Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Looking back to my tasting notes, I found that I have more than 4 different styles developed over the years (my first style). I don't know which one I prefer or my audiences prefer, perhaps it depends on the tea? The latest style was "borrow" after the modern bible of puerh tea by Mr. Tang. I like the to-the-point and in-short information format, listing all the most important elements during a tea judging process in China.
I wish to start a regular tea tasting report on more popular tea here (hopefully once a week?), so that I could build a good tasting archive, and a 'reference base' to share with other Tea Passagers.
Hmmm... what tea should I start to dedicate to the idea? A more unusual one I think, thanks to Brian for his kind gifts: A Wang Mingyi Zen Brick from zenandtea.com.
6.5g in 120 ml pot. Crab eyes boiling.
30s rinse. 1 min rest.
30s steep. 2 min rest to 2nd brew.
3 min steep and push on 3rd brew.
Overnight brew on 4th.
It's an interesting puerh. More like a red puerh than raw pu. The high oxidation process completely changed the natural flavor of a lincang. Frankly, it is something I have to get used to.... very much like another cake I had in the same process:
I think this process might be too rough on the mao cha, exhausting the essence of its natural characters thru high oxidation, making it flat, aired-out and one dimension. Hope that this is not the trend for puerh to come, the result was a easier to drink raw puerh. Down side is it changes the profile of the tea. Maybe aging could have a different outcome, adding back the complexity?.... but then what's the point?
Posted by toki at 10:11 AM
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Went to Coney Island with my wife for some hot dogs, a sudden urge coming from the blues. Perhaps the murky sky and tropical humidity play a role on my impulse? The first thing that captured by my iphone was the rapid changes of the sky. (later on, it was reported tornados touchdown in Brooklyn and 5 people were struck by lighting). A photographic moment I like to remember, as inspired by my good photographer friend Jason Fulford's work.
Sunday Afternoon, a struggle to decide which one to cut on a nice rainy afternoon.... Cigar advocates will fight to the death between these two sticks. Which one would you pick paring with a Floral drinks like a Nannuo? Big Lew's tea was finally selected to pair with the Monte 2.
Besides the Tornados touchdown, too many chili dogs, and the golf ball size rain. It was a mellow and relaxing evening to savor.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I have been aging this Yiwu open air style for 7 years in the storage/basement. Plied some out in a rainy Summer afternoon to taste. I was hoping to be rewarded, just by looking at the "fevered" color of the bing.
The brew color was considered dark for a raw 2001, but the taste was far more mellow than the other (refined storage) bings. Seems like the aroma and dry floral of a yiwu had escaped into thin air.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
A "Five Style" Yixing sets for oolong.
#1 has not been use, and #4-5 are the most popular. Can you tell the shine/patina different?
Companying the images, my second tea cast. Please enjoy my 2009 Anxi Xiping TGY.
Posted by toki at 10:20 AM
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
I've been testing a new tea pot for a couple of months now. Paring tea to tea pot is nothing more than a personal preference, a very subjective view indeed. Sometimes you like the up front notes of floral and high tones in a light Oolong, but sometimes you prefer the long lasting soft lingering aftertaste. Using a different yixing can bring out either the first or latter result.
It really depends on the mood and the weather. This is one of the newest pot I have ever owned, new in a sense that the time it took to my door steps from out of the kiln was less than 2 weeks. (as I was told by the vendor) A mere $45 dollar "test" pot if you will, my first internet vendor purchase of a yixing.... am I worried? of course!
When I first got this, I immediately reported back to the base (teachat). Under tremendous pressure from the chat room.... I then post the first set of images within 15 mins. I thought I was over the peer pressure thang back in high school.
The new pot has a sticky feel to it, a humid and moist skin quality overall. Also a very new clay/fire odor from the inside. After brush cleaned under the tap inside out, it was put into boil for 2 hrs. then cooled, rinsed and rubbed. Another 1 hr of boiling with spend tea, then another couple of hrs final boiling in water. Traditional Hong Kong vendor will put a block of raw cane sugar in the final boiling to "season" the pot. I only tried it once and it resulted a nice shine coating but this method is not my pot of tea.
The most noticeable character on this pot is the clay quality, for this price range I did not hope for anything choicest. Acquiring pots rule of thumbs to me are: 1. Craftsmanship, 2. Artistic details/concept, 3. Clay quality, and 4. Collector's value. I dont expect to get a master craftsmanship or collector value out of this one, but I do expect a good level of clay quality since this is one of the main selling points from the vendor's site.
Without disappointment, this clay delivered. I am torn between it being a Cooked Puerh or a High Fire Anxi, the clay takes away the "pondy" aroma from a cooked and softens the fire/charcoal taste from a high fired. I also tried it with a very nice Nannou raw aged for a few years, but it took away the delicate floral fragrance and made it more subdued, but calming.
One thing I learned out of this experience was, the more you age this pot, the more shine and oily it becomes, more over, the weight of the pot also gets lighter? Just like a good cigar, in this case a Maduro wrapper. You can see the similar texture and the shine from the both surface.
The more you age a cigar, the lighter it becomes, and the taste is smoother and married. Just like a glass of wine, a good aged tea and a good old yixing....
Posted by toki at 6:57 AM