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2005 Hekai Old Gardens Yellow Flakes

These fermented yellow flakes were stored in Puer city on ground floor, besides a lake. These conditions created a wet environment for the tea to age in a surprising way. The tea tastes very much like Cantonese or Taiwanese natural storage.

Hekai is a famous tea mountain located in Menghai area, on the road to Lao  Banzhang. Yellow flakes are leaves that became overly dry during the pu-erh tea processing. For reasons of leaf aspect and taste, they are most often sorted out of the mao cha before it is pressed in cakes. The yellow flakes are therefore a co-product of Pu-erh tea, they are les fragrant and bitter than regular pu-erh tea, however, they taste very sweet and can be either brewed or boiled. These yellow flakes were fermented, just like regular Shu Pu-erh.

The leaves look ugly, but the tea tastes sweet and surprisingly thick, or rather silky, over many brews. This tea stands long brews very well, which means if you're patient, you can brew (or boil!) the tea for as many steepings as you want, just increase the steeping time at each brew.

The fragrance is dark, earthy and mineral, with a typical wet environment aging smell, not for everyone, but surely for the Hong Kong tea lovers. It is not powerful but rather calming and endurant, you won't get any bitterness or astringency from it, only sweetness.