Twin flowers

Yesterday was New Year’s, so I figured it’s an excuse to drink something nice.

So I pulled out this little container with about 2-3g of tea in it. It’s from my last visit to Wisteria with Aaron Fisher, when we met with a documentary producer. There, you have to order tea based on the amount of people you have in your party, so for the four of us, we have to order a medium sized pot of stuff. However, we used one of Zhou Yu’s antique pots — the one that Aaron said is the best for puerh. It was too small though, so we didn’t use all of the tea, and this is the leftover — and they let me take it home.

So what is this? This is what is called Shuang Hua, or Twin Flowers, supposedly a Yiwu from the 1930s. This isn’t nearly as famous as Tongqing, Tongxing, or some of the other antique teas, but still, it’s old. One advantage of it being not as famous is that it’s cheaper, but still by no means an afforadable everyday tea, unless your budget is huge.

I put it in my much inferior puerh pot and made tea

Older puerhs tend not to have a long lasting intense colour. This seems to be true from Red Label onwards — the colour fades very quickly, although flavour stays even when a cup of tea looks very weak. This tea is extremely mellow, with a soft aged puerh taste, turning into a mushroomy brew that is reminicent of water you use to soak mushrooms before you cook them. The qi is obviously there, but it’s very subdued and isn’t overpowering. I think drinking this you can see how it is an inferior tea compared with some of the more famous brands from that era.

The wet leaves are quite broken, and pretty unremarkable. I know if I bring something like this to, say, Beijing, they’ll think this is cooked puerh. Oh, the joy.

Here’s to a great year, in tea and everything else


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