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 â€“ the pieces that got to my place are already well broken up, and are fairly loose as puerh goes. Thereâ€™s a faint smell of raw puerh, but itâ€™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 â€“ 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 itâ€™s so broken up may be contributing to the way itâ€™s tasting (and the reason why itâ€™s more aged). A sweet lingering taste at the tail end, after everythingâ€™s said and done.
Second infusion: Similar, with a stronger taste and the similar mellownessâ€¦. Kinda strange, actually. Itâ€™s a taste I canâ€™t really describe, but tastes a little different from most puerh Iâ€™ve had before. The liquor is very thick. Iâ€™m sweaty, but then, itâ€™s also hot today.
Third infusion: hmmm, I perhaps overbrewed this one a little. Slightly bitter, entering the mouth thereâ€™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 â€“ 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? Thereâ€™s definitely a â€œganâ€ 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, thereâ€™s a low sense of fragrance/flavour â€“ but the aftertaste is strong, with camphor, medicine, woodâ€¦ 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. Itâ€™s oddâ€¦. Itâ€™s almost flat in the mouth, but as you swallow it shows its tastes. Thereâ€™s some bitterness, but I think itâ€™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, thenâ€¦.. just brewed it continuously. Right now Iâ€™m on the 9th, still entirely drinkable, and not weak like the Shui Lan Yin. Itâ€™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 🙂