Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 2000 Kunming Blue Mark

Ah, Earthiness.

I’ve spent a good few years now reading about aged and semi-aged pu.  Judging from the way other’s wrote about it, it seemed like something worth trying.

This aged raw pu-erh, the 2000 Kunming Blue Stamp was gifted to me from Spikey, whose kindness I am very grateful for.  More teas from him will be discussed here as well.

I’ve only heard of this tea once before - in a small forum discussing pu-erh.  Other than that, I don’t know much.  It’s from the Kunming Factory, first of all.  And it’s from the year 2000, or at least it was pressed during that time.

The leaves here are dark, with practically no bud - maybe one or two at the most.  The aroma was light and sweet with no mustiness.  I’m figuring this means that the tea  was stored in a rather dry area, since most teas that are stored around a little bit of moisture seem to acquire a ‘damp’ aroma and flavor after a few years.  Also, the leaves are broken.  No surprise there.

Dark Leaves with a Light, Sweet Aroma

5.1 grams | 180-200(depending on infusion) |1 rinse, 7 seconds | 6s, 5s, 8s, 12s, 20s, 25s, 45s, 1min, 1min 45s

The first three cups were dominated by an ‘aged’ musty flavour but still had a slight bitterness left over from it’s youth.  Herbal, Floral, and Caramel notes ran through various infusions as well, with an actual camphor note appearing at the fourth cup

Cups four through seven were a gradual lessening of earthy “forest floor” aroma and flavor, which isn’t too surprising for me.  Sweetness was not persistent at all.  The fifth and sixth cup carried the most sweetness, which was a caramel and raw brown sugar hybrid with a hint of slightly tart fruit in the background.  The later cups had a damp, dark bitterness, until finally fading out in the 9th cup with plenty of  mineral flavors and water.

The Ninth Cup

Overall, I found this very enjoyable.  The qi was light and glowy, helping me fall asleep rather quickly.  I have a feeling the leaves could have kept going, but I simply didn’t add enough leaf - I realize now that I was given a 12 gram sample for a reason - and that is for two sessions of 6 grams.
The Spent Leaf - Few were in their entirety

If you find this tea anywhere - at least get a sample.  It’s worth it.
See you next time!

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