Review of Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 54 of 583 of 100
ExcellentExcellentGood Value

This is just about my favorite age range of Pu-erh: aged but still relatively young.

The compressed leaf is not very aromatic, and is devilishly hard to break apart. Thankfully TeaVivre already broke off this sample for me, but just judging by the texture of the compressed leaf, this one looks like it would be annoying to break if I bought a whole brick.

Once wet, the leaf separates quickly and completely. The leaf looks rather broken, but that may be a function of the cake being broken to ship me a sample more than the leaf's original form.

Upon brewing, produces a peculiar cup, dark brown in color, but light in body, and with different aromas that emerge and vanish. There's a fleeting hint of watermelon--something I've never before encountered in pure tea. Overall aroma is earthy and dusty, with hints of honey and mushrooms. The earthy qualities suggest clean stone rather than the composted or leaf-litter aromas I get from ripened Pu-erh. I find the aroma very hard to describe. There are some herbaceous tones, suggestive of oregano, thyme, or marjoram.

Flavor is oolong-like, with a slight sweetness, but still has some of the briskness of a green tea. Very pleasant to drink.

Like many of these tightly-packed compressed teas, the first infusion is slow and the second picks up, so if not doing a rinse, I recommend making the second infusion shorter than the first if you want cups of consistent strength.

Easy to brew three cups with 2-5 minute steepings (Western-style brewing). This tea wasn't quite as robust through 4 or 5 infusions though the way some sheng Pu-erh can be.

Very enjoyable though. Price is reasonable for a tea of this quality, $26 for 240 gram brick. It has been aged well and could be drunk as-is or aged more.

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