I am feeling “shanghuo” today, which basically means I have a slightly sore throat, a nosebleed, and generally feel like I have too much “heat” in the body. I thought perhaps a few cups of young puerh will help cure the problem.
I got more samples yesterday from a reader of my blog, iwii. There are quite a few of them. There’s one in particular that he wants me to taste, so I decided to try it first.
Looks good enough? Leaves are long and flat. It’s from a cake, as there are compressed pieces. They are a little flakey and feels dry. Smells a little like the plastic bag it came in. I know my samples had the same problem and could’ve contributed to an initial off taste, I’m afraid…
I broke the big gaiwan while preparing the setup, so I have to use the small one… used something like 6-7g of leaves.
The initial infusion was a yellow coloured tea. There was a slightly spicy and slightly familiar smell to the wet leaves… I think it was from one of those huge column teas that use Yunnan maocha to make. Not entirely sure though, and I don’t think I own anything that smells quite like this.
The taste… has an “off” taste. I wasn’t sure if it was from the bag, or if it’s something else. The tea is not bitter. A little flat, perhaps, and a little strange. There’s an aftertaste. Not a terribly strong one. There’s some obvious qi.
A few more infusions… the tea stays more or less the same, with the off taste going away a little, but still there, so I think it’s not the bag, but the tea itself. I can’t quite describe what the taste is, except it is a little medicinal.
Iwii told me that almost everybody who’s tried this tea didn’t like it. He does though, and hopes that I find something nice about it. I must say I can see why people don’t like it. The taste is a little off-putting. I can also see why he likes it, because there is something to the aftertaste. Is it enough to offset the rather awkward taste? I’m not so sure, honestly. I think this is something I might buy a cake or two of and see how it ages over time and learn from it. I don’t think I’d invest in it, unless it’s very cheap. The wet leaves look quite good, just like the dry ones, but somehow… there’s something weird about the taste that I can’t quite put my finger on.
I felt energized today, so I drank more than one tea. Since there are lots of samples I need to work on, hopefully before I leave Beijing in a month’s time, I decided I need to clean some of them out as they are difficult to carry around. Since the Teacuppa stuff is sort of on a time constraint, I decided to try one. I picked out F, since I have plans for E and really don’t want to try D given other people’s reviews.
I threw the whole sample into the gaiwan. Since others have noted it’s weak, I figured it won’t hurt.
The tea is very strange. When I sniffed the lid…. there’s an obvious citrus like scent. The tea… tastes like an artificially flavoured orange drink, because it’s sort of cirtrus like, but not really. There’s a tangy taste to it that lasted through all four infusions that I tried. I only drank a little of it, because it is really very strange, and in a somewhat unpleasant way. I have a feeling this wasn’t quite made properly, as a puerh, and that with some aging.. it just turned into something really quite odd.
The leaves actually look ok
But something is really strange about the taste of the tea, and I don’t know if it has to do with storage.