Yesterday I tried the Yi Wu Cha Wang minibeeng produced by San Ho Tang Tea Factory. The tea was good, but the beeng was of poor quality. So I decided today to try a beeng, that looks much better than the last one.
The Din Ji Nu Er minibeeng is said to be produced from spring raw leaves from the vicinity of ancient tea trees in Chien Jian Zhai. The beeng should be made from sun-dried mao cha by stone molding. Well, the beeng is very solid; it’s hard to believe that such compression can be obtained by stone molding. But from the slightly irregular shape and thickness I can assume, that this can be true.
The beeng is nice, small and much thicker than an average cake is. It emits soft and young floral aroma. It looks much, much better than the Yi Wu one. On the other side, the Yi Wu minibeeng tasted very good, while this beeng performs much worse.
First of all, the liquor – it’s just too orange. On wrapper is date of production – 2007 november 18th. Such young pu-erh should be on some side of yellow, either bright or darker, but orange – that means problems.
The second problem I found in this tea is the taste and smell. It wasn’t pu-erhish enough; it reminded me of Dian Hong teas. I was expecting many different tastes and aromas, but not this one. This aroma prevailed in the cup for all the eight infusions I made.
Today I prepared the Din Ji in zhu-ni teapot, so I decided to try it next time in gaiwan. Maybe it will show me other flavors and more depth.
I speculated that the strange red tea taste could be caused by over fermenting of mao cha. So I searched the wet leaves for reddish over fermented leaves. And yes, I found some of them. Not too much. What puzzled me more were small yellowish leaves. Check the picture – such different leaves cannot be from tea tree!! And the long yellow leaf wasn’t the only one I found. The real tea leaves (those with serrated edges) were thin like from over harvested trees.
This beeng is said to be produced as birthday cake for Mr. Chen’s daughter. So I believe, they are intended to be for long term storage. Also, this fact implies me to believe, that they should be of better quality – hey, they are for his daughter!
That’s why I’m so puzzled with the strange taste of the tea and the outlandish leaves. I will revisit this tea soon and post my thoughts here.
Note: Tasting sets of all three of these minibeengs are available at HouDe. Hobbes will provide his reviews of these Xi Zhi Hao minibeengs in (hopefully) next few days, so check out his Half-dipper.