Two more Yiwus today, spring 2006 production. The one on the left
The same guy who made the fall 06 production that I tasted, also on the left, two days ago.
The other is the 12 gents Yiwu 06 that I’ve tasted before.
It will turn out that I put far too much leaves in, and it’s making me a little uncomfortable.
Anyway, some pictures of the tea, starting from infusion 1 and each subsequent one:
I think you get the idea.
The leaves on the left are quite complete — I broke them from the cake
While the ones on the right are more broken. Some, no doubt, due to poor breaking by whoever broke the sample for me. However, since I mostly broke this piece from a much bigger piece, I think as a whole the tea is also just a little more broken as the compression is harder, and perhaps during the processing more leaves were crushed.
So…. how does it taste?
You can see the tea is lighter in colour on the left. The amount of leaves are similar, so it’s not a matter of that. I think the left sample brews up a milder brew as well. It is less tannic, less bitter, less astringent, and sweeter. The right side, especially in infusion 2 (60 seconds), was VERY bitter. VERY bitter. I mean, VERY bitter. This, somehow, does not jive with the notion that it is an arbor big tree tea. The bitterness, moreover, did not really turn into a huigan/sweetness. It lingered on and on as just plain bitterness. Last time I tried this tea I thought it has green tea mixed in it. This time, I think I am maintaining the same stance — that some of the leaves (not all) of this cake were processed at a much higher temperature than normal and thus produces this bitterness that won’t go away. There is also a hint of sourness on the side of the tongue in the first 3-4 infusions for sample R, again, something that shouldn’t be present in a proper young puerh, but would happen if you have high temperature processed tea mixed in it. The broken nature of the leaves didn’t help matters, I’m sure, but it’s not the sole reason, I think.
At first I thought it was just that the quality of the leaves in sample R is less old/good compared with sample L, but I have noticed by now that among the puerhs that have suspicion of “green tea” in them, one common factor is that the bitterness lingers and will not go away (unless you wash it down with something else). While some of these initially tastes quite good — sweet, mellow, fragrant, smooth — after a while that taste will turn to bitterness, or the bitterness, at least, will increase. It’s most obvious when you brew them for a longer period, instead of very short infusions. That’s what happens with green tea too — if you overbrew a longjing, it will get very bitter on you. Same idea, and it seems to make sense.
The leaves of the L sample also generally looked better, this is one sample
Since they are about the same price, if I were to buy one, I’d buy the one on the left. No doubt about it.