Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mind blowing mid 1980s raw, unblended loose puerh

How do you learn best about tea? Reading books and blogs is a great help, as it gives us access to a lot of information and techniques. However, at the core, tea is a pleasure that is best experienced, not described. Nowadays, tasters prefer to write very detailed tasting notes that resemble wine reviews: a price or score sums up the tea. Ancient Chinese scholars, on the other hand, would often use poetry to translate their feelings. The beauty of their words still resonates with us today. But one wonders: were these literati exaggerating when they described their tea experiences in such divine terms?  As long as you haven't experienced a 'perfect' tea moment you can't really relate to these poems other than on a literary level.
One of the most hyped and mythical teas, nowadays, is raw old puerh. At auctions in China, collectors pay several times the price of gold for such leaves. While such price seems exaggerated from the standpoint of our my own finances, I had the privilege to drink such puerhs on a couple of occasions and it felt like paradise! The closest puerhs I found and put on my list are 2 puerhs around 40 years old. Their main drawback is that they are still quite pricy. With this 25 years old raw loose puerh, I'm glad that I can make a similar experience much more affordable!

This raw loose puerh was originally purchased by the Menghai Tea factory. It is an unblended and unsorted harvest from high altitude, old arbor puerh trees. The exact origin of this Mao Cha is unknown. Next, it was purchased by a Taiwanese tea seller who stored it very well, in a clean environment. 

In the 80s, puerh tea factories would usually start by sorting the leaves according to their size before blending different areas and sizes according to their own recipes. Here, we have leaves that are unsorted. This means that this loose puerh contains buds, big leaves, branches... This provides a healthy natural mix for the tea to age well.

This tea achieves excellence on the 2 characteristics that we strive at with an old puerh: the wooden old scents and the fresh, pure taste!

It is like silk on the tongue, refreshing and lively! The taste is powerful, mind blowing and never ending. The fragrances are intoxicating and complex like Cognac. Energy pure tickles my tongue and warms my whole body.

It's a tea that can be brewed to its last drop. These leaves have so much to teach about why old puerh is so sought after... but it has to be experienced...

This pavilion in the Lin Garden's Banyan Shade Pond is a wonderful spot to enjoy this puerh. The bench even lets you view the pond below your feet. It gives you a feeling of floating in the air, between water and mountain.

And higher I fly
joining the white dragons
on my cup of tea
Note: the 2 Dehua porcelain cups have '3D' dragons pressed on their exterior walls.

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