úterý 30. října 2012

1980s Menghai 7532 "Yiwu spring buds" (and two new pots)

Although I do not buy a lot of pottery in general (almost none at all) and rather use what I have  already, the time has come for a new pot for cca 2000-2005 teas. I always had the issue whether I should put these into my young puerh teapot or my old puerh teapot and so I bought another one, just for this period. So far it seems rather good, it absorbs the aroma of tea a lot faster than my other teapots.

And then, we sometimes drank tamaryokucha with my girlfriend in the evening - however, as I gave up drinking japanese tea some six or seven years ago, I had only a porcelain gaiwan to brew it in. It sort of worked, but I did not have enough skill to prepare it entirely satisfactory. That's why we invited a visitor from Tokoname:

To the other matter of 1980s 7532 (from EoT). I do not have enough data to back it up, but I guess that 7532 is my least favourite of the 7532, 7542, 8582, although it probably should be the fanciest one. However, I find it difficult to pinpoint any really distinctive features in the 7532, while I can do that in the case of latter two. Still, I rather kept this 80s version for a special occasion. Yesterday I thought, what the heck, I survived IELTS exam (whether I scored enough points is another matter :)), that's special enough.

The leaves are quite nice, are they not? The cake seems to be pressed rather heavily too.

I used the stove for this tea. When one plans ahead, it is quite time-efficient and easy to set up:

Wet leaves smell very nice, although, in line with my previous 7532 observation, not that distinctive. There is a lot of dark nuts and spice. The agedness is entirely clean, without traces of the cake's original storage. An interesting hint of animality (the sort of you smell near elephants in a zoo). In the background, there are some scary tones of hemp and red fruit, the kind I associate with bad dry storage. Luckily, the taste is quite fine, the dryness is not too bad.

This is what the liquor looked like in the second steeping. It  was a lot darker in most of the session though:

Now, the taste... The tea started quite light - realizing its heavy pressing, I kept it for a longer time in the pot, but it was not enough. I guess that this tea needs a lot of time to get going. I guess that the steepings I liked the best were 7th or 8th. 

In the first steeping, there is a lot of light tastes together - light agedness, nuts, some chocolates, all very creamy. Some hemp and that weird red fruit is there, but luckily very muted.

The second steeping is still quite light, the nuttiness and creaminess bring back memories of some good shu from 90s. The issue which puzzled me was - where is the cooling/tingling feeling of aged tea? Well, it is more or less nowhere. Some is present, but it's very weak for such a tea (and it does not get fixed in further steepings). Even 7542s from late 90s/early 00s were far better in this aspect. Even run-of-the-mill aged loose tea works better. I wonder why this is.

Could the lack of mouthfeel be caused by the dry Taiwan storage? And also the "slow to start up feature"? Because the similarly aged Xiaguan 8653s (both storages) or Qing Bing, all from EoT were much more "in your face" right from the second steeping. Anyway, the good thing about this 7532 is that it actually gets going, it just needs a while.

In the 3rd-4th steeping, the sweetness grows, the red fruit and hemp disappear. However, I can not but notice that the long term aftertaste is a bit weak.

The tea gets better and better with every steeping. It becomes deeper, darker and sweeter. Still not as deep as the Xiaguans or the Qing Bing, but good nevertheless.

Despite certain shortcomings in the mouthfeel and aftertaste, it has very nice qi - one just feels good when drinking this. When I got rid of the "this tea could be better" feeling, I enjoyed it a lot. The very good stamina that teas of this age have is here too, I think that I poured about two liters over 6 grams of this tea. 

In the end, I did enjoy this tea. It does not have any negative features of wet storage (some people complained about it in some of EoT's teas), it is very clean and dry (perhaps even too much) and light, given the age. I'm not quite sure about the price though - this is an expensive tea and I do not think that it would bring me significantly more pleasure than, e.g., the bamboo-wrapped tuocha, if more at all. 

In the evening, I'll inspect the leaves more closely, trying to look for reasons of the not-that-satisfactory components this tea has.

