Didn’t go anywhere else today for tea — drank at home with BBB. We first tried the mystery cake number 2 that I got – I have no idea what it is. The dry leaves looked good enough. When brewed…. it was bitter, for me, while BBB said he didn’t quite get bitterness, but there was nevertheless something unpleasant about the tea. It was in a way very …. aggressive? I don’t know how to describe the taste. There is some cooling/minty effect, and the mint flavour really showed up after a few infusions, but the tea just didn’t taste very pleasant, and apart from the bitterness, not much else to it. There were smoke smell on the lid of the gaiwan, but not really in the tea. I don’t know what to make of it.
Will it age well? I don’t know, but maybe that nasty feeling will go away and turn into something more pleasant given some time. I might give this another go in a few months or a year, and see where it has gone since.
We then had the Zhenchunya Hao sample that YP gave me. This, again, is not the same as the one that is being sold now at the Best Tea house, but an earlier production that is very limited in quantity. I put in slightly not enough leaves, but the tea went down very well — very pleasant. The overwhelming and presistent flavour was, oddly enough, dried plum. A very strong huigan, decent amount of cha qi, and in many ways, a very unique puerh. Both BBB and I thought this is something like we’ve never tasted puerh — not a classic puerh taste, but a lot of plum taste. It’s sweet, fragrant, but not overly so, and does not have the usual spicy, “chen” flavour that is typical of puerh of 10 years age.
Too bad I only have one sample. This is a tea that will be fun to taste over time to see how it ages, I think. The sample I had at the Best Tea House was VERY different. There it was a bit more bitter, less plum-like. Not the same tea at all.