I need tea canisters. I realized I should’ve bought like 6 of those cans, instead of one. Right now I have a few bags of tea I’d love to open and drink, but for lack of a container, I don’t want to mess them up by exposing them to air. So, they’ll have to stay in the bags until I get more cans.
Puerh, however, is immune to such silliness, so I am drinking puerh today. I decided to give my Keyixing brick a try — the ones that I bought for cheap in Hong Kong. Here’s a shot of it, after I knocked a piece out
Bricks tend to be made up of smaller broken leaves and fannings, and this one is no exception. The little pair of sharp scissors that I bought here for trimming my now shaven beard came in handy as a puerh knife. The brick is very, very solid, so it took some good prying to get it to open.
I remember when I tasted this tea, there was some initial odd flavours, probably absorbed from its surroundings wherever it was kept. I also remember when I first opened the pack at home, it smelled very strongly. There are also traces of mould and once in a while, a few little white bugs that run around the cakes. So I decided to not pack them up again, and instead have them in the plastic bag, very much open to air, in the hopes of airing the cakes out further so that they don’t smell.
I rinsed the tea twice, and it worked. The undesirable tastes didn’t really show up. The first infusion still had a hint of that, but by the second, it was gone. The tea is a bit interesting. There’s some hint of that minty/menthol taste that is very prominent in some of the cakes that are newer. It’s got that astringency. In infusions 2-4, there’s a bit of sourness, just a hint. The tea brews fairly dark, and even in the 6th infusion, it still looks fairly deep red
But the liquor was clear all the way through, so that’s a good sign, I suppose.
This is a shot of the leaves
Overall, I liked the tea, and I think for the price I paid ($30 USD per 250g brick) it was well worth the money. More, and I’m not so sure. It is after all not very well aged, and may have gone into some wet storage at some point. Bricks also tend to be of more questionable aging value. But at the end of the day, if you don’t try different things (and pay some tuition along the way) you never learn.