I’ve never been a particular fan of this production among...” Read full tasting note

From Bitterleaf Teas

The Bitter is back! One of our favourite teas from years past, our decision to reintroduce this tea for 2022 was informed by just how well the 2018 and 2019 pressings have developed.

One of the key villages in a small region that includes Laobanzhang and Banpen, Laomane is distinguished by its noticeable bitterness. This is largely due to the varietals of tea tree that can be found, which range from a “sweet” (relatively speaking) varietal to the wilder bitter varietal.

Made from the “sweet” varietal of tea tree in Laomane, this tea is not simply a one trick pony. A noticeable kuwei (pleasant bitterness) is certainly one of the defining features, but what differentiates this tea from others with a bitter quality is the consistent delivery. While some teas will blast you with bitterness upfront, then transform into sweetness, this tea’s kuwei works in harmony, accompanying a rich texture and prominent huigan brew after brew, rather than completely giving way to it. Comparing this tea with either of our Pasha or Nannuo teas can highlight this distinction.

Those who prefer a gentler experience may find this tea a bit aggressive for their taste, but may also be surprised at just how enjoyable it is. We encourage an open mind, as this tea could redefine your relationship to bitterness.

As mentioned, our earlier versions of this tea have consistently been among our favourite teas since the day they were pressed, smoothing out over the years, but still retaining a bold character. This tea is enjoyable in its young state, but has also proven to have great ageing potential. Storing this year’s tea should pay dividends in the future, but for a headstart we also recommend picking up some of the 2019 version, while it lasts.

Edit: After drinking the 2019 and 2022 versions of this tea while writing about it, we would be remiss not to mention the very noticeable chaqi/energy. This tea is not recommended for drinking on an empty stomach.

Picking Period: Pre-March 29

About Bitterleaf Teas View company

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3 Tasting Notes

65
143 tasting notes

Not an interesting tea by any metric (other than bitterness?). I got this tea from my recent BLT order, and it just doesn’t ascend above average when it comes to young sheng. Decent leaves and liquor with a decent wet leaf aroma, paired with a decent aftertaste of sweet acidity like a pomelo and a bitey texture and finish. This tea lacked a lot in complexity in terms of character and flavour, and the steep longevity and cha-qi left a lot to be wanted. It just tastes like a slightly more bitter than average young sheng.

Flavors: Acidic, Biting, Bitter, Bittersweet, Floral, Fruity, Pear, Vegetal, Yuzu

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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16077 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Sipped on this while thinking about the ways my relationship to bitterness has changed since becoming a regular tea drinker. Though I’ve never been a particular fan of this production among the many yearly BLT releases, I think I would have found it completely undrinkable back in the early part of my tea journey. I used to have zero tolerance for bitterness or astringency of any kind, and now I often crave both when preparing tea myself. To varying degrees, of course. This is probably the best tea session I’ve ever with any production of Bitterend. There’s an edge and greenness to this sheng that isn’t my preferred profile but the bitterness isn’t so coarse to be a turn off for me, and the sweet payoff of the beautiful huigan after each steep note only leaves me simply willing to go back for the next steep but is propelling me there eagerly.

This is a prime example of why I like to revisit teas and flavours I dislike often. It’s okay if your taste preferences never change, but sometimes they do in a way that surprises you. Next time I brew this tea I may very well hate it, but I may also like it even more – the unpredictability is a part of the journey, and I can’t wait to see how I’ll view bitterness even just a year from now!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgFbYI1OiIn/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOaKRzzcAyE

Togo

Lovely note and a good reminder to keep challenging oneself! I’m happy you managed to get an enjoyable session with Laomane :)

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