I would recommend a 'must buy' on this ripe pu erh cake.
This is a 2007 ripe tea from Fu Hai Tea Company. This ripe tea uses large Yiwu leaves in the ripe cake. You will notice that the leaves are not rolled but compressed in layers in the ripe cake. The overall color of the cake looks darker than most ripe cakes. The aroma from the cake is woody and pleasant. This 357 g pu erh cake is compressed quite tightly and you need tools to pry open the cake. Go slow and be careful not to break tea leaves.
The 'wow' of this cake is when you make a brew from this tea. The aromatic scent of this cake is really unique. The aroma seem to be delicate floral-like with a red wine scent. This aroma enhances the taste, making me think the tea is sweet. A very nice tea. This is one of the few ripe (called shou in mandarin) that has a fairly strong chi. I felt very relaxed (after drinking 4 quick infusions) as if I had too many glasses of wine. This sensation passed in less than a minute.
The taste of the tea is very pleasant and smooth which reminded me of aged pu erh. A brew can make you 8-10 good infusions.
The last 'wow' factor is that this ripe cake is very inexpensive. Scott from Yunnan Sourcing is retailing them for about $13 per cake in his new website (http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/). He describes this tea as "A newer ripe cake from the Fu Hai tea factory in Menghai. I decided to carry this cake after several recommendations from both customers and Fu Hai sellers. The average size of fermented leaves used is rather large, but with Fu Hai's expert fermentation process this tea has taken on a special character unique and aromatic."
My recent order with Yunnan Sourcing have included a few of these cakes.
how did the leaves look when you broke open the bing? I tried and love this tea too but was surprised to find the centre of the cake composed of very fine fragments, almost sawdust in consistency.
I suppose tea packers have the inevitable task and skill, when packing a tea cake, to mix all the leaves into a cake. You will see whole and broken leaves in a cake. We consumers, worsen this situation when we break up a cake. You will have more broken and tea powder after this exercise. Look at my previous entry on a 2000 ripe cake. I will let you know my thoughts on steaming a break up a cake.
Thank you for sharing your findings and I hope to have a tea session with you if possible.
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