2014 Yunnan Sourcing Impression Raw Pu'erh Tea Cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Apricot, Brown Sugar, Honey, Nectar, Stonefruit, Vegetal, Drying, Maple, Thick, Tobacco, Sap, Smoke
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 oz / 126 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

From Yunnan Sourcing

This year’s Impression cake shares some similarities with it’s 2012 counterpart. It’s a blend of different teas, but this year we used mao cha from 2011-2014 (both Spring and Autumn) harvests. The mao cha we used is a blend of 24 distinct areas, including Yi Wu, Menghai, Lancang, Jing Gu, Wu Liang, Ai Lao, Mengku, Yong De, Bang Dong, Mangshi (Dehong) and Pu’Er. Being a blend of so many areas I really feel that this tea has just about everything to offer the drinker. It is bitter and astringent, but very balanced in that. It lasts very long in the mouth and throat and is very infusable. It’s exciting to notice the different teas taking their turn at center stage (much a like live Jazz solo improvisation) during the long brewing session.

In 2012 I created the first impression blend to be an alternative to a Xiaguan or Da Yi 7542, but now (especially this year’s blend) it has far surpassed those mass market teas in both quality and value! I also feel strongly that this tea being very strong in aroma, mouthfeel, bitter/astringent, infusability and Cha Qi, makes it a good choice for long-term aging!

Stone-pressed in the traditional manner.
357 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

This tea has been tested in a certified laboratory and has passed the MRL limits for pesticide residues as established by the EU Food and Safety commission. For more information about MRL testing and the EU Food and Safety commission click on this link.

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12 Tasting Notes

4 tasting notes

Apricots upfront with a honey nectar finish. Light veg. Cerebral and calming. 10-12 infusions.

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Honey, Nectar, Stonefruit, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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7 tasting notes

Dry leaf appearance – medium-sized leaves and a fair number of silky, golden-haired buds distributed throughout

Dry leaf smell – menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, tobacco, dried apricots, slight hint of wintergreen

Wet leaf smell – boiled plums, raisin bread pudding, golden raisins, dark bread dough, slight tartness, raisin bread french toast – the smell of it caramelizing on the pan, autumn leaves, slight smokiness, burnt tobacco,

Liquor – deep golden yellow that is well on its way to becoming a nice orange hue

Texture – thick and very soft; gentle going down the throat; coats the tongue and palate and leaves the slightest tingle

Taste – immediately sweet like some kind of light nectar or syrup but it leads into a relatively standard raw taste; flowery, but I’m not sure what – perhaps orange blossoms; there is a hint of a Grand Marnier-ish flavour; very sweet at first, moves into a savoury bready taste, but finishes in a slight almost pharmaceutical bitterness – but not in a bad way, as strange as it sounds. Each sip is like a little journey

Empty cup – it’s like a simple syrup that has been lightly infused with a citrus zest

Mouth finish – the coating lingers and the tingle intensifies – especially on the tip of the tongue – as the pharmaceutical bitterness quickly subsides to produce a very sweet salivation that closely matches the initial taste of the liquor itself

Wet leaf – beautiful, healthy-looking and full leaves and buds for the most part; the few broken leaves are likely my fault since I’m away from home and don’t have access to a proper pick or knife.

Body feel – a light, heady feeling followed the first infusion, and it brings a nice focused feeling. This is another nice one for reading. Edit: by the eighth infusion, I no longer feel capable of reading… This is one strong tea! It’s really turned me inward and I’m now just sitting here staring into space and contemplating life and the nature of reality.

I bought this tea on a whim and it seriously paid off – I love it! I thought it would be interesting to try, especially since I’ve never had a raw in this age-range, but I wasn’t expecting this much! It’s a really engaging tea that goes from sweet and innocent to a burly powerhouse throughout the course of the session, though there is no unpleasant bitterness or astringency. It is a well-rounded and enjoyable daily drinker, though I may have to get another cake to see how it ages out.

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62 tasting notes

Brisk, floral, honey, astringent

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33 tasting notes

Relatively high astringency for the first 3-4 steeps, hitting my empty morning stomach really hard. Plenty of flavor coming through, though. Tobacco and earth. Had some bread to settle my stomach and came back to the tea a bit later.

5th steep is nice! A little smoke and mushroom and dirt. Goes back and forth between bright/grassy and dark/deep/woodsy. Astringency is quite low now. Very manageable. Later steeps are even more mellow. Beautiful tea.

At 8.1c/g, this is an instacop. In my mind is rests between a sheng and a shou in terms of what type of flavors I’m craving. It has a edge and power of a young sheng with the some of the deep, rich, darker flavors of a shou.

205 °F / 96 °C 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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167 tasting notes

[tasted summer 2016]

Dry leaf: SWEET, FLORAL (honey, honeysuckle, green apple, fragrant floral)

Smell: SWEET, FLORAL (sweet, bitter floral typical of young raw; green apple, hint of ashy smoke)

Taste: SWEET, HERBAL, NUTTY, GRASSY, FRUIT (thick honey sweetness, white pepper, fragrant floral – lilac? lily of the valley? – ashy smokiness, bitter green wood, sharp herbal like basil or cilantro, nutty oiliness, light raisin, astringent, dried apricot, fresh hay, sweet grass)

What a great find. Flavors are intriguing – a lot of personality, a lot of notes to pick up on, nothing unpleasant or flat. I’m not even a young raw kind of guy, but this was really nice to drink. It has a full mouthfeel, plenty of rich oiliness, and enough bitterness to keep things fresh and interesting, like any good young raw should. As far as I can tell, it has plenty to build off of as it matures.

