Tuesday, 29 October 2013

2009 Youle by Douji

The year 2009 was the only year I bought Douji cakes, only single mountain series, this was the year I first time went to Yunnan and I was lucky to meet there twice the CEO of Douji, a very modest and nice man Mr. Chen. I met him once at it's factory and the second time on Lao Banzhang village.

His cakes age very well and catching on high prices lately. I stored this tea the whole time since its production.

The dry leaves, the cake is very aromatic, a good sign, the warm leaves give a dry plum scent, the rinsed cup, the cup after rinsing brews gives also dry plums, I am making a rather weaken evening brew with lower quantity of leaves, about 3 grams per 80 ml of water.

First brew is sweetie, light, almost like a fresh puerh cake but without the green tea taste, which is I like. This Youle cakes were more bitter I would say in 2009.

Second is rather forgotten, I brew it for about 3-4 minutes, the water was not that hot, so the leaves are not that much exhausted this way. The tea soup is darker Ohh, this one is bitter, but the bitterness fades right away and leaves you with this sweetie-bitterish symphony in your mouth. I did not expect this one to kick in this hard way, but the bitterness is an aging potential for the upcoming years. The cup is after dry plumbs, a mix of dry sweet fruits.

Third is bitterish and tough again, I lack the fruityness, this cakes needs to be forgotten for another 4 years at least. So let's see what this will transform into. 

Fourth is a relieve, I had to stop my session here and do something else.

I returned back to this in the morning, just decide to brew it from the previous night and it is good, really good, no showing any deterioration from about 13 hours rest in the teapot. The bitterness is very pleasant now and it is wrapped in sweet tones, even a further brew is very mature and good. Tea leaves still enduring further flow of hot water, giving very good notes of sweetness.

I decided to have this tea again a day after. This happens rarely with me, but today I thought let it drink again. The first brew is a lot of sweet and delicious. I try to make the second just very short steep time. This is not a complex, multilayer, 3D tea but still very good. I managed not to overbrew the second brew, its enough to leave it just for seconds. The next hours I make time to time a new and a new steeps, this is very relaxing.

In overall this tea is not pure, orthodox gushu cake but still very good base for aging and making a superb cake in an age of about 20 years. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Tuo 2007

First very nice brew, smoky but acceptable, enchancing the melow flavour, not disturbing bitterness, no plantation tea unpleasant kick yet, probably aged a bit, even fine sweetness, 

Second, richer, still slightly smoky,  a slight acidity, stronger plantation bitterness although ending with a hint of sweetness and slight acid feeling, biting bitterness that is not pleasing, not having a good feeling, the cup smell well, I do not like this taidi kick (that I thought it would not come) that is placed around your heart.

Third, giving no that strong kick, the taste has smoothen, the plantation taste has subsided, although not feeling that good now, a bit of nervousness, it might be like the effect of some sweets that children get, that they are hyperactive, I try them myself to see what it does, the taste is good for this kind of tea, after those few years (6) is showing to be advancing well.

The fourth has even sweetned a bit more, giving a mouthful of sweet which is rather suprising for me, I do not know tuo's much, not have drunk that many of them. Nice nutty taste.

The fifth has changed, downwards, I think I will finish here, I feel
much better now, all the kick effect went away and I feel relaxed. Its drinkable still this tea, even the aftertaste is there, slight fruityness on the tongue, no other aftermatch feeling on the tongue even in the whole body.

In overall this tea is good, a kind of plantation long runner, except the taidi kick I think it is clean, in terms of  pesticide used. That kick you may get with any green tea.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

7581 Shu Pu 1998

I have never got excited by Shu and not even by aged Shu Pu. Until I have tasted this one. I always thought, heard or read that aging of shu is not much of use.

It was made in Kunming Tea Factory (aka CNNP).  75 means the year they started to use this recipe, the 8 means the grade of tea leaves are larger and older and with some stems, the 1 refers to the factory code which is CNNP, 2 is former Meghai and 3 is Xiaguan factory. Searching internet I see that the 7581 recipe is pretty well know.

The first gulp of the tea is gone, really fine taste, excellent shu
without anything disturbing, stabilized taste. Woody, old taste, also the cognac barrique taste a bit, good aging. Creamy and rich.

I like the aroma of this tea, very similar to its taste,  many times people ask me to sell them strong smelling, old dungy, cellar odour, mouldy shu puerh and I have to tell them that I don't have such. Such was my first puerh. This one comes from the other side of the shu puerh range. 

The third brew is very refined, stable and strong, in terms of all the good tastes are very sharp and clear. The cup aroma is even fruity, never had this with Shu.  The aftertaste is like shu with sheng, sheng made of gushu almost. I have read that the 2002 version is mix of shu and sheng.


