I went for something simple today, a Yunnan Gold I acquired some time ago from Rishi. I brewed it simply, in a cup with some hot water. The tea is not too bad, has some vanilla flavour and rather robust, without an overpowering bitterness even when obviously overbrewed.
What concerns me about this though is that the tea tastes remarkably similar to some somewhat aged puerh I’ve had. This tea, I should add, is a Yunnan Gold that only has a little gold tippy buds in them — most of the dry leaves are of the black variety. The combination of sweetness, bitterness, and aroma in the tea reminds me strongly of some 3-7 years puerh I’ve had before (and not just one). I wonder if this is going to be a common thing — puerh that was, perhaps, undercooked, so to speak, and thus has too much of its enzymes still active and working to oxidize the tea.
In many ways, this, and the overcooking of tea (green-tea-ization) are perhaps far, far, more dangerous to any puerh collector than any sort of price gouging, misinformation, or the like. I think I have some rudimentary idea as to how to tell a green-tea-ized puerh to a regular one, but how does one make sure the tea is not undercooked when it’s very young? That, I’m afraid I really don’t know.
I suppose it’s time to start praying.