Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2006 Half-Cooked Puerh

Today's tea is another sample I received from Red Circle Tea, part of a brick of half sheng, half shu pu from 2006.

I think the dry leaves are beautiful, auburn and brown mixed in with bits of green; it was like autumn. The usual earthy aroma was present, but so was something else I couldn't place.

I measured out 5.5 grams, but there was only a little left, so I tossed it all in the pot. 5 s rinse, then 30 s, 50 s, 90 s, 3 min.

Camphor was the first thing I noticed. I have frequently read about camphor and puerh, but I have never noticed it before today. There was a moment of profound satisfaction as I said to myself, "So that's what they're talking about." Bill says that camphor suggests the use of wild arbor leaves. It was also...minty is definitely not the right word, rather it reminded me of something that reminded me of mint. The puerh was very cooling.

In the third and fourth steeping, notes of something green, vegetal emerged.

All four brews were balanced in strength and color, but shifted from heavy nuances of camphor to a far less pronounced veggie-ness.


Salsero said...

OK, I'll ask the obvious question everyone else has burning out of control in their brains but they're too well-bred to ask:

How comes it that you have pictured three cups (very lovely and wide cups, by the way) all containing tea simultaneously?

Are there unseen guests whose identity your are protecting from the scrutiny of your public?

Are you using a Chip-like approach and brewing all your infusions at the same time, only subsequently slurping them all down?

Are you using masking and compositing techniques in Photoshop?

I for one am flummoxed and concerned.

Space Samurai said...

haha, i was wondering if someone would notice.

I sometimes fill mutliple cups at the same time instead of filling, sipping, filling sipping, filling sipping and so on.

Salsero said...

Well, I am a filler and a sipper myself, but I do believe that Chip has argued that one should "brew while the leaves are hot" rather than let the pot and leaves cool down in between.

It has the ring of truth to me. I suspect that on this as on so many other issues Chip is probably irritatingly correct.

Tea Geek said...

Ah! I too recently had the camphor-and-not-quite-mint experience! It was with a different puer--I was studying the wares of a local shop in preparation for presenting a tea class there introducing people to puer.

Myself, I like drinking puer, but a decent cooked one will do most of the time. I'm not "into" puer, unless you mean studying it.

It's always nice to see other people having the same experience as you, though. :)

Space Samurai said...

I know what you mean. I like trying new things and furthering my educaction, but if I'm in the mood for puerh, I'm happy with something just decent or average.