Saturday, March 15, 2008
2006 Bai Cha Tang 7th Generation 400g
Bai Cha Tang puerh is the brain child of Mr. Ai Tian. Mr. Tian, who is also the factories tea master, is not just producing puerh to leave his mark on the puerh world, but is also on a personal quest to bring puerh back to its pre 2001 standards when quality and not quantity were paramount. He is intimately involved in all aspects of the puerh process and uses his 20 years of production knowledge to insure that his products are produced with the up most care and quaility. Mr. Tian takes puerh so seriously he purposely leaves a barrel outside the factory gates so that when he personally identifies a “fake” product, he will subsequently label the inappropriate puerh and throws it away for all of the community to see. ( There has been some concern about of some factories producing puerh using mao cha outside the Yunnan area and issues of counterfeiting due to the enormous demands of the market.)
Though relatively new on the market, his products have already made some headway in the puerh world with competition wins such as his win at the China's Tea Cup competition last year with his 3rd generation cake. For further information on counterfeiting
The 7th generation cake is a high end product of Mr. Tian’s arbor tea series line-up. The beeng is said to be made of Ancient wild, sun dried premium Mengku broad-leaved material from Lincang which were subsequently pressed using the traditional method of a stone mold.
The beeng omitted a strong and pungent odor of puerh. From the odor alone I could anticipate that I was in for a delightful gongfu session - I hope. Lately, most pu-erhs have not been very aromatic, where products of the Lincang area just for the most part falling below par. However, the 7th Generation seems to take what is best of the quintessential puerh smell and amplifies them with virtually now smoke. Although abundant honey and florally in character, the aroma seems to be put in check with its abundant rubber hints. The leaves appear to be healthy, and of choice. It was evident from the compaction that it was indeed stone pressed. Nice surprise.
Vendor - Dragon Tea Horse Ebay Vendor
Water-Bottle spring water, generic brand. Source of water Lafayette Springs, WS
Amount – 5.6g
Water Temp - Boil then cooled for 2 breaths
Brewing Vessel - Yixing Teapot 150ml
Method – Gongfu
Aroma - It appears that the dry smell carried itself into the liquor. It has pronounced honey and floral notes that were laced in a pleasant rubber smell. As the liquor cooled in the sniffer, the notes all transformed into a wonderful musk.
Taste - The liquor was virtually free of any prounounced bitterness that you would find in a young sheng. Although the tea did have a nice huigan, it was unfortnately not as lasting as I would of liked. There appears to be a slight melon flavor at the end of the swallow when the air hits the back of the throat as I breath in.
Aroma - The floral notes has dissapated somewhat, but still noticeable. Hints of rubber were enveloped in a hint of grass. The musk is still noticeable as the liquor cools.
Taste - There appears to be a more noticeable astringency but not unpalatable. In fact, it keeps the flavors bright. The chayun is now alerting my other senses. The sides of my tongue are tingling while the back of my throat and the roof of my mouth are pleasantly warm.
Aroma - Again, honey and rubber with more noticeble woody notes. I love the musk scent.
Taste - The huigan is at full throttle. Nice and lasting. The chayun is still making this gongfu session quite active. The flavor profile is very much consistant with the previous notes although to my suprise there seems to be a flutter or berry. The sides of my tongue are now numb but not in an offending way. The flavors are now thick on my breath as I breath in and out. Nice!
The leaves look like a good combination of leave vs buds. Nice robust veins which may be indicative of a wild variety.
I do like this pu-erh. Its aroma and its flavor profile were nice and thick. The liquor has a decent viscosity which is always nice. I generally get a tired sensation if the liquor is flimsy. I did feel the qi after the 3rd infusion. My knees started to hum a bit and I started to perspire. I even had to open my window in 32F weather in order to continue. The taste was reminiscent of the MengKu area which in my opinion generally have more of a longer lasting wood and rubbery taste. The activity in my mouth did remind me of the ancient leaf variety. As with most pu-erhs, it is impossible to know with any degree of certainty if it is made of entirely ancient arbor material. However, the behavior of the tea did indicate that it may well be. Nice.
Sources: Gordon of the Dragon Tea House