Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied shades of green and brown, compressed
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: bright gold
I enjoy all kinds of tea but truth be told, puerh has had my heart for the last few years. Tea is a never-ending rabbit hole but this category is full detour unto itself. Crimson Lotus Tea and their fantastic offerings have been a big part of that journey. When I saw the video they posted of the remote garden this tea came from, I was so excited to experience it for myself. There is just something magical about seeing the exact place where the tea you are drinking was made. Don’t you agree?
The dry leaf had a clean and subtle floral aroma. They were fairly dark in color with varied shades of green and brown. Some silvery tips were visible along with thick stems. I wouldn’t call this an “iron cake” by any means but I did need to use a needle to pry the leaves apart. This is my preferred type as loose compression tends to lose its shape and tight compression leads to personal injury. I have a very well-seasoned yixing teapot that is dedicated to young sheng puerh but I found brews in that to be much less enjoyable. The clay seemed to suck up a lot of the aromas so a gaiwan was definitely the way to go.
Wildwood brewed up a bright shade of gold. I noticed a fairly large number of trichomes in my chai hai. The infused tea had a more earthy smell but still echoed the clean, floral notes of the dry leaves. It started off surprisingly sweet with a crazy long finish. Wildflower honey came to mind, particularly because of the thick and viscous mouthfeel. Later infusions had an almost minty methol effect. There was some astringency, as all raw puerh should have, but I wouldn’t call this tea bitter. It isn’t exactly beginner-friendly either. As with any tea, if it’s too much for you just dial back your parameters and find your personal sweet spot.
I enjoyed the sample of this tea so much that my husband purchased a cake for me as a Christmas present. My camera really hates the color combo of this tea’s wrapper so I’ll have to share their beautiful sample packet instead.
Have you tried Wildwood? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!