Puerhshop’s Jim came out with the “Meiguo Hao”, or “American Hao”, a few years ago. I’ve had this cake for over a year now, but have yet to open it for a tasting. I did just that this week, twice, in fact.
The cake I bought was the 802 production, from fall 2008, and is of the 200g variety. Not much decoration on the wrapper on this one, one of the earliest runs for his cakes. His newer products have fancier packaging.
There’s a sticker on the back too keeping the wrapper together with a nice stars and stripes, and a serial number for the cake. BBB reviewed this cake a while ago, and seemed to have liked it. It’s important to note that “Half Slope Old Village” is banpo laozhai — the same place where the Sanhetang maocha came from.
I’ll tell you what I don’t like though — when you open the wrapper, the sticker is too strong. It tears the paper apart even though I unwrapped it fairly carefully, ensuring that I can’t wrap the cake back properly without losing some tea or messing it up.
Blah blah blah cures cancer blah blah 10,000,000 years old tree blah blah will be worth a zillion dollars…… made by “Menghai Nannuo Mountain Banpo Zhai Old Tea Factory”. No, it doesn’t actually say it cures cancer, it does say it’s from trees that are 500-800 years old or above, at elevations between 1250-2000m. Take it for what it’s worth.
The leaves look nice enough, nothing too old, nothing with too much stem. The cake is not terribly tightly compressed, and a few stabs with a tuocha pick does the job pretty well.
Enough with physical appearances. How’s the tea?
Good. Compared to the Sanhetang stuff, this actually tastes like puerh, although it retains its regionality and you can get that Nannuo taste from it (of which, I might add, I’m generally not a fan). The tea is not too bitter, but it has that bitter note to it, especially when I brewed it a little stronger the second time around. It’s a little on the thin side though, perhaps a product of it being a fall tea, and so it lacks a little of that fullness that I look to find in good, young puerh. Given the price, however, one can hardly complain.