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New pu-erh arrivals – October 2013

 [ IMAGE: Various pu'er teas ]

Last October was an exciting month as it saw the arrival of many new teas – with pu-erh representing the majority of the new arrivals. I had a great time, drinking my way through the stash to write down some tasting notes which I want to share with you in this post.

I’m not covering all the new teas here, but might follow up with another post to share notes on the rest of them. This lot of pu-erh covers a very broad range and should satisfy most people – from raw (sheng) to ripe (shou) teas, from inexpensive beginner teas to¬† pricier aged teas, there’s something for everyone. But without further ado, here are the teas…

Raw (sheng) Pu-erh

2006 Longchang Youle Ancient Arbor Raw Pu-erh Brick (250g, $34)
pu-erh brick

My first thought drinking this tea was that it is the perfect spring tea. Fairly mild and uplifting with a very pleasant flavour.

If you are after a strong ku (the desirable type of ‘bitter’), then this tea is not for you. But I’d recommend it highly for everyone else!

2001 Ding Xing Aged Raw Pu-erh Beeng (350g, $85)

pu-erh discThis one isn’t exactly new in our lineup, but since I never wrote any notes and it and just received new stock, I decided to include it in this post. Those of you who have drunk this tea with me will know that I do have a soft spot for it. I love its aroma of old, dusty books and its deep, calm Qi. It’s by no means without fault, but in my eyes a perfect (and relatively inexpensive) way to start exploring the fascination of aged pu-erh.

Ripe (shou) Pu-erh

2007 Yun Gui Jingmai Pu-erh Tea Cake (100g, $16)
pu-erh cake
This is a very pleasant and smooth ripe pu-erh. The infusion is soft and sweet without being overly earthy. For its price, this tea is an amazing value! If you never tried ripe pu-erh and want an easy and affordable introduction to the genre, try this tea.

2002 CNNP 7581 Ripe Pu-erh Brick (250g, $49)
CNNP ripe pu-erh brick

The infusion of this tea is deceivingly dark – the flavours are much brighter than the soup suggests. The flavour is not very earthy, but full of vanilla notes. It is made from high quality leaves and produces a fantastic, highly refined tea with a very complex flavour profile. From the first session I had with this tea, it has become my new favourite ripe (shou) pu-erh – that’s how good it is.

2000 CNNP 7572 Ripe Pu-erh Cake (357g, $65)
CNNP ripe pu-erh disc

This is an amazingly smooth tea. 7572 is a famous classic CNNP recipe that has often been imitated. The flavours are intricate and extraordinarily satisfying.
This tea has seen some wet storage and has developed thin patches of harmless white mold, which is the reason I can offer it so cheaply.

1999 Fu Hai Green Mark Ripe Pu-erh Cake (357g, $125)
shou pu-erh disc

These cakes were produced with high grade leaves and contain an abundance of tips. What has started out as a highly refined tea in 1999 has benefited nicely from aging and only the desirable flavours are left. This tea is also not overly earthy, but it is mellow and well rounded. It possesses a warming cha qi that makes your cheekbones tingle and spreads a calming energy through your body. It is truly the tea that keeps on giving, since it seems to produce a sheer endless amount of infusions.

1990s Aged loose Royal Pu-erh (100g, $19.90)
shou pu-erh loose leaves

Royal Grade marks the highest grade of leaf material used for producing pu-erh. Royal pu-erh usually shows the most refinement in flavour but does not have the strength that some of the lower grade leaves can pack.
This tea is not a showy tea that entices you with outrageous flavour sensations. Quite the opposite, in fact. This is a quiet, meditative tea that gently pulls you in. The years have ironed out any flaws that it might have once possessed and what’s left is a tea with a calm power, warm energy and incredible endurance. It’s a perfect match for more contemplative tea moments.

2001 Menghai Bamboo Leaf Ripe Pu-erh Brick (500g, $47)
shou pu-erh from Menghai, Yunnan

Not really a tea that’s new to Ya-Ya, but a tea that many of my customers have come to love and miss after I ran out of stock last time. It’s back in stock now and hands down one of the biggest bargains in the tea world. A good 10+ year old pu-erh for under $50 (and a 500g brick to boot) is something that you’re unlikely to come across anytime soon. Flavour-wise, it’s everything you’d want from a good shou pu-erh. Grab one, you won’t regret it!

If any of these teas has sparked your interest, you can place an order through our ordering page.

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