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Back in April, I placed a fairly large order at Yunnan Sourcing and I got a free sample in the box. I more or less forgot about it until today. I was looking through my tea cabinet and came across the 2013 Yong De Blue Label Ripe Pu-er sample. I immediately knew it was the perfect tea for today’s session because this weather makes me crave shou puer teas even more!
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2013 Yong De Blue Label Ripe Pu-er
The 2013 Yong De Blue Label Ripe Pu-er is a blue label cake, which means it’s a cake from their own brand. According to Yunnan Sourcing, it consists of the highest quality ripe tea fermented from Yong De county Spring material. It is a blended cake of smaller leaves and plenty of golden fermented buds.
The dry leaves have a uniform dark brown colour. I can see some stems but it mainly consists of really small leaves and pieces of leaves. The aroma is a soft and smooth earthiness. I’m also getting light notes of wood. It’s a rich and full-bodied aroma.
After the session, it becomes clear how small the leaves actually are. Really small leaves and pieces of leaves that have a dark black colour. The aroma is a soft earthiness in combination with light camphor. It’s almost like walking through a wet forest on a rainy Autumn day.
- Water 99° – 90°C
- 8.8g for a 150ml Jianshui pot
- 1 rinse
- 11 infusions
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The first three infusions were 15, 20 and 25 seconds each. I started with a 15-second one because the colour of the rinse was quite dark already. It started out really earthy but it was much more than that. The earthiness was dominant but I also experienced light camphor and some subtle wood. The combination of earthy notes and wood became more dominant during the second infusion and was just right. It had an enjoyable body and an earthy sweetness in the aftertaste.
Infusions 4 and 5 were 40 and 50 seconds, while the sixth one was longer. I didn’t keep track of time for the sixth one because I felt the length didn’t really matter that much, as long as it was longer than the previous ones. During infusion 4, the woodsy notes became less prominent and the earthiness sweeter. This is also what happened during the 5th infusion: it was getting sweeter and sweeter. Because infusion 6 was a long one, the camphor from the earlier infusions was back. It was not as sweet but the combination of camphor and earthiness was good.
I grouped these infusions together because no big changes occurred. The camphor from infusion 6 is gone and it’s becoming sweeter again. It looks like it’s only a sweet earthiness but if you listen closely, the tea has a lot to tell you as it’s quite a complex brew. During infusion 9, it started to lose its body but the sweet and earthy notes were still noticeable. It’s pretty good that this tea just keeps going.
Overall, this was a pleasant session. I got the 2013 Yong De Blue Label Ripe Pu-er sample a while ago and forgot I had it. It offered a pleasant combination of earthy and sweet flavours and subtle notes of camphor in some infusions. This is a decent shou, but nothing extraordinary. It’s priced at 42 USD for a 357g cake, which is reasonable. If you place an order in their store and you are looking for an everyday shou, this is a potential candidate so get a sample to see if you like it. I was amazed at how long the leaves kept going so I’m really happy that I still have enough for two more sessions.
If you want to buy this tea, you can go to Yunnan Sourcing’s shop by clicking here.