The weather is really weird today. It was windy, sunny, AND rainy. When I was out for lunch, it started drizzling despite the strong sunshine. Everybody looked up, and saw only very scattered clouds. We all took a double take because nobody could quite figure out the weather. Strange. It’s a long weekend too, because coming up is the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in much of East Asia. Taiwanese have somehow gotten into the traditional of doing outdoor barbeque on this day (and the weekend preceding it). It’s almost like Labour Day in the US.
Anyway, enough about the strange weather. This blog isn’t about that.
This is the other Fuxing cake I bought. I got one of each because at the store, I couldn’t quite figure out the two teas. The Youle seemed better there, but we were drinking a mix of many things, and by the time I tried the Youle, I couldn’t really tell anymore. All I remember at the store was that the aroma of the tea filled the mouth quite evenly, and I liked that. The Zhangjiawan felt a little weak in the store, but as I tasted it two days ago, it seemd quite fine a tea. Will this cake hold up?
It definitely passes muster in the looks department. One of the better looking cakes out there, I think
The little indentation in the center is actually slightly too deep — so much so that there’s only one layer of leaf covering the hole. You can even peek through and see bits of light in the middle. It’s kinda fun that way.
The first cup of tea was incredibly sweet. So sweet I wonder what’s going on. Maybe this is why I remembered it filling the mouth — the first cup is really quite good. The qi is not as obvious or immediate as the Zhangjiawan, but I do like the opening.
Then the tea turns a bit more to a more regular two or three years old cake, with a lot of “tea” taste that reminds me of the Youle maocha I had a while ago. The cooling effect is less strong than the Zhangjiawan, and it is also a little rougher on the tongue. In general, I think, this tea is actually slightly worse than the Zhangjiawan.. although I think this might very much have to do with personal preference than anything else. Some might prefer the bolder taste in this cake, and the slightly more aggressive way it acts in the mouth (but not necessarily the qi of the tea). An interesting specimen, to say the least.
The tea lasts a long time, and stands up quite well to some abuse late in the brewing session. I don’t think there’s any funny business going on here either… the tea isn’t “nice” enough to be that.
I don’t actually own any Youle cake, and have only tried a few despite its relative high availability. Youle supposedly has more of its old growth tea trees than some other mountains, so productivity is higher. On top of that, it’s close to Jinghong, a major town in the area, so traffic is more convenient. That means that people who go up to the hills to press teas can get there more easily, and so I think we tend to see more private label Youle than some of the other mountains. I think BBB pressed some Youle cakes as well, along with his Nannuo, the other favourite of private tea-pressers for much the same reasons.
The leaves, just like the dry cake, are arguably prettier than the other
With lots of bud-systems in the mix
I think I like the Zhangjiawan a little more, especially since they cost the same. However… I will probably hit myself if I don’t get some of this either, if only because it’s still a fine tea, and like I said… I don’t have any Youle! I honestly don’t know how I managed to avoid them so completely.