Thursday, February 21, 2008

A comparison

More samples thanks to Bhale.

These are two yanchas from Houde, both with very different price tags. The point of the comparison is to see how the cheap tea compares to the one at about twice the price.

'05 Shuixian

Dry leaf aroma: Strong roast and chocolate.
First infusion: Very smooth with a decent mouthfeel, yet feels a bit "airy." Mostly just sweet charcoal and chocolate flavors. Not much of an aftertaste.
Second infusion: Still thick yet light. Charcoal is fading fast, mostly a creamy chocolate flavor.
Third infusion: mellower than the second infusion.

Not the most interesting, but good. Smooth sweet and roasted.

'05 Dahongpao
Dry leaf aroma: immediately after adding the leaves, it had a fleating sweet "green" aroma. Some charcoal and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate smell reminds me of dark beer.

First infusion: clear copper/amber liquor. Smooth sweet, roasted and...
something I can't describe too well. It's not ripe fruit which I usually notice in yancha. It's a softer flavor. Like honey and mandarin oranges. Dark chocolate comes out near the bottom of the cup. A light lingering sweetness is left.

Second infusion: mellower roasted chocolate flavors. I was expecting it to mellow fast because it's mostly broken up leaves, but I didn't expect it to in the second infusion. It's a bit like the shuixian, but there is still a light lingering aftertaste.

Third infusion: Mostly smooth dark chocolate.
The leaves used were a bit broken up, so it didn't really make it past the third infusion.

Compared to the shuixian, it was more complex and interesting. Although, I don't think it's worth the price.

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