Sunday, March 16, 2008

2005 Dehong "Golden" Raw Pu-erh

I picked this up for three reasons:

1) I was curious as to the taste of the Dehong Pu.

2) Yunnan Sourcing was selling a purple varietal brick for $44 on eBay, and with almost 40 left stopped selling it. My guess is that someone else bought them up. I wasn't able to get ahold of it at the time, so sloppy seconds it was. (Fortunately I was able to get my hands on one from another seller, so I'll have some thoughts on that later on.)

3) It was only $11, so I figured, 'eh what the hell?'

So initially when I received this, I took a long while smelling it, and all I could smell was an earthy smoke flavour. I smelled absolutely no camphor whatsoever, which is interesting to me now that I've tasted it. After a few hours, I opened it up and started smelling it, and this time I smelled a little bit of mintiness. This piqued my interest, so I decided to open it up and attempt to cut a piece of it off.

For starters, I cut this off last night, and I'll just say I still have red marks on the palms of my hands from the knife pressing into my hands. THIS CAKE WAS ROCK HARD! I was sure I was going to find a diamond in there.

After getting enough of it off to brew, I rinsed it twice with near boiling water. The smell was more minty than before, but that didn't carry over into the flavour yet. The first thing I noticed was a bitterness, but not a terrible bitter flavour. It had a bit of edge to it, that quickly turned into a smokey flavour. Not like cigarettes, but more like pine. The smokey flavour then settled down and there was a minty aftertaste. However, it wasn't a bunch of flavours that came at me all at the same time; they actually got in line and came at me one at a time.

It's clearly something you love or you hate. I'm curious to see what happens as this ages a little bit more.