Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2007 CNNP 6111

I received a sample of this in a shipment from Dragon Tea House this past summer. This tea is somewhat of a mystery in that there were only samples available for purchase, which have now been discontinued. I found many positive characteristics about this tea during my session.
This CNNP style tea was greatly compressed, typical of cakes from this factory (lousy image :/). The tea smelled of sweet fruit leather, down the alley of Lincang area tea. It brewed up a dark amber color. (I find many tightly compressed pu-erhs to exhibit the darker amber color, contrary to lightly compressed teas which usually brew light. That may not be true in all cases, just in my experiences).

The taste of this tea was in tandem with the smell: thick, honey, fruit leather, bitterness, no astringency, and a big hui gan. Funny how the tea is no long up for grabs- ayy! I had plenty of infusions off this tea, surpassing about 14 until I quit. Liquor like that grows up healthy and natural, not an easy life which probably made the tea grow slower and stronger.
What I found most peculiar was a layer of thick oil which accumulated on the top of the brewed tea. I have never experienced or read anything noteworthy on this topic. I've only heard of leaves looking oily in their dry appearance. Sometimes I notice coffee does this, where the oils float upon the drink. No, I don't brew coffee in my Yixing... This trait seems to coincide with the idea of this being a hardy, naturally grown product of high quality. When stressed by climate, many plants produce oils to prevent the loss of water, especially in drier environments. Although much of China is humid, it harbors dry climates as well. Maybe I'm a wishful thinker, however, it's hard not to speculate about the origins of such tea.

It should be noted that it took me a whole day to finish the session; the intensity required spacing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2008 Xiaguan FT Nan Zhou

This past summer, I decided to make a down payment on some future drinking. In other words, I bought a tong of some delicious FT pu-erh.

Since each cake is 454 grams, there are only 5 cakes in a tong. I opened a cake and have had many sessions with this tea. The other four cakes are going to rest in a cardboard box with my other shengs for many years.

Nan Zhou is an interesting tea, being thick, bitter, flavorful, smoky, and leaving a nice hui gan in my mouth. Also, the aroma cup during gong-fu lights up with an appetizing sweet, penetrating smell.

The soup, golden amber, is as thick as it looks.

Although it's not a perfect tea, I am happy to have some cakes for ageing. The leaves are mostly small and fine, though some larger leaves appear periodically. The buds on the cake which appear as decoration, reveal to be well preserved and "larva-like".

I usually acheive 7-8 infusions of varying intensity, which fare much better through a vessel like a gaiwan due to fast pouring.

Long Time no Post

It has been quite a while since a posting. I think being occupied with school and reading other blogs has deterred any attention here. Also, I started twittering about tea! There are a bunch of other tea heads on twitter and have found it to be quite fun thus far.

With that said, I gladly return to this blog with some needed posts. Honestly, my camera is full of tea pics that I never got to posting... Stay tuned.