Today I had two tea guests over, and together we drank four different teas. As is generally the case at these meetings, everybody has way more tea than we can possibly drink in one session, and we really only got to drink a fraction of the stuff that we actually had.
The first was a very light dancong, unroasted. The tea is quite nice, subtle, and sweet, although I think I probably could’ve made it a little stronger and make it better. I usually am not a big fan of light dancongs, although this one I could handle. Sometimes they are just too fragrant… taste almost fake.
The second was an oddball of a tea… the Eiabora King Tea Biscuit from Dadugang. Now, the name of the tea itself is a little odd, but in this case, the smell was even odder. It has been sitting in a plastic bag, as far as I can tell, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Instead, it seems as though something is happening with the tea. When I sniffed the dry leaves, it smelled funny with an undescribable smell. Then, when brewed, it somehow came out even stronger.. a nasty smell that is rather unpleasant. One of my guests commented that this is rather like that of a rotten fruit smell… which is probably pretty close to what it is. We had two infusions of this before deciding to give it up. There’s a possibility that this is just spoiling instead of aging — it’s turning into something bad. The tea just didn’t taste right at all and had some very odd flavours to it… entirely unpleasant.
Then, to wash it out a bit, I offered to make my Yiwu maocha, which I now increasingly think is a mixed Yiwu and Menghai area teas. While it has a hint of that Yiwu taste, it also has that smell that I seem to find in a lot of Menghai area teas. The tea is still nice… it’s just not exactly what it claims to be.
We didn’t have a lot of time today to drink a lot of tea, so we ended up with my broken Guangyungong bits as a finish. While it took only about an hour to drink the three previous teas, we spent probably just as much, if not more, time on this puerh. Before my guests left, it was at least at infusion 12 or 13. The tea keeps giving, and I can just let it drag out longer and longer in infusion time and still get a cup that, while losing the woody and thick aromas, retain just enough to make it much more interesting than drinking water. It is sweet and smooth, and leaves very little doubt that this is an aged tea — the longevity is not matched by your usual cooked puerh.
It’s too bad that I’m leaving soon, because otherwise we could have another such session. Alas, I must go back to China soon to keep doing my work there.