Review of 2016 Yunnan Sourcing "Red Monkey" Raw Pu-erh Tea Mini Cake

8 of 105 of 54 of 582 of 100
ExcellentExcellentGood Value

I ordered two of these in 2018 as it sounded from the description as the sort of thing I would like. I broke off a tiny piece initially, and as I expected it was a bit strong for my taste. I was surprised though at how quickly this one mellowed out.

Now, about 5 years from harvest, I broke off a bit again and it's starting to suit my tastes more. The flavor is surprisingly sweet and savory, and the bitterness is greatly diminished. The aroma is predominately floral and slightly vegetal and fruity, with a hint of mushroomy notes and even less smoke. The overall character of it is soupy or brothy. I find this tea is quite tasty if I take care not to brew it too strongly. The finish is lightly peppery, not just in mouthfeel but even leaving a hint of a black pepper aroma.

I suspect this tea would be even more to my liking if I left it to age several more years. Mainly I would like to see the stronger green-tea-like vegetal notes and peppery quality to diminish, but it is already approaching my sweet spot. The astringency has lessened more than I would expect, and I wouldn't want to lose too much of it as it already has a pretty smooth body.

I also rather like how I feel after drinking this. It doesn't seem to have a lot of caffeine and it is calming to drink.

This tea is no longer available, but Yunnan Sourcing sells a number of similar teas. I'm happy I purchased this and will enjoy drinking it up, probably a few years down the line.

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