When I was organizing things in my apartment today I found a sample bag of puerh from last year, a fall 2006 Jingmai that I got from this guy who operates a shop in Kunming and who sells through Sanzui. I bought a few cakes from him, and he always gave generous amounts of sample with the cakes purchased.
The cakes this guy makes are all very pretty. He claims they’re all “pure material”, i.e. single mountain, and all using big old trees. For the most part, I find that bang for the buck, his teas are really quite decent. This Jingmai actually happens to be one of the lesser teas both in terms of quality, and especially in the price/quality ratio.
What’s wrong with this tea is that it is very rough on the tongue and the mouth. After about 3 infusions the tea turns extremely rough, and never really recovers. Unlike yesterday, this has nothing to do with water becuase I’ve tried it a few times before with different water and brewing methods, and none of them have gotten rid of this roughness. Today’s no exception. The flavours are actually quite decent, and one can feel a good bit of qi from this tea. If you’re going to store this thing in a regular home storage though, the roughness is not giong to go away given its prominence. Funny enough, the spring production does not have this problem at all. There, the roughness is very subdued and the tea is quite lovely. Since they’re about the same price (although now sold out, I’m sure) there’s almost no reason to buy the fall. This, I think, is one of those cases where one problem in the tea completely destroys it. Drier storage will never remove roughenss entirely — that requires more moisture and microbial action. Given that… it’s a no go.
The tea looks quite nice when dry, and wet
Notice the colour difference
I probably need to get a desk lamp. The lighting in this apartment is not quite ideal for tea picture taking….