02 March 2008

1993 Da Li Nan-Jian Phoenix Tuo Cha

Today at evening I decided to taste something older. Unfortunately, I learned about pu-erh in late 2006, just before the big pu-erh market madness. So I missed the opportunity to buy some good aged pu-erh. All I have are few pieces – and today I decided to drink the 1993 Phoenix from Da Li Nan-Jian Tea Factory.

The tuo-cha is compressed just ok, not tight like the Xiaguan products, but still much tighter than average beeng. I had some problems break it, so I used one bigger piece and few smaller leaves – those leaves should add flavor to first few infusions, until the bigger piece will fall into separate leaves.

First, that catches my eyesight is the absolute clearness of the brew pointing to good kill-green process. The color is beautiful dark ruby. I prefer lighter teas, but the smell is still pretty heavy, clearly aged. The tea is 15 years old now, so it passed its juvenility and is becoming young adult.

The taste is aged yet energizing. There are hints of wood and a subtle touch of camphor in the taste. Huigan is strong and long lasting. In this small tuo we can see the big difference between aged raw and shu pu-erh. There are nearly no flaws in this tea. At least I cannot find any.

This small aged tuo, originally from Hou De is one of my all time favorites. Unfortunately, it’s sold out, as all good aged pu-erh is today. But if you accidentally find it somewhere, buy it!

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