Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Yunnan Jiang Cheng wild raw Pu Er, 1990. Tasting notes


A raw (green) wild Pu Er approx. 300 grams brick. Leaves are all grade 1. It has already nicely and slowly aged. The color is not uniformly black, which shows the aging happened naturally and this is not a cooked puer. It can be enjoyed now or kept for further aging. The leaves are sharp and look still quite alive for their age: this is a sign of their wild strength. (See my pictures below. As before, I show you both sides and close ups. But this time I took the pictures outside to get natural light and show how well pu er connects with nature.)

Dry smell: Beyond the smell of aged, slowly fermented pu er, I was transported to a cloudy mountain in the China of a previous dynasty.

Color: Dark brown with a thin layer of tea oil.

Smell: The brew smells like precious old wood, a library in an old buddhist monastry lost in the high mountains.

Taste: Warm, mellow and long lasting. An invitation to escape.

Advice: 1 gram per 150 cc of water (but some prefer it stronger). Flake with great care (not so difficult on this brick). 8-10 brews.

Remark: This divine tea is best described with poetry. I am not the only one to like it. Teaparker introduced me and a couple of his students to this tea on March 21st, 2004. We all fell in love with it.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your integrity as an impartial commentator on tea and tea-related information is diminished by marketing.

i like to read this blog because it can be informative.

"Warm, mellow and long lasting. An invitation to escape."

That's not informative. It's sales-talk.

You can't be both a tea master and a tea salesman. Choose one or the other.

Stephane said...

I hope you read my remark in the post. I am conscious this tasting note is not as informative/rational as it should be. The words you quote seem hollow without their context. I said the smell makes me think of a library in an old buddhist monastry in the mountains. And these were the same words I used when I drank this tea for the first time on March 21, 2004. As usual, everyone had to describe the tea we were tasting. I didn't have the necessary vocabulary to describe the taste in Chinese, so I chose to tell them what the tea made me feel. So, this is not sales talk, just my initial attempt to describe this wonderful aged pu-er.

But I do agree it is not very informative and will probably add new 'rational' tasting notes of this 1990 wild puer after I drink it again.

While I accept part of your criticism about my notes, I don't share your opinion about my integrity.

First, I have posted a lot of info on my blog I had to pay to obtain. (Yes, Teaparker and others need money to live too! They charge for classes and for the tea I tasted.) So I have shared and still share information for free, which I paid to obtain. For over a year!

Second, I am not affiliated or have entered in any long term cooperation with any tea store or grower. And I also didn't buy any inventory that I have to sell. I know some stores better than others, because I am their good customer, but that's it. That means I can honnestly tell my readers which teas I like and why.

Third, I disagree that you have to choose between tea master and salesman. I wish all salesmen were tea masters. They would give good advice and know their teas well. The teas I bought from Teaparker are really the best I have.

I still have much to learn to become a tea master and have no plan to become a professional salesman. I simply want to share my passion with my few readers (not enough for a business!) and give them the same privileged access to Chinese teas as I have here thanks to my numerous lessons, purchases.

Cindy W. said...

Use of metaphors is not "sales-talk," and anyone who posts anonymously has no grounds for speaking about integrity. I suspect a troll.

I've learned much from you, Stephane, and have appreciated the descriptions you post. They are poetic and easily understood. Thank you.

I wonder if this anonymous poster is the same one who posted a comment to my blog the day before.

Timothy Hsu said...

how amusing is to see "Angry" people appreciating the tranquil world of Chinese tea.

Antonio said...

I recently ordered a brick of the 1989 Jiang Cheng, after Stéphane sent me a sample with one of my orders. I love Puerhs, especially if they have been aged properly, as is the case with this tea which has enormous potential. The flavours are complex, ancient wood, humus, very deep, relaxing and long lasting. Done gongfucha, I've been able to get 15 infusions out of 3 grams. And probably could have continued... So, although one may think this Jiang Cheng is expensive - but what good tea isn't, especially when it comes to REAL aged wild raw puerhs - the value is there! Bonne dégustation!

maxi said...

Where to buy this from? Any online store? Thanks

Stephane said...

Maxi,

Just send me an e-mail at: stephane_erler@yahoo.com and I'll send you my price list and shipping conditions.
Thanks for your interest.