Saturday, June 11, 2011
2005 Yichanghao "Zhengpin"
In the mail yesterday came a large box of puerh samples care of Hobbes of the famed Half-Dipper. Basically, it is what was leftover from every sample he has tried over the past 3 months or so. If anyone follows The Half Dipper they know that Hobbes samples a lot of tea- expect lots of puerh reiviews over the next few months or so.
The first one that stuck out was this sheng puerh from the Changtai factory, a tea reviewed just days ago by Hobbes. This sample is a puerh that Daniel of The Chinese Tea Shop had sent him but yet a tea that one has not yet tried. So lets open up the sample bag and see what its all about...
The dry, dusty, shoelace looking leaves of mainly brown were placed in the warmed teapot and rinsed. The first infusion yields a rich creamy sweet start carrying a malted creamy finish. In the taste under the creaminess is a layer of sour wood and even cooling eucalyptus finish in the mouth. The aftertaste is woodsy and fairly dense with a touch of sweetness. The mouthfeel is quite satisfying with the mouth and tongue tingling just slightly from having the mouth's saliva retreat into the throat.
The second infusion starts off with a greenish wood start leaning into a woody, sour, almost lime-like flavour in a woody forested base. The aftertaste is crisper than the first infusion with freshly sawed lumber tastes floating above rich wood notes. Even after just two pots the qi of this tea is strongly euphoric and relaxing. Listening to the birds chirp outside, life couldn't be better.
The third infusion presents with sandy grainy sweet, slightly metallic, wood- there are light vanilla notes in there as well. All these tastes turn into malty, grainy, sweet wood. The mouthfeel is very satisfying stimulating even the middle throat slightly. The aftertaste is somewhat creamy malty wood that both shows some sharpness and richness. The chaqi is relaxing on the mind and lightens the body. It nudges at the stomach just slightly.
The fourth infusion reveals a sweet, tight wood start. Its mainly malty wood body stretches throughout the flavour profile and where it is quite obvious. The finish of crisp wood, a touch of spice among pine, is welcomed.
The fifth infusion shares a mild, a bit creamy, malty, newly sawed wood initial taste. There is a grassy raw throatiness to things here. It finishes as simple crisp wood in the mouth. The mouthfeel is somewhat drier now.
The sixth and seventh show a juicy sweet wood taste with movement to something deeper before resorting back to simple sweet wood in the mouth. The feel in the mouth remains solid.
In an attempt to shake the last few infusions of solid but simple tastes, this tea submits to a handful of hours long infusions which reveal vibrant berry and plum flavours intermixing with pine. There is still depth in the mouthfeel of this tea during these infusions.