Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Beginning of the Southern Heat

The heat is back.

The Southern Heat, as I call it, is that swelteringly humid blast furnace that rises with the sun, and may or may not end with a thunderstorm.  It is humid, and the wind scarcely blows unless one is near one of our major lakes or further north.  This is the heat that helps car engines blow up and starts fires, it is the heat that harms the weak, elderly, and unsuspecting.  It is that kind of heat.
Even indoors, through walls and intense Air Conditioning, the essence of the heat still pours through, leaving us behind with nausea or headaches from the excessive ozone being produced.  It's a wonder that most of us bother to put up with it.

Coming back indoors, we have tea.  Lots of it - an entire wall full of wuyi yancha, anxi oolong, green tea, and various and sundry pu-erhs.  Today was a sample from Pu-erh shop: the Meiguo Hao 0907.

Blended from Nannuo and Bulang leaves, the greenish young leaves emit a youthful aroma, with plenty of brightness.

I empty 4 grams of tea into a 100ml gaiwan, and brew as follows: 10s, 4s, 7s, 8s, 10s

The first infusion had hints of leaf from older bushes or trees, with a soft and creamy mouthfeel and medium light herbal-grassy notes.  It had some instances of a pu-erh like flavor, but for the most part it resembled a green tea.  The finish was mild and spicy, and it finishes rough from the plantation leaf, which I had expected.

Cups two and three were the strong cups, where the flavor really came through.  Herbal notes were still present, but they were muted, as if someone was able to mix the smoothness of vanilla ice cream in with it without actually adding vanilla.  Bitterness was present in both cups, with a sourness appearing in the third cup.  Both teas finished with a rough mouthfeel, but both also had a pleasant pineapple-mango flavor in the aftertaste.  Little did I know that this tea was already on it's way out!

Cups four and five were much like a young menghai sheng cake in it's later infusions.  Notes of mushrooms, hay, and a gentle leather would fade in and out with bitter undertones remaining constant with each sip.  By cup five, there was no sweetness to speak of, just a little spice and some blandless with an extremely watery body and rough mouthfeel. 

Overall, this tea was just average.  It has some decently strong flavors and an okay mouthfeel at times, but I feel that it's nothing too special.  Thanks for reading, and stay 'tuned' as I will have more posts following during the next week.

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