£10.00 – £225.00
Early 2010s Soft Breeze old tree (T4)
Opening the wrapper I was greeted with a beautiful looking and beautifully smelling cake.
Dry storage really helped preserve the character of this cake.
After 10 years in Kunming it has been stored for the last 3 years in Taiwan to awaken and enliven it.
This is a genuine T4 very near to T4+ with an excellent pricing for what it is, this is one of my best taiwan stored “small factory”/”private label” finds, tea of this quality in the west (and in china!) is very inaccessible and costs multiples of this.
There’s a lot of depth in the experience of drinking this tea.
The smell is immediately very strong and sweet, the tea can transform further into even more of a work of art.
High notes are present, even when steeping with a lot of leaves there are no off-flavours.
Some calming Qi but mostly it’s a very more-ish Tea generating creativity with a lot of depth and patience.
Not much is known about this tea because its wrapper reports incorrect information, our best educated guess (after sending samples to a few very experienced friends) is it contains Xishuangbanna old tree material, and it was made sometime around 2010.
Show taste rating system description
Bitterness - a moderate level is considered pleasant, even if it's a bit of an acquired taste
Astringency - neutral but most people will prefer balanced astringency (see "smooth")
Aftertaste - how long does the taste/smell remains in the cup and the mouth?
Thick - is it more soupy or watery?
Patient - how many steeps does it go on for?
Aroma - both in the dry leaf and from the teapot, includes presence of flavour "high notes"
Complex - are there different layer easily recognisable? For a high rating there should be high notes
Huigan - returning sweetness from the throat, lingering in the mouth after drinking
Intensity - how much flavour is there? this is a very good indicator of a tea that will age well
Sweet - neutral though most people like it a lot
Smooth - are astringency and bitterness well balanced with sweetness and thickness? does it go down the throat easily without having to swallow? a lot of drying and salivation can be good indicators for aging, but would diminish the current smooth value
Clean - are there any flavours that are not to do with tea? this is a serious defect and can indicate pesticide or improper processing. Most tea I drink is a 5, with the odd 4 that will "clean" up with aging. Steeping the tea for relatively long will bring out the truth.
I mainly look for high aftertaste and intensity, with decent thickness and smoothness (3+), most tea I drink are .
Puerh tends to be thicker, smoother, have more aftertaste, be less complex, less bitter, less astringent as it ages.
Show Qi rating system description
Calming - does it bring a sensation of stillness?
Intense - how much does the tea affect your mind and body? does it cause heat, burping and/or energy? different from a caffeine rush
Depth - does it keep you interested for a long time and satisfied? does it significantly clarify your thoughts? not just "feeling high" but more "feeling transformed"
Comfortable - is there any anxiety during or after the session?
I mainly look for a high depth value, though usually depth is a combination of calming+intense. Also a comfortable value of 4+.
Qi tends to be deeper, more comfortable, and less intense the older the Tea is.
Of course, higher tier puerh has higher values, particularly in depth, comfortable and one of the two between calming and intense.
Aging potential: close to T4+ already, certainly in few years of further dry storage
12g sample, 24g sample, 357g Cake