Monday, August 3, 2015

Wymm Tea Mahei Zhai Sheng Puerh from Ancient Tree 2011 Spring

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: somewhat compressed, visible buds
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: brassy gold

I think I've mentioned this before but I adore the handmade mulberry paper that Wymm Tea wraps their tea in. The texture and feel of them make wish that I was one of those crafty people who could turn them into something awesome. This sample was broken off of a cake so the leaves weren't very tightly packed but they were fairly large and mostly whole. After a quick rinse I went for my standard infusion time of 30 seconds. I couldn't believe how smooth this tea was, especially for a relatively young sheng. I really enjoyed the multi-layered complexity of each sip. Mineral and menthol evolved into spices and peachy fruit notes in the mid-palate. The aftertaste had a really pleasing honeyed sweetness that lingered long after I was finished drinking.

I have discovered that I have a relatively high tolerance for astringency. That can make reviewing puerh hard because not everyone will find a bolder tea as pleasant as I do. The Steepster reviews of this tea are a great example of that. Some of the folks there agreed with me and some found it very astringent. My typical brewing style is a bit hard and fast because that's how I prefer it. It also makes things here a bit more standardized when evaluating many different kinds of tea. If you're not as tolerant, I'd recommend flash brewing this one at first and gradually bumping up the time as you go.

Mahei Zhai Sheng Puerh from Ancient Tree 2011 Spring sample provided by Wymm Tea.