9 komentářů:

  1. I have to ask you how the Chao Zhou tea kettle stove changes the taste of the tea. What are your thoughts? I have already invested in a traditionally made tetsubin kettle and am very happy with the result... but in the never ending pursuit of perfect tea.. I want to know more about the Chao Zhou.

    Also thanks for introducing me to chawang shop. I hadn't noticed them before and it looks like they have some intriguing new teas I must try.

    1. Hello Monster!
      As I do not have a good tetsubin (or any tetsubin at the current moment), I can not pinpoint the difference. When I compare what I remember from a tetsubin with what I have now, I slightly prefer the stove water; on the other hand, I myself have considered a tetsubin on a heating plate myself as an alternative to an electric kettle if I do not have enough time to warm up the stove.

      What the stove does... it certainly produces thicker feeling and sweeter tea. When the water is hard in taste, the stove pretty much removes that. Also, it sometimes cancels some unpleasant sidetastes (e.g., it helps with some sorts of bitterness) and promotes fruitiness in a tea. It does marvels with some teas and is only a minor improvement over e-kettle water with some others - it's not a "cure-all-ills". It won't make crappy tea taste good. But it surer brings an ordinary tea without major faults a level higher.

      It also supports qi in tea. Some say it's the heat of real fire adding its own qi.

      I guess that in the end, it depends on how much time you have. If you can spare two hours for a tea session, then it might be worth your time. It sure is worth mine :)
      All the best!

      P.S. Yup, Chawangshop is great. I can not say I'd love everything I'd have from there and I have not tried most of their bottom-price teas, but in the higher price level (which is still way below higher price level of some other vendors), I guess you're safe.

    2. Thanks! I will try it. I already put in a small order to try their Zhangping Wulongs. Never had wulong pressed in little bricks before. Their 2012 Spring Slightly Charcoal Roasted Zhangping Shui Xian looked intriguing. Nice looking leaves. I got 1 of each of their other Zhangping's as they were inexpensive. Next order I'll probably put down for one of those clay kettles and a stove and some nice aged Pu'erh samples. I'll let you know what I think compared to the tetsubin when I do.

  2. I find the 7532 to be the most distinctive I can pick up the same taste in an 04 as in a 97 in a 96 and in a slightly more mature version of that taste is 80s 7532 . That being said I also prefer 7542 and 8582 to the 7532.


    1. I guess it is probably about the amount one had of a tea - I did not have that many 7532s, so it may be just that...

    2. I, as well, have preferred the '93 and '98 7542, and '87 8582 to the mid-nineties 7532 sheng I've had.

  3. Also I think it is wrong to try to insinuate that this is a dry stored tea. It went through the traditional storage process in Hong Kong before being moved to Taiwan(not exactly a desert). I have had this cake from two vendors eot and a vendor from Hong Kong. EOTs did not seem that much dryer if at all . Although I did try the teas six months apart.

    Of course the storage can vary so much cake to cake even within a ton that it could just have been the difference between are samples. I have a 03 traditional stored bada cake. One half of the cake has a slight frosting on it and tastes like a 90's traditional stored 8582 the other side with no frosting tastes more like a 03 bada that has seen some light humid storage. Needless to say I like the side that tastes like an 8582

    1. I ment the dryness mainly compared to the rest of EoT offerings. Also, I felt that the storage was rather similar (in a coarse wet-dry spectrum) to the dry stored Xiaguan from 80s, or the Qing Bing, maybe it felt even drier (the liquor was a bit lighter too, as far as I remember). Taiwan has a broad spectrum of storages, I guess. For example the "7542" from thechineseteashop, which is probably a 7532 (96 it is, I guess?) was stored on Taiwan and I thought it was pretty dry.

      Also, as you say, the storage works pretty differently on various cakes/parts of cakes. Now I opened a new Haiwan pasha cake and about one third is slightly smoky and the rest has very nice fruitiness which is absent in the smoky part - it's like two different cakes.
      All the best!

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