I felt the need to buy som tea related things when I got back from Flagstaff and one of the things I purchased was Mei Leaf’s Nuzzle Diver. This is a semi-expensive sheng Puer tea from He Kai in Yunnan Province, China. It’s the first time I spent this much on a Puer cake so I was really curious to taste it and to write down my thoughts about the cake. It doesn’t have anything to do with the flavours of the tea but the wrapper caught my attention. I can’t explain why but the colours make it seem that the tea has a creamy sort of flavour profile. Can’t wait to see whether the wrapper matches the tea!
The Nuzzle Diver is a sheng (raw) Puer tea sourced by Mei Leaf. It is made from trees that are 100 years old and is described as having sweetness and depth and being fresh and bright at the same time. This is because 100 years is not really that old for tea trees but still old. It has some complexity that certain young trees cannot achieve. This tea is also described as being perfect for everyday drinking. The cake I bought is from the April 2018 harvest in He Kai, which is at an altitude of around 1400m above sea level. The picking of this tea is the bud and up to three leaves. I have already briefly mentioned the wrapper but I really really like this one! The combination of colours makes it perfect for me! For me, this wrapper created some expectations and I really hope they will be met once I drink the tea.
Large twisted leaves that have all kinds of khaki green colours. The leaves are very long in my opinion. The cake is not pressed that tightly so it’s easy to break off some leaves.
The wet leaves have a uniform green colour and have completely opened up.
- Water 99°C
- 7,5 g of leaves for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
- 2 rinses
- 6 steeps
Smell dry leaves
The smell of the dry leaves reminds me a bit of dark bread. There is also a certain maltiness noticeable.
Smell wet leaves
The smell of the wet leaves is quite different. The maltiness is a lot less and I’m getting some light redberries now.
Steep 1: the liquor is thick and has a certain creaminess to it. It’s a pleasant mouthfeel while drinking. At the start, it almost tastes like a green tea with a certain depth to it. It’s not only bright and fresh on the surface but you get some deeper flavours as well. I’m also getting some very subtle notes of hot laundry, as they describe it on their website.
Steep 2: from the start, this steep is more bitter than the previous one. The initial flavour is bitter but quickly fades away. No more hot laundry this steep but it’s shifting more to the green/verdant flavours. As I said, it’s almost like a green tea but it has a depth to it that is not present in most green teas. I’m also getting a sweetness towards the end.
Steep 3: this one is a bit more creamy again but it’s not the sweet kind of creaminess; it’s a more verdant creaminess. It’s not something I expected but definitely enjoy while sipping this tea. It has an unusual character to it and I can see why this would be an ideal everyday tea. It would seem like you discover one of its secrets every time you drink it. The tea does not want to share all of its secrets at once.
Steep 4: it starts to get a bit astringent now but it’s a pleasant kind of astringency. Again, you get green and verdant flavours on the surface but something is there beneath the surface. Unfortunately, it doesn’t share what it is during this steep. It’s not as green as the previous steep; I’m also getting a subtle sweetness now. This is actually the first steep that I’m getting a sweet creaminess and not a green one.
Steep 5: no more sweetness and the creaminess is gone as well. It’s mainly bright and fresh green tea flavours that are slightly astringent. The green flavours are not a bad thing if you like green tea.
Steep 6: this steep is more or less the same as steep 5. No major changes and I think the leaves are spent now.
In general, this tea did not meet my expectations but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I expected a sweet creaminess and that is not something I got during this session. I got a creaminess but it was more of a green/verdant one. For me, being a green tea lover, this was definitely not a bad thing. I really liked the session even though I had imagined it differently. This was the first semi-expensive Puer cake I bought and I’m happy that I picked this one. Easy and pleasant to drink because it seems like green tea, but it isn’t. It has green and verdant flavours on the surface but you can feel that there is a certain depth to it as well. It’s a mysterious tea that will keep you hooked until it is done. You don’t really choose to stop drinking this tea at the end of a session, but the tea makes this decision for you.
Want to buy this tea? Visit Mei Leaf’s store.