1995 Shuilan yin

Before I start babbling today — congrats to Lew Perin, whose Babelcarp is now 2000 phrases strong. It’s a wonderful tool for those of you who don’t know Chinese and are (rightly) confused by all those funny phrases that annoying people like me sometimes throw out, or the strange spellings of teas you don’t recognize on some vendors’ sites… so if you haven’t yet, go take a look there and play around with it.

I went out for stinky tofu today for dinner, and after coming home, I wanted some tea, not having had any today (apart from some sweetened instant tea type thing with my lunch). As usual, I was looking through my tea cupboard and noticed a bag — a really flat bag. It was the sample bag of the 1995 Shuilan Yin from Hou De that I bought …. more than a year and half ago now, or thereabouts. There’s still a little left in there… 3.5g. Enough for a drink for post-dinner in my small gaiwan. Why not?

The dry leaves were mostly very very broken little bits. It’s not terribly interesting. It is, after all, the remains of what used to be solid chunks of tea. When I made it… this is what came out

Looks good to me.

I remember thinking this tea being a bit sharp, thin, and metallic in its aftertaste. Oddly enough, I didn’t find much of that this time. It tasted fuller than I remember the past two attempts. I also noticed that it has mellowed — less bitter than before. I think the fact that it’s been so broken up and sat around in a bag might have aired it out a bit? The taste is that of a tea that has at least been through some wet storage. Dry stored teas don’t taste/feel like this, I think. Not a problem though. Given its slightly bitter nature (there’s still a bit there — as well as a bit of roughness on the tongue) a pure dry stored tea might be rather harsh.

There’s not a lot to say about a really broken sample. It didn’t last too long — 6-7 infusions and the tea was getting pretty weak. The broken nature of the leaves, again, definitely has something to do with that. You can see it for yourself…. another 1/3 of the leaves were stuck to the bottom of the gaiwan, since they were all little fannings that don’t come off easily

It served its purpose. The thing is no longer available in any form anymore anyway. Anybody still has some? How does it taste now?


Comments

1995 Shuilan yin — 3 Comments

  1. Funny, I drank this last night. I have a full bing of it, and hit it from time to time.

    Yup, metallic. I’m glad you mentioned that, because I was tasting that last night, and I was a little concerned that my YiXing had become tainted. So, the metallic aftertaste is still there in the bing.

    The leaves are much nicer looking than the sample you show. Several leaf/bud combos, some larger almost unbroken leaves, and then broken smaller bits reminiscent of what you show.

    Other than the metallic aftertaste, it is sweet and humid-stored smooth. Some harshness, but easily mediated by Yi Xing. I get about 10-12 steeps with it, with sweet water at the end.

    Not a qi monster, but strong enough.

    Overall great for drinking at this age or slightly older. However, I have no plans of long-term storage. I think we are seeing it at it’s best about now. Of course all of this with the version I have — if it had dryer storage I would wait to drink it.

  2. Dave:  if you have no plans to long term store it, would it make sense to break it up?  Chinese tend to think that it is better for a bing if you “awaken it” by breaking it up completely and let it sit loose for a while before drinking it.  You need to have a container to store it, but I didn’t really detect much metallic taste this time, unlike when I tried the big chunks.  If you aren’t going to store it long term, it’s worth considering.

    Lew:  Always a pleasure 🙂

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