A Tea Addict's Journal

Thursday May 18, 2006

May 18, 2006 · 1 Comment

I’m a greedy person, which is why I had two teas today. Sometimes, one just isn’t enough, especially when your pot is small.

I’m extra greedy, because the two teas are both new. The first one I opened is a nongxiang tieguanyin I got from Beijing on the trip in March. I’ve already talked about the qingxiang tieguanyin I got, but not the nongxiang one. I got 150g of this stuff at a fairly reasonable price, and figured it’ll be a good addition to the varieties that I have already. The Kung Fung Yung nongxiang tieguanyin tends to be a bit heavy and slightly overfired. The Athelier one just isn’t very good, and I’ve tried to dispose of it. This one is on the lighter side, with the leaves still brewing slightly green, rather than brown.

The taste is fragrant, retaining some of the characters of a qingxiang tieguanyin. They said it is from 1999, if I remember correctly. The firing wasn’t too heavy handed, and it is probably a good thing. There’s no hint of sourness. In fact, it’s a rather pleasant brew with some character. Not the best, by any means, but not bad at all.

But I didn’t feel that was enough. After all, my nongxiang tieguanyin pot is small. So, since I’ve been drinking some of my young puerh, I decided I might as well taste another one.

The one I picked is a cheap puerh I got from the Best Tea House. They are small cakes that came in a dozen — Chinese zodiac signs, although really it’s just a way to package 12 small cakes for sale.

The case — yes, that’s Teachat in the back

The wrapper of the first one — as you can see, coming from the Fengqing factory.

They were one or two years old when I bought them, and they’ve been sitting here for two years now, so all in all, about 3-4 years in age. I haven’t really touched them much since I got them, and this is the first time I’m trying them since my purchase.

Cellphone used as a scale

The cakes are pretty small. I’m not sure how much they weigh exactly, but I’m guessing something like 50g? Like the Kung Fung Yung cake, this one is comprised of smaller leaves, although they’re not all buds (at least one of the leaves I brewed ended up being quite large — over an inch long). The compression is tighter than the Kung Fung Yung cake, but not overly so. I took bits and pieces off the first cake and made a cup of it.

The brew is slightly disappointing given the wonderful taste of the Kung Fung Yung cake I had two days ago. It is not nearly as fragrant, but still shares many of the general characteristics of the Kung Fung Yung cake. It is also a bit thinner, but then, I am not sure if it’s because there’s slightly less leaves in this cup than I used the other day.

It lacks a bit of cha chi and aroma, but again, it could be because I didn’t use enough leaves, not because it’s particularly bad. Of course, given the price differential, one would expect a difference in taste, and there certainly is that difference — anybody paying money would prefer the Kung Fung Yung cake over this one, hands down.
Since I have no idea how this one will age, we will just have to wait and see. Maybe when I come back from China, it will have progressed further and taste a bit better.

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