3 Tasting Notes
This has become one of my prefered green teas. 5 g. per 10 cl gaiwan, 75 C water, start with 15 second, and increase slowly to 30-40 seconds. One can step the tea up to 8-10 times, and possibly more. Restepping later with lukewarm water it has become very sweet.
Substantially, a kind of mao feng, but with a bitterness note leaning towards raw puer, that can become a bit overwhelming with warmer water or longer stepping times. And developing nicely with many infusions, like the best maocha. My first attempts at 80-85 C were too bitter, I found my perfect balance experimenting lower temperatures and shorter times.
I am curious how this would evolve with time.
This tea for me has a long story.
Around 1969 I started tasting several types of tea. I met puer in 1975, the “little french” tuo Xiaguan Xuao Fa and liked it a lot. It become a standard buy, and when later (around 1980) my grocery store had another puer, this Chitsu Bing, it was expensive (probably 5$ or even a bit more ;-) but I decided to invest in it, and I was rewarded. When I finished the first, I bougt another, but unfortunately I had health problems, I was asked to reduce drastically smoke, coffee, tea and wine: I decided to preserve wine, and give up completely the rest. The tea went to a box, that was forgot when I moved.
Three years ago I had to give up wine, so I tried again tea, starting with puer; I discovered gonfu cha, and eventually found again the old box. Silver needle, tie guan yin, bi lo chun, bai hao, lapsang souchong were completely spoiled, and the loose leaves in the chitsu bing box were a bit state, but I could recover the core of the bing, about 60 g. of almost 40 years old tea perfectly preserved. Still incredibly good, and the best of my shu collection.
Today I prepared an infusion with 4 grams in a 10 cl gaiwan, 90 C. water.
After rinsing the tea, the first 30 seconds infusion still has some stale notes, and little flavour and color, so I discarded it. From the second on, the leaves lost the stale bit, and started to develop giving a deep amber color and a sweet, mature taste starting with a slghtly pungent note, developing in a fruity taste and a very long aftertaste. The subsequent infusions, increasing the infusion time up to 90 seconds in the 7th infusion, confirm their sweet character with a pungent start.
Probably several more infusions woud be possible, but I could not waste a drop, and 70 cl of tea are enough for now; I will continue later.
This is an excellent white tea puer cake. It shares the caracteristics of both. Beautiful big, hairy buds, you don’t need a knife to take a few, it is a very loose cake, so the buds remain integer. It allows many brews, improving gradually to a delicious sweet clear brew.
My brewing of today: 6 g. for a 15cl glass teapot, 80 C water. Rinse, and discard the second brew; don’t overbrew (even at the tenth brew don’t pass 40" otherwise a slightly grassy taste emerges). I have never succeeded in exhausting the leaves, nor to count how many brews I did.
I have the cake since one year, and either I have learned how to brew it optimally, or it is improving with age; maybe both. I might have to buy another, and forget it for a few years.