Friday, October 28, 2011

2009 YiWu MaHei (Pu-erh.sk)



MaHei is (according to babelcarp) short for MaHeiZhai which is a puerh producing village in Yiwu reputed to have wild-growing trees. This nice sample definitely belongs to those more interesting ancient tree cakes from Yiwu area I have tasted so far.

My description of the characteristics of this tea will not differ much from other Yiwu ancient tree samples I've had a chance to try recently. It is rather sweet and round with no bitterness or astringency. You can steep it for quite a long time and it just doesn't get any worse, perhaps only stronger in aroma and flavour. It's got the typical (and for me detectable) Yiwu honey-like sweet taste already present in the first infusion and you can go like this forever without any fundamental change in character. It gets a little bit weaker though after the 6th infusion but it is in fact still present in the overall character of the tea until the very last brewing. 


I like the leaves of this particular sample, clean, easily separable and simply beautiful. The smell of dry leaf is sweet, fruity and ripen, I was even able to identify a hidden tone of chocolate dipped cherries. I truly enjoyed the way the tea broth got thicker, the taste rounder and sweeter with every other infusion.


The aftertaste came with a nice refreshing citrus trace. The fourth infusion was surprisingly creamy, I was not expecting this tone to appear and it was really a nice surprise. After the 6th or 7th infusion I could feel a slight trace of astringency and dryness, perhaps due to the little aging of the cake. Nevertheless, it was all in the norm and did not affect the regular taste much.     


It is in general a very friendly cake and I would recommend it especially to those who would like to try some of the young ancient tree cakes and do not know which one to go first. I must say it is one of the best Yiwu cake samples I have tried so far, together with 2009 YiWu LuoShuiDong that I haven't reviewed here. Both of them I can highly recommend.

I must however admit I seem to run out of words when describing typical taste of Yiwu area. I have tasted so far ancient tree samples from 2009 and 2010 and they are simply good, stable and predictable, rather sweeter in taste. The very good ones tend to be quite similar in aroma, flavour, and smell as well. They only differ in tiny traces of gentle undertones that happen to appear in the infusions from time to time but that is one of the reasons I like tasting them.

2009 Pu-erh.sk YiWu MaHei
Type: Raw Ancient Tree 
Astringency: Almost none
Bitterness / Smokiness: None
Aroma: Sweet, fruity, honey-like, ripen and intense
Flavour: Sweet, fruity, almond-like, almost velvet in the 4th infusion
Aftertaste: Gentle, gradual, sweet, refreshing


Good tea, good life.


-ER-





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Drink your tea
slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves.
Slowly, evenly,
without rushing toward the future.
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Best to be like water,
Which benefits the ten thousand things
And does not contend.
It pools where humans disdain to dwell,
Close to the Tao.

Live in a good place.
Keep your mind deep.
Treat others well.
Stand by your word.
Keep good order.
Do the right thing.
Work when it's time.

Only do not contend,
And you will not go wrong.

Tao Te Ching, 8 / transl. Addis & Lombardo