I drank this today:
This is the really really cheap cake I bought for Rosa. Her requirements for the purchase were twofold.
1) Really cheap
2) Really bitter.
She made it pretty clear that’s all she wanted. She thinks the more bitter the tea is, the better it will age in the long run. And she wants it cheap. Ok, well, I bought this thing after trying out a few (all pretty nasty tasting) teas. It was in the right price range and it was definitely bitter. My girlfriend thought it was really, really bitter. I have to concur.
I bought some for myself, to see how it will age.
I decided to try it today, because I actually haven’t tried the tea since getting it. It was a while ago.
So I went ahead and pried a corner
It was a little more than I expected, 8g, and I took it almost all from the surface of the cake. No matter, I’m not trying to sell the thing anyway.
So I threw it in the gaiwan, poured water over it, and out came the tea…
Colour is, hmmm, light.
The taste is, hmmm, not great. Bitter. Wait, do I detect something wrong? Uh oh… I brewed another infusion, and another… hmmm, I think something is wrong.
There’s green tea in this thing.
I can’t really tell how much green tea this cake is consisted of. I don’t remember tasting it quite like green tea when I tried it at the tea store. Then, I had the middle of the cake, while this time it is the surface. Seeing how silvery and light the surface of the cake is, I wonder if that might have something to do with it.
Green tea will add some fragrance and sweetness to the otherwise nasty and dull young puerh. The downside, of course, is that it doesn’t age well. Oftentimes a good green tea added puerh will be pretty floral even when very young, and has a light, sweet taste, with only a modicum of bitterness. The bitterness will show through in a few years though, and the tea will taste terrible then.
IMO this tea tastes too bad now to be fully green tea. Then again, maybe I just used too much leaves. But I feel that there’s some puerh taste in it, just not…. pure.
Oh well, it’s so cheap, it doesn’t really matter that much. I won’t miss it horribly if it all ends up in the compost pile. If it is mostly green tea, at least I will get to watch the progression it makes in aging, and once in a while, taste it to figure out what happens to such tea. The wet leaves look good too…
On another note — the comments for sample 1 and sample A are mostly in. There are a few of you who haven’t said a word about it yet. You know who you are. I’ve been very intrigued by the wide range of responses on the two teas — both have lovers and haters. Perhaps it’s a good sign that way.
I think I’m going to drink the two teas in the next two days, and post my own thoughts on them as I drink them. I should stress, now that the tasting is mostly over, that I only have one cake of each, and that part of the point of this exercise was to see what other people thought and whether I should buy more of either of these (by getting your second, third, and fourth … opinions). Both teas I’ve tasted only two times, so my thoughts are by no means definite.