Saturday, August 01, 2009

Early 90s Xiaguan FT Tibetan Flame Mushroom

Is there a season for drinking aged cooked puerh? Most of my experiences with shu aged (7-15yrs) during dead-winter season, is flat and boring.... really nothing to write home about.

Organizing some cigar boxes in the storage (which I use for aging shu puerh), I bumped into a lost mushroom. I did a post back in 2008 Feb., this puerh did not impress nor inspire at that time. But when I opened it up this morning, in a 80% hum./80F storage, it was like an invitation to a fine Chinese Banquet.

The continue down pour and hot muggy weather, it seems to have given a new life to this dried up, loveless mushroom. Fragrance of sweet cedar wood, dried wild morels, and a hint of tobacco caught my fancy. The shape of mushroom puerh always look exotic and intriguing, so inspired by it, I have to find some vessel which is similar in texture and tones.

A neglected set of Japanese tea cups seem to beg for a summer breeze.

8g/150ml pot. Crab eyes boil. 3 Flash Rinses. Set 1 min rest after 3rd rinse.
10s to 3rd brew / 30s on 4th / 10s on 5th / 1 min onward.

Clear shine, ruby red, burnt chestnut and oily.

Red Jujube and dried dates, sweet woody, after rain forest.

Dry sweet mushroom, dates, chinese herbal medicine, cedar wood, pale rose.

Sweet, clean, coating top of throat, oily refreshing (like Olio Nuovo), deep and tingling.

Calming, numbing to back of mouth and throat, gentle cha qi, sweet spots at top of throat, refreshing and moisturizing the tongue. Still a bit flat after the 5th. to my taste.

Besides drinking it hot in my chawan, I also lined the 'new' small cups out for a cool tasting. From 1st brew to the 6th. Most of the time, when tasting aged puerh (shu & sheng), do try drinking it cool. It's a preferred way for older pu-headed mandarins.

So next time, if you have a disappointing aged shu in your storage, try picking a right season or after heavy rain to give it another chance.


Zero the Hero said...

Great post; I can't remember the last time I saw a Shu mushroom. I read somewhere that you're supposed to drink pu-erh as hot as possible, but I've always preferred it cooled down, like most teas. Nice to hear I'm not alone!

toki said...

I know Hero, its so nice to drink them cool. That's why a puerh cup has large opening, shallower and wider shape, just to cool the brew down. T

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