I retried the Chen Guanghe Tang 2006 Fall Yiwu Yecha. I remember when I tried it last, which was quite a while ago, I thought it was no good. And I remember I was not the only one who thought so — some other bloggers and friends who are non-bloggers also thought it not very good (especially in comparison with the Chawang). This is my original post on the Yiwu Yecha. The impression stuck with me in Taiwan, where I found a place that sells those things for about $20 a piece. I thought it wasn’t that good anyway, so why bother (there were other, better things to be had for $20 a piece). So, the tea left my memory.
Until today, that is, when I tried to look for a young puerh to drink to counter the fried pork chop I had for lunch. Young puerh is great for cutting that feeling of pure grease in your mouth. I found this tea among my many bags of samples, and figured, why not.
(Sorry for a lack of pictures in recent entries — lighting in this apartment is atrocious in the summer when there’s a lot of foilage outside, and lacking a tripod, I’ve basically given up trying to take pictures).
The first thing I should say about this repeat, aside from the obvious fact that it has sat in the bag for a year and half, is that I am not using a single piece of equipment that I did last time. Last time it was filtered tap water, boiled in my Braun kettle, brewed in a gaiwan, through the fairness cup, and into my drinking cup. Everything, from water (still filtered tap water, but this one from Ohio) to cup has changed. So has my tastebuds. So has the tea itself, after more than a year in the bag.
The tea is decidedly better this time — more depth, more interesting notes, more body, less of the blandness I experienced last time. I think a good bit of it can be chalked up to the teaware — I have noticed, very obviously, that the tetsubin adds to the depth of a tea, especially puerh. It makes the throatiness much more obvious. The pot I use, the one that is rather odd looking and fairly porous, will filter out some of the nasty notes in a young puerh for me. That, and the extra year, might have made all the difference that needs to be made. Assessment: not too bad.
Now… it’s only fair if we give this tea a spin in conditions closer to what I used last time around — so, tomorrow, gaiwan and my trusty Braun kettle will do the work. Let’s see how it goes.