This morning, I had an immediate urge to drink some shou pu’erh while watching an online church service. I was drawn to the 1999 shou puerh that I have only sampled one other time from the company, Tea of Vietnam. I am not sure what their current status is, as their social media accounts have disappeared but their online website is still active. This is also one of the most expensive teas to yet make an appearance on my blog with their full tea cake coming in at $130. I only have a small sample of it, but I am still treasuring every moment. Here are my thoughts:
1999 Shou Pu’erh: It was incredibly fun to brew this tea, and for as many steeps as I had gotten. The tea leaves still had a strong shape to them, so I put it into a container to cold-brew as well. I saved a pour from the first six steepings so I could compare the appearances steep to steep. The aroma was quite strong, with strong hints of earthiness and moss. It honestly reminded me quite a bit of going through a mossy cave with a moisture element like a stream. The color of the steeped tea was amber orange and extremely clear, getting darker with later brews. I enjoyed this tea for at least 9 steeps, and it honestly could have gone quite longer. The taste was quite smooth with a mineral finish. It reminded me of a mix of humid earthiness and sweet hay. I imagined myself walking through a diet trail after heavy rain in early spring. That freshness and just overall wet nature aroma came to mind with each steep. I think this one would be quite difficult for a person new to puerh to drink due to the strength of its earthiness. It felt like I could taste a bit of the humidity from the fermentation process. The character of tea was quite dark and had a thicker consistency. There was also not too much lingering on my palate. I felt extremely light and great while consuming this tea. Normally I can feel a bit sluggish or get the occasional stomach pains when drinking it on an empty stomach, but luckily that did not occur this time.
Price: This tea is delivered in full cake form. For 330-350 grams of tea, the price is $130. This is by far the most expensive tea I have reviewed on my blog.
Packaging: The tea came in a normal brown tea pouch. It did well to contain the tea aroma and the zipper close seemed like a nice quality. I love the overall stamped-on look of the package.
Sourcing: This tea was grown and prepared in Ha Giang Vietnam at an elevation of almost 1300 meters. The tea is picked and processed by local Red Dao families.
Are you a fan of pu’erh teas? If so, do you have a favorite sourcing region or form (cake, brick, loose, coin?)? Let me know in the comments!