Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Puerh!

'05 Menghai Golden needle white lotus

I brewed it two ways, the first way with 5g in a 100ml pot, and after a 10s rinse, I brewed it for 20s, 20s, 15s, 20s, 20, 30s, 45s, 90s. The second way, I used only 3.3g in the same pot, and brewed it starting with 30s, and then increase it a lot after a few infusions. The first way created a good amount of astringency, and the tea didn't really stand out from any other shu. Using less leaf, the tea came out a little weak, but more things became more noticeable this way. Camphor was more obvious, along with some other flavors I have a hard time describing. Malt, chocolate, and wood come to mind when drinking it, but that's probably not the best way to describe it.

Most enjoyable for a shu.

'06 Haiwan 7548

I have tried the '98 7548 from Jing before, and liked it, so I decided to order a young one, and hopefully have it age into something similar to the 7 year old tea (at the time I tried it). From what other people have said, I was expecting an unpleasant cigarette smoke aroma in the tea, but when unwrapping the tea, I was wondering if it was a lightly fired shuixian. It has a fairly strong ripe fruit aroma.

I used 4g in a 80ml pot. Rinse, 15s, 15s, 15s, 15s.
In a preheated pot, some smoke comes out to balance the fruit aroma, but the smoke is fairly light. The tea has a more obvious smoke and hay taste, but ripe fruit is still there. The smokiness fades away very fast. By the third infusion, smoke is very faint, and is mostly just floral and ripe fruit. It left a fairly strong ripe fruit and floral aftertaste.

After that point, I was unable to finish the tea because I had to leave, but I think I got a good idea of the tea from those four infusions. From smelling the beeng for the first time, the ripe fruit smell seemed very odd, and I expected it to go away, but it's apparently part of the tea. Since that flavor doesn't seem common in unoxidized leaves, I did a more thorough inspection of the not-so spent leaves for oxidation. Many of the leaves did have red marks, and few of them were completely red. I doubt those red areas are from "fermentation" because it's only a year old. So is this oolong puerh? Will oolong puerh age into anything good? It seems to have what it takes to be ageable, but I'm not sure if oxidized leaves will age well.

2 comments:

Salsero said...

Nice post, Andy, with 2 issues on which you contribute to our information about puerh. I thought it was instructive to learn that you found a greater variety of tastes (even though the brew was weaker) by using less shou leaf. This is a subject I have had on my mind, and I seem to be having similar results, though with oolongs rather than shou.

Also, the intriguing issue you raise about the mysterious "oolong puerh" seems to me should be posted on RFDT or the LJ. It certainly merits comment from the more experience drinkers.

Thanks for posting.

vl. said...

I also found the MH Golden Needle White Lotus is a little better if brewed a touch weaker than most shou. A most enjoyable shou in any case!

-vl.