Back in 2007, I was doing research in Taipei for half a year after having spent a year in Beijing. It was there where I discovered good aged Taiwanese oolong, and also drank a fair amount of puerh of various kinds while there. One of the stores I loved visiting was Fushen, with a very interesting laobanniang who runs the shop. It mostly sells teapots, but has some tea on the side. It was there where I picked up a few tongs of this tea.
This was a tea made by some Taiwanese guy who went to Yunnan to press his own cakes, and who used the name Fuxing and then now switched the company’s name to something else entirely. I bought two of his cakes – the only two available – one of which is this Youle, and another is a Zhangjiawan. I remember the Youle being stronger, but the Zhangjiawan seems a little more interesting. I haven’t tried either cake since late 2007/early 2008. The last time I wrote about this tea was in September 2007, right after I bought it.
This is the exact same cake that was pictured in my 2007 post. I think it got a little darker, but that’s it. Not that one would expect earth-shattering changes in five years.
The tea’s liquor is way darker than I remember – I remember it coming out a golden yellow type colour, for something about two years old at the time. It’s completely lost the youthful aggressiveness that it had – the tea was, if I remember correctly, pretty strong and a bit bitter, even though it had lots of overtones of fruitiness. The notes are also darker and deeper now – sweet, more mellow, a bit more savoury. The wet leaves (still brewing) are also darker and no longer lime green like in the old pictures. I like this tea as it is, and certainly do not regret buying it then at what I remember to be a pretty reasonable price. I’d imagine my cakes in the tongs are a bit different – perhaps aging a little slower, but might also retain more flavour. I look forward to drinking more of this tea in the future.