Sunday, September 18, 2022

Late 90s Langhe Ripe pu erh


Gather round and admire this old 97 loose Langhe ripe pu erh. 

You will realise there is nothing extraordinary by just looking at the tea leaves. You have to simply brew the tea leaves to appreciate the taste and aroma of an old pu erh.  Such tea would not appeal to some pu erh collectors where the tea is treated as a stamp or butterfly collection. There is no fancy wrapper, brand or vintage on the tea. It is difficult to show off this tea.  I had to use a couple of larger containers to store this pu erh as well. 

Back to this tea. This 25 year old ripe pu erh has a earthly and mellow flavours. The scent reminded me of an old used book store with antique wood flooring and cupboards. Smooth and mellow made this tea as a perfect non alcoholic after dinner drink. I even enjoyed drinking late infusions (10th -15th infusions) where the tea continue to exhibit a light woody herbal sweetness. Old Langhe ripe puerh are well known among ripe puerh tea drinkers in that Langhe factory employed longer fermentation times for ripe pu erh processing. I was told such older cakes was allowed to ferment more than 45 days to as much as 60 days under ripe pu erh processing when the tea was made.   

Such old loose ripe tea are to me inexpensive when compared to similar old pu erh cakes (raw or ripe). The only set back is that you may need a bigger container and storage space when you buy this tea in a larger quantity. 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

2011 Xiaguan Gold Impression Cake


There was a time around 2010-2012 where there were cakes that used older maocha in making the cake.  Many major tea factories got on the bandwagon and offered pu erh tea that had a few years of age in the tea. This meant that these factories had pu erh tea leaves sitting in their warehouses for a few years and are now pressing these older stock into cakes or bricks and made them for sale.  This would appeal to some buyers as this tea would not be considered as 'new' tea and is more ready to drink. 

This 2011 Xiaguan cake used 6 year old pu erh material in the production of this tea. 

I opened this cake earlier last month and had a number of tea sessions with this cake.  There is some age in the cake with good aroma and taste. There is an old-ish taste something like a few pu erh cakes that I had bought in Hong Kong.  Those Hong Kong cakes had initially had been stored in a more humid condition and the cakes were subsequently dry stored. I do enjoy drinking such puerh as it gave an impression of very old pu erh tea. 

Back to this cake. The famous Hong Kong tea expert called Cloud has a blog (mainly in Chinese)....there were comments suggesting (translated from Chinese), that this 'tea had been quickly fermented  (whether accidental of artificially) which will affect the subsequent aging endurance of the tea'   (  This is different from my thinking as I had assumed that the tea was stored in much more humid climate (I believe at the maocha stage), that the tea has this unique taste.      

I can guessed some pu erh tea drinkers would like while some drinkers would not like this tea. 

An interesting cake. I recommend you try this tea yourself if you can get your hands on a cake.