A few things happened today
1) There was a Richter scale 6.4 earthquake in Yunnan, in the heart of the puerh tea producing areas. Jinghong and Lincang, among other places, felt the shaking as well, and the epicenter was around Ning’er County in the newly renamed Pu’er City (used to be Simao). So far, casualty is 3 deaths and 290 injuries, and I’m sure that’s going to climb. My thoughts go out to the people in the area…
2) It rained today. It’s the first time it really rained in any meaningful way in Beijing since … last October? It’s so very dry here, and very depressing sometimes. It was nice seeing the rain.
3) I wanted to drink something simple today, something that doesn’t take as much concentration as a young puerh. I took out Teacuppa’s sample of laocong shuixian (old bush shuixian) and drank that. The first infusion was a little sour, not enough to be offputting but enough to alarm me. It turned a corner though, and the sourness went away by the third infusion. It’s obviously aged, with a roundness and a fullness that you can’t find in a young shuixian. The tea is actually quite nice, and lasted many infusions. It could keep going when I was done with it, after at least 10. It was slightly on the bland side of things in the middle, but I probably should’ve brewed it for longer in retrospect. as the last few infusions, using 3 minutes or so brew time, were very full. Good tea, and easily the best of the samples I got from Teacuppa.
4) While I was drinking the shuixan, I opened their sample D to give it a try. I was never too convinced of the way the leaves look, with its very obvious mix of different colours and slightly odd appearance. The brewing confirmed my suspicion… they don’t seem to be quite puerh like. There’s an odd spicy/floral flavour to the tea, and bitterness crept in around infusion 3. An examination of the wet leaves gives me the impression this is some sort of low grade Fujian oolong made into cakes, or something like that. They felt and looked more like a cheap imitation tieguanyin than a young puerh. Sorry.
I’m sure you can guess which is which.
I still have sample E to drink, which I intend to compare to my own Jiangcheng cake (I’m sure E is Jiangcheng). That will be interesting, but right now, I really don’t feel like much young puerh, yet.