19 Apr 2016

Tea Tasting: 2006 Nian Da Lan Ying Sheng Pu Erh

I had no time for any blog writing recently, so this tasting comes a week belated. I had a terrible headache that day due to a weather high I'd usually state not being vulnerable to. Nevertheless, it left me seeing about what kind of tea would work as the best refresher, preferably with some caffeine kick too. I chose my 2006 raw Nian Da Lan Ying I hadn't tasted for a while.

I take it out of the pumidor, curious about its recent development. There is plenty of loose leaf material on the "open" edge of the cake and lying in the wrapper. I collect all of it except for the super broken pieces. So, the stuff I got there looks quite fine. Let's try it.

I arrange a dark toned Chaxi to fit both the dark tea and the new teapot I baptise with it. It's a stoneware overhead-handle pot handmade by Warsaw potter Andrzej Bero. It somehow resembles a Dobin, but has a taller shape and the copper handle is a really unique design plus. The position of the spout forbids me to fill it to the top and let the water overflow as you would with a Yixing pot, especially to get rid of Pu Erh broken pieces. I pair it with light celadon cups from Stéphane Erler's shop. They're so light toned you can barely see it on the picture I'm afraid. I also added my very first living Chaxi decoration of all time: A small maple scion I accidentally picked up with a handful of soil I planned to plant an onion in. Now it's got an old milk pitcher as a new home.

I preheat the pot and do a quick rinse with the leaves. It turns out that this windfall is surprisingly un-dusty! I don't get out any relevant fannings, and the rinse liquor is already really clear. I smell apple and vegetal notes with much energy waiting to be tasted.

Next infusion. Of course I do a short one, no Pu Erh ever needs long infusions. The liquor is sort of copper / forest honey orange. Very colourful as you'd expect from 10 years of experience in being a tea cake. It's not bitter at all. Right amount of astringency. I get some walnut impressions and apple again. All the infusions give me very much energy indeed. The aftertaste stays long and reminds me of peppermint. I keep the leaves for the next day and do another handful of infusions which still work perfectly. I honestly never managed to get to the last possible infusion of a Pu Erh, they're just too persistent.

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment