Pu-erh Reviews

2004 XingShu Tea Factory 20 year anniversary Raw

Genre: Compressed Sheng/Green/Uncooked/Raw
Factory: XiangShu Tea Factory
Vendor: Hou De Fine Asian Art
Reviewed by katmax on 02/13/2007

Background    This cake was made by genuine sun-dried arbor tea leaves and stone molds. The cake was actually made of a high proportion of first-grade tender leaf buds blended with some more mature (probably 4th grader) leaves.

Dry Leaf Appearence:    Leaves are starting to loose their green appearance, but still look reasonably youthful.

Water to Leaf Ratio:     8 gr of Leaf in 220 ml of water

Brewing Method:    In an infuser in a glass cup. Western Style.

Wet Leaf Appearence:    Quite green looking and fine with a lot of small leaves. Some broken leaves as to be expected, but some whole as well.

1st Steep    Around 2 minutes in filtered water. The liqour is a light golden-yellow brown that is very slightly cloudy. The taste seems complex and hard to pin down, though its still quite youthful. There is no smoke to the taste and no real bitterness though it has not yet aquired the smoothness that comes with age. It gives a nice taste at the back of the throat once swollowed.

2nd Steep    1 minute in filtered water. Liquor similar to first brew. Still retains a touch of cloudiness. This brew seems to be a touch more bitter than the previous one, but its not a bitterness that makes you screw up your face - its one that seems to give an edge to the tea to offset an underlying sweetness. It makes the tea one which wakes you up rather than really relaxes you. It leaves a nice tingling on the tounge.

3rd Steep    1-2 minutes in filtered water. The brew is still a golden-yellow and seems to have lost its traces of cloudiness. It has a nice fresh aroma. The tea suddenly seems to have lost the mild bitter edge of the last brews, but along with it has gone some of the flavour. The tea seems a little smoother but also a little flatter but despite that it seems to have settled into a nice drink that makes you search for descriptons of taste that is hard to pin down.

4th Steep    2-3 minutes in filtered water. No cloudiness, but colour is starting to fade from the cup unless steeps are longer. The slight bitter edge seems to have gone from the cup now entirely, but the tea is also not as flavoursome as the earlier cups though it is sweeter and perhaps a little more floral and still leaves the tounge tingling.

Subsequent Steeps    At four cups I had had enough of this tea for the day. There were more steeps in it, but the tea is still quite strong and youthful and I suspect more of this would leave to way too much caffine in one afternoon.

Conclusion    This is still a very young tea. It seems to have quite a bit of youthful punch still in its early brews. Its not a very bitter tea or smokey, but it still has an edge to it that may well transmute to something lovely in time. At the moment it is drinkable but not smooth enough to make you want to drink a lot of it or drink it too often. Its a bit of a 'wake up' cake taste-wise.

Sorry, no Photos

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