Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2006 SE Asia Puerh Trade Memorial Cake.

This one was recommended to me by Bill a few months back. I kept meaning to buy a cake, but my pursuit of oolong and sencha consistently consumed my tea money, so I picked up a sample instead.

Origin: Yunnan, China, Chan-Tai Tea Factory
Year/Manufactured: 2006
Vendor: Houde Asian Art
Price: $37.50/400g Cake or $5.50/1oz Sample

My cold is preventing me from fully enjoying the aroma of the dry leaves, but I seem to be picking up the same smoked melon that I usually get from young sheng. Why melon? Sheng smells very similar to a particular green tea, to me at least, and that tea always tasted like melon. So, when I smell a smokey sheng and try to translate the aroma into words, fruity and melon are what I get.

I used 5 grams in a 150 ml gaiwan again, and rinsed once for five seconds.

The first infusion was smokey, thin mouth feel, a pleasant bit of astringency that gives the tea texture. A bit of something I'd describe as either fruity or naturally sweet. The second was more of the same. The third and fourth mellowed out a bit, decreased astringency, but also decreased sweetness. The fifth was a dud, so I doubled the infusion time, and the sixth was back on track.

Unfortunately, as I said, I've had a cold the past few days, and this time around the puerh wasn't agreeing with my empty stomach, so I think I rushed it a tad. Over all I liked it quite a bit, as much as I like any puerh--I like to experiment with puerh, but so far I am not in love. I think I will pick up a cake later and revisit it again.

What have I learned? Now I have a benchmark for both a bad and a decent or good young sheng. I've also learned this week the value of smaller tea ware for gong fu. I think most new tea drinkers balk at the idea of a 90 ml teapot; I know I did, but now I wish I had one, or five. I have a feeling that I could get better results with a smaller gaiwan or yixing pot, have more control.

Oh well, Christmas is around the corner.


Garrett said...

Is that a full oz or half oz cup? And what about the cups in the previous post?

Hobbes said...

Dear SS,

Thanks for the good notes - I'm sorry to hear about your cold, but I'm sure drinking pu'er can't hurt!

I had similar experiences with this 2006 Changtai Expo cake, and didn't really find all that much of quality in it. However, the 2005 Changtai Expo cake is a lot better, I would say.



Space Samurai said...

Thanks, hobbes.

garrett: Those cups are 2 oz, and the smaller ones from yesterday are 1 oz.

MarshalN said...

I find this SE Asian fair cake to be... well, fair. Might be a little expensive now, but it's fair...

Instead of a smaller pot, how about a little more tea in the 150ml? :) I think Hobbes can attest to the effect that might have on your drinking, hehe

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