06 April 2008

2007 Xi Zhi Hao "Din Jin Nu Er" Minibeeng Part I.

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.


Hobbes said...

Dear TA,

Great review - I'm looking forward to checking them out too. We've just got back from an absentee week-end, so will try them out when they arrive. :)



Salsero said...

Thanks for the nice review. It's like a Sherlock Holmes story but without the ending where the mystery is solved. The photo and the presentation of apparent anomalies were both very intriguing.

I have also noticed teas that seem to be the wrong color for their age. Last night I had a Xia Guan Bao Yan that brewed yellow like a brand new tea where I was expecting something closer to the orange color that you got. I have also had young teas with suprisingly dark colors for their ages.

Well, I am eagerly awaiting the next installment ... on the Hobbes channel ...

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Dear Hobbes,

welcome back online :-)

Dear Salsero,

I'm very curious of Hobbes insight, too


MarshalN said...

Interesting, those long yellow leaves could be from old trees that are a bit "wilder" than normal, but it's hard to say.

The dianhong taste is a bit of a warning sign. What it could mean is that the leaves weren't processed properly -- not enough "kill green" and so after a few months.... the tea is starting to taste like dianhong. Give it a few more months, it might taste even more like dianhong.....

Bret said...

I had bought a tasting set of these mini beengs some time ago, just now getting around to tasting them. The Din Jin Nu Er for me was also something quite unexpected. The color of the brew was an apricot color and the flavor was very delicate for a Puerh. I did enjoy the tea but it wasn't very Puerhish. To me almost like a bland Dan Cong.

Bret said...

On second thought, I like this tea. Despite the fact that it brews darker than a tea of it,s age should and the fact that it isn't very Puerish I like it,s fruitiness and delicate but complex flavors.