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.


Bret said...

Having worked for Starbucks for 10 years (former employee) I had been extensively educated in all things coffee. This was way back when Starbucks was actually a "cool" place. Most of coffees flavor comes from the oil inherant in the coffee. With tea I,d be leary, Ive not seen tea with a layer of substance floating on top like that before. Are you sure it,s oil? Sometimes water that is really high in calcium "tap water" will produce a film. Maybe you should try an experement, try brewing the same tea with bottled spring water and see if the same film is there. Hopefully not and then you have your answer.

Ecclenser said...

Thanks for the advice. I haven't been able to reproduce the noted effects, giving strength to your argument. It' amazing just how important water is.

MarshalN said...

This can be a lot of things. Very often it's your water, actually, but sometimes it's the tea.