čtvrtek 2. května 2013

2004 CNNP Red Ribbon tuocha

Do you know what is shared by good 2003+ CNNP tea and tardigrades? Until recently, I have never thought such things would exist. I must admit that I approached this free sample of CNNP Red Ribbon with a certain degree of distrust. 

The leaves certainly look nice and have a good color

Even the aroma of rinsed leaves was good, no smoke I was afraid of, nor dryness I was afraid of. In gongfu, the aroma was sweet, herbal, rocky, with fruit wood and a bit of exotic spice. In a tester, it was more fruity and less herbal.

Upon tasting the tea, I had to give up - the tea just wouldn't be bad, nor badly stored. It is very sweet, smooth, fruity, with taste of sweet granary and a base which could shift into honey with a couple more years of aging. There was a rather surprising element of rock or iron... something a bit hard and not altogether pleasant, but it was not too strong. In a tester (or longer steeping in general), the fruitiness got stronger, moving the rocky taste into background. If I made too short steepings, the liquor was not as tasty. Later steepings are a bit more herbal and have a light, but persistent bitterness (a bit of Man'E?). Overall, I'd say the tea is very Bulanguesque, in the good way.

The long term aftertaste is already good and I suspect it will get very good eventually - it's that fresh sort of plums (which was almost floral when short steepings were used), strong, obvious and good. It is sometimes accompanied by certain activity on the tongue, but that activity is not why I would buy the tea.

I can not judge the ratio of price to performance of this tea as I don't know how much a full tuocha costs. But I think that independently on the price, this tea is jolly nice, pleasant, nicely aging and without major faults.

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