Review of Fengqing Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2014

9 of 105 of 54 of 592 of 100
SuperbExcellentGood Value

Another superb tea! And how completely different this tea is from last year's batch! Multifaceted, complex, surprisingly floral in aroma, with a very pleasing flavor, able to be infused many times.

The dry leaf has an explosion of aroma, sweet, springy, suggestive of a tippy, spring harvest green tea, but followed by a more typical aroma of unaged, raw Pu-erh.

Upon brewing though, the tea changes character entirely. The first thing I notice is a sort of unpleasant smell, it honestly smells a little bit like a dirty subway stairwell. Thankfully, this smell dissipates.

Upon sipping I get exquisite floral notes. Wow! Where did those come from? I love the experience of drinking it as the floral and vegetal tones evolve. A suggestion of the aromatic notes I remember from last year's batch: tobacco, hops, and fruit, but different overall. The flavor is exceptionally smooth and mild, when brewed as I like, but there's a rich body.

I was able to brew 3 cups easily, using a first steeping of 3 minutes, which was the low end of TeaVivre's recommendations. Out of curiosity, I tried steeping 10 minutes and, even with a small amount of leaf, that created a cup that was WAAAY too strong for me. It also caused the flavor to give way and I wasn't able to brew more than 2 cups that way. Using gentle infusions I got 4 cups with Western brewing, and possibly could have gotten more. The leaf goes very far.

I enjoyed this cake a lot. Maybe not quite as much as last year's, but it's significantly cheaper, $48 compared to $62. Either way, both cakes were outstanding.

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