neděle 4. listopadu 2012

2000 & 2003 Lantingchun Yongde

2003's leaf
Lantingchun is not a that well known factory, I heartily recommend reading about it here: (a site worth reading in its entirety).

I got two samples of their tea - 2003 ($42/357g cake) and 2000 ($52/400g cake). What is it like? The 2003 first:

The leaves smell sweet and nice. They seem/smell similar to the 2009 Da Xue Shan from finepuer. Both are Yongde so it is not that difficult to understand. 

Yongde generally feels very "autumnal" to me - both the taste spectrum and overall feeling. The wet leaves of this 2003 tea are no different - it's like a sweet autumnal mixed forest - wet, but not yet rotting. 

The liquor is rather light for a 2003, aging rather slowly, but it does not yet have the problems of too dry storage. There certainly is some aging process going on.

In the first steeping, there is a good sweet granary taste, very wide, which channges into tender floral and light fruity tones. The lattter tastes are already slightly aged, it's not like floral and fruity of young sheng.

The second steeping is darker and deeper. It actually has a lot in common with the 2009 Da Xue Shan from finepuer. On the top of Yongde fruit and overall "thingness", there is something like cherries, which I never found in a tea before yet.

The cherry part changes to plums later through the session. 

I quite like this tea taste-wise, it full, sweet and rather complex.

After swallowing, good tingling is there, quite persistent. There is a solid long-term aftertaste, mostly woody, a bit dry. There is a tiny hint of smoke and some fruitiness.

Overall, the 2003 piece still needs some more aging to be really really good, but it seems to be doing very well so far. The price is very fair, especially if you like Yongde.

The wet leaves are strong and large (some are quite huge actually).

Right after finishing the 2003, I brewed the 2000.

The major difference is that the 2000 has some smoke in taste. It's the sort of smoke one gets when burning fallen leaves - i.e., it's not the worst sort of smoke, but I do not like it that much nevertheless. The tea is definitely not pure smoke, the Yongde thickness/darkness is underneath, but it's not as simply pleasant as the 2003 version.

It is obviously darker than the 2003 version, but I feel it should be even darker. There are very few aged tones and bitterness should also be lower at this age. I think that where the 2003 was dry but ok, this 2000  version is a bit too dry.

So, although the 2000 was a fine tea, I liked the 2003 version more - it's a really tea and I guess that if Yongde was one of my favourite areas, I could have been even more enthusiastic about it.

3 komentáře:

  1. According to me, latest versions of Lantingchun sheng puerh are really better than their 10 years old productions. 2010 & 2011 'Organic' shengpu from LTC were amazing. Waiting for the 2012 version, somewhere between China and France.

  2. Hi Sebastien,
    it could be the case, the 2000 version is indeed not particularly great (although it's probably fine for the money), but the 2003 is quite good I guess. If the young Lantingchuns are a lot better, they could be a real treat.

    Will you post notes when you receive them?