The fourth brew is a bit fading away, the mighty thickness is
weakened but still a good drink. Drinking the fifth which is far away from the first brew but it is still good, very tasty, more like aged sheng with a hint of shu. In overall I like this Shu, I will drink it again, excellent companion for the mornings when one is not feeling for heavy and young sheng.

I had this tea again a week later and let it in the teapot and brew it about 20 hours later and it still taste well. A fine, melow, oldish, sweety, nutty, aging shu. 


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Naka 2005

I got this sample from Paul, from white2tea.com, it's from Naka mountain, year of production 2005. I had it when I received it about 2 months ago and at that time did not catch my attention so much.

A nice and warm/soft aroma of hot leaves, the leaves are pressed gently, coming apart very nicely, the soup is nicely transparent, ohh how I long for a cup of tea, since morning has passed almost 6 hours, and the daily job took my all time, I thought I would rather have this tea later, when there is a bit of space.

An open window, nice breeze, autumn is here, still the leaves are green as this lowland (in Slovakia) is still during the day quit warm. I like to take a bit of time before the first sip, just smelling, watching and trying to put the mind to a rest.

The first sip are really light, the brew was more like third washing, let's the tea woken up a bit. An old friend used to say, slap it over it's ears, meaning giving him a hot and long brew.

An old taste notes, oldish, aging is in progress,  bitterish notes, very
refined taste, no disturbing elements, it's interesting that each tea needs time to settle down, once arrived, it's not stable, even its packed, the changing temperature during the transport gives a shot to the leaves, indeed. It is getting apparent now to me how important a stable and a good environment for the aging is.

The taste is a bit light, a bit of weird feeling, something storage or roasting elements that are disturbing a bit, still the tea is giving a nice, light, pleasant aftertaste a silencing effect, when one just keep staring at the moving branches of trees  and leaving one's mind blank. It is very good to have the tea leaves to air and settle in one's environment, a few weeks even months will help.

Sipping and thinking, breathing the fresh air, enjoying the present moment, each is only one, gone, tea is a great means to support contemplation of the present moment and opening the vast horizon of the mind.

Still giving a chance to these tea leaves, giving a more and more clear taste, this is another long runner, not a plantation, fast grow-up, even nice aroma comes up, this guy was sleeping I must say, infusion after infusion, getting down the throat.

This is a good tea, the processing was not  that perfect (or the humid storage) but still the effect of this tea is what a gushu would give and by further aging will still transform to very good aged leaves. The calm (also aftertaste) what gives this tea is amazing, even the other day I was retaining a very steady and calm mind. I think this the reason that many, mainly asians drink aged pu.Very rare find and reflecting the price is almost the same as fresh cakes sold or rather hard to find someone selling a true Naka.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Chun Shi Oolong 2009

I got this oolong as a gift from a tea master I met in Yixing. It comes from some good, organic taiwanesse tea farmer. It is from year 2009 and I do not know much about it. It seems to be a middle roasted, I think hand made.

Nice roasting aromas during the rinsing, it seems to be promising. Even the wet leaves smells fresh. Using my light oolong xishi teapot, long time not used it. 

Nice tones of roasting, with milky background, fresh bread, heavy fruity scents in the second brew, nice sweetness appears in the third brew, oolongish bitterness, this slight tingling bitterish, aroma cup is full of fruit, perfume like aroma, so great, with a tea that have been sitting in a bag for more that 4 years, the taste is really delicate, ohh, very nice taste, fruity all over, caramel like aftertaste, uhh I love this taste, ohh, nice water, drinking clean water after the tea gives a good indication what the aftertaste of this tea is.

This tea is a long runner, you may drink it for many hours. Forget it and brew it later. I am getting info that is coming from an organic tea garden, even organic soil. It's name is Chun Shi ( 春蒔), the name of the cultivar probably. 

I just took pictures of the wet leaves and these were smelling really good, I know that only very few teas leaves after tens of brewings still have such a nice, a really nice aroma. It's a waste to throw these leaves away. I heard that in Taiwan some good teas are drunk for a few days, I never tried it.

So in overal, an oolong from 2009, without reroasting, still tasting fantastic, it must be a good tea indeed. I am hearing this farmer guy picks his customers so I hope I will get acquainted with him. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sheng Tuo Cha 1990

       This Tuo is pretty old and has been sitting as a generous sample in my store room since this April, airing and getting a bit of the middle europe climate. It comes from 1990, I got it from a taiwaness tea master, as I would call him, I met him back in Yixing in April this year.

