Canton Tea Co. Cooked Mini Beeng Cha

Canton Tea Co. house ripe - wrapped

Here we have another one of Canton Tea Co.‘s line-up of cute little 100 gram mini-beengs.

This is a 2012 pressing of material that was harvested 2007 in Yun Xian county of Lincang Prefecture in Yunnan. Fermentation (wòduī) lasted for 48 days.

Canton themselves see this beeng as perfect for people looking to dip their toes into the Pu-erh pond for the first time, or for more experienced Pu-heads wanting a daily drinker to add to their repertoire.

Canton Tea Co. house ripe - unwrapped

Steeping method
Weight of dry leaf: 7.5 grams
Infusion style: Gong-fu / Asian
Steeping vessel: 150 ml porcelain gaiwan
Water temperature: 100°C
No. & duration: a 2 second rinse, then a 1st. infusion @ 5 seconds, then @ +5 seconds until 45 seconds for a total of 9 infusions

For me the most striking thing about this beeng was the prominent minty/menthol/camphor note, which was up front straight from the rinse.

This together with the vanilla taste and hint of sour cherry gave the liquor the feel of old-school, hand made confectionery, marble sized gobstoppers from that back-street sweet shop with the old jars in the window, the tooth-rot boutique you seemed to spend half your childhood in, the same one that your parents frequented when they were small…

Canton describe the tea soup as “…mellow and smooth with a good mouthfeel…“, something you won’t find me arguing with. In fact, with its deep colour and ability to leave luscious, gloopy trails all over your teaware, I have no hesitation in awarding this broth the “Orc Blood” accolade.

Canton Tea Co. house ripe - a cup of

In their brewing advice Canton note that you should be able to coax at least 6 infusions from these leaves, which again sounds just about right. After 9 rounds I felt as though I’d had the best of what the tea could give, and called time on the session at that point.

In conclusion, then, I think that Canton’s description of this tea is just about spot on – it will most certainly find a place in my stash as part of the “Daily Drinker” brigade, and if you’re looking to try shou Pu-erh for the first time this is as good a place to start as any…

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