Friday, March 9, 2007

'05 Ming Yuan Hao Yiwu

I already have one of these cakes sitting in my closet slowly aging, and I already have tasting notes, but I need to try it with more leaves to get a better idea of the tea. Previously, I only use 3g of leaf, and it came out like green tea. Something like that doesn't sound like something that would be good for aging.

I used 7g leaf, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 5s, 5s, 30s, 60s.

I wish I had a camera to take a picture of this tea. The chunk of leaves just looks so artistic. The long leaves definitely make this a "spaghetti" tea. The very long leaves needed the rinse to loosen up, to fit in the gaiwan. It's definitely not like green tea anymore. The flavor is a little stronger, and now tastes more like the average young sheng. Is that a camphor taste? It seems like it's possibly camphor, just not a very distinct flavor. It also has a good amount of smokiness. Although, it turned out a little watery.

For the third infusion, I decided to up the infusion time to 30 seconds. It brought out a little bit of bitterness, and a fairly strong astringency. Smoke is the first noticeable taste. It's kind of hard for me to describe the other flavors. My best effort would be to describe it as floral, fruity and vegetal. The longer infusion brought out a lot more interesting flavors, and also brought out a fairly sweet lingering floral aftertaste, with hints of what seemed to be malt.

Will this age well? I still have no clue. Apparently Yiwu puerhs are normally not harsh, and can be sweet, but still manage to age well.

1 comment:

Salsero said...

I took your advice on this and started out with a 30 sec brew after 2 rinses (in a cereal bowl to get the leaves to soften up enough to go into my 100 ml gaiwan). That was still a mild brew, but not "watery" as you describe in your 5 sec steeps. I know that watery feel and hate it.

I went on to a second infusion of 60 sec which was very revelatory, warming, and pleasant. For the third, I went back to 30 sec and found it a tad astringent, so I stuck with 30 sec for the 4th infusion, which is where I am now. I'm having a lot of trouble describing this tea because it seems to hint at so many things without making a strong statement. It's sort of a tease in that way and makes you think a little too hard!

But I think 5 sec initial steeps may be too short for this tea.