I didn’t get around to drinking tea today until about 8:30pm. Amazingly enough, no caffeine headaches, yet. I was quite surprised.
I think last week’s parade of 06 Yiwu teas really made its mark by doing some serious damage to my stomach. So I opted for a mild Wuyi again, this time the old favourite — the rougui I got when I first came to Beijing.
The lack of the “aged” flavour is obvious, as is the more up front aroma of the slight charcoal taste — from the roasting process. The tea’s still very nice and drinkable though. I sent a small sample to Phyll, who seemed to have liked it. This is not, by the way, from the usual store I’ve been going to for Wuyi teas. Rather, it’s from a store called Runhe Yancha. I should really go back there again to seek out what else they’ve got on offer. However, I’ve really got too much tea on my hands already….
Therein lies the danger of puerh. You can always justify another purchase by saying “Oh, I’ll just let it age”. You taste it once, and dump it in the corner of your storage space, and there it lies for weeks, months….. until you discover it again. Hopefully, it hasn’t gone mouldy by then, and hopefully, it has aged into something a little better. With some teas, like the Yangqing Hao 2004, you can already see promise of greatness. With others… you can tell that either nothing has happened, or in the case of some buds only tea, that it has in fact gotten worse by being simply bitter and nasty.
Just because the tea is good now doesn’t mean it will age well. But, I am increasingly thinking that a tea that isn’t good now (I do not mean taste — there are lots of other factors) is almost certainly not going to be good in the future.
Why’s puerh so hard?