I should really be quite happy that I am in China. Despite the nasty air, bad water, horrible traffic, terrible food, awful service attitude, there’s lots of tea. If I were in Shanghai, life might be a bit more interesting, but the variety of tea I can get there is lower, mainly because puerh hasn’t really caught on there yet, since it is still the heartland of green tea, the last bastion of longjing drinking. Although, from what I can gather, that’s changing too.
Anyway, on the plate today is a maocha from Yiwu, given to me by the guy who sold me those two Yiwu cakes. I asked him for it when I was looking around his store. There are some curious pieces there, and among them is a jar of this stuff. This is from 05, and according to him, from Falling Water Grotto 落水洞 of Yiwu. Different areas of Yiwu produce different tastes (albeit only slight differences), so I figured I’d ask where these are from.
They are keeping it because they didn’t get a lot of it, not enough to press cakes with anyway, and figured that they will experiment with putting them in jars and aging them as maocha. These are the same people who pressed a few hundred cakes and stuck them in a storage space in the NE of China, hoping to see how they age over there in the cold weather. Wish them luck.
Anyway, the tea brewed up a tasty Yiwu brew. It is the same as usual, not bitter, a bit sweet, quite mellow and nice, and a bit fragrant. The fragrance is not as obvious as the autumn maocha I’ve been drinking, and neither is the sweetness as prominent. The liquor feels a little thinner, and while there’s a minty feeling, it’s not as strong. I think this might’ve been a mix between old tree and newer trees materials, so not top grade.
The tea is also slightly, only very slightly, astringent, compared with the other maocha I’ve had, which sounds a little like what Falling Water Grotto should produce according to one Sanzui guy who told me about the different characterstics of the different villages. Ugh. This is hard.
I drank about 12-13 infusions before stopping and deciding to take pictures.
The leaves are less red than the autumn picked ones that I’ve had, which would normally mean slightly better processing, although that’s debatable. The tea consists of more younger shoots and such, as you’d imagine from a spring tea. However, the leaves are a bit less thick, and the veins not always as prominent. I don’t know quite what to make of that. All in all, not a bad tea though, and I still have a bit of it left, enough for a side by side comparison with the other Yiwu without knocking myself out. I might do that tomorrow. I also need to buy another white gaiwan so that the tests can be done with as little variation as possible…. and maybe an electronic scale too, just to be precise.
I’ll end this entry with a picture of two fairly complete pickings… one has four buds, the other has five!