Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: varied shades of green, tightly compressed
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 205 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold
I’ve written about quite a few of the offerings from Jalam Teas over the years. This is the 25th review! Receiving a cake through their subscription each month has been incredibly helpful in my journey to learn more about puerh. Through tasting, I have gained an understanding and appreciation for the subtle differences between the mountains and villages of Yunnan.
Lao Man E’ is one of the places that I’ve really fallen in love with. As much as I enjoy a soft and elegant Yiwu, the upfront bitterness that this region is known for presents a real challenge. It can be an acquired taste at first but I find the hui gan of these teas that much more rewarding.
I love to take a deep sniff as soon as I open the envelope from Jalam Teas. The aroma of the Lao Ma E’ Sheng was vegetal and woodsy in a way that was more grounded than its spring harvested counterparts. This offering was a bit more tightly compressed than a lot of the other teas I’ve tried from this company. I carefully pried a chunk loose with a needle because broken leaves can result in a more bitter brew.
Lao Ma E’ Sheng brewed up a deep gold color. The first time I brewed this tea it came out fairly astringent so I dialed back the water temperature a bit. That made a big difference in letting the other aspects shine. The taste was herbaceous and sharp. Since this tea was harvested in the summer, it lacks the high floral notes that you might expect from an early spring tea. I still found it enjoyable to drink, especially on the chilly day when I tasted it.
After each sip I noticed a sweetness rising up in my throat. My mouth also began to water underneath my tongue. That aspect lingered in my palate long after my tea session had ended. It is always interesting to see how a particular puerh will affect the body. The experience can even differ depending on my mood or how I brewed the tea.
Have you ever tried this tea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!