Thursday June 1, 2006

1996 Zhongcha pai Orange-in-Orange sample from Hou De

More samples from Hou De. I had fun with the last two, so I decided to get more :p. Yes, addict I am.

Dry leaves – the pieces that got to my place are already well broken up, and are fairly loose as puerh goes. There’s a faint smell of raw puerh, but it’s not very pronounced and certainly not that musty. The leaves are a little darker than I expected from a 10 year tea.

First infusion: The leaves smell like a strong camphor smell. The taste is slightly bitter, mellow – not very pronounced sense that this is a young puerh, so the aging has gone farther than I thought. In fact, I think the aging is a little farther than the 8582 cake I had in terms of taste. Then again, the fact that it’s so broken up may be contributing to the way it’s tasting (and the reason why it’s more aged). A sweet lingering taste at the tail end, after everything’s said and done.

Second infusion: Similar, with a stronger taste and the similar mellowness…. Kinda strange, actually. It’s a taste I can’t really describe, but tastes a little different from most puerh I’ve had before. The liquor is very thick. I’m sweaty, but then, it’s also hot today.

Third infusion: hmmm, I perhaps overbrewed this one a little. Slightly bitter, entering the mouth there’s a slight acidity. The rawness of the cake is showing its head a little. I think the first two infusions, as is typical, brings out the more superficial elements first, and now as I dig a little deeper into the tea, some of the other flavours begin to emerge.

Crap – the bag from Hou De is leaking tea!!! (goes puts the bag in a Ziploc)

Fourth infusion: a metallic bitterness is showing up. Hmmm, why is that? Am I messing the brewing up? There’s definitely a “gan” at the back of the mouth, and that is well appreciated, but why is it a little bitter? The colour of the brew is still the same dark brown, very clear and good looking. The dry cup smell is that of camphor/wood. Very nice smell.

Fifth infusion: Waited a bit, since I drank too much too quickly. This brew came out more mellow, the bitterness fading a bit. Colour of the liquor is also lowering. When the tea hits the mouth, there’s a low sense of fragrance/flavour – but the aftertaste is strong, with camphor, medicine, wood… lingering gan is also gone a bit, but the sweetness at the end persists. This is better.

Sixth infusion: Weaker again, but still retaining a strong taste as it goes from your mouth down the throat. It’s odd…. It’s almost flat in the mouth, but as you swallow it shows its tastes. There’s some bitterness, but I think it’s better than the Shui Lan Yin this way. I need to try that again to compare. Their taste profiles are more similar to each other than to the 8582.

The rest: had dinner, then….. just brewed it continuously. Right now I’m on the 9th, still entirely drinkable, and not weak like the Shui Lan Yin. It’s not bad, but I still prefer the bolder 8582.

One of my cats, Smokey, decided to strike a pose in front of my stuff 🙂


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Thursday June 1, 2006 — 7 Comments

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