pondělí 11. března 2013

2004 Jiang Chen (Wistaria, cake)

And yet another piece from Wistaria (only two more to go, sadly). This tea is not precisely from Yiwu, but it's quite close and it bears a great deal of similarity. 

No stories today, pure tea-talk. Let's get down to business.

Dry leaves have a good color and looks; appropriate for a 9 years old tea. They do smell nicely too - sweet, dried fruit (plums & raisins).

When the leaves are rinsed, I smell certain disharmony in the aroma, mostly when the leaves are hot. Nevertheless, the aromas that I was able to discern were nice: camphor, dark sweetness, light aged nuttines/dried plums (the plum and nuts are two points of view on one aroma).

The liquor is clear and of nice color. It is not too thick, given the near-Yiwu origins.

Possibly due to lower thickness, the taste hits the taste buds more straightforwardly and is arguably easier to perceive than in, e.g., the 2003 Zi Pin. The taste is good indeed, a harmonized mixture of overripe fruit, camphor, aged nuttiness (or dried plums) and spice. The taste is rather alike 2003 Yongpinhao's YWZS or Stéphane's 2003 Yiwu Qizi. It's not my most favourite family of Yiwu teas, but I do enjoy it a lot.

While the tea has good hui gan (even in throat) and some longer-term aftertaste, I found it strangely silent when it came to cooling/vibrating mouthfeel. There is some activity (though there was not in a tester), but it is not too strong. I felt the qi as subtle and gentle, but there. 
I wonder if the relative lack of outside-taste feelings was caused by this tea being declared only as "ancient tree" and not "gushu". The leaves surely do not look like from young trees, but I can not guess their age really.

The bitterness is very low, with some long-lasting astringency. I found it ok, it was a bit too rough for my girlfriend.

There is a tuocha version of this tea available from Wistaria. I had only a little sample some time ago. According to my memory, the cake is better (and more expensive, per gram). I wonder whether it is a matter of material or simply the shape. My guess is that better leaves went to cakes, but I would not stand by that guess too strongly.

This tea is most certainly a pleasant drink, with strong and nicely complex taste. However, at least for me, feeling/qi-wise, it is nowhere near the previous three Wistaria teas, while it is rather close in price. Even though it's my least favourite sample so far, it is still a good tea. 

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