Thursday, August 4, 2011
2010 Yunnan Sourcing Pasha
This sample was gifted by Hobbes with about a hundred others. One sampled this tea just before traveling last month.
The Yunnan Sourcing website provides great background on the Pasha tea growing region and makes claims that this tea has a "strong pungent mouthfeel" and "cha qi [that] is very energetic and lasting". Let's drink some tea a see if it is true to these claims.
The dry leaves are a mix of many white and very hairy long, big leaves. They smell of very sweet florals- you can smell a pungent kick to these leaves.
The first infusion is prepared and pours a brown yellowish colour. Very soft, sweet somewhat spicy straw and potato sweetness slowly slides away into a bland dryness. A rubbery, bland wood taste is left as an aftertaste. The lips, mouth, and throat are veiled in a thin dryness.
The second infusion begins watery, light, and woody in its initial stage. Very little fruity sweetness returns, what does is only a brief glimmer before turning into dry wood and dry rubber in the mouth. This tea has very little sweetness, if any. It grips the mouth with a thin, rubbery dryiness. Even when less leaf is used this unpleasant sensation remains. The aftertaste is so light and overshadowed by the mouthfeel that it could very easily not exist, lost in the tugging mouthfeel.
The third and fourth infusions are similar with the same watery wood start with no inital sweetness. There is just a glimpse of berry notes before descending into dry, rubbery wood in the mouth. The aftertaste shows signs of green wood that seems to amplify the unpleasent taste of dry and bland. The chaqi quietly retches the stomach and shows harshness to the bowels even when less leaf is used.
In the fifth infusion the pleasant but brief berry taste seems to be getting longer with each infusion. The inial taste carries some hay notes on top of the berry notes that fade quickly to dry, rubbery wood. The aftertaste here has some interesting sour grapefruit notes, the mouthfeel is developing some sharper edges.
In the sixth infusion the berry taste has been pushed into the returning sweetness which is not really sweet at all. There is the faintest hints of these flavours in the aftertaste which is somewhat sour again. The chaqi has a harsh physical presence but does not even nudge the mind.
In the seventh infusion the harshness of this tea relents a bit leaving more lighter notes but they are still very faint and, at times, barely detectable.
In the eighth infusion lighter tangy berry notes are so faint but are there and are now the dominant taste in this very mild tasting tea. These tastes disappear into a rubbery almost bubble gum aftertaste. Very faint but complex florals now emerge.
The ninth infusion shows the depth of lighter notes that were once washed away by the harsher elements. The tastes of black berries, raspberries, florals come out to play with the tastebuds.
The tenth infusion starts with a very light fruity wood taste then turns to wood and slight rubber and ends in a berry taste. The long eleventh shows tastes of fruity chokecherries and becomes mild and creamy. There is nothing left to this tea after one long infusion.