Thursday, May 31, 2007
2006 Banzhang Ye Sheng from Teaspring
Scent (dry): very light, earthy/woody tones
Brewed: gaiwan w/filtered water
Steeped: 10s rinse, 5s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 8s, 8s, 8s at near boiling
Cup: tasting cup
I read the other day that a friend of marshaln’s believes that bitter tea will age well. If so, the teas I have should age spectacularly, as this one is bitter too. Not quite as bitter as the other beeng, but definitely bitter and astringent throughout. Honestly, the filtered water didn’t seem to make much of a difference to my palate (the tea was actually lacking in flavor even more with the filtered water than it was the other night with the tap water).
The difference with this brew is that the bitterness seems to come and go, and the 6th to 8th infusions were much more drinkable than any of the others. A slight sweetness started coming out, and the liquor got more mellow, with a hint of pepper and that woodiness in the background that would be lovely if it only would take over the forefront. The last infusion had a fruity quality that brought out a hint of sweetness. If that is a harbinger of things to come, then I’ll look forward to tasting this tea after it’s aged further.
One other interesting thing about this tea is it actually made me a bit light headed. I tasted two teas last night, and between the two, I believe I understand now when people write about being “tea drunk”. It’s an odd feeling, not really like an alcohol high at all, but definitely more of a pleasant, light-headed “dreamy” feeling. Interesting, in any case.
I apologize for lack of pictures of the actual brew – all were very light, and none actually turned out to be “usable”. It didn’t change much throughout though…all rather thin liquors, and light golden color.
So we’ll see how this tea ages (along with the others). It’s been quite humid here lately (raining far more than usual), so once the weather dries up a bit, I’ll make a “tea box” to store them in a more constant humid environment.