Tuesday, September 21, 2021

De Hong Pu erh

This 100g small iron cake was made by a lesser known factory in De Hong, Yunnan.   There is no date on the brown paper wrapper and my guess, from the taste and aroma, would be slightly more than 10 years old.  

I call this pu erh - the peated whisky without the alcohol. I enjoy Scotland whisky and there is a type of whisky that is peated in aroma. This is due to the drying process where the distillery used peat and burn the peat to dry the barley. As a result, the alcohol distilled from the barley contains this smoky, peaty profile. This pu erh has a similar smoky peaty profile; smoky like burning embers, peaty, camphor and mint aroma, spiciness and a faint sweet aftertaste. 

Not for the faint hearted.  If you are not used to smoky pu erh, please belt up. You may like or not like the smoke but you will admit that the smokiness do add an extra dimension to a pu erh tea session.   If you enjoy peated whisky like me, this tea is up your alley.  

Monday, September 6, 2021

2004 Nan Qiao Tea Factory Raw Pu erh Cake


I chose a 2004 Nan Qiao raw pu er cake to refill my tea caddy last week.  Readers would now I have a few tea caddies specially dedicated for pu erh tea.  I have 3 caddies for raw and 2 caddies for Shou or ripe pu erh.  I believed that breaking up a cake, brick or tuo and storing the tea in tea caddies do bring out the taste and aroma of the tea. This time, 3 caddies need to be refilled and I am happy choosing the teas to put in them. 

This 2004 Nan Qiao cake is very strong in my opinion. This is not a tea to introduce to a new Chinese tea drinker.  This tea is strong with woody and herbal notes.  There is a nice woody taste with an oak-like wood aroma (like those oak cask notes in a Scotland single malt whisky).  There is a bitterness of herbs.  I had sat down for about 30-45 min to have a tea session of this tea and there was a mild sweatiness and intoxicating sensation which lasted a few minutes.  There is hardly any sweetness but the oily sensation in the tea was very good. Mouthwatering and the tea simply slides down the throat.  There are some seasoned tea drinkers that prefer a more floral and sweeter profile....so such tea like this Nan Qiao may not appeal to all pu erh tea drinkers. 

If you like being 'tea drunk' or 'in a state of stupor" from drinking tea... such tea would be a good choice.