Review of 2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha

9 of 105 of 55 of 595 of 100

This is among my favorite Pu-erhs that I've ever sampled.

This cake has a very fine leaf, tightly packed, and is tricky to break apart. I'm glad TeaVivre had already broken it off for me for the sample.

The dry leaf has a pleasant aroma, like caramel with a hint of worcestershire sauce, and still some remnants of the fresh green herbaceous qualities of fresh raw Pu-erh, but also has some deeper tones characteristic of age.

Upon brewing, brews up a very dark cup, strong flavored but surprisingly smooth. This is probably the mellowest example of a tea of this age that I've tried yet; the 2005 from TeaVivre tastes younger and edgier.

In spite of mellowing, there's a complete absence of the earthy or dusty tones that characterizes some Pu-erh.

Floral, in a very different way from black, green, or oloongs. Reminds me slightly of Chrysanthemum. Overall character, flavor and mouthfeel, is very oolong-like, like a traditional green oolong with a light roast.

A hint of a wintergreen tones come out in the later cups.

This tea delivered an insane number of flavorful cups. Brewing Western style, using infusions of 3 minutes, 2, 3, 5, then 8, I was able to brew five cups. The fifth cup was just as flavorful as the first too, strong-flavored, enjoyable, and complex. But this method led to the first couple cups being almost too strong.

I think this could easily get 6 cups, although I didn't want to drink that many, so I left it be after 5. I did not try Gong Fu style brewing with this tea, but I can see it lasting through 20 or more infusions.

And the price? It's under $13 for 100 grams. Wow wow wow. Just wow. It's only a 100 gram cake but the leaf stretches so far. I also think this is one of those cakes that's smooth enough to drink as-is, but definitely strong enough to age a lot longer.

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