02 January, 2008

2005 Dehong Purple-Leaf

In the Lotus Sutra (I think), it is written that anyone giving even just a single syllable of a sutra with a sincere heart will surely achieve great merit and blessings. As I unpacked a festive parcel from the resident Tibetan Buddhist of my readership, I wondered to myself how much merit one must receive for giving the entirety of Shantideva's 1200-year-old "Way of the Bodhisattva".

It is with humble thanks to Norpel that I provide a few notes of one of the teas that accompanied his superbly generous gift (which I am learning and enjoying each day).

The 1999 Luxi Dehong brick is one with which I've been hoping to become acquainted for quite some time. I first read about it over a million years ago, when ancient writings signed by one known only as Geraldo were unearthed on the subject, preserved for posterity in the annals of Chadao. Much later, a little after the coming of the Industrial Revolution, I read about it once again at Chemistea.

It's a tea that I never got around to buying, and then, all of a sudden, it was too late... Now, all is gone from Yunnan Sourcing (despite my protestations to the tolerant proprietor). Imagine my delight, then, to see that my friend from Up North had kindly reversed the arrow of time.

The little "purple leaves" are fine and dark. In his exposition of the biochemical properties of these leaves, the author of Chemistea notes that the purple colouration is due to resistance to sun (and I direct the interested reader to the above link for further details). The aroma of the dry leaves is sweet and clean, turning into a fine flower-like scent when dampened in the pot.

The aroma in the wenxiangbei is the burned-sugar aroma of a floral Oriental Beauty, and really is particularly enjoyable. The soup is a solid yellow, looking all the world like liquid pollen.

A flavour so sweet that it seems almost sugary! Then comes a sour leaf character that fills the body of the tea, but the yunxiang is that now-familiar Oriental Beauty floral tone. It promptly makes its way through the mouth to a gentle but enduring huigan.

It seems almost impossible to overbrew this sweet little confection. The ku is very slight, but just enough to satisfy the slavering maw of a hardened pu'er addict (c'est moi).

Simple, sweet, delicious... Thanks again, Norpel.


Though I cannot vouch for them, the Holy Mountain Trading Company stocks this tea (currently at $55).


Anonymous said...

Hi Hobbes,
to say thank you, same story with me in 2010, heard nice things about this 2005 brick, but no more available, until I followed the link to the "Holy mountain" you gave, and tada… just received the brick in France. Just a new puehr drinker, but allready very attracted to its wide palette of qualities.

LTPR said...


The descriptions of this tea were so good, and the rustic appearance of the brick from Holy Mountain Trading Company so tempting, I went ahead and took a gamble. And so glad I did! What a delicious little gem. I posted my own (copious!) tasting notes here: http://listeningtoleaves.blogspot.com/2011/01/2005-dehong-wild-trees-puerh-brick.html. Interestingly, I found several clove buds in the small amount of leaves I pried from the brick, but I sense they were intentionally part of the blend.

Thank you for your wonderful blog. Like many, I've read it from start to last (no small feat!). A most enjoyable read. Your knowledge and also your genuine modesty are well-noted and I toast you and all the other tea bloggers with each session I enjoy :)

Hobbes said...

Dear Robert and Radishes,

I'm glad to read that you've had success finding this brick - it's a lovely one that I haven't revisited in quite a while. Perhaps now is a good time to do so! It's actually getting rather old, is it not?

All the best,