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2017 HK Natural Storage Dayi Golden Needle White Lotus Ripe Pu Erh (100g)

2017 HK Natural Storage Dayi Golden Needle White Lotus Ripe Pu Erh (100g)

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Description

October 21st, 2019

I bought a single tong of Golden Needle White Lotus in November 2017, and have aged it here in my warehouse in Hong Kong ever since! I've been looking at the box longingly for almost two years. The smell coming from the tong has been enticing since the day it arrived. Yesterday, I decided it was time to finally try this stuff!

The dry cake smells like the finest Cuban cigars with a hint of aromatic pipe tobacco: unlike any other shou I've ever had. The packaging and the cake itself tell me that Dayi really considers this stuff to be top notch (and it is)!

Two years of storage in the warehouse have definitely helped smooth this tea out and there is absolutely no residual fermentation funk here whatsoever. This tea is very much ready to drink. The gongting (tippy) nature of this material means it should be brewed with shorter than normal infusions since it will infuse faster (tips infuse out much quicker). I used my regular approach to brewing shou (I often forget to adjust infusion length for gongting material) and this tea never got remotely unpleasant. If anything, it was extremely aromatic, flavorful, smooth, and thick. Good tea is hard to mess up, and this stuff is pretty much idiot-proof!

While the climate here has loosened the cakes up significantly, and I was able to snap off chunks to brew, the smaller leaf grade means these cakes are still tight enough that you'd probably want to use a pu erh pick, especially once you get past the rim of the cake.

I went ahead and tried the rinse from this tea since it's such a high end production, and I was not disappointed. The first forty-second infusion (longer than is advisable unless you like your tea strong!) was bitter, but balanced, with lovely ku wei (the bitterness went sweet after the swallow). In the cup, there was no tobacco detectable. Just a very complex brew with sweet, exotic floral notes that were very different and more interesting than the wildflower I get from medium grade Dayi sheng. Dayi tippy sheng has a great deal of complexity to it, but this stuff is even more interesting than the Dayi 0712 I've aged myself!

Gongting pu erh has a lot of caffeine, but this session didn't leave me wired at all. I still felt nice and calm while energized. I don't know how Dayi were able to achieve that with this recipe, but this is truly excellent ripe pu erh. This is one of the most interesting ripes I've had yet, and I think the hype around this recipe is justified. This is really good shou!

Along with some mouth cooling, this tea made me sweat after a single cup, and I continued to sweat throughout the session (I wasn't sweating when I started)! 

While I did detect a hint of chocolate in the liquor, this is incredibly complex and interesting tea, and has much more going on than vanilla, chocolate and jujube. While standard shou is lovely, this stuff is truly on another level. The floral complexity is alluring and the liquor has serious thickness to it while still remaining very smooth. This recipe is even better than I imagined it would be! The flavor is longlasting and without any flaws or unpleasantness whatsoever.

If you like shou, this is well worth trying: the Golden Needle White Lotus is truly on another level of quality!

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