For those of you that happened to catch an earlier post on an Essence of Tea cake, I apologize. I always consider myself a supporter of Tea vendors, especially smaller tea vendors that really take the time to talk to their clientele. And the truth is I happened to get that cake because I asked specifically for it, but the owner David (Nada), is still not entirely sure if he is even going to be selling them due to their current condition. So him and I talked and I agreed I would pull the post currently, it was not a bad review, but it did little to inspire confidence as it was one of the first 2010 Essence of tea Reviews I've seen out on blogs.
But the current stance on that cake is that it is sick from processing, and we are eagerly waiting for it to recover.
Now onto the Mansai, it is from a region debated as to whether it belongs to China or Myanmar, and the leaves actually take quite a trek, which amounts in more broken leaves than you typically see from these types of cakes. But the compression was good, not to loose, but loose enough that you can work pieces free gently with your hands.
The first infusion shows what I thought I saw in the cake, either the long trip back to the village, or processing resulted int his tea being slightly more oxidized, the leaves still look fresh and green when brewed with just the slightest touches of reddish brown around some tips.
So while the brew is a touch more golden than the very picturesque yellow, the aroma sure is amazing, camphore and tobacco smoke, with a nice layer of fresh fruit behind that, but it is one of those aroma's that gives hope to the fact that this tea may just be very powerful.
It really does not disappoint if you are looking for power, I actually am using less leaves than I typically do and it is just as strong if not possibly stronger. The flavor is slightly spicy, and smoky, but it is a taste that I just want more and more and more. The finish is incredibly long, with a lasting bite, but everything in my mouth is feeling rather sweet just after drinking that first cup.
I was just checking his site, and he did post this cake for sale today, and I will stick to my usual way of trying this cake a few more times, but I might just order another to hold onto for a bit.
I will admit I have never tried a tobacco item in my life, but having had several cakes that people say has a strong influence of tobacco, I am thinking this cake might just have the strongest tobacco flavor I have ever encountered. And I haven't even sipped from the third infusion yet, and I am feeling a very strong effect from this tea. Wow!
Granted my teadrunken-ness might just be enhanced by my brand new Michael Coffee Cup complete with display stand, that I feel is the perfect size for puerh. I love new teaware!