When I got up this morning, I was thinking about which tea to review. I want to drink and taste more Liu Bao, but I also wanted to switch things up a bit. I broke a mini cake of the 2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh around two weeks ago so I decided that I would do an extensive tasting and write a review about this tea.
2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh
I had already heard and read some things about Ailao, but never had the pleasure of drinking tea from this mountain. When I placed an order at the Terre de Ciel website, I noticed they had a mini teacake from this area. I did not hesitate and purchased it right away. It’s only a 100g tea cake, so it was really cheap.
These particular leaves come from the Qianjiazhai area in the Ailao mountains. They were harvested in March 2018 and come from relatively young tea trees (Qiao Mu) of around 50-80 years old. The area is quite remote and high in the mountains; one of Yunnan’s oldest tea trees resides there.
- Water 99°C
- 6.1g for a 140ml Wuhuini Qing dynasty teapot
The leaves have a dark olive green colour with some really dark greens as well. I mainly see large and medium-sized leaves. It has a pleasant aroma that is sweet with a trace of wild honey. There is also something fruity going on. It really smells like spring!
Infusion 1 (15 sec): this one has a light colour and subtle flavours. Drinking this infusion feels like walking on a cloud. It feels pure, light and delicate. There is a slight sweetness and a thick texture.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): it’s not as delicate anymore and the flavours are more prominent. The initial impression is still like spring, but now there is a bit of freshness going on. It’s sweet with a grassy touch. The aftertaste lasts quite long.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): wild honey is coming through with a slightly tannic edge. It flows well and it’s vibrant.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): more of the same, which is a really good thing. One thing that struck me was the fact that the aftertaste stayed a lot longer during this one. It’s sweet, fruity and slightly tannic.
Infusion 5 (35 sec): the edgy twist has disappeared and now it’s subtle honey with a fruity edge. This is so good!
Infusion 6 (long): slightly sweet, but overall rather subtle. The aftertaste is still prominent, though. No more fresh and edgy notes. It’s also becoming a tiny bit astringent.
Infusion 7 (long): this one was longer and the flavours were more intense again. It’s sweet, fruity and overall a fantastic experience.
I had heard/read several things about Ailao mountain so when I ordered some teas at Terre de Ciel, I also bought a mini tea cake from this area.
This proved to be a good decision because the 2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh is definitely worth the money! I paid 17.50 EUR for 100g so that’s 0.18 EUR/gram. This is such good value for money and you don’t have to ‘invest’ a lot of money because it’s a small tea cake.
It started subtle, but really delicate and pure. It slowly went through various stages of sweet and fruity, but never too much. In general, this was a fantastic session and perfect to start my day.
If you’re interested in buying this tea, click here. Keep in mind that the price is now 18.5 EUR.