neděle 11. března 2012

1998 CNNP You Le

I've got a sample of this tea from Chawangshop, here. Better photos are to be found there - it was too dark for my camera now. 

It seems to be dry stored, but it is somewhat suspiciously inexpensive at $68.

Dry leaves are clean and they smell like some better CNNP cakes I've had - a bit of camphor, a bit of smoke, a bit of fruit. Agedness is present, but its amount points to a rather dry storage.

An image of the leaves: 

Wet leaves tell us whole another story (and a story much to my liking). They smell notably fruity - overripe fruit, as well as fresh fruit (peach, pear?). The aroma is rich, but still rather fresh. The smokiness is not present, camphor aroma is much less obvious than in the aroma of dry leaf. It is also pleasantly woody. Compared to most You le I've met so far, I'm missing honey. Still, this tea smells great!

The first brew was a bit misleading, being very light, fruity-granary taste. Very active in mouth - a feature, which sadly did not make it into further brews. The thickness is good.

The second brew was much richer. Ripe fruit dominates the beginning, moving into sweet wood in later stages. Little green acidity is present at the end of the taste, promoting salivation. A bit of dry harshness from youth is present, but not too much. Even though the taste is very rich and the liquor is thick, the taste could last longer. Hui gan is a bit weaker than I'd wish, but decent enough. Long-term taste (5 minutes) reminds me of treacle. The interesting thing is that the empty cup smells of You Le I know, but the taste is generally different. I believe that it is You Le mixed with material from other regions...

From the third brew onwards, "older" tones are becoming more notable - earthiness and agedness, very pleasant. The pronounced mouthfeel of the first brew is not really present, which is a pity, the tea is active, but I enjoy even more activity. The taste and general feeling is still very good though. With further brews, woodiness becomes more dominant than the fruitiness. However, hui gan becomes more pronounced, I'm glad for that. 

It is interesting how this tea is "mid-aged" - some aged notes are obviously present, but younger tones are still present too - and these two rivers flow in harmony, making this tea interesting and enjoyable.

Although the main taste is not as long as with some other teas (this cake is still "only" $68 though), the long-term taste is long indeed, even after an hour, I still feel fruitiness.

Wet leaves are of surprisingly high quality, considering this is a CNNP cake.

The cake has been dry stored, but I'd say it was a good dry storage - it has not became harsh, weak, thin or anything like that. It develops slower, but it retains some interesting notes in return. At $68, it is not expensive at all. and I quite enjoyed drinking it. 

You may find more notes and photos here:
Tea dropping (ER's notes)

4 komentáře:

  1. I have sample and I want to test it too. Your description sound good!

  2. Hello Tomáš,
    I hope (as well as I believe) that you'll enjoy it. As I said in the post, it is not without certain faults, but is rather interesting nevertheless.

    If you share your opinion after tasting it, it will be great!

  3. Hi Jakub,
    Now I taste this cake - please explain and define me camphor taste. I mean that aged taste - I feel something between coffe and Cacao - its that camphor taste? This coffe/chocolate taste dominate, but secondary taste is very rich - not so full, but rich, aftestaste extremelly long and full.

    + full taste, long aftestaste, rich secondary taste
    - so much aged taste and infusions not so rich as I thought.

    Sorry for my english. Thanks for answer ;-)

    Have a nice day.

    1. Hi Tomáš!
      What you explain does not really sound like camphor. Camphor is "kafr" in czech - one may find it in healing camphor salve.

      Yes, I agree that this tea is not as rich as one could expect. Maybe a bit of traditional storage would lift it up.
      See you!