A few weeks ago, I received 4 samples from Terre de Ciel. Three of those samples are sheng puerh and one is a shou sample. I had a feeling today was a good day to drink sheng puerh and TdC NAKA 2012 is the one I picked. The description on the website looked promising so I was really excited to have a relaxing session after a stressful week.
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TdC NAKA 2012
The TdC NAKA 2012 is the very first tea from Terre de Ciel that I tried. It’s a French company that sources and sells Puerh tea. They also sell cakes under the ‘Terre de Ciel’ brand and these cakes are smaller in size (100 or 200g) and stone pressed. The leaves of this one were harvested in Spring 2012 and pressed into a cake in 2013. They were harvested in Naka village, which is in the Menghai area.
The leaves are loosely compressed and easily picked apart. Dark olive green colour with some brighter tints and I mainly see large and medium-sized leaves. The aroma is definitely sweet and I’m also picking up traces of mint.
The aroma of the wet leaves is amazing! It’s really sweet and it reminds me of exotic fruits. I see some large leaves, a few stalks, medium-sized leaves and some smaller pieces. The colour is a beautiful olive green.
- Water 90°C
- 4.2g for a 100ml Zini teapot
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
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Infusion 1 (15 sec): the colour is fairly light. Despite its lighter colour, it starts out quite flavourful. Pleasant honey sweetness with a light mintiness. The aftertaste is warming and sweet.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the flavours are more intense now and I see that the leaves started to unfurl. I’m still feeling very warm during this infusion. There is a sweetness noticeable, but it’s different than the sweetness I experienced before. This one is fuller and deeper, while also having some light vegetal notes. These vegetal notes are also noticeable in the aftertaste, in addition to a light astringency.
Infusion 3 (20 sec): the vegetal flavours have moved from the finish to the start of the infusion. These flavours quickly change into a subtle sweetness but remain noticeable beneath the surface. Towards the finish, I’m also experiencing some hints of mint.
Infusion 4 (20 sec): the vegetal flavours have disappeared, which is more to my liking. This is the best infusion so far! Subtle and sweet. There is also a light fruitiness, which is only slightly noticeable. Oddly enough, the aftertaste is a bit astringent, vegetal and has some freshness to it.
Infusion 5 (30 sec): the start is sweeter and reminds me a bit of golden raisins and honey. While sipping this one, I’m also experiencing some herbal/spicy notes in my throat. No harsh or fresh notes, but the aftertaste is quite astringent.
Infusion 6 (40 sec): the fresh and vegetal notes have disappeared and it’s a tiny bit spicy and sweet instead. It’s nothing too intense, but it’s enjoyable. I’m enjoying this one more than the early steeps.
I did at least 6 more steeps after this one and it only got sweeter and sweeter. This tea can definitely keep on going without losing too much its flavour.
I definitely enjoyed this session. The first infusion was really promising as it was sweet, flavourful, and even a bit minty. I got some fresh and vegetal notes during the second and third infusions, which is not really something I prefer. Luckily, these flavours faded during subsequent infusions and were replaced by a full sweetness and even some fruity notes. Towards the end, I also experienced some light herbal and spicy notes in my throat. During the whole session, I felt a strong energy that was really uplifting and warming. Overall, this is a decent tea, especially at this price. I might pick up a cake or two to put in my stash because I think this one might age well. If ageing reduces the vegetal and fresher notes, it will be spot on!
If you want to buy this tea, you can do so over here.