Sunday, February 17, 2008

Drinking old Wuyi

This is a 15 years old Dahongpao, got it from a trip to Wuyi Mountain 2 years ago.
I am lucky enough to be introduced to a 2nd generation tea farmer, from one of the biggest factory in the region. As a departing gift, he introduced me to this well aged tea from his archive.

Personally, learning to love and appreciate this tea take more time then puerh. My experience lead me to some interesting pointers:

1. Use a wide body yixing is a must. So the leave have enough room to expend.
2. A darker clay yixing will be better*.
3. Dedicate at least 3 days of brewing for each session.
4. Don't judge it until it is all finish. But do enjoy the ride.

After the first 7th steeping, usually I will call it a day. The tea should have given out the first phase of drama, and now should be rested. How? Pour boiling water into the pot. Using a deep tray as base and fill up half-way, so the pot is sitting half-way inside hot water. Leave it until next morning for 2nd phase. Taste the cold brew and repeat every 12hrs. until it becomes sweet water.

That's way a darker pot* will be better. If you use a red or lighter color pot, the rim of the lid will have a dark visible line. I know you can clean it later, but it will interfere the visual appeal of the session.... : P

A good age Wuyi or Rock tea should have a journey of a good drama movie. Bringing you up and down and to unexpected results and pleasure. But do not expect this ride for a younger tea. At least 5-10 yrs + before it can develop such characters, almost like a puerh.

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