2017 Spring top wild, old arbor raw Pu Er cake
Cultivar: Wild puerh trees over 500 years old
Harvested by hand for the first time: Spring 2017
Origin: remote forest with rocky ground in Yunnan, China
Process: raw, sun dried, pressed as cakes.
Weight of a cake: 200 gram
Taiwanese order. These old, wild puerh trees have been discovered by a puerh maker from the Hanni tribe thanks to his local contacts. He searched for these trees, because of the high prices that puerh made of old trees (gu shu) fetch, and because famous mountains (ex: lao Banzhang) are over exploited and are progressively loosing their wild character.
The cake's compression isn't too strong and allows for an easy flaking of the leaves without breaking them. The leaves are shiny and thick. The (competition) brew is dark yellow/orange in hue because of its high concentration of flavors. It has an excellent transparency and shine. The wet leaves are mostly whole and look beautiful, as if they'd just been harvested!
The smell of the cake sometimes reminds me of the scent of the song books on bible paper at my church! The brew's scent feels very familiar if you've had young raw puerh before. What is remarkable about it is its purity. Instead of very rough and sharp scents, this tea smells like a very pure and intense honey made from wild flowers.
The taste starts light with the brew easy to swallow. Then, slowly, its thickness builds up. A nice coating on the palate lingers with recurring sweetness. The body heats up thanks to a very powerful, but harmonious chaqi. It has a bitter note that prolongs the aftertaste for several minutes, but this bitterness isn't sharp or rough. As with the other aromas, this feels very pure, well structured and always accompanied by sweet salivation. This tea tastes like a nectar made of honey! Its power and purity is more than amazing.
Advice: this young raw puerh made from 500 years old trees is so powerful and pure that I recommend using very few leaves and boiling water for best results. Adjust then the time to get the concentration you prefer.
Conclusion: Tasting this puerh isn't just a pleasure, but it shows how aged, wild puerh trees can create the nicest tea aromas. No need to age this tea to be able to enjoy it!