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After grading exams for more than a week, it’s time to get back into the wonderful world of tea. The one I brewed today was Tea Encounter’s 2013 Fangmingyuan Nannuo. Just like some of their other teas, not much information is available so I don’t know what to expect.
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2013 Fangmingyuan Nannuo
Today’s session is all about the 2013 Fangmingyuan Nannuo. This is a sheng puer tea from Nannuo mountain in Yunnan Province. Fangmingyuan is a small tea brand run by one family that focuses on puer tea. It’s supposed to be sweet and creamy with a citrus aroma. The illustration on the wrapper shows some citrus fruits so I’m curious whether I will pick up some of these notes or not.
The dry leaves have a dark brown/blackish colour with some lighter tints. It’s mainly a mixture of leaves, buds and stems. The aroma is a honey kind of sweetness in combination with woodsy notes.
The aroma of the wet leaves has notes of tobacco and dark raisins to it. I still see stems in combination with pieces of medium-sized leaves. The colour is khaki green with some reddish/bordeaux tints.
- 6.5g for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
- 90°C water
- 1 rinse
- 10 infusions
The first three infusions were 15, 15 and 20 seconds each. I went with shorter ones because I feel that it’s important not to overdo it right from the start. The colour was a darker kind of gold and the initial flavours were not that sweet. It’s a sweet undertone in combination with tobacco. The sweetness resembles darker raisins, while the tobacco was fairly dominant. After the first steep, it changed into a more creamy brew with a fresh finish. The sweetness and tobacco were still noticeable and I also experienced a bite in the finish.
The next three infusions were 25, 30 and 30 seconds. I noticed some changes in flavours, especially the tobacco became less intense. The colour was a bit more yellow and I also experienced a chalky mouthfeel after swallowing. The underlying sweetness became more prominent and actually dominated these infusions.
The tobacco disappeared completely and I got a pleasant sweetness of dark raisins. In addition to this, these infusions also got a bite at the end. This was good because it added a certain character. The bite was mainly due to citrus notes.
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Infusion 7 and 8 were 35 and 40 seconds, while the final two were longer ones (several minutes each). The infusions became sweeter and sweeter. No more sharp/fresh edges but only soft and rounded flavours. It’s difficult to name the exact flavours but it was really sweet. It had some notes of a sweet kind of citrus fruit. The liquor also became more creamy and even a bit thicker, especially the longer infusions. The session ended with a lingering and creamy sweetness.
This was more or less a blind session because I did not have a lot of information about the tea, which is always good fun. It started out with prominent tobacco. It wasn’t only tobacco but there was also a sweetness in the background. Further into the session, the sweetness became more noticeable and this was an unexpected twist. After the first infusion, I expected the session to be focused on tobacco but this wasn’t the case. The tobacco even disappeared in the middle of the session and it got sweeter and sweeter. In addition to this lingering sweetness, the finish of several infusions had a bite to them. This added a lot of character to the tea. Overall, really happy how it turned out and it was a good tea to relax with on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
If you want to try this tea, you can buy it here. It’s reasonably priced at £47 for a cake or you can order a sample as well.