2003 Changtai "Ji Nian / Memorial" Sheng / Raw Tuo Cha (100g)
This tea is now entirely sold out. We won't be able to get any more of this. Our 2005 Changtai "Top of the Clouds" is a decent replacement.
This aged sheng puerh comes from the Yunnan Changtai Tea Industry Group. They have been in the puerh business since the late 90's. We had the chance to visit with them in Kunming this year. We blogged about that here: http://crimsonlotustea.com/blogs/puerh/12480085-sampling-aged-puerh-with-chang-tai
This 100 gram mini tuo is called "Ji Nian" which means "Memorial". Changtai chose this name and blend to memorialize their history.
Changtai is well known for the quality of their early 2000's puerh. Their master blenders created this blend from Menghai area Da Shu (Big Tree) puerh tea trees in 2003. It has been stored in hot, humid Xishuangbanna until this year. This blend is ungraded and contains both large leaves and tiny buds. The leaves are darker in color than the similar 2003 Changtai "Yuan Nian Shu / Ancient SouthWest" Sheng / Raw Tuo Cha and seemingly contains more large leaves.
This has all the emotion of a well aged sheng puerh. The warming leaves reveal an inviting, deep, dark musty aroma of age. As water washes the leaves a refreshing aroma of earthiness with a rich sweetness comes out. The liquor is a hue of dark amber. The flavor is smooth and thick with a strong mustiness. It is sweet and heavy without bitterness or astringency. It's a very comforting experience that feels familiar.
Use 5-7 grams of leaves and brew with 6-8 ounces of water at or near boiling. Wash once for 3s each, then start with a quick steep of 6-8s. With each re-steep adjust the steep time to your taste.