Review: Norbu Tea Pasha Zhong Zhai Mao Cha (2010 Fall)

Norbu Tea, Pu'er Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The liquor colored to a pleasant and even yellow, like a buttery blossom infusion. "
Geoff’s Teaview: 7.9/10
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This maocha - or "unfinished tea" - comes from a growing region known as Pasha Ancient Tree Mountain. The area is located in Menghai county, Yunnan Province like all well-prepared pu-erhs. The Norbu site mentions that the producer claims that these leaves are all picked from the "ancient tree" (Gu Shu) varietal of tea plant, which on average can reach two hundred years of age. While Norbu can't attest to the authenticity of this claim, the copywriter did mention that he could tell they were at least seventy years old.

The leaves certainly looked like they came from old growth tea trees. While many of the light green buds in the mix appeared new, there was also an ancient quality to them. The aroma echoed this with a general feeling of preservation - salty and flowery like osthmanthus. They seemed as if they'd been frozen in time. An odd way to put it, I know.

Brewing instructions - gongfu or otherwise - weren't readily apparent on the tea profile. If I were to wager, I would guess this was supposed to be prepared like any normal sheng pu-erh. I didn't quite have the patience or tools for gaiwan/gongfu prep, so I went with mug directions I knew by heart. I took a heaping teaspoon of the curly leaves and steeped it in 8oz of boiled water for four-and-a-half minutes.

The liquor colored to a pleasant and even yellow, like a buttery blossom infusion. The smell was surprisingly smoky with a hint of grape at the end. Flavor-wise, it possessed a wonderfully wine-like forefront that translated into a mildly earthy middle. A vegetal profile inhabited the finish, but not in a bad way. This was more green tea than pu-erh in its delivery, but it made for a decent cup nonetheless. It would probably work better in its finished, composted/aged form, though. Some aspect of it actually tasted unfinished, yet I enjoyed it for the good mid-afternoon sip it was.

— To purchase Norbu Tea Pasha Zhong Zhai Mao Cha (2010 Fall), or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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