Sunday, June 10, 2007

Can it be?

A new post? I guess it's about time to post these notes. I recently made a couple orders from puerhshop.com, so I have several teas to write tasting notes about. The problem is, I've been rather lazy about posting notes. I have saved several unfinished notes that I'm finally posting, and I must ask for forgiveness for the poorly written notes. Hopefully I will get into a habit of posting the notes as I try the teas, rather than putting it off.

Let's start with '06 Nanqiao 753 sheng. The first couple times trying this tea, I was suspicious of green tea being mixed in here. So, I tried it several times to figure out whether or not that's true. I still don't know if there is green tea mixed in or not, but I bought a second beeng anyway.

4.5g in 8 cl pot. Rinse, 15s, 15s, 15s, 30s, 30s, 45s, 60s.
Dry leaf aroma: Honey and floral. Smells very sweet.
Wet leaf: Some cigarette smoke came out.

1: There is a pleasant campfire smoke aroma with a slight mintiness. Some woodiness, and other flavors I can't describe. Maybe lightly roasted barley? Surprisingly, the aftertaste is devoid of astringency. Maybe my brewing is finally improving, or this tea is just more forgiving.
2: Even more campfire smoke. Some bitterness came out, but it's balanced with a sweetness.

After those infusions, I didn't notice much change, besides a much stronger bitterness and astringency. It's likely that my brewing is pulling out the bitterness, but I still have suspicion that there is green tea in there because of the bitterness in the later infusions. Green tea or no green tea, it's damn good. I hope it's not green tea so I can age the second beeng, but I wouldn't mind drinking them now.


'05 Jingmai "old wild tree"
This is the second time trying this tea, so maybe I'll be able to get a better idea of it this time. Yesterday, I tried the tea with what was loose in the wrapper. The cake has many dents in the sides, so there was a lot of loose leaves. I thought that it started out very smooth, and honey-like. Around the third infusion, I noticed that stale cigarette smoke came out.

This time, I broke off a 4.5g chunk, and brewed it in the 8 cl pot. Rinse, 15s, 15s, 20s, 20s, 45s, and one infusion that was poured when the pot dried completely.

Leaf aroma: I guess I forgot to write down the aroma when I was trying the tea. I only remember cigarette smoke and some fruit.
1: cigarette smoke, honey, wood, fruit, and it seems almost roasted.
2: Still Sweet, but now with a bitter edge.
3: Sweetness is mostly canceled out by a light bitterness.
4: This infusion was just a brewing test. Came out light.
5: Skip the 30 seconds, and go directly to 45s. There is a weird grassiness, or leafiness came out. I've been noticing lately that this flavor is common in teas that are a few years old. I wonder if the means that this tea is just starting to enter the transitional period.
6: Eh.

Overall, not that bad. Although, I would probably rather wait several years than drink it now.

'05 Jinzhen "South of Cloud" shu
This tea is baffling me. I have brewed it several ways, and each turned out different.

First time, I used 5 grams of loose tea found in the wrapper in a 35cl mug. It was brewed loose in the mug. The smell of this tea seemed to be missing the sweetness of other shus. The smell is more outdoorsy. Woody, dirt, and possibly forest floor? No sweet molasses or malt, like I've heard shu being described as (I personally don't know how to describe it).
Then, I tried it using 7g in a 10cl pot. Rinse, and 15s, 20s, etc... I don't remember the times. The tea didn't come out very smooth or pleasant.
Then, after nearly a weak of airing out, I tried it again, this time with only 6 grams. It came out light, but I at least got a better idea of the tea. From smelling the leaves, it seems airing it out improved it a bit. The first couple infusions came out decent. Then, a strong "pondy" flavor became noticeable. Maybe this tea needs more time than a few weeks of airing out.

Now for the part about it baffling me. The first time I tried it, I noticed a few small green leaves mixed in with some brown leaves. Then trying it with leaves broken off from the beeng, it was all black leaves. Then trying it again today, it's green and brown again. I talked to Jogrebe about this, and he said that he didn't notice this in the one he got.

Hmm.

3 comments:

Mary R said...

Andy lives yet!

Hey, I've got a question for you that I've been a bit embarrassed to ask anyone else:

What's the deal with green tea in puerh?

I've noticed a few others mentioning they'd found green tea in their cakes recently, and it's rather puzzled me. I had been under the impression that "fresh off the presses" raw puerh was essentially green tea anyway, so I was pretty confused when others saw it as a mark against the tea. Is there a treatment or something that changes 'green tea' to raw puerh?

I'm so puerh clueless. :)

Clearly I know nothing about puerh

Mary R said...

Doh! I thought I'd deleted that last line. Stupid tiny blogger comment boxes...

Warden said...

MarshalN explains that in depth here: http://www.xanga.com/MarshalN/596592845/zhongcha-bulang-fall-2006.html

I would try to explain it, but I would probably manage to get it wrong.