Kingpin 2022 Youle Raw Puer
$9.50 – $265.00
- Additional information
- Reviews (4)
A subtle finesse is necessary if you want to rise to the top, and this tea is a lesson in ascending to power. Do not confuse this tea’s gentle character in the early steeps for weakness. Its personality develops brew by brew, with the mouthfeel becoming more and more full and the huigan (returning sweetness) creeping in by way of the throat and spreading until it dominates the mouth. All of this is accompanied by a slight astringency and roughness that dissolves quickly.
Although Youle/Jinuo mountain bridges the gap between Yiwu and Menghai, this tea’s profile leans more towards Yiwu, with a pleasant, gentle fragrance and excellent aftertaste.
Historically, the mountain is quite interesting. One of the original 6 Famous Tea Mountains, and at one point the political center and representative for all 6, Youle/Jinuo mountain is home to “the last minority”, the Jinuo people, who were the last ethnic minority group to become recognized in modern China. To this day, they almost exclusively make this mountain their home. Their history of tea cultivation on the mountain goes back over 1000 years, with up to 4000 acres of tea trees planted during the Ming dynasty.
Picking period: Pre-March 30
After a few sessions drinking Kingpin from the Top Shelf sampler pack, it’s clear that this is what I call a “journey tea”. Tastes and sensations change throughout the session, and each session is markedly different. You wind along a path, take in the beautiful sights as you go, and wonder where you’ll end up as your destination. One session was sweet deliciousness and sunny openness, another was deep in the forest, and another was all waterfalls and rocks.
A tea I’d happily share with friends when we’ve all got an hour or three to spare for adventure (and comparing tasting notes…).
All about the gentle, refreshing vibes. Fresh mountain stream water with hints of zest and pepper, slightly sweetened lemonade. This tea seems to ask for a focused session – it’s pretty subtle and light for my tastes, but the growth is there from steep to steep. Sweetness in the back of the throat builds, and a light astringency and bitterness hop in and out. I went full boil after steep five, where the strength grew and I found comparisons to this season’s Yiwu material, though with a more reserved sweetness.
Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner) –
//Smell : Drying hay field with summer wind, flowery, morning dew, clothes drying under the sun’s heat
//Texture: Pleasant freshness at the top of the mouth and heat on the teeth/cheeks, medium texture at first but it evolves through the session
//Taste : Salty herbs, spicy, honeyed, oily > There’s a lot going on
//Body sensation: I felt externally excited but calm inside Ô_0
Rosy (verified owner) –
This tea deserves a focused session because it is so complex and delicious. It builds from a fresh, light sweetness and takes you to a deep forest. The body feel is intoxicating while making you feel alert as well. Considering the complexity and price range, I would categorize this as a “special occasion” tea.