Menghai 1998 tuo

This is a tuo I got at a local tea shop when buying stuff with Action Jackson while she was visiting town. We went to this place and tasted a few things, and she bought one of these. I helped her get a few more, as she is obviously no longer in town, and got one for myself, which I broke up…

The shop owner says this is from 1998, and compared to the 2000 Xiaguan tuo that she also sells, this tuo obviously tasted more aged. It also has a darker hue. There’s this little piece of paper that comes along with the wrapper that has 1998 stamped on it, but as any puerh collector knows…. these things aren’t very trustworthy and are very, very easily faked.

The tea looks like what it was in the store

Somehow though, it tastes a little different. I seem to remember in the store it tasted a bit more aged — there’s a little more of the “aged” taste of a puerh that showed through. It does still taste like that, but somehow not quite as obvious as I remember. It was, after all, almost two months ago. It was also right after we drank some pretty young stuff, so perhaps my tongue was picking up more on the aged notes of the tea. There’s also water and other things to consider. Who knows, but it’s always a little frustrating when a tea tastes a bit different at home. It’s also a bit on the rough side — considering that it supposedly has 10 years of aging in it, the tea was still rough. Roughness, after all, doesn’t go away very fast, and perhaps in a tuo it’s even worse.

If this is what a tuo tastes like in dry storage after 10 years in Taiwan…. one really wonders if there’s a point in dry storing a tuo at all. I’ve never been sure, so I have never been a big buyer of tuo, opting only for a few pieces here and there as a sort of curiosity more than anything else. Action Jackson, though, said she went for the tuo during her recent bout of sickness, which is how she decided she wanted more. Maybe it’s just this particular one that I’m drinking? Maybe I’m brewing it all wrong?

It’s probably worth revisiting this one.

The leaves are… like leaves in a tuo

I played with the white balance a little…. but I’m not sure whether this is a little too red. Digital cameras can really lie sometimes.


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