Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yunnan Sourcing Mystery Sample 'Epsilon' ( Later Found To Be: 2009 Ban Zhang Chun Qing)

On a cloudy morning one tares open this foil pack marked 'Epsilon'.

The dry leaves are a pungent, earthy roasted, almost musty smokey smell. The look of the dry leaves also confirm the smell, the leaves all have a greenish hue but present a true diversity of colour- reddish, whitish, brownish, and yellowy tones.

These leaves are piled into yixing then hot water is added. Rinse. The deliciously pungent odour of these leaves are thickened by the steam that carries them upwards into ones nose, into ones mind, into ones soul.

More hot water is added. As this tea hits ones mouth things start watery, pungent mushroom and vegital roastiness evolves to cream before becoming brisk and spicy. The finish on the breath is soft, dry, and retreats into blandness. There is a back note of things to come, some kind of pungent spice. The tip of the tongue turns chalky as the tea is swallowed.

More hot water is put through these leaves, and more delicious tea is born. The lips and front of the tongue numb before coating the mouth in bland silk as the sensation just barely dips into the throat. Interesting depth of flavour is coxed out of each sip. Tree bark tones elapse with creamy notes. There is fruity underpinnings of spicy persimmon.

This tea rolls through infusions with deep flavour hidden amongst a wonderful, bland, chalky mouthfeel and tingling lips. Soft, deep forested pungency breaks for sweetness. It slowly turns during many infusions becoming more grainy and sweet and less bland and pungent. The tea in someways feels more rounded and complete when this transformation happens. Also the flavour seems to lengthen a bit with each infusion until breaking off.

It doesn't take too long before this tea wares down. When it does, it reveals very simple, slightly creamy, licorice puerh notes. The aftertaste is bland and discloses little. The mouthfeel is still considerably full.

One meditates with this tea as bright patches of sun and blue sky finally break through dispersing late afternoon cloud. The chaqi is smooth, gentle, considerate, and compassionate. The the slow breaking of the sun though layers of cloud, the slow microscopic turning of a rheostat, this tea slowly illuminates ones soul.
Note: Please follow this link to the tea tasting disscussion on the Half-Dipper.



Hobbes said...

Your notes were a textual and visual treat, thanks!



P.s. That cup has to be the prettiest I've seen to date. It really brings pu'er to life. Keep photographnig it, please :)

Matt said...


Thanks for your kind words.

The cup is truly a masterpiece. It continues to accumulate beauty with age.

Thanks again for putting on such a fun tasting event.