28 Jan 2016

Tea Tasting: 1990 Blue Zhong Sheng Puerh

Welcome to this tea blog attempt.
I believe it's best to come to the point with this right away.
I might write something more general and introductory at some point belatedly.

So this is one fascinating older raw Puerh tea. My merchant sold it fragment-wise, thus I couldn't get my hands on the whole bing. The chunks are yet very solid, it still feels like a bing when preparing it.

When I first tried it, the tea came just out of the packet. Not what I would call the best circumstances for such a tea. I tried it anyway. It came off considerably bitter with the first three infusions, with an almost offensive mouthfeel and seemingly more solubles in the cup than water. Much like an overextracted espresso. But in this chaos, I sensed massive potential standing by in the background. And infact, the leaves then started to slowly provide an inside into their actual skill. There came red grapes with pumpkin flavours, and this sweetness stayed long on my longing palate. Overall, not really a good experience, but it felt powerful nonetheless.
Hence, I was looking forward to tasting it again after some proper humid storing in my new-built "pumidor" (i.e. Puerh sort-of-humidor).

And it was worth the wait. The difference it made was an indisputable demonstration of how important good Puerh storing really is.

This time, the tea took me on a journey.

Smelling the dry leaves, I was reminded of red wine. Very promising. After a rinse, I started with some flash infusions. No bad espresso anymore. The bitterness had transformed into a nice walnutty taste, already combined with some sweetness. Somewhere around apricot, a very fresh, not overwhelming sweetness. Then my imagination was fanned. The amber coloured brew sent me to the roof terrace of my father's small inherited hillside apartment in southern Switzerland my family use to stay at in summer. I felt the hot stone floortiles, rich mediterranean vegetation around me, and a cup of Earl Grey with some vegan teatime sweets we finally managed to find in the store. Later, the red wine grape aromas appeared again. Great composition, if you may say this, since it's only one ingredient.

I strongly recommend to store your Puerhs with enough warmth and humidity. It makes them magical!

Thanks for reading!

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