Well, I guess if I were diligent, I’d be drinking the rougui today with a gaiwan, but I want variety. So, I ended up with a sampling of a tea I got a few years ago, and which I repurchased this time again at the Best Tea house at an inflated price (should’ve bought more…)
This is a 30 years old loose puerh from them. It was labeled the same when I got it maybe 3 years ago, so now it should be a little older.
A shot of the leaves — looks almost like some roasted oolong, which proves the point that you can’t really tell anything from looking at the leaves of a particular without seeing, feeling, and smelling them first. That’s partly why buying tea on internet is such a crapshoot — you never know what you’re actually getting. Anybody setting up a store for tea over the internet should include sample sizes.
This tea is very interesting. It has a darjeeling-like astringency, in the sense that it bites the tongue in a way similar to a darjeeling. This is, of course, instantly a sign that it’s not a cooked puerh. Cooked puerh leaves also do not look shriveled like the ones here do, even when they’re loose. The taste is quite aromatic, with notes of wood, camphor, and some Chinese medicinal aromas. The medicinal aroma isn’t that strong. Whereas the other loose puerh I have (now still in the States and almost all gone) is mostly medicinal, this one is more camphor like, I think.
After a few infusions the taste gradually gets a bit sweeter and a little more metallic as well. There’s a decent amount of qi coming off the tea, although not an overwhelming one. I think over all, it’s a nice tea to drink and not too pricey. It’s good for drink it now — no point in storing it at all. At this price, I can probably buy a medium quality 10-15 year old cake, or get this. And this, I think, tastes better.