Tuesday, August 18, 2009
That is right, pu-erh concentrate. A gent named Coloradopu who I chat with on occasions on Tea Chat was nice enough to send me a few nuggets of this curiosity. Frankly, I do not know much about this concoction other than it is supposedly sheng which has gone through quite a bit of processing resulting in what you see here. The pieces resemble a Jolly Rancher in consistency but considerably more brittle. They give off a faint caramelized odor which really makes it seem more like candy than something that you would infuse to imbibe.
I was warned by Coloradopu to use only a small bit as it is very concentrated. I decided on a piece the size of an eraser end to start. Not wanting to risk of contaminating my Yixing ware, I figured a Gaiwan would serve my purpose.
Well, here goes nothing!
Almost instantaneously the nugget started to infuse into the water as you can see. Actually looked quite nice.
Not wanting to over steep, I decided I would leave the Gaiwan lid off so that I may gauge the strength of the liquor. Wanting to play it safe and not wanting to over steep, I decided to decant the yellow liquor into my fair cup only after 10 seconds when it reached what I thought was the appropiate color for young sheng pu.
Well, it looks like sheng, but unfortunately that is where the resemblance stops. I was not putting too much hope in this product, after all anything instant sux. Honestly, its not a bad tea. It almost tastes like sheng which has been overly roasted (which I have done on occasion). The liquor has no astringency or bitterness. It is not nuanced but straightforward. The liquor itself doesn't give off much of an aroma. However, there is a definite sweet, roast smell wafting up from the fair cup. It almost smells like a yan cha. There is really nothing great about this tea other than its novelty. I guess if you are traveling and do not have any time to stop for a steep or don't want customs examining your bags wondering what this green stuff is in your carry-on, I guess it may serve a purpose. :D
Nugget after first Infusion
I actually was able to steep this nugget 6 times before it completely dissolved.
Thanks ColoradoPu for being so generous! Btw, stay tuned for the Cha Gel SHUPU Concentrate which he was also kind enough to send! :D
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The 7582 recipe is an older MengHai Factory recipe yet rarely produced. In fact, I haven't seen any other productions of the #7582 other than the '06, of which is also becoming quite elusive.
The recipe of the #7582 contains a 6-9 grade blend from YiWu and the Ba Da mountains however it is unknown what is the percentage of each. What is known however is that the '06 is one of the most expensive DaYi code recipes of that year.
The first thing grabbed my attention other than the leaf grade was that surface of the cake was quite peppered with yellow leaves. Not a big problem of course but was just unusual, at least for me, for a DaYi product. Certainly I have seen 'some' yellow leaves in DaYi but never to this extent. Interesting to say the least. The dry leaves appeared to be healthy and certainly do correspond to the leaf grade of the recipe. I can even say that they have darkened a bit since I have purchased it. They had a lovely melon and grassy sent that were quite noticeable even though the wrapper.
The maocha was not as compact as they appear at first glance. They easily pried off with my toucha pick with very little effort.
Method - 150ml Gaiwan
Amount - 6.2gm
The aroma was really not that captivating. This was not to suggest that it was not pleasant - indeed it was; however, I was expecting the lovely notes of YiWu that one receives from young sheng. For the most part, the aroma was quintessential pu-erh with hints of citrus and pine resin. I guess it wasn't all that bad. The latter infusions had become grassy which of course is not that surprising and very much consist ant with the former infusions.
From the onset, it was a powerful drink. The very first infusion woke my palate. Most of the sensations were concentrated on the sides of my tongue and the top of my mouth. Still very youthful in quality - brassy and astringent. The acidity was also exceptionally strong which was indicated by its brightness. The initial notes were subdued honey and faint hints of melon. However, the only word I could find to describe the latter infusions was, meaty. There was indeed a meaty quality to it. Not the meatiness that we at times associate the taste or sensation of Umami , but meaty in the sense that the flavors were not relenting in any way. It was like every taste bud was affected by some search and destroy misson. The huigan did not reveal itself until after the 4 round. However, a little to late in that the liquor soon after leeched out.
I am not sure if my analysis was too critical. Perhaps I was judging it to other Yiwu blended products that I have. Nonetheless, it certainly has the oomph needed to age and I presume that that it will. In fact the liquor seems a bit darker than the last time I sampled it. Not that liquor color is any a good indication but at least I know that it is certainly trying to transform. Nonetheless,it will have to age because I am not touching this one again for at least another 3-4 years.
It was not that the flavors were brutal but they are much to potent to drink on a causual bases. That said, I can say with out a doubt that I can characterize this example as androgenous in that it has both female and masculine qualities - the flavors were to some extent pefume-y with a pleasing quality to them but very much an alpha. Unfortnately, I was unable to gauge any chaqi with so much going on. I am very excited to see how these beengs will develop.
Tea should be simple. I typically brew gongfu except when I make a good English Breakfast. Zhuni pot is one that I dedicate to Chinese b...