2013 Teaside Unicorn

// Published September 28, 2018 by mgualt

Sweet and pungent dry leaf, with no off notes, no storage notes, very good and very clean.  5g/100ml gaiwan.  Very good wet leaf smell, very clean, reminds me of a “dry stored” tea which has not been processed green.  Sweet, rich, no off notes or green notes.

  1. Very light but the taste is very proper. Tiny pinch of clean roastiness/smoke, with an interesting low-pitched mature pungency which is very attractive. Refreshing with a medium thick texture. Leaves appear a bit towards brown, obviously more oxidised than many W2T or the greener processed YS. Taste is very proper, no green aspects and no hongcha aspects, which is good news.  Effervescent aftertaste and decent emergent aroma for first steep
  2.  More brininess now, medium oiliness. Very clean, perfumed brininess.
  3. Good brininess, more skunk and honey-floral pungency. Astringency now starting to show, chalkiness on tongue, sweet aftertaste.  A bit of very dark green aggressiveness now showing, not oolongy. quite bitter. Medium thickness,  light oiliness. Numbness on tongue, quite good juiciness. Face heavy. Quieting.
  4. Incense on gaiwan lid. Wet leaf a bit vegetal. Juicy acidity and quite a lot of astringency now, coating the whole mouth
  5. (long test steep). Super strong bitterness and major, major tannins. One of the most tannic and astringent and bitter steeps I have ever had. Very strong. Eventually sweetness comes but there is a hell of a lot of astringency on the test steep, very interesting. Mega bitter. Shockingly astringent, like licking an alum block. Very nice ECA.

I have never knowingly had puerh from Thailand, and so this was a great experience for me. Thank you to Valeri from tea-side for making this tasting possible.  Upon opening the sample bag it is clear that this is a classic style puerh tea, and this is confirmed in the taste and smell of the tea — this is as much puerh as any puerh I have tasted from China.

The processing is, thankfully, not too green, and not too oxidised. In this sense they have struck a great balance and I have no issue with the processing.  A striking thing about this tea is that it doesn’t give up its content super-easily, but when you give it longer steeps, it exhibits striking and massive content in terms of perfume, bitterness and astringency, and while it also gives plenty of sweetness, the astringency in the long test steep was shockingly high, which I find quite impressive. The base material is clearly more agressive than many teas I have tried of this age.  In addition, it seems like it hasn’t aged as much as a lot of teas the same age — this may be because of storage conditions, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the storage was not particularly hot.   A very interesting tasting and this tea would be potentially superb after a hot aging period.

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