Other folks seem to have been a little more critical of this cake than I have been. So, either I’m a cheap date, or this thing has aged wonderfully in the past few months. I found it to be much more interesting and pleasant than more expensive and older cakes.

In my opinion, this is an economy raw that is punching well above its weight class. Well worth purchasing several cakes, as I will be doing

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26 tasting notes

From a 25g sample. The tea started out with a fairly upfront bitterness and really dried my mouth out. There was some woody/grassy/hay flavors that hid under the bitter note. After 3 to 5 steepings, the bitterness started to fade, but there was no underlying flavor that was revealed. After around 7 to 9 steepings, it just tasted like a weaker version of the start.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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485 tasting notes

This was a good tea. Not particularly complex, but not bad in much of any way. First few steeps had an increasing mouth-drying effect, but this waned in the later steeps as the sweeter flavors came to the fore. The first steeps itself was quite sweet. Reminded me of brown sugar or maple perhaps. Throughout, the tea had honey notes, and in the mid-steeps these were accompanied by a lightly smoky tobacco flavor. The smoke was more apparent in the nose than the taste. Could feel the sweetness coating the mouth, especially in the early steeps. Even though I oversteeped a few times and the leaves were totally loose, I didn’t really get much of any bitterness out of this, even when it was mouth-drying.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Drying, Honey, Maple, Thick, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1113 tasting notes

Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #16

I have been rather curious about the Impression cakes so I was glad to see a portion in the TTB. I used a nice 6g to have a session with which was a nice mount because it brewed a deep cup every time. Unfortunately I picked up bitterness from this even in the 8th steep so that’s about as far as I could go. To me this might just be a tea to buy and store for it to improve as it ages since it is a decent price for an entire cake. I’ll have to try some of the 5+ year old Impression sometime soon to see if they have a better mouth feel and taste.

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1 tasting notes

Tasted in the Autumn of 2016

Method: Gongfucha in a gaiwan with 8 grams of tea to 120 ml of water with a single 10 second rinse.

Initial: The tea is very nice looking with a deep greenish color to the leaves, with a bit of brown in there. Hopefully being in my personal storage for a year and a half will have put some age on it. The compression is very light; in fact, I can easily pull of a chunk with nothing but my bare hands without breaking the leaves. Most of the leaves seem to be whole. The dry smell is very light, but seems floral.

Steep 1 (5 seconds): The Color of the liquor is a clear amber-yellow. The Smell in the cup is fruity, like weak raisins. The taste is a little weak, with a vague sweetness to it, but it has some of that tannic bitterness on the end. No real aftertaste to note other than a slight lingering sweetness.

Steep 2 (5 seconds): The Color has become a little more yellow, so it should show it’s youth a bit more. The smell in the cup has become sweeter; it’s still fruity, but in a more earthy kind of way. There’s thickness to the liquor, but a description for the flavor comes up short. It’s definitely nice, but I can’t put my finger on it. The aftertaste is a bit astringent; it’s only a little, but certainly noticeable.

Steep 3 (10 seconds): I decided to push the tea a little bit by upping the time slightly. The Color doesn’t appear significantly affected, maybe a tad more amber. The smell has definitely changed, it’s more like a mushroom-honey with some fruit thrown in there (in a good way!). Unfortunately the taste didn’t become better with the smell, the thickness has diminished, and the taste has turned a bit watery. There’s still some fruit there, but it’s hidden. The aftertaste is all astringency.

Steep 4 (10 seconds): The Color of this steep is a bit brighter, hopefully that’s a good sign. The smell is elusive, it’s delicate. The taste is far better! It’s like dried pears with a bit of bitterness. The aftertaste has toned down it’s astringency, but you can taste it for several minutes.

Steep 5 (15 seconds): I’m super iffy on adding more time to this tea, but here goes. Color’s a little darker again, but I expected that. The scent has evolved into some kind of grassy-bitter smell, it actually quite nice. The taste is like biting into a slightly bitter pear. It’s juicy, with that youthful twang of bitterness. The astringency in the aftertaste has remained in it’s manageable and lingering phase.

Summation: This is a good tea, especially for the price. In this price range, you can’t beat Scott’s Impressions cakes in terms of taste or quality. I actually seem to remember this tea being much better when it was younger. Im’ hoping that it’s just going through some awkward childhood years. If I had reviewed this a year ago, it would be rated much higher.

190 °F / 87 °C 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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521 tasting notes

I had to redo this session. I tried this out on an earlier date, but it just didn’t taste right. It must’ve been something with my taste buds. Today was much better. The dry leaf has a strong tobacco and almost eucalyptus scent. I broke off a chunk and placed in my warmed yixing. The aroma was intriguing. I couldn’t really place it . It was smokey and almost resinous. I washed the leaves once and began brewing. The flavor was delicious. This tea lacks a lot of complex tones, but for the price it’s pretty perfect. It has a full body and a lot huigan. There is a slight bitterness present in the aftertaste of this brew. I wasn’t able to get a great many steeping (only like 8), nonetheless it was a very solid brew. The qi was uplifting and gave me a good happy feeling. My morning meditation with this brew was perfect. This wonderfully smooth session got me ready for the day ahead and put me in good spirits. I couldn’t see myself buying more of this and using as a daily drinker.


Flavors: Honey, Maple, Sap, Smoke, Tobacco

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

What is “huigan”?


Huigan is the lasting sweetness that lingers at the back of your throat from a pu-erh session. Its that almost caramel like tone that you can taste even after drinking the tea. :)

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