I’ve had this cake stashed away in the bottom of my raw pu-erh box for the last six months or so but haven’t tried it until now. Out of town family decided to invite themselves to my house for a long (very long!) weekend and I needed a little treat after finally shoving them out the door. I didn’t weigh the leaf because I left my scale in the other room and didn’t feel like going to get it. My water amount wasn’t terribly precise so I’m not sure weighing the leaf would have done much good anyway. I was using a glass gongfu bottle that is, I think, 200ml on the water chamber side…but filling it all the way is usually too much water for the amount of tea leaves that will fit in the leaf chamber side, and there’s also pressure buildup and sputtering of hot water on my hands and that sort of unpleasantness if it’s too full. I tried to aim for about 2/3 full but I wasn’t very careful about it. For entertainment I decided to use both a silver lined teacup and a double-walled glass espresso cup of about the same size to see if the cups made any difference to the taste.
It smells like delicious Mengku tea. Fruits and something kind of like fresh hay. For some reason the scent of Mengku raws makes me think of naps in the sunshine. I got a little more bitterness and astringency than I would have liked but I’m not sure how much is the tea and how much was my lazy, imprecise steeping. It’s pretty young still, maybe a couple more years would do it good. But next time I’ll try to take more care with my brewing to see if that makes a difference. Interestingly, the tea drunk from the silver cup tasted sweeter than the tea drunk from the glass cup. I don’t know if that was just a psychological thing or if the temperatures ended up being different when I drank them or what. I’ve always been a little skeptical of some of the claimed benefits of silver teaware so I was surprised to find a noticeable difference. The magpie in me enjoys drinking from shiny pretties so they seemed necessary regardless of any possible tea-improving capabilities. From either cup there’s a pleasant sweet aftertaste that makes an interesting contrast to the bitterness. I made it about four steeps before wanting a nap. Raw pu-erh seems to make me sleepier than other teas.