neděle 22. prosince 2013

2012 Spring Shen Gu You Lan

I dug out a sample of this tea from Tea Urchin just recently and was positively surprised - among so many young teas that are no fun, this one is actually really good.

It is supposed to be a mixture of Bingdao (or near-Bingdao) leaves and Da Xue Shan - I certainly feel it falls close from the centroid of the "Bingdao" cluster I have in my memory. And therefore, it is quite lovely.

Rinsed leaves smell dark flowery (magnolia, orchid), fruity (grapefruit/pomelo) - heavily and very nicely.

The taste is really good - it has the same features as the aroma (plus vanilla and sometimes forest fruit and roasted chestnuts) and it is rich, silky-smooth and undisturbingly sweet. When you're in the middle of enjoying the taste, it gets accompanied by quite strong and unusually early tingling and cooling.

The aftertaste is not the strongest one, being citrusy-floral, but not particularly intense or long-lasting.

Some teas smite you with their qi right away - this one does not work like that on me - but after a while, the energy builds up and becames really strong and harmonizing. It forms a good harmony with the Rachmaninov's 1st piano concerto I'm listening to right now.

This is a good tea, no doubt. Whether you want to pay $110 is up to your preference for young tea. In the cruel world, where even $100+ can get you not-so-good tea, I found this tea to be pretty good, being basically faultless and with some really nice positive features.

That said, $110 can get you a basic cake from 90s which will probably work better for some people (e.g., me).

neděle 1. prosince 2013

Revisiting old chums

Hello dear readers. I've been recently drinking mostly things I've written about before. However, why not to write about the development of these teas? My opinions are below, in no particular order.

1999 Wu  Dong Cha Tou
Wow, this aged Dan Cong wulong starts to really shine. When more leaves are used, it is strong-tasting, very sweet, full and relaxing. A good purchase.

2010 Hailanghao Yiwu Chawang
At that time, it was an uber-expensive tea - so expensive, that it would be expensive even these days. I did not overly care for its taste, but I felt that its qi was outstanding. Now it tastes stronger and more interesting - very sweet, sugary, with some pretty flower tones. However, the qi is not really as strong as I felt it when I had it in the past. I'm glad I did not buy more of this tea I guess.

2004 Shi Kun Mu Yibang
This is from another batch (or it tastes so) than the one I wrote about. While it still tastes quite nice, it is a bit more hollow and not-deep than one would wish from a very high quality tea.

2004 Shi Kun Mu Menghai
A very solid blend, ages really nicely - even though it is still quite bitter (or it can be), it shows good promise for the future. And it is quite pleasant as it is - a good, solid, classical puerh.

2006 Haiwan Pa Sha
Still a very good tea, still very vulnerable to bad water.

2007 "Banzhang" tuocha
This is the cheap 250g tuocha that I got from Sampletea and that is currently being sold by Chawangshop. It is still as delightful as when I had it for the first time. It was also one of favourites between colleagues in school who are new-ish to pueerh.

2008 Xiaguan Happy tuo
Pretty good, did not change so much since I had it for the last time. I like the mixture of smoke and fruitiness. Not my everyday pu, but everymonth yes.

1993 Kang Zhuan 
Cheap heicha from Chawangshop - decent qi, pleasant light taste, what's not to like? It's not pu, of course, but you can hardly blame it.

2003 Menghai Bada tuocha
A really complex taste, but as with other Bada teas, I miss something in there. Anyway, it's still a good fun to drink, no doubt.

2010 YS Youle Ya Nuo
Simple, but very, very tasty. One of the better (if not best) Youle teas I know.

2012 Chawangpu Jingmai Da Zhai
An excellent Jingmai, not really that similar to "ordinary" Jingmai teas. With time, it acquired more depth and more taste that I slightly missed in it when it was fresh.

2007 Xizihao Dragon and Phoenix
Not very good - slightly smoky, a bit boring... It would be an ok-ish tea, was it not priced so crazily.

2003 Wistaria Zi Pin
Still so good. The taste is something that takes getting used to, but it is a very coherent, energetic and powerful tea.