Awesome tea, a real aged sheng. Yuan Nian means "old years". And I have a strong suspicion that unlike the 2006 Ming Dee Hong Tai Chang, this one is only pressed in 2006, which is already so far away. But was composed earlier, much earlier.
And for the first time in my ten-and-a-half-year experience of drinking Sheng Pu’er, I meet tea, which feels older when brewed than the cake looks.
Outwardly we see a cake from the leaves of black color, but with a flavor of about five years of aging. Dates, prunes, everything, as it should be. Slightly there is a vegetable note. The cake is delicately pressed, it is possible to disassemble literally into leaves.
The brewed tea has the color, aroma, and taste of a good Hei Cha. It is smooth and dense. It does not bitter, even overbrewed. It pleasantly heats the stomach.
The tea bottom is literally a song. I had several samples from the Yunnan Pu’ers of the 90s. So here the tea bottom is very similar to them. It turns out, Thai from 90's? Good!
I really liked this pu-erh. Easy-drinking, unusually easy, actually. Dried fruits, flowers, and resin were intertwined in my cup into a marvelous dance.
Very pleasant tea drinking turned out. I'll have some more of this wonderful tea with pleasure.
5 grams per 120 ml. gaiwan, 1 washing steeping - 10 sec., further steepings 3-5 sec.
The dry leaf is large, dark brown in color. The aroma is very rich - sweety-sweet, honey, similar to a candied watermelon, light notes of dried fruits and dried apricots, especially after steaming in a gaiwan. The smell of sweetness is so direct and strong that you really want to brew tea faster to understand the taste.
The taste, however, does not result in such a strong sweetness; on the contrary, it is very balanced, rounded, dried fruits compote, lightly with tobacco. Today in the morning I had a sandwich breakfast with the strong-brewed Greenfield "Magic Yunnan". So the aftertaste is similar - strong straw tartness, as from red tea. Meanwhile, tartness is quite pleasant. Very mild infusion, easy-drinking, despite the astringency.
The aroma of the brewed dry leaf is still that pleasant. Now it replaced by a smell similar to the Jiu Jin Long cakes. I do not know what kind of fragrance it is, but it is very characteristic, so some medicines (menthol?) smell.
Verdict: definitely good sheng. Perhaps not the most refined, not the king of the transitions of taste and different shades and complex aftertaste, but soft and rounded, cozy.