I was rummaging through my samples today, and found one given to me by Lew of Babelcarp when I visited NYC. This cake, from what I know, is somehow highly regarded. I’ve tried it before in Hong Kong as the Best Tea House sells it as well (for a hefty sum, as a new cake anyway). I remember I was not particularly impressed, but I could be wrong. The name of the cake is interesting — Damo is the Chinese name for Bodhidharma. “Jin” just means Golden. I’m not sure what this all adds up to…
The cake is well pressed — or at least my sample is.
Can’t say much about the leaves when it’s a small sample. I brewed it
It comes out a golden colour. So far so good. The first infusion was, oddly enough, somewhat floral. That’s not something you expect from a young puerh, or rather, not what I expect from one. The floral notes went away fairly quickly in subsequent infusions, replaced by a stronger “young puerh” taste that seems to be of the Menghai area variety. It hits the throat reasonably. It is, however, quite rough on the tongue. Something else also bothered me a little — it seems a little boring. I rarely ever use that term to describe a tea. This one though…. somehow hits that spot. Infusion after infusion, it delivers more or less the same thing — a bitter punch, some roughness, the same notes… a bit boring.
I do wonder if the very tender leaves that are mostly what this cake is has contributed to this
Cakes I like generally use more mature leaves. Cakes with mostly young buds seem to be a bit simple sometimes. I’ve read things that say the best are second flush spring leaves — so not quite summer, but not early spring, because buds are too tender and summer tea gets watery. I wonder if this is the case here with buds that are just a tad too tender. It could also be the case where the batch of tea is made from a very limited area with a very limited set of trees, which can, sometimes, render a one-dimensional tea.
But anyway, thanks for the sample Lew 🙂