I go a total of 6 or 7 steeps out of the da hong pao. I think I made one error early on that, when corrected next time will result in better cups, and more of them.

So, it has been quite a while since I have had this pu-erh.

And I have never done short steeps with this tea.

The dry leaf is richly loamy to the nose. The wet leaf is like a freshly plowed field (not fertilized ;-)

1st ~ The liqueur is actually amber in color and the flavor is much more “open” than what I would get in the past with much longer steeps. The profile itself is the same, just presented in a different manner.

2nd ~ This steep is already black as night and the brew is that heady, thick, earthy cave that surrounds you. Shu may be a cheap imitation to some people, but I will always love it for what it is, not what it is not. I can already feel my Yi awakening.

3rd ~ Off to the races. Complex, mellow, warming, a hint of sharpness lingers on the tongue after swallowing.

Lots more steeps to follow, clearly.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
K S

“love it for what it is, not what it is not”, excellent words that should be applied to all kinds of tea.

Jim Marks

True. Although I think it is especially important with pu-erh. There are people who get so into the serious nature of the process of this tea that they can begin to think of shu as a pale shadow rather than simply letting it be shu. I don’t find very many similarities between the two and see it more as a mimicry of process than a mimicry of results in a cup, so I don’t quite understand the compulsion to degrade shu because it doesn’t taste like sheng.

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K S

“love it for what it is, not what it is not”, excellent words that should be applied to all kinds of tea.

Jim Marks

True. Although I think it is especially important with pu-erh. There are people who get so into the serious nature of the process of this tea that they can begin to think of shu as a pale shadow rather than simply letting it be shu. I don’t find very many similarities between the two and see it more as a mimicry of process than a mimicry of results in a cup, so I don’t quite understand the compulsion to degrade shu because it doesn’t taste like sheng.

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I am rarely, if ever, active here. But I do return from time to time to talk about a very special tea I’ve come across.

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