So after that terrible, terrible tea from Jabbok, I had to have something else to clear my mouth of the bad taste. I opted for an old reliable – this 2006 Yiwu I bought, online, from a small time maker of puerh who seems to have disappeared since then.
This guy’s business model was basically to press cakes and then sell them via the various discussion forums on tea. I bought maybe half a dozen cakes from him, all pretty decent things. I’ve written about this tea some years ago. I think the main things to note now are as follows:
1) The most obvious thing is that the smoke is gone, totally gone. There’s no more smoke in the tea, at all.
2) The tea is not quite that strong, now that I have more comparative experience. It’s fine, but it’s not awesome.
3) I really should dig out the other cake and try it side by side with this and see what happened 6 years down the road.
What I can say with confidence though is that my storage conditions seem to be advancing the tea steadily. That’s reassuring, because the last thing you’d want is if the storage of your own teas is ruining it. It’s happened to other people before, and I sure as hell don’t want it to happen to me. This isn’t even remotely close to the same tea as the one I drank almost seven years ago, and in the intervening times, I’ve only tried it maybe a few more times. It’s a pleasant enough drink, and I will happily drink it all up in one go. For the price I paid back then, which was about 200RMB, it seemed like a lot of money, but nowadays I think something of this quality will already set you back far more, unfortunately. That’s the market for puerh these days. Oh well.