I actually finished a sample today — the sample of Yiwu Zhengpin that Phyll gave me back in October, when Bearsbearsbears brought it over. I had it twice, and then just let it rot in its little bag while I moved onto other things. It’s time to finish this one up.
As you can see… this is even more chopped liver than yesterday’s. Among the small compressed pieces… I also noticed that there were some very fined chopped leaves pressed into the cake, perhaps leaves that were crushed when pressing.
Since it’s so broken, I tried my infusions very very short… any shorter, and I’d have to pour the water directly into my cup.
The resulting tea though, came out pretty dark
Much, much darker than I remember them. Last time I tried it on its own I said it’s a little odd. I think I will maintain that stance, although the oddness is a little clearer this time, no doubt partly due to me having had a lot more young puerh in the past 8 months. The tea, like I said last time, came out a little rough, and drying. There’s a definite note of sourness that wouldn’t go away no matter how many infusions I brewed — up until pretty much the end. The tea was astringent, but it had decent aromas and also gave a sweet taste. It’s just that the sweet taste was accompanied by some not-so-sweet taste. It’s bitter to a point, although the bitterness fades a bit, but also never entirely going away. There’s a sharpness to the tea that is a little unpleasant. I’m sure the heroic amount of leaves for the gaiwan has something to do with it, but the fact that a lot of it got washed out in the first few infusions in the form of really tiny bits, as well as the fact that most of that flavour should’ve been brewed out in a few infusions, mean that the remaining sharpness must be from the tea itself and not from the amount of tea.
Why is the tea darker now than what I remember last time? I don’t know. Perhaps age has something to do with it. After all, it’s been sitting around for 8 months without anybody touching it. But is it enough to give it such a big change? I’m really unsure.
Phyll suggested, at one point, that I should try it out, but somehow I couldn’t find a 2004 version of this cake, having only seen mostly the 2005 ones. Perhaps it’s the 2005 one that had the big production run, whereas the 2004 was more limited. Who knows?
It was fun to drink this tea again after having tried so many other things. I guess this is one thing we can all look forwrad to — trying teas again after a long break from them, seeing what has happened to them. I noticed that I didn’t say much of anything about the sourness in the tea, but this time it came out much more pronounced… I wonder if it’s a function of me not having noticed, or it not being there…
The wet leaves were very chopped, but I did find a few that were a little more complete
Thanks again Phyll for the sample 🙂