2013 Tea Urchin Spring Gaoshanzhai
After reading Wooju’s post about regions and Puerh terroir, I was inspired to try a sample of a well-known Tea Urchin cake of Spring Gaoshanzhai. This is a relatively high mountain in Yiwu area and is a good candidate for having a specific relatively easily identifiable terroir.
Dry leaf is quite pungent in a good way, honey floral pungency. This is one of my favourite aspects of puerh and so it is quite promising. The wet leaf is quite sweet and has some of the roasty modern processing aroma, which in this case reminds me a lot of the kind of slight tinge of roast you get with Darjeeling.
First steep is very mild, very light orange, clear liquor, quite thick and viscous, some slight sweetness, but mostly there is this pungent aroma that fills the mouth. Frisson. Aftertaste in throat is very present. Like a weight in the throat.
Opens up dramatically from steep 1 to 2, more orange now. More juicy, more flavour, large frisson, and continuing aroma. pungency. More of the slight roasty note, but more sweetness in the aftertaste. Very thick, with juicy and sweet aftertaste. Quite remarkable frisson and heat. Huigan is excellent, with a honey pungency surrounding everything.
Strong qi now. Filling chest and head, face, back, arms, hands. The aftertaste sweetness is quite strong and lingers. Now it has a clear second flush darjeeling black tea note. This is an aspect I consistently get with Tea Urchin teas – a slightly higher oxidation level than I prefer, but which is probably still very acceptable. The roastiness is indeed very similar to that from black tea.
The frisson is starting to transition into a drowsiness now. It has a more standard puerh profile now, less immediately sweet and more complex. Musk on the empty cup.
After five or six steeps, the tea starts to decrease dramatically. Late aftertaste remains sweet. Qi continues for sure, coasting on frisson. Waves of frisson with heat and sweating. I ate very little today, so I am quite sensitive. After the real juice comes out, it goes back to thick water with slight sweetness. The pungent honey floral aroma continues, it is the real star of this production. 6.3