“Tea … is a religion of the art of life.”
― Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea
There is only one thing more splendid than the ritual of preparing Pu Erh and that is the enjoyment of drinking Pu Erh. It completes my day and nourishes my soul. That is why I am very thankful to try this sample of Nan Nuo Mountain Sheng 2007 from Wan Ling Tea House.
This is what Wan Ling Tea House says about this tea:
This exotic tea is produced from ancient, wild tea trees in the Xi Shuang Ban Na region of Yunnan. It has taken a number of years for Wan Ling to find a source of unadulterated large leaf tea that she is satisfied with. This tea now makes up part of her personal collection. A limited amount of these Qi Zi Bing will be released each year. – Taken from Wan Ling Tea Houses website
The image of wild trees in China is beautiful in my mind and the idea that I am drinking leaves from said trees is amazing. That is another reason why I love Pu Erh so much, it really is magical.
In raw form this large leaved Pu Erh is a beautiful mixture of earthy brown colours with a few golden coloured leaves mixed in. I must also note there are a few stem pieces that have broken off in the packet.
It has a sweet wooden scent with a hint of musk and smoke. Very mellow and smooth.
This is how I shall be brewing this tea:
Teapot: 100ml Tea: 5g 5 Steeps: 30s,1m,2m,3m,4m Temp:100ºC
First Steep – 30 seconds
Colour is light yellow with a slightly sweet wooden aroma. Flavour is very mellow with highs of honey, wood and clay. Very mild for a first steep.
Second Steep – 1 minute
Wonderfully smooth keeping it’s honey and wooden tones. It’s also developing a mild fruity prune like flavour. The bottom of the bowl has a light floral touch.
Third Steep – 2 minutes
As it strengthens both the honey and the wooden tones become stronger which softens the teas flavours as a whole. Incredibly smooth and non astringent. A little dry and musky in the after taste.
Fourth Steep – 3 minutes
The colour is darker in colour now and more yellow than the first steep. Not as mellow as the previous steeps and the clay has grown to an almost tang but it softens in the after taste very quickly. Still sweet though not honey like, more floral sweet and nutty like peony.
Fifth Steep – 4 minutes
More wooden now but still with plenty of flavour. More leathered now than wooden as it’s slowly getting darker in flavour but remains balanced with the wonderful sweet peony tone. Still very smooth and mellow.
Additional – Sixth Steep – 5 minutes
Toned down somewhat from the last steep but still a lovely mellow drink. This bowl has leather, wood, musk and toned down peony. It’s not nearly as sweet as the first few steeps, although you could argue that I’m just used to the sweetness by now which is why I don’t notice it as much.
Additional – Seventh Steep – 6 minutes
Very peony like and dry but still with very little astringency. For me I would say this is the last steep. If you liked your tea subtle and mild then it would be suitable to carry on but for my personal tastes this is the perfect place to stop.
Overall this Pu Erh has remained beautifully mellow and featured virtually no astringency at all. Definitely one of the softer Pu Erh that I have tried but even as soft as it was there was enough flavour to be very relaxing and pleasing. Also this tea kept it’s flavour over many steeps.
Wan Ling Tea House currently sell this tea for £120 per 357g cake. I know that is a little on the pricy side but if you can afford it then I would highly recommend it. It is a very fine Pu Erh indeed.
My rating for this tea would be 9/10.
If this tea is not quite to your liking then perhaps you will find something else from Wan Ling Tea Houses large tea index. They have something for everyone.