Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Puerh Shop's 2013 Zenpuer 1306 Menghai Ripe Puerh

Puerh Shop's Description
A new ripe Pu-erh tea made by using pure Menghai raw materials, no off taste, rich enough tasting profile is the key for a long term storage and enjoyment. Ripe and expressive, with explosive pear and lychee flavors mingling harmoniously as they swoop into the polished finish.

My thoughts
While on my hunt for Black Friday sales, I stumbled across a new-to-me tea shop simply called Puerh Shop, located just a few hours from me in Troy, Michigan. They have a puerh selection rivaling Yunnan Sourcing and prices to match, so I figured I'd order a couple of the cakes they had on sale. This is a 250g cake, which cost me a whopping $10.

Dry leaves - It's a fairly average looking cake, nothing really standout about it. The aroma is one of a pungent earthy sweetness with a bit of spiciness to make it interesting.

Brewing parameters - 212F, 2 x 10s rinse, 5-15s per steep adding time as necessary. Pretty much standard for a puerh.

Tasting notes - Smooth, sweet, earthy, cedar, persimmon, spicy

First thing I notice is the complete lack of fermented taste. I mean, there is literally no flat or fishy off-taste from the fermentation whatsoever, which is unusual for a shou that's only 2 years old. Second, this shou is sweet! A wonderful sweet earthiness hits me right off the bat, and lingers long after the sip.

Steeps 2-4 are starting to bring out the individual flavors, though they're still a bit muddled. The sweetness is just amazing, and easily rivals Crimson Lotus' '08 Bulang in that area. A hint of fruitiness is beginning to rear its face behind the sweet earthiness, but it's too early to tell what it is just yet. A mild cedar spiciness is mingling with the flavors as well.

Steeps 5-8 are where this shou really shines. The fruitness has taken me a few cups to pin down what it is, because it's been quite a while since I've eaten one: persimmons! Spefically, Hachiya persimmons, the kind that need to be practically a liquid before you eat them. I don't really notice any pear or lychee like the description states, but the sweet honeyed flavor of the persimmon more than makes up for that. The earthiness has mellowed out and let the fruitiness take hold.

Steeps 9-12 keep a similar flavor profile to the previous bunch, but have mellowed out significantly. The liquid is still extremely smooth and sweet, and the persimmon flavor hasn't let up yet. Steeps 13+ struggle to keep the flavor going, but I'm not stopping until I've wrung every last bit of flavor from these leaves.

This one really did surprise me. For ten bucks, I expected a shou that tasted like ten bucks. This one tastes like it should cost 4-5 times more than what it actually does.

You can buy this tea from Puerh Shop here:

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