sobota 24. ledna 2015

Still alive (with more teas from Chawangshop)

Hello again! Long time no see I guess... I have decided to transform this blog, as I no longer have the compulsion to dissect teas, photograph every piece of sparkling fur on the leaves and such things. I am not living in an interesting region tea-wise, nor do I possess noteworthy knowledge (such as MarshalN) of which to write - so I won't write as much, rather than to inflate my posts with meaningless words.

I still drink tea (lots and lots), but I enjoy it more simply now - I just enjoy it and that's it. So my opinions will be shorter now - we'll see if they're still of some use to some people.

What captured my attention recently? Teas below came in a box from Chawangshop

2014 spring Te Ji Huilong
One cannot resists when his beloved wife asks for some more green tea for work-time-drinking, to provide a change from the ubiquitous puerh. I picked this one hearing good things about Huilong and it certainly did not disappoint us. Due to its processing style and innate strength, even though it's early 2015, this 2014 Huilong is still powerful and good. It's tasting very fruity, not much flowery, full and quite sweet, with a bit of honey taste. There is plenty of bitterness should one want so, but it can be also steeped to be almost bitterness-free. It's also got that "puerhy" kick in mouth - it feels vibrant and alive. For $7.5 per 100g, this is great stuff.

1998 Fengqing green in green
This is the second tea with fairly dryish storage that I like (the second one is 2002 Little yellow mark from TwoDog). The aroma of dry leaves is fairly boring - I was afraid it would be another messy overdried cake, but it's not. The taste is very balanced, there is a little bit of clay, some ripe fruitiness,  plums, spice, a bit of camphor and generic woodiness; the aftertaste is long and has the pleasant component of slightly unripe fruit, which is refreshing. It is quite active and buzzing in mouth. Despite being fairly dry, it has an overall harmonising effect on me.

There is detectable dry-storage-sourness, but it's quite controlled and does not negatively interfere with the main stream. Also, it can feel a bit like hongcha-tasting at times, but in a puerhy-style, no problem either.

$218 is not cheap though... I guess that the bargain-ness really depends on preference for a style. While I find it much better price than most tea from this time with similar (or drier) storage, I'd still prefer the 90s red mark (bought for $160 a year or so ago) readily.

2011 Hunan Zhu Xiang Ji
This brick (with website description indeed suggesting a fancy product) was again something quite new to me. It's got the strength of puerh, aged taste of bamboo-stored heicha (not overpoweringly so, though, it tastes a lot more dark woody/earthy than bamboo-y) - but at the same, it's got the taste of dried raisins/plums you can find in aged oolong! Together, the two types of taste mingle wonderfully to create a really lovable tea.

It's perhaps not as deep now, feeling-wise, but I suspect that aging process can help with that. Tasting this tea was a great experience to me.

2011 CNNP Hei Jing Zhuan
For me, this tea is much less prepared for drinking compared to the one above and needs a lot more storage (or using a low amount of leaves). This is really a brutal tea, that can get quite sour and impossibly bitter when oversteeped. When treated better, it is fairly sweet and herbal heicha, pretty decent. I wonder how it will transform with aging - there is surely ample strength for that.

1996 Sichuan Yibin tuocha
This is one of more puerh-like heichas I've had. On top of somewhat generic (but very nice) good-heicha-aged-taste, the main taste is of honey, which I really enjoy. Rich, mellow and good is this tea.

2011 Shaanxi Shouzhu Jingwei Fu Zhuan
This is one of better Fu bricks around... Unfortunately still not as great as the 2007 CNNP one, but very good nevertheless. It does not feel hollow/dried out, has plenty fruitiness and spicy taste and it is an overall super-pleasant easy drink...

Otherwise, I get a lot of pleasure from Haiwan 2006 Pasha - it is aging very nicely. And another good one is Yunnan Sourcing's 2010 Purple Yiwu (gosh, is it five years? I feel old...) - it has awoken from its slumber and developed into a really nice and honey-tasting mellow (not weak!) Yiwu...

Next time, I'll write about teas by TwoDog and Teaclassico... See you soon, dear readers!

7 komentářů:

  1. Hi Jakub,
    its nice to read from you again, even if it is just a shorter article.
    I thought about your Blog sometimes and thought "well, he actually could write another article once upon a time" :D
    So thanks for complying :)

  2. Dear Jakub,

    I'm so glad you will pick up your tea pen once again. I have really missed your insightful posts and your unique way with words. I am brewing up the Pasha you have sent me just now and it has come along nicely. If my taste memory is to be trusted at all, it has developed a bass notes- a light dandelion root taste I don't remember eight years ago.


  3. Please, keep going! Concise opinions aren't bad - they have their own merits vs. longer writings.

    I was very curious about that Fengqing cake myself - glad to hear that it's a good one. I also enjoyed the 2002 LYM quite a bit, very potent and sweet. Good dry/natural storage (places like HK, Taiwan, Guangdong) can make a good tea really shine in ways that traditional storage can't (in my experience at least).

  4. Great to see this blog alive and kicking again!

  5. Hi all!
    Thanks for the messages, much appreciated :)

    Jake - I agree that reasonably dry storage at overall humid places (HK/Guangzhou) is superb. I quite like trad stored teas, but it's not for mainly for the taste. Also, I guess it's a question of habituating/zooming to a character. Ages ago, all trad stored teas tasted vaguely the same to me, then all really dry stored teas tasted the same to me, etc., but once one has enough of the genre, the brain automatically focuses on finer details, I think.

    Hster: Thanks for the tip, I'll taste dandelion root next summer, will be fun to see if I can see some resemblance :) One is still often surprised at novel tastes - recently, I started using Sichuan pepper and tasting it, it was just like a green tea I had some 10 or so years ago...


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