Puerh Maiden vs 'Nissan' Aged Puerh Maiden:
Six to eight weeks ago I had planned to mail Bill a sample of this tea, because I was curious what he would make of it, and because I had a free sample that I received for a cooking class anyhow. I took it to work with me, planning to stop by the Post Office on my way home. I never made it, and the puerh has lived in my truck ever since.
This last week I got to wondering what two months of Texas summer heat and rain and humidity had done to the puerh. For the mere silliness of it, if for nothing else, it was clear that a taste test was in order.
Puerh Maiden is an Organic, Fair Trade Certified shupu from Xishuanbanna, Yunnan, provided by Rishi. It is hand harvested from ancient tea trees by the young women of the Dai ethnic group, and was traditionally offered as part of their dowry, hence the name.
I used 5 g/150 ml, three infusions each, 5 s rinse, 10 s, 15 s, 20 s.
Maiden Puerh from my cabinet: The dry leaves have an earthy aroma with hints of cocoa and a smidgen of sawdust. The first infusion was good, very smooth, but not a lot of complexity, enjoyable...I wish I knew better words. The liquor of the second infusion was much darker; I was concerned that 15 s was too long, but it was just as pleasant as the first. By the third infusion the chocolate aroma became more pronounced, kind of sweet, like a baked moon pie or smores without the graham crackers.
Maiden Puerh from my truck: The aroma of the leaves is heavier, thicker, reminded me of Swiss Miss, and the leaves are a tad darker. The first infusion was quite a surprise. Several weeks in my truck had not hurt it at all, it aged it. It was smoky with a thinner mouth feel, similar to the aged shupu I've previously tried. The second and third infusions yielded similar results, but the thinness decreased.
I must say the puerh from my truck performed better. Who knew?