I tasted this tea once still in Yixing and kind of don't know, not much liked it. It's a kind of private production too. I've drunk a nice Tuo after from year 1970 and that was good and it's price was also like for a modest, new car. So let's see if gotta like it this time. It won't be a gushu quality of latest years of course.  This is a mass production, although not that large scale once as it was an order by a private individual.

I've cleaned my teapot, had a new Brita filter changed and beside my daily job and opened the window, cold and sunny autumn day, the session may start.

The warm tea chunks smell like an ordinary old sheng, although there is a hint of some fruityness...

Let's proceed with two rinsing, but ohh, the first gives a colourfull brew,  I decide the rinsing water to save in the matcha bowl.  Drink it later. ohh how barbarian is this, such a nice bowl. I had no matcha for many years and I thought its a pity not to use the bowl.

Ohh, the first brew has an aged collour indeed. The taste is pretty rough, just can't describe it, not much like it. Maybe I just overbrew it.

The second, ohh, there tastes that I don't expect and don't even find in pu-erh, like bitter candy, medicine like, interesting, keep going, one more sip, hups to matcha bowl and let's see the third.  Kind of fermentation ongoing taste, anyway still interesting and not that repulsive. I hope it has some other good effect to my health.

The third, it's a woody taste, like from a cognac or an aged oak cask brandy, its very interested where this is come from, this is a nice sing and difference between sheng and shu pu-erh. Shu will never reveal such a suprises. The taste is getting pretty good and it's appealing to me. The storage is pretty clean, it must be from Taiwan, check later. This woody taste might be the bamboo or ...

This taste reminded me a bit to a story around my first pu-erh tea I had in one open air teahouse in the old town of Prague, just a wooden hut with a garden, really relaxing place. I had there some pu-erh, no idea what was it but taste struck me and even despite of the taste I kept drinking it. My friend asked me, after taking a sip "do you drink this tea beacuse you like or you drink it because you want to look interesting/different". It was certainly a shu pu, pretty rough.  I have not touch pu-erh a long years after.

The tea soup does not have any disturbing features, I suspect its aging, making it's transformation. I don't think the tea master will sell it for 200euro/250g just because it's old.

The tea keeps its strengh and even goes to other dimension, barrique taste is giving its a bing punch, even developing a nice aftertaste.

Further brews, have a pretty good feel of the cognac aged taste, a very good pick for cognac lovers.   This is a newly found taste for me, it is well, carefully packed in a melow, fine aftertaste. I really have to learn more, drink more aged stuff.

This is about the 8th steep, its getting pretty sweet, changing and not fading, the leaves must have been pretty good. This is not a bad tea at all. I am hurrying to the next round.

This was an adventures tea tasting I must say. I will return to this tea even maybe I will buy some to have it tried by others. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

a hard piece

I just had a few seconds to grab some tea from my stock room. Unfolded a paper wraping with a little of dust and a piece of hard stone like tea leaves tightly pressed. I do not send these pieces, mainly the middle of the cake, to customers. I rather drink them as most of the people do not like getting these hard chunks.

I do not even know what I am drinking. What a relieve not to worry about this and that, just drink your cup of tea. These chunks disolve very slowly and in later infusion they give you a full pot of leaves.

First steep is very light. The first means the one after the two rinsing, washing brews.

The second is very delicious, what a nice melow, fine, bitterish taste. Its like a pu-erh aging for about 2-3 years.

The third is a blow, 5 times stronger that the previous. The chunk is opening. Full, dense, spicy like, honey taste, ripe but still fresh not dry plums, with sugary tones.

The fourth. Golden, coppery, orange clear tea soup. Ohh, this is good, really good. The mind is getting high, mindfull and alert. At the same time quietness settles down. It has a typical bitterness that is ranging from mountain to mountain. My friend Chajotaurus was saying that we eat very little bitter food so that we tend to like the bitternes that found in pu-erh. Could be. The aroma of the cup is perfect, I like that sweetie, fruity scent.

The sixth, is buttery, with bitter coating disapearing in caramel like aftertaste. It is really there, the caramel like Toffee like taste. I found this recently in one top grade coffe I tasted in one small coffee roasting shop. The first I had a coffe prepared more like a tea, just driping through a paper sieve.

The seventh is here, more caramel, dryness and thirst for plain water. Uhh, I like water, warm water with clean aftertaste, even the aftertaste has a tendency to change.

Even a left over, hard chunk makes your mind happy and optimistic. Gives you bliss and hope for the upcoming days. Was this Bulang or Youle? It does not matter.

It was Bulang, the aftertaste I recognize a few hours later, so typical for this mountain. I felt it even a day later and I thought I would drink gushu pu-erh only every second day, to appreciate it more and not have a daily aftertaste mixed up with one from the other day.