A Tea Addict's Journal

Mystery sample + Teacuppa sample F

May 28, 2007 · 2 Comments

I am feeling “shanghuo” today, which basically means I have a slightly sore throat, a nosebleed, and generally feel like I have too much “heat” in the body. I thought perhaps a few cups of young puerh will help cure the problem.

I got more samples yesterday from a reader of my blog, iwii. There are quite a few of them. There’s one in particular that he wants me to taste, so I decided to try it first.

Looks good enough? Leaves are long and flat. It’s from a cake, as there are compressed pieces. They are a little flakey and feels dry. Smells a little like the plastic bag it came in. I know my samples had the same problem and could’ve contributed to an initial off taste, I’m afraid…

I broke the big gaiwan while preparing the setup, so I have to use the small one… used something like 6-7g of leaves.

The initial infusion was a yellow coloured tea. There was a slightly spicy and slightly familiar smell to the wet leaves… I think it was from one of those huge column teas that use Yunnan maocha to make. Not entirely sure though, and I don’t think I own anything that smells quite like this.

The taste… has an “off” taste. I wasn’t sure if it was from the bag, or if it’s something else. The tea is not bitter. A little flat, perhaps, and a little strange. There’s an aftertaste. Not a terribly strong one. There’s some obvious qi.

A few more infusions… the tea stays more or less the same, with the off taste going away a little, but still there, so I think it’s not the bag, but the tea itself. I can’t quite describe what the taste is, except it is a little medicinal.

Iwii told me that almost everybody who’s tried this tea didn’t like it. He does though, and hopes that I find something nice about it. I must say I can see why people don’t like it. The taste is a little off-putting. I can also see why he likes it, because there is something to the aftertaste. Is it enough to offset the rather awkward taste? I’m not so sure, honestly. I think this is something I might buy a cake or two of and see how it ages over time and learn from it. I don’t think I’d invest in it, unless it’s very cheap. The wet leaves look quite good, just like the dry ones, but somehow… there’s something weird about the taste that I can’t quite put my finger on.

I felt energized today, so I drank more than one tea. Since there are lots of samples I need to work on, hopefully before I leave Beijing in a month’s time, I decided I need to clean some of them out as they are difficult to carry around. Since the Teacuppa stuff is sort of on a time constraint, I decided to try one. I picked out F, since I have plans for E and really don’t want to try D given other people’s reviews.

I threw the whole sample into the gaiwan. Since others have noted it’s weak, I figured it won’t hurt.

The tea is very strange. When I sniffed the lid…. there’s an obvious citrus like scent. The tea… tastes like an artificially flavoured orange drink, because it’s sort of cirtrus like, but not really. There’s a tangy taste to it that lasted through all four infusions that I tried. I only drank a little of it, because it is really very strange, and in a somewhat unpleasant way. I have a feeling this wasn’t quite made properly, as a puerh, and that with some aging.. it just turned into something really quite odd.

The leaves actually look ok

But something is really strange about the taste of the tea, and I don’t know if it has to do with storage.

Categories: Old Xanga posts · Teas

2 responses so far ↓

  • iwii // May 29, 2007 at 3:55 am | Reply

    Thanks for the reviews MarshalN. This is a strange tea indeed. It is from 2004, strangely enough, and has not been stored in a bag or so (and I think it was stored in China since I got it from China). It does not look like it is aged does it?
    Actually, this is one of my most expensive cake, so it is really a bet. I cannot find it anymore and since unfortunately I do not know exactly what it is, I can’t really buy more. I would buy a couple of them if I could though.
    I did not notice the “off” taste you are mentioning, but what I noticed however is that I should not have put them in these bags, which are far from odorless. Actually, these bags where pen bags in the origin. Perhaps it taste like the chemicals? I would advise you to remove the tea from the bags to let it breathe a couple of days before for the other samples.

  • MarshalN // May 29, 2007 at 4:13 am | Reply

    Yes, I took all the samples out of the bags once I noticed the problem, and am letting them breath normally in open air. 

    So…. what is it?  Do you have the wrapper with you?

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