image1Yunnan Sourcing released this shou puerh tea cake last year to commemorate the year of the goat in Chinese culture. It’s a full 357g pressing that goes for a very reasonable $18 on the Yunnan Sourcing website. It’s an affordable, interesting and high quality shou puerh that would serve as a great winter daily drinker.

The leaf material is entirely 2014 spring harvest that was fermented for forty-seven days and post-fermented in Menghai county for about 9 months according to yunnansourcing.com. The leaf material is medium-sized with medium-high compression and very little duiwei smell (the smell often associated with newly pressed shou puerh). It should be noted, however, that I aired out the tea for a few weeks before trying it for the first time to balance the flavours and allow for a fair review. Besides the lack of duiwei, the aroma of the dry leaf is both chocolaty and nutty with some background sweetness.

image3The first infusions show heavy chocolate notes with no bitterness and a creamy mouthfeel backed by a medium body. The first infusions are smooth with a milk sweetness that plays very well with the chocolate flavor. The liquor is dark and clear, the clarity being a great indicator of it’s good quality and excellent processing.

The middle infusions show the appearance of earthy, undergrowth notes with a thicker body. The chocolate and milk sweetness are still the most noticeable flavors. A medium-low astringency makes itself known as the leafs further expand and separate in the vessel. These infusions are very long lasting and could reach up to twelve steeps.

The final infusions are very smooth with weaker, but still present chocolate flavors and a thinner body. In the final infusions, the earthy undergrowth flavors begin to fall away leaving a crisp and clean flavor profile.

If you want a great and affordable daily drinker with heavy chocolate notes and good longevity, I can highly recommend this one. It is ready to drink with no sour notes or duiwei and probably would not benefit much from any aging due it’s smoothness and sweetness right now.

You can buy this tea here.