Today I drank the cheaper version of yesterday’s tea. I bought these two partly because, when I was at the store, I simply could not tell the difference between the two. This one, in general, looks a little thinner and crisper when dry, but I really could not tell what the big difference was to justify the big price difference (by multiples).
Looks like loose puerh to me… just like most other loose puerh.
The tea is a little weaker than yesterdays. It’s also a little fresher in taste, in the sense that it is younger in age, it seems. In infusion 2-3 there was also a hint of sourness, but oddly enough, adding high mineral content water (no, not 5100) to the mix solved that problem, and the tea came out sweeter. The aroma is also a little less subdued and deep, but is instead a lighter fragrance, with a hint of talcum powder. The tea is a little more bitter as well than yesterday’s, and a little less sweet in general. Drinking it, the difference in price is quite obvious.
But all of this is only really apparent when it goes in your mouth!
When you look at the brewed leaves though, the difference is clearer.
The leaves look a little greener, and a little less aged. There are three kinds of leaves…
The black stuff:
The wet stored stuff (their flexibility and softness gives its storage condition away more than their colour)
The dry stored lookalike
Overall, the proportion of black bits is lower in today’s tea, while the proportion of tea that looks drier stored is actually higher. Funny isn’t it? I think it’s just a matter of age, and since the tea isn’t as aged in its mixing recipe, it’s cheaper. This also means, I think, that I can buy some of this tea, let it sit, and expect it to turn into something better over time.