In May, I renewed my white2tea club subscription and I got my 50g raw Puer cake in the mail last week. I couldn’t wait any longer so I decided to brew some of the leaves to see if they are worth the $30. The artwork on the wrapper looks simple, but really nice. It’s only a 50g cake but it’s the first time I have a small cake like this one and I have to say it looks really cute!
The Thing Still Is ______
This tea is a small Sheng (raw) Puer cake that is from the 2019 Spring harvest. In the accompanying letter included in the box, you can read more about the origins of the tea. In short, it says that the 2019 Spring was exceptionally dry but that this tea comes from an area that did not really suffer from the lack of rain. The area where this tea is produced is enclosed by a forest that protected the tea plants from bad weather conditions. This helped to keep the environment more moist than the surrounding areas. The harsher weather conditions in other tea growing areas put those teas under much more stress, which is far from ideal for tea production. Nothing in particular is mentioned about the flavours but they are supposed to change monumentally every six months in the first few years.
The leaves are a mixture of leaves and twigs. There are all kinds and sizes in this cake; really long twigs and very short leaves. The leaves have a kind of twisted shape and the colours are mainly darker greens.
The leaves have a brighter green colour now. They have opened and there seem to be a lot less twigs now. Before steeping, I thought I would be drinking a kind of twig tea but fortunately, this is not the case.
- Water 99°C
- 7,5 g of leaves for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
- 1 rinse
- 6 steeps
Smell dry leaves
I was getting some light verdant aromas.
Smell wet leaves
Very bright and green flavours that have a depth to it. I even got some spinach notes.
Steep 1 (15 sec): the first thing that comes to my mind while drinking this tea is that it reminds me a bit of Mei Leaf’s Nuzzle Diver. It’s almost like a green tea but with a certain depth to it. I’m also getting some sour hints in the middle. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and a bit astringent as well.
Steep 2 (20 sec): this steep has a beautiful yellow colour! More intense green flavours now that develop into some bitter notes. This steep doesn’t seem to be as astringent as the previous one. I’m still getting bitter notes in the aftertaste. I hope it doesn’t get more bitter because now it’s pleasant, but I think I won’t like it if it gets more intense.
Steep 3 (25 sec): this steep is even a darker yellow. It’s really beautiful to behold! The first thing I notice is that luckily for me, this steep is not as bitter. Pleasant green/verdant flavours. Not astringent but only a chalky mouthfeel after swallowing the liquor. I liked this steep more than the previous one.
Steep 4 (30 sec): some verdant flavours but not much more during this steep. A bit more bitter and astringent. I feel there is not much depth anymore. This tea is from this year so I won’t drink it for a while to see what will become of it if it ages for a few months/years. Right now, it’s not really my favourite.
Steep 5 (35 sec): this steep is more pleasant again. No bitter notes and not astringent. Just light verdant flavours.
Steep 6 (40 sec): more or less the same thing as steep 5. Pleasant and soft flavours.
Right now, this is not my favourite tea. In the beginning, I noticed some depth but this did not really come through in the later steeps. I will keep this tea and let it age for a while to see what it has to offer. It’s definitely a decent tea but right now, it’s not one I will drink regularly. I’m curious though to see what it will be like in a few months/years. Right now, it’s almost like a green tea. The only difference is that the verdant flavours are not as prominent with this one.