When I first learned that some famous pu-erh teas like Dayi 7542 are blended, I was surprised. Or shall I say disappointed? In general, I have a strong preference for single-origin teas even if their tasting profiles could be less complicated and blunt. I do like pure teas. However, I am also aware that pure teas can be dull.
Acknowledging that blending is a skilful job, one can appreciate this well-known cake made by Mr Huang Chuan-Fan from the Jing-Mei and processed by Chang Tai Tea Factory. This tea was produced to commemorate Taipei Tea Culture Expo in 2006. The tea master selected leaves from ancient gardens in Nannuo, Mengson, Ge-Langhe and some plantation leaves from the Nannuo Mountain.
I found plenty of ‘criticism’ for this tea online. Despite that it is the ‘same’ tea made by the same tea master, its storage might have had an influence on its taste. The sample I got was stored in humid and warm Malaysian storage for 13 years. So, I do understand that different reviews may not only to do with the tea drinkers’ preferences but also on the storage conditions. I loved this tea from the first sip. It was elegant with a mellow taste which entails sweetness and balanced floral and woody notes. The bitterness was not ‘non-existent’, but it was subtle and contributed to a long hui gan.
Type: Dark (Pu-erh)
Origin: Nannuo, Mengson, Ge-Langhe in Yunnan, China
Harvest time: 2006
Leave colour: Tones of green and brown
Liquor colour: Amber
Tea aroma: Earthy and floral
Tea taste: Mellow and refreshing with honey sweetness, woodiness and subtle bitterness
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 30 years and possibly more