Saturday, November 2, 2013

Yunnan Date Aroma Puer Tea Brick • 云南枣香普洱茶砖

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Yunnan Date Aroma Puer Tea Brick • 云南枣香普洱茶砖
Yúnnán zǎo xiāng pǔ'ěr cházhuān 

A couple of years ago, Mr Ahn tasted a tea with me that he'd just received a sample of. It was a 980g brick of date infused puer. He said it was getting much attention in China because merchants were selling at as a 20 year-old tea even though it was only 10 years old, which means that it's a very nice tea!

They were taking orders of 20 bricks for $1000, which was a very good price, but and told me it would be a good investment, but in the end, I settled for one brick. Now that I'm half way through it, I sort of wish I'd had the extra $950 to spare! I've noticed that they haven't been selling it in the shop yet, waiting for the price to rise.

My tea stash at any given moment is noticeably light in flavoured teas but the interesting pairing of puer and Chinese date seemed an intuitive match, unlike some of the more ridiculous concoctions I see online. (Sparkling Strawberry Rose Champagne Peach Tranquility, really? It sounds delicious, but where's the tea?). Date tea and puer both share a similar rustic, sentimental quality and the deep, sweet date flavour complements the earthy tones of puer remarkably.

The brick is mostly composed of large leaves and lots of twigs. It crumbles when pulled apart. The first couple of infusions are quite gritty from all the broken particles. I steep it as I would any other puer but give it a very quick rinse, not to waste the date flavour.

The brew is very dark in colour, almost burgundy-black, and has a deep, sweet, medicinal taste. The date adds a nice, thick layer to the flavour. The strong flavour lasts consistently for the first few brews then suddenly thins out, but you can squeeze a little more out of it with some long infusions.

The cha qi of this tea is very calm and warming. It's one of the few teas I can drink at night and still sleep well. It's also a tea for keeping warm through the cold months of winter.

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