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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chaozhou trials.


Chaozhou is a way to drink tea, using an extreme amount of leaf, but the catch is it also needs to be very good high fire oolongs. The tea I have from just 4 tea is one such tea. To start fill the gaiwan 1/3 full of leaves and crush them, then cover those crushed leaves with whole leaves untill you get close to the top. Now I recommend doing this in a 100ml gaiwan or smaller, or else it might just be a major caffiene overdose.

The trick is to try and get identical infusions. I can tell you with this there is a very pronounced burnt butter and sugar taste, with some notes of rasberries, and lots of espresso.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Teasprings Dong Ding

Dong Ding is a green oolong from Taiwan. This continues my craze for green oolong's for which I can't quite seem to get enough.

1: Boiling 20 seconds
Nose: Butter and flowers, perhaps lily's and orchids.
Palate: Buttery, with a hint of spice, the spice seems to be a hint of an astringency. The spice is almost like the sourness of a rubarb. but very mild.
Finish: A long dry mouthfeel.

2: Boiling 25 seconds
Nose: Lilly's and butter.
Palate: Very buttery, honestly reminiscent of sauteed zucchini.
Finish: buttery turning into a little bit of the dryness.

3: boiling 30 seconds
Nose: nutty, and butter, with hints of floral.
Palate: oily mouthfeel, with a very mild floral flavor.
Finish: watery.

This Dong ding was sampled to me by a friend, and I'm not sure how long he had it in his possession. It could be that this is nearing the end of its freshness, as its running out towards the end of three infusions.

Friday, March 6, 2009

90's Tuo from

Nadacha is an excellent source for well aged sheng puerh. I have heard his shu collection is not quite on par with his sheng, but not being one for shu pu, I wouldn't know. I've actually had a chance to converse with nada directly and he is very ameniable and great to work with, the only problem for us on this side of the atlantic, is he is in the UK so prices are in pounds and so is shipping too.

This tea has been aged for over 10 years, Nada believes it to be early to mid 90's and although it was wet stored for a brief spell, it has aged very well.

This tea smells of a fresh wood fire with a fair amount of leaves, and tastes nutty and earthy. It is a master piece and I will have to aquire some more to continue to age myself, as I think this can only improve with age. The finish is a true huigan a long lingering sweetish aftertaste, that is very pleasent, it occures right after it reaches the peek of its earthyness.

This batch I brewed in one of my yixing pots from the Puerhshop, and it is one of the few times I have definitely noticed that a yixing once broken in can round out the flavors of some of the harsher teas like puerh, and make them very very pleasent.

From previous experience with this tea, it looses the powerful earthiness and becomes very smooth and pleasent, but far from watery.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

2005 Wild Arbor Tree Pu-erh

This selection is from the puerh shop, and is manufactured by the Yunnan Yutian tea factory. In a previous session with this tea, I discovered half a leaf that was by far the largest tea leaf I have seen yet. Large leaves are a sign of fall harvest, but also a sign of a non plantation tea. So while I am not skilled enough to judge weather this is actually a Wild Arbor Tree pu-erh, it is just that much more likely as it probably didn't come from a plantation.

Its nose is rich and buttery, with hints of tobacco. Its color is a definite apple cider, and its palate is a citrusy tobacco, quite strong atually. There are also hints of pear, and the finish is a mellowed almost rotten banana.

This tea requires shorter infusions at the risk of becomming very strong, though it could be exaggerated this time as I mutilated alot of the leaves breaking pieces off of the brick since nothing wanted to give way that easily this time.

The later infusions offer a stronger citrus note, almost lemony.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Douji Dadou and Shangdou 50 gram bricks

That is a picture of the Douji Shangdou brick, but the two look nearly identical, the only difference is the Chinese characters imprinted at the very bottom of the brick.

I've started taking a very relaxed form as I'm starting to say that tea brewing is an art and not a science. I think the most you really need besides the brewing vessels, is a thermometer for teas which need less than boiling. At least with teas that require short short steeps. I will probably continue to time my greens especially Japanese greens as the difference of 15 seconds can really completely change the tea.

So onto the Dadou.

Spices and tobacco prevalent in the nose with hints of citrus and sweetness. All of these came out in the palate with the sweetness manifesting itself in roasted marsh mellow. The finish has a lingering tobacco with a hint of huigan a lingering sweetness sometimes found in puerh.

The Shangdou:

Very different much more mild, though a lot less broken leaves in this one. The nose was of butter and spices, with little to no hints of tobacco. The palate reminiscent of butter and walnuts, with the slightest hint of tobacco. The finish was that of a pound cake, and I might just say this has had the most pronounced huigan yet.

All in all very enjoyable.

On Teachat I inquired about these bricks. The names basically reflect a difference in grade. the Dadou is a "Great" grade, and the Shangdou is a "Superior" grade, which will just have to be taken with a grain of salt as in which is supposed to actually be better.

Edit Feb 21st 2010

On the up side this brick was easier to break apart than I ever remember it being before, and I haven't touched any of these for at least 8 months.

I seemed to have rather liked this one when I first tried it, lets see if the bit more experience I have had with Puerh lets me judge this any different.

I still have to say this smells quite like butter and spices, and perhaps a bit of a deeper nuttier note arose. This is one of those times you wish you could have perfectly preserved a memory, or even some of the tea to brew again. Its taste is sharp, but lacks the vibrancy I like from young sheng. I do not know if this just never had it or, if this is what it faded into.

But that isn't to say I am not enjoying it, if anything I find the aroma impeccable, fresh fruity, and full of spices, while the taste is run of the mill, not bad, but nothing to write home about.

I still enjoy this tea, and think its actually comming along rather nicely.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week of Pu Monday... 08 Red Army Banmu cake, and 2003 Longfeng brick

2003 Longfeng Sheng Brick
Over the sessions the tobacco smell faded away, while more citrus and berry smells emerged in the nose.
The initial tastes had very little tobacco it was more of a zesty orange, but the tobacco taste grew the longer it remained in your mouth...
The finish was often citrusy with a slight sweetness.

I brewed this Boiling for 10,10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 seconds each.

08 Red Army Banmu Pu-erh

I brewed this Boiling for 10,15,20, 30, 40, 50, 60 seconds each successive steeping.

This tea had very little tobacco taste, and tasted and smelled of banana's with hints of cranberries and walnuts . With a very smooth finish that lingered for a long time.

Both of these can be found at puerh shop. The last picture is of the 08 Red Army sample cake, the rest are of the 2003 longfeng brick.

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