Jiangcheng “1997” puerh

I’ve been buying some random teas on Taobao, just to try them out, hopefully hitting a home run.  Sometimes, they’re base hits.  Other times, they’re strikeouts.  This one’s probably a bunt.

I haven’t been posting many pictures, because my schedule usually means I drink tea late in the afternoon.  Living in this part of the world, it means it’s already quite dark outside.  Coupled with an older house that has tiny windows facing anything but west (rather, the west is blocked by a mass of trees) my house is exceptionally dark.  Therefore, it’s been hard taking pictures, and what you see in pictures tend to be somewhat doctored.

This thing is really a bit of a gamble.  Will of teadrunk and I decided to buy one cake each and to test it out, since he’s tried a similar cake that turned out to be ok.  I’ve seen this one around enough times to want to give it a shot.  The cake itself, as you may be able to discern from the pictures, is wet stored, although not terribly so.  There’s that telltale smell, and the slight white frosting.  I don’t think it’s anywhere near the 1997 age claimed by the seller — 2003/4, maybe.

The tea, I think, is quite drinkable.  It has some off flavours, owing to its storage condition, but those get washed away in the first few infusions.  What you have left is a slightly wet stored, 7 years old puerh that is slightly acidic and has some bite.  What the problem is, and it is a problem, is that it is not supposed to be that way — it should be a decent, 13 years old tea, which it manifestly is not.  If I want something of this kind of age and taste, I have far better options, not least the male urine cake.  Why buy this, which is more expensive, when there are better teas?

So, thumbs down on the price/quality ratio.  Boo.


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