I had an exciting experience with this sheng pu-erh because I could not get hold of much information about it. Not sure how to put it more explicit. Maybe this is a naïve comment, but I got the satisfaction of a good oolong and comfort of a black tea from this pu-erh.
This tea is a gushu (made out of tea trees of 200 years old or older). The infused leaves looked bright and silky, and they had a fair amount of stems. Its liquid gave a beautiful amber colour. The taste was mellow, with a complex multi-layered woody, tobacco, earthy and floral notes. Also, I experienced possibly the most pleasant hui gan I have ever tasted which lingered on quite a bit.
By the time it disappeared, I was already sipping it again with a curious mind. I did taste astringency and sweetness at different steepings which were a great surprise.
I tasted sheng pu-erh from Yiwu before, but they were not labelled as ‘Mansa’ which is one of the original famous tea mountains. Mansa has recently been renamed as Manla to celebrate its rich tea production. This is because in the local minority (Dai) language, ‘la’ means tea while ‘man’ is a village. Manla therefore correctly describes the ‘Tea Village’.
I am totally impressed and looking forward to trying more teas from Manla, which produces up to 5 tons of high-quality tea year. This is a relatively limited quantity (as far as Yunnan pu-erh production is concerned) making this vintage tea even more special.
Type: Puer (Dark)
Origin: Mansa, Yiwu, Yunnan
Harvest time: 2008
Leave colour: Shades of dark green and brown
Liquor colour: Amber
Tea aroma: Fragrant with floral and earthy notes
Tea taste: Multilayered complex flavours (woody, earhty, floral, tobacco) emerging at different steepings
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature and steep 7 gr leaves 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