Thursday, May 11, 2023

Tea Review: 2020 XXXMas Huangpian Sheng Puer Cake (White2Tea)

2020 XXXMas Huangpian Sheng Puer Cake
Type: Puerh
Origin: China
Product Description:
What is "huangpian"? Huangpian are the large, coarse golden leaves that are often sorted out by the aesthetic watchdogs of the raw Puer market who find them unsightly.  Their "ugly" looks mean that we, the virtuous club members who see inner beauty and judge our books by their content can scoop up a lot of old arbor material for a fraction of the cost of the "higher grade" counterparts.  If this is your first outing with huangpian, you will notice a different character than a standard raw Puer.  If you fall in love with this character, it's great news for your wallet, as you can often find very high quality huangpian for a lot cheaper than the standard raw Puer counterpart.  They age beautifully and become sweeter and softer over time. (Check out our 2016 Fade or 2018 Demon Slayer to try examples of nicely stored huangpian)  You have 200 grams to experiment with, so take a few notes on the cakes journey (Pro-tip: you can lazily jot down a sentence or two on the wrapper for easy note keeping.  Example: 12/25: sweetness, apricot. Intense when pushed).  These are fresh off the press, so try it now and then again in a month to compare as the cake sheds some of its excess moisture and youthful vigor.  This year, I blended in a bit of maocha [unsorted raw Puer material with more buds] to expand the depth a touch.  This tea packs a wallop of aroma, flavor, and huigan [returning sweetness in the mouth].
Temperature: 208° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 2-3 minutes

The dry leaf aroma has notes of aged wood and pepper.

The aroma of the golden infusion has herbal and green vine notes as well as something that reminded me of piled leaves.  The taste is herbal and woody with mild astringency.

I particularly enjoyed the first and third infusions where the huigan was most present, while the second infusion had a sharper aroma and bolder flavor.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops over time.

This tea review was written in 2021. This tea was a gift from a third party.

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