A pleasure to read Gerry's tasting notes, which win the prize for good humor and poetic license and accuracy, etc.
I thought I'd re-post mine here to make it easier for it all to be in one place. Where are the other notes? Corax I'll read yours now.
- Hong Tai Chang Cooked Pu'er, 1980s(?), Cooked - Hong Tai Chang Tea Company
method: 5.9 gr/100 ml gaiwan - water off boil
brown, black, & rusty leaf
aroma in heated gaiwan: sweet & baky -- no hint of ammonia
rinse (15): sweet, hint of cough syrup; a lovely smell -- no acidic
cup (15): sweet smell of bread baking at bottom of poured-off gaiwan.
reddish orange liquor.
leaves still dense, going to be lovely when they open up and come alive
cup (20): i can smell and taste the cooked aged pu-erh -- hints of camphor. no bitterness. a nice tea.
cup (25): aroma mellow & sweet
dark red liquor
subtle and mellow.
did not really "come alive" as i'd imagined it might -- past it's peak? -- no overpowering, or even distinctive, taste, but a pleasant and mellow aged tea. i stopped taking notes but drank many cups of it; can't ask for more than that, eh?
- Xia Guan Iron Pu'er Cake, 2002, Uncooked - Xia Guan Tea Factory
method: 5.9 gr/100ml gaiwan - water off of a boil.
brown broken leaf on surface, greener variations on the inside. dry leaf smells of cherry & smoke, a familiar characteristic.
leaf aroma in heated gaiwan: eggs & burnt toast
rinse (20): grass & cigarette smoke in the cup. not much sweetness. burnt (something) & smoke. liquid in cup brews sharp & clear, with a nice shine.
cup (15): brick is still tightly together. leaves green.
first sip almost "malty" (like hint a yunnan gold tips black tea) -- just hints of it. lid aroma: burn.
malty hint makes me think it will age well. no smokiness in the taste. almost like caramel. leaves are tight so
it is underbrewing.
cup (20): lid: smoky, burnt cigarettes. first sip tannic up front. it is opening up to the water.
starting to taste the pepper on the lips & and burnt/ash at back of mouth.
halfway through the cup the "yun" is caramel & peppered steak.
as the cup progresses: cigarettes.
cup (25): tannic and pervasive cigarette smoke. strong, nice if you like the flavor (which i do sometimes).
powerful effect of drying the mouth AND making me salivate (at the back of the throat?)
I wrote "nice feelings" and stopped taking notes. This seems like a nice enough tea. I like the taste that comes back, the aftertaste, the yun, which has a spectrum from sharp and tangy and sweet and green, with bitter and burnt and fishy and leathery mixed in there on the curve. but the teas that seem to have the best aftertaste leave a kind of peppery dryness of the lips, with the back of the throat feeling like "peppered steak" -- (close, but not exact taste; heard it called mint, too) -- and this one had a hint of that then disappeared. i'd drink this again in five years to see what happened. seems flavorful but confused.
- Chongqing Tuocha, early 90s, Mixed(?) - Sichuan
method: 5.6 gr/100ml gaiwan - water off of a boil
leaf aroma in heated gaiwan: indistinct. tight leaves. i expect flavor to emerge.
rinse (20): lid aroma: almost fruity, beyond the familiar "ammonia"
cup aroma: ammonia, but mellow as though aged appropriately
liquor not red but lightly orange.
cup (20): eggs in the lid aroma.
clear liquid, and the piece of tea cake is dense and tight, unopened yet. a bit of taste.
going to let it sit and rehydrate.
cup (25): red glow in the liquor, a sweet earthy smell in the air. a mellow cup.
i drank eight cups and it came alive -- no mustiness. mellow and sweet. a nice, not particularly overwhelming, mellow aged tea that keeps going and going. expected a little more flavor from it. maybe my brewing style is wrong for aged teas of the sort.
d. Xishuangbanna Pu'er Cake, 2003, Uncooked - Chang Tai Tea Company
method: 5.5 gr/100 ml gaiwan
rinse (15): fishy smell in lid, sour in the cup. unpleasant associations.
cup (15): not much flavor. need to brew longer? not much aftertaste/
cup (35): insipid. not much flavor, even after longer brew. still no aftertaste.
stopped drinking here. my least favorite of the teas.
e. YiWu region Wild Grown Pu'er, 2003, Uncooked - Xinghai Tea Factory
method: 5.9 gr/100 ml gaiwan
aroma in heated gaiwan: vegetation, ash, and chocolate.
rinse (15): clear crisp liquid.
chocolate aroma -- strong enough to call fudge.
sour and sweet blended -- but a subtle ring only, in the air.
malty at the bottom of the cup.
cup (12): rusty vegetal
even in this first cup a nice & mellow "yun" is emerging
creamy pepper. i like it already.
mild burnt sugar.
no substantial aftertaste afterall ... maybe
cup (15): leaves have come apart quickly; liquid brew is gold.
expect a big taste to this, question is: duration...
starting to taste like a typical young green: mild yun.
yun/aftertaste is mellow but good.
cup (20): making my mouth dry now. brew is still gold. mouth VERY dry.
cup (25): a good tea -- but the subtle arc of taste of time should/could be bolder.
probably one of my faves in the bunch. running out of things to say, i drank it for a few more cups then stopped.
f. Long Yuan Label Pu'er, 2002, Uncooked - Dadugang Tea Factory
method: 4.9 gr/100 ml gaiwan
rinse (15): lid aroma: fishy
cup aroma: smoky
in the air: sweetness
cup (10): smoky lid
smoky first sip but none of the expected "cigarette" flavor...
pleasant enough for a smoky tea. seems to be quite thirst quenching & refreshing.
cup (15): leaves look nice in the cup. opening up. distinct, varieties of green & brown ...
coming alive after rinsing.
i was distracted by something and stopped taking notes. they seem to say it wasn't an altogether unpleasant tea for me, but i have no memory of liking it either. whatever that means.
g. Dayi Label 7542 Pu'er, 2000, Uncooked - Menghai Tea Factory
method: 4.9 gr/100ml gaiwan
aroma in heated gaiwan: toast
rinse (15): clear crisp liquid in pour
sour ring in air
cherry & tobacco in the lid aroma (wet cigarettes?)
pleasant cherry &smoke in cup
cup (10): crystal clear liquid
light - not bitter or sour
cup (15): more orange in the cup
dense leaves so the steep is too slight. some bite but nothing to distinguish it.
cup (20): opening up. slightly bitter but in a good way.
nice aftertaste because of the smoky bitterness.
after a while i wrote in my notes: "nice peppered mouthfeel & glow"
h. Jingmai Region Wild Pu-erh 2003, SFTMt.
method: 6gr/100ml gaiwan
in heated gaiwan: a sour pickled smell/hint, like a memory of a Chinese grocer
rinse (15): sour/sweet ring in the air, favoring sour
cup (15): sour ring in the air
crisp liquid - yellow towards orange
light vegetal in the first sip
cup (20): light & greenish in its taste. needs to open.
some cherry half way through the cup
cup (25): hint of bitter but ultimately not that flavorful
unable to get that much out of it