Sunday, April 1, 2007

2004 CNNP "Old Tree Pu-erh"

This particular "Private Reserve" CNNP pu-erh is said to be a non-blended cake made of leaves from the Xishuangbanna area. What is unique about this beeng from other CNNP products is that its entire manufacturing processes (picking up to its final compression) is said to have been supervised by a well known pu-erh tea collector from Yunnan who went to MengHai specifically for this purpose, where upon its completion, was certified by the CNNP.

-Note- If you have any further questions please contact Jim of the Puerh Shop at as I am unfamiliar with this particular Private Reserve product. Jim is always glad to answer any questions you might have about this pu-erh tea or any others he has in stock. Best of all he is in Indiana!-

Initial Impressions

The leaves are loosly compressed with no smoke or wildness; somewhat floral. The name of this pu-erh suggests that it is made of "old Tree" leaves. I can only assume what is mean't is "old plantation" leaves, possibly from plantations 50 years or older. Definitely not Ancient arbor leaves. It its appearance actually reminded me of a 8582 Menghai that I just recentely tasted.

Brewing Parameters

Source - Puerhshop

Water - Bottled spring water. Source of water - Frontier Springs, PA

Amount – 5g

Water Temp - Boil then cooled for 3 breaths

Brewing Method - Gongfu

Brewing Vessle - Yixing Teapot 150ml

Infusion times

First Infusion

Aroma - A muted floral scent wrapped in a pronounced grain. Very rustic indeed. Actually reminiscent to maze or hominy. I wonder if it were stored next to grain or if it is natually occuring. I have not encountered this flavor before. I've tasted grainy before in pu-erh but only in much older examples. Nonetheless, interesting.

Taste - Virtually no bitterness. However, slightly sharp on the sides of the tongue. Touch of floral. It appears the grain is also present in the liquor.

Liquor - Nice and clear with the hues of yellow and gold.

Second Infusion

Aroma - The grain has waned considerably which has allowed the floral notes to come through. Slight undertone of honey with muted fruit.

Taste - Metallic now, but still not very bitter. Floral notes are less noticable, however, the fruit is more assertive although not very pronounced.

Third Infusion

Aroma - The grain is still noticable. Now the fruit and floral tones are muted, although honey is more noticable, but suttle.

Taste - Very low bitterness as in the former two. The fruit is comming through again with a nice sweetness with an attractive thick and lingering viscosity.

Liquor - The liquor is still as the former. Nice and clear! The color is consistent

Spent Leaves

As mentioned, I believe that they are not ancient arbor but possibly from older plantations. IMHO they are too gracile to be anything else.

Overall Impressions

This was definitely an interesting Gongfu session. I can only describe this pu-erh as masculine. Although it did have floral and fruity notes, there was nothing feminine about it. There is nothing static about this pu-erh as well. It takes you through many different palates and aromas that lasted for 6 rounds. Its almost as if I had drunk 4 diffent pu-erhs in one session! It has a very pleasing rustic quality to it.

-Note- As you will notice that the colors of the pictures fluctuate which makes hard to gauge with any degree of accuracy the true color of the liquor ( well as true as it can be over the computer). I have just bought a new camera and I am still unfortunatly getting used it. I promise I will get better! :)


Salsero said...

Mmm ... new camera ... still another reason to drink more tea! Let's face it, the real reason we drink this stuff is to play with the things that go with it!!

Which brings me to the question I've been meaning to ask for ages: where did you get your sniffing and drinking cups and the lovely tray-like things they rest on?

Also, when you show photos of your measured pu on the scale, that clam shell holding the tea, is that a special tea holding clam shell or is it just the cover for your scale?

Thanks for another fetching post ... a real feast for the eyes and the imagination. Also, I've never used the Puer Shop, but I see they have an inventory well worth sampling. Thanks for the hot tip. Maybe someday Indiana will have all the cache that Xishuangbanna has today!


Bill said...

Hey Sal, Thanks for the Kuddos! Well, as for you question. I got these particular cups from Shan Shui Teas out of Washington D.C. You can visit there site at They also sell a primo line of Taiwan teas! As for the Checking tray I got this particular one from The eBay vendor The Tea Pot Gallery. They have a number of Gongfu items for sale so check them out. Very reasonable in price and possibly the cheapest!

Home Set Up

Tea should be simple. I typically brew gongfu except when I make a good English Breakfast. Zhuni pot is one that I dedicate to Chinese b...