Monday, February 28, 2011

1997 Menghai 8582

This enticing stuff was part of OTTI, number 9, for 90's sheng.  I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to try this, and i'm really thankful for it. This sample was from Brandon of Teachat.  Thank you!

I did two quick rinses of this tea due to the wet storage, and it didn't actually reduce the wet taste or aroma, but it was effective in making me feel a little safer.

The Leaf


I used 3.5 grams of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan: 10s, 11s, 9s, 12s, 10s, 45s, 1 minute, 5 seconds.

The first cup started out as I've known most wet stored sheng to taste: damp.  It didn't taste bad at all, with a nice spicy sweetness and a cleaner, more focused flavor than i've come across in other semi-aged sheng.  One major difference here is that the qi was noticeable to me almost immediately.

Cups two and three were much stronger, for whatever reason (I'm no expert here, and I doubt any of us are, really). The flavors were a touch sweeter, the body was thicker, the mouthfeel now somewhat smooth with a tiny hint of roughness coming through. Dampness in these two cups were rather overwhelming at first, but calmed down after a minute sitting in the cup.  The aftertastes were mildly damp and spicy.

Cups four and five had changed drastically - which didn't surprise me.  Some wet stored pu-erh will drop off in flavor or change suddenly, at least that's what i've tasted over here in the Old South.  A little dampness accompanied by acidity, spiciness, as in coriander, and a decent woodyness.  The mouthfeel was smooth at first, but changed into a rough, harsh liquor, while the body was solidly in the middle.
Cup Four


Cups six and seven were strictly downhill.  The body of the liquor had thinned, the flavors muted.  While it didn't have the longevity or depth of a tea with less humidity in the storage, it still had very enjoyable flavors and an ok qi.

If you can find something like this, give it a shot.  Whether you love it or despise it, it's still a learning experience - and given that we will always be students of tea, I figure an extra few lessons would be a welcome thing for all of us.

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