Wymm Tea Mengku Bazi Laohuangpian Sheng 2014

(Tea Provided from Review)
Wymm Tea Mengku Bazi Laohuangpian Sheng 2014

So I decided to try my Laohuangpian sample from Wymm tea before the others mostly because I found the description of it interesting:

The name Laohuangpian literally means “old yellow leaves” in Chinese. The picking standard of pu-erh tea has been 1 bud, with 3 to 4 leaves. Usually the 3rd and 4th leaves’ shape are not as ideal after processing. For the best aesthetics of final product to the consumers, tea farmers usually filter out these bigger leaves so that the remaining ones are neat and symmetrical when pressed into pu-erh tea cakes. These bigger leaves are often kept by the tea farmers themselves and are rarely found in the market. Unknown to the general public, these larger and plumpish leaves are more flavourful and sweeter as it has been grown on the trees for a longer period of time. Laohuangpian undergoes the same production method as other pu-erh raw tea we have and possesses the same quality. This tea is worth trying if you wonder what the local tribe and tea farmers in Yunnan are enjoying on their own.

While I am by no means new to puerh, I am not sure if I ever had a laohuangpian, or at the very least a tea that advertised itself as old yellow leaves; and I do have something of a bad habit of buying puerhs based on their looks. I’ve been burned much more than I am willing to admit on puerhs with beautiful silver leaves mixed with golds and greys, I’m trying to be a little smarter when picking out puerhs, but many stores have poor tasting notes and all I have to rely on are the photos. Regardless you may remember I recently had Crimson Lotus Tea’s Sheng Education Tasting Set where I tried four grades of the same tea and was surprised to find I tended to like the lower grades more than the higher grades; so I was really looking forward to this tea since it seems to be the kind of tea that is sadly overlook because of superficial buyers like myself tend to prefer “prettier” teas. What’s that old saying about eating what the chef eats rather then what they serve? I was really interested in trying a tea that is more often than not consumed by the people who grow the tea itself.

Dry Leaves: I love the rustic packaging, my sampler set was wrapped in a paper similar to butcher paper tied with twine and had a nice leather-like tag then the actual samples were wrapped in a thin onionskin like paper. Now onto the tea itself; the leaves are mostly blue and green, but there are a few fuzzy white leaves. It has an interesting, but slight aroma; mostly green grass and a little smoke. I was rather surprised to find a tea that looks to be so tightly compressed, I am not an expert by any means, but in my experience tightly compressed puerhs tends not to have an aroma to the dry leaves. I had to do four rinses (five seconds each with boiling water) before the tea started to break up.                                                                                                          

First Steeping
Temperature: 175oF
Brewing Time: Thirty Seconds
Aroma: Spinach, Hay and Honey
Flavor: Spinach, Honey and Hay
Tasting Notes: So I decided to start off at a fairly low temperature, I tend to do so with shengs that are new to me, generally I go for a higher starting temperature, but I am always a little cautious with teas that are new to me since I tend to prefer longer brews. The tea has a rather nice mouthfeel; it’s pretty creamy for a puerh, let alone for a puerh that is brewed at such a low temperature. The tea is a little light though, perhaps I should have done another couple rinses, as you can see from my horrible photography that the leaves are not exactly fully broken up (I rarely address how much tea I use when brewing tea, but I used seven grams in my 75ml gaiwan, these leaves are deceptively heavy! I know it looks like I didn’t use a lot, but trust me I did.).

It had a rather interesting taste, at first I didn’t get the spinach taste until the tea started to cool down. But other than that it is very smooth and simple, definitely leaning more towards a daily drinker.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 180oF
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Spinach and Hay   
Flavor: Spinach, Honey, Hay and Mineral
Tasting Notes: I decided to double the brewing time, I had a hunch that this tea does really well over the longer it brews and I was right. The aroma is pretty much the same as last time, but much stronger than the last infusion. As for taste there is a new mineral-ly element now that is a rather nice addition, it reminds me a little more of rust, but not exactly. I almost want to describe it as wet stone, but there is a certain iron taste to it.

As the tea starts to cool the spinach becomes the dominant flavor and the hay is becoming greener.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 190oF
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Aroma: Hay
Flavor: Spinach, Grass, Mineral, Smoke and Honey
Tasting Notes: The honey taste has become weaker, but it is starting to linger a little. Other than that it is pretty similar to the last infusion, but there is a slight smoky edge now and the hay taste from the previous infusions have become grassy. In subsequent infusions I started to taste a lot of legume notes. As I said before I am not an expert on puerh, or any tea for the matter, but I’ve always been told that teas that have green bean tastes early on tend not to age well and are meant to be drank immediately. I am not one to age puerhs, I don’t have the patience to hide a way a tea for a couple years and let it mature, so I tend to buy puerhs meant to be drank immediately, as I said before this feels like a daily drinker and while I may develop more depth in a couple years if I were to buy a cake of this I’d probably buy it to drink immediately. 

I liked this tea, it lacked the bite that many young shengs have which was a little disappointing since I like those teas with very sharp tastes, but even without that bite this is rather nice. It feels like a nice introduction to shengs especially for someone who likes greener teas. And for $12 (CAD) for a sampler that includes three other teas this is too good of deal to pass up.


Just a guy who likes tea.