Sample 1B

I just got another shipment of samples today, this time from Northern California, and I haven’t even gotten through the stuff that Iwii sent me yet… so back to those Iwii samples first to try to clear something out. This time, it’s sample 1b.

1b, I gathered, means that it’s probably the same thing as 1a, but from a different source, or in different storage conditions, or some such. I did not know what it was at the time. Pulling out the leaves though, I did notice that it was largely broken leaves, even though the pieces I got were big chunks

Broken leaves probably means a big factory recipe cake. It didn’t smell like much.

The tea, on the other hand, smells rather strongly of a youngish puerh. The colour, as you can see, is obviously changed. The taste of the tea is still quite strong, somewhat bitter, not too astringent, but has a bit of sweetness, especially in the later infusions. I think this is one of those teas that are better when weaker than stronger — early in the infusions they are a little rough, in the sense that the bitterness and the slightly unpleasant taste is a bit overpowering. Then it gets better, but it takes a while.

Then I asked Iwii what it is… and it turns out to be a big Zhong yellow label cake from 1998 (I think?). I believe this sample is from Hou De (correct me if I’m wrong, Iwii). Still too young to drink, I think. Not the most pleasant right now, but it will probably improve over time into something better. Give it another ten years?


Sample 1B — 1 Comment

  1. Just to let you know that 1-a is *not* the same tea as 1-b (which was indeed a 98 big Zhong yellow label). I labelled them that way only because they are from the same period, but apart from age, they are not sharing too much I believe.
    I actually like to brew this tea rather strong, unlike you apparently… maybe you had too many broken bits after all, your wet leaves are looking like all broken (the travel probably didn’t help), or maybe by your standards, lighter brewing is still stronger than what I am doing.
    But anyway, if I don’t believe that’s the new red mark, I like the way it is coating my throat so I think I could be worth giving it some more years as you suggested.

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