Let us have a look at another of cheaper aged pieces from Essence of tea:
Things appear, then disappear. Sadly, my grandfather, the son of cossack ataman, has disappeared recently from this world. May he happily continue living in any afterlife that comes...
Also, the famed and loved bookstore "At unicorn's" (U jednorožce) has disappeared, only to be replaced by another awful trinklet tourist shop:
Good for us that certain things last until we make them disappear. For example this tuocha from Essence of tea! I started with the cheaper pieces of the sample pack I bought to watch the progression (after all, one has to tune himself to more aged tea, it could be a waste to do the tune-up on Snow mark...).
Dry leaves emit a sweet, woody, clean aroma (smells like a nice storage indeed). They are brown already:
The compression level is heavy - breaking the sample apart proved to be a nontrivial task. The chinese tool for breaking apart Xiaguan tuochas has been brought to Europe by dr. Guillotin (and, as many other things, completely misused) - but that was centuries ago. Now, they are not for sale, so we have to use hands, puerh knives, hammers and all that. hands sufficed in this case, but it was a difficult fight.
I think I may have used about 5 grams, thus gaining a not-so-dark liquor:
When smelling wet leaves in the teapot, I was thinking of early autumn forest, wet leaves laying on the ground, washed by warm, clean, rain. The cleanliness of the aroma is notable - although I would use similar words to describe clean agedness and wet-stored agedness, the latter does not have that "clean" part. The aroma of this tuocha felt very natural to me.
In mouth, this tea is a very pleasant explosive. It coats the mouth, fills it with sweet aged taste and promotes salivation. The "tongue-tickling" is very noticeable and pleasant. The taste is very long and, as the aroma is, very clean, well-defined, though not sharp or narrow. It tastes good and feels great.
After having 10 brews of it, I thought "Hmm, the 97 Bu lang lasted more, but still a good amount of intense taste this was". Then I inspected the leaves in the pot to part with them and found out that the sample piece has not split up at all! I took it out, took it apart (it was almost easy now) and put it back...and had another happy 10 brews before leaving it (it could give even more, but I couldn't drink anymore). I don't think I've met a tuocha as densely compressed as this one.
In general, I was very happy about this tea - good, long, sweet. I dare say I enjoyed it more than the 97 Bu Lang - of course, it is more aged and more expensive, but still, the price may not always reflect person-specific qualities.
To finish up with more not-tea-related photos from my walk in Prague, I present...communist children (as labelled by my girlfriend). I don't know from which time it comes, but it is definitely an interesting decoration.