Thursday, March 29, 2007

Shuixian and Liu An

This past week hasn't been the best week for trying new teas. Earlier in the week, the temperatures went up enough that the only teas I wanted to drink were green teas, and maybe young sheng. The last couple days were cooler, but I wasn't home enough to make tea. I was out practicing driving for my driving test, which was today. It took a few years, but I finally got my license. Now that that's over, I finally have time to try more teas.

I tried this tea yeserday, but I was unable to post this. I tried the '92 shuixian from the three shuixian samples from Tea Masters. I probably should have saved this tea for when I had more time to drink tea. I ended up using less leaf, and same times so that it would only get three infusions. I think I need to go back down to shorter infusions because 30s is starting to be a bit too harsh.
I used 10.5g in he 150ml pot. After a quick rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 30s, 90s.

This is probably the most interesting yancha I have ever tried. There are a few flavors I haven't noticed in any yancha before, and I cannot describe them. Other than that, it slowly changes into a light coffee taste, and then leaves a lingering floral aftertaste. In the second two infusions, the flavor lightened up enough for the chocolate taste to come out more, and an herbal taste also came out.

My second Teaspring order came yesterday, and one of teas was liu an. I have been curious about he liu an is like for a while now, so I decided to order a sample.

I used 7g in a gaiwan, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 15s, 15s, 30s, 120s, and one last, really long infusion.
1: It looks like shu, smells like shu, and tastes like shu. The flavor then turns into a bit of woodiness, and a slight vegetal taste. Strangely, it finishes off with a slight smoky taste.
2: This one has a more noticeable musty smell. It came out with a much thicker mouth feel, but i didn't seem any different from last infusion.
3: It lightened up a bit. It's mostly woody, and kinda "earthy."
4: Sill light, but now the flavor seems a bit different. Is it possible that there is some floralness in this tea?
5: Dead.

If I tried this tea without knowing what it was, I would think it was a shu. Although, I kinda like it more than the shus I've already tried. It just seems like it's a more interesting than shu.

1 comment:

Salsero said...

Yours and mine are obviously quite different, but they do have a lot in common. Mine (and yours also, I believe) is a loose tea, whereas all the shou I've seen so far has been pressed into one shape or another. My Liu An seems less shiny than the shou I can remember and the color is somehow different - more even and more like very, very dark gray rather than black like shou.

I brewed mine as follows:
5.0 gr in 100 ml gaiwan, off boil: flash rinse, infusions: 10 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 1 min, 2 min, 4 min, 10 min (yeh, the last was worth it)

And jotted notes:
Dark. Firm cocoa, maybe malty flavor, good body, with earthy leaf mold, especially in first couple infusions. Nice aftertaste of cocoa halva and hint of mint, and sticky sweet on the lips. Perhaps a coffee drinker's tea?

I also felt the tea performed better in longer steeps.