There is a distinct maltiness in the wet leaf and first infusion. I’m transported back to cold cups of ‘mugicha’ (barley tea) served at school sports days in Japan. The cold breeze through my poorly insulated window is a reminder that those warm memories are far from the present, here and now.

Hand on kettle. Back to the tea… a slight sweetness vies to get out from under the weight of barley and hay. A light fruitiness is playing around the edges, easing towards the tip of my tongue – but its like a stranger with no name. Stubborn. A refusal to emerge and take form. Pushing the fourth and fifth infusions hard, I call this tea out. Dusty flavours are thrown up into my palate as it fleets by. A dry mouth and throat are all that remain. I will not chase it further. Overall, my impression is of a slightly abrasive nose and finish. The tea steeps out quickly.

Conclusion: In a previous session, this was overwhelmed by fruitier Lincang pu. Perhaps the same has happened here, as this time it came on the back of a nice Yiwu old arbor. But this tea is certainly too dry for me, and its nose is surprisingly flat from what I remember of other Jing Gu. I don’t want to have to search beneath that for deeper character.

5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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I’m primarily on a mission to understand pu’erh at the moment, being fairly systematic in approaching different teas in terms of their supposed characteristics (region, storage, age…).



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