Adrian L from the San Francisco area sent me a few puerh samples along with the aged oolongs (which have been consumed long ago). I tried these three over the last three days.
They were labelled A, B, and C. I tried them in order of A, C, and B, and liked C the best. None of them were, I think, small workshop tea — they all tasted sort of like big factory teas of one form or another to me, with C being most like that and perhaps A least like it. I liked C the best — it was the most balanced tea of the three, tasting more or less like Menghai stuff. A was ok, a bit weak, tastes like Taiwan stored tea. B was odd — sour, a bit unpleasant in taste initially, lacking fragrance especially compared with C, and so, in compairson, not that interesting.
Turns out A is a 2001 Fuhai Yiwu, B is the “Ancient Tea Horse Rd” Yiwu (I’m only told this was a YSLLC merchandise) and C a 1998 Fuhai Yiwu/Menghai blend. I wonder if the blending of the cake has anything to do with the fact that I liked it the best, or, for a simpler explanation, the extra few years made the difference.
It’s hard to say what’s what in this case…. but it was certainly fun trying samples of varying makes that are of similar age. Which reminds me — I still have some sort-of-aged samples from Aaron that I haven’t drunk yet. Maybe I should get to those….