I apologize for how long it’s been since my last post, about two months now. I’ve had a busy schedule at work and school, limiting my chances to blog, and on top of that I’ve been in a bit of an emotional rut, and just haven’t been inspired to blog when I have had the chance. But here I am, at it again!
Anyways, todays tea is Yunnan Sourcing’s new 2017 “Yiwu Rooster” ripe. This is a premium ripe, made from a mix of plantation and wild arbor Yiwu material from spring 2017. It’s a little pricey for a young ripe, $56 USD for a 250g cake, so I opted for a sample rather than buying it blind. I’ve really been enjoying good shou lately, so I was very excited to try this tea.
I measured out 10g for my 140mL pot, which is my standard for shou. The dry leaf smells lightly earthy and woody, and just slightly sweet like dried dates. I don’t get much fermentation smell from the dry leaves.
I give it one rinse, and then prep the second steep for drinking. It brews a deep dark brown with hints of red at the edges of the cup.
The tea is very smooth and full bodied with a mouthfeel that’s almost silky. It tastes of dark wood like mahogany or cedar with a bit of earthyness and just a bit of dried fruit sweetness. Like the smell of the dry leaf I would say the sweetness is a lot like dates or maybe ginseng. It has a nice lingering/lubricating mouthfeel, something a associate with good sheng.
Scott posted a video on this tea today, and warned that it might have a slight fishy taste being such a young ripe, but I’m finding it quite clean!
Later steeps reveal a very slight green bitterness and a light caramel sweetness. While I wouldn’t call this a lightly fermented shou, it’s definitely not as dark as some. The mouthfeel becomes even more lubricating, almost oily (in a good way). This tea has great infusibility, it brewed out my 1.2L kettle.
The spent leaf is mostly broken, but a few larger leaves are visible. The leaves are pretty dark, but some are a lighter brown, evidence of lower fermentation.
Overall this was a very good ripe! While slightly pricey for a young ripe, I think the price is justified do to the high quality material and processing. Personally I prefer the taste of the lighter fermented Rooster King ripe, but this is a smoother, fuller bodied tea and by no means inferior.