Having too much tea is a very nice problem to have. That being said, I do feel a bit bad when tea sits around without being enjoyed. I’ve started to taste them in groups for that very reason. That way I can dig through the “to drink” pile faster and no one gets left out. On a very chilly winter day, I did just that.
For this tasting, the only thing the teas have in common is that they are all shou, or cooked, puerh from the same vendor. Each of these teas was brewed in a porcelain gaiwan (luckily, I have those laying around in spades) using 8g of leaf and boiling water. I did a quick 10-second rinse before proceeding with standard 30-second infusions.
Menglong – Autumn 2014
This tea was woody and sweet with notes of dark cacao. It was earthy but a slightly elegant way if that makes any sense. Overall it very smooth and enjoyable to drink.
Nannuo – Summer 2014
This tea had surprising notes of vanilla and old books. That might not sound very appetizing but trust me, it was. Later infusions had a slightly cooling effect that reminded me a bit of licorice.
Ba Ka Ngoi – Summer 2013
This tea was smooth but powerful. There was an almost coppery tang that evolved into animalistic notes of leather.
Manmai – Spring 2013
This tea was heady but smooth. That being said, it did pack a bit more of a bite than the others. There was also an almost airy quality that I found very appealing.
I don’t think I would be able to pick a favorite out of this group. They are all different in very enjoyable ways. The one I would be most likely to reach for would change along with my mood and even the weather. Do you have a favorite shou puerh that you’d tried from Jalam Teas? Let me know about it in the comments!
Some of these teas were provided by Jalam Teas and some of them were received through a paid subscription.