Released in 2015, this shou puerh tea cake is pressed and blended under the Yunnan Sourcing label and sold on both the US and China Yunnan Sourcing websites. Known for the tea-drinking goat on its label, this cake made quite a splash in the tea community when it was first released.
For $26 per 357g of tea, or $.07/gram, it is not a cheap tea but not at all unreasonable. On the China site, the cakes are two dollars cheaper making it $24 per 357g of tea, or $0.06/gram.
The leaf material is impressive in its quality. Made from “wild arbor and old plantation” material, there is no doubt this is a special tea pressed from very nice leaves.
For such a new tea, its lack of mustiness is both surprising and impressive. Although it is there, it is quite dialed back compared to many other new cakes and I fully expect it to fall away with age. In the first infusions, sour notes add a background to the smoke and wood flavors that are very prominent and seem to be typical of Yunnan Sourcing’s shou puerh cakes. The sourness continues until the final infusion and I expect, it too, will gradually fall away with age.
The main notes of this tea are smoke, wood, walnut, and damp earth, tied together beautifully with a thick, creamy body and high astringency that carries on into the middle infusions. The longevity is very good for a shou puerh which could be in part due its larger leaves.
Its cha qi, which starts to make itself known in the middle of the session is very powerful. It creates a warming and calm energetic feeling throughout the entire body, although its effects and intensity will be different from person to person.
Yunnan Sourcing’s Yang Luo Han is a great shou cake that will prove to get better with age. It serves as a simple, easy to understand daily drinker that won’t break the bank, but is nice enough to be the star of your tea stash. Its powerful cha qi and well-rounded flavor profile make it a great bet for aging.