Thursday, October 13, 2005

Geraldo on a Yi Wu Wild Puerh Qizi Beengcha

[from an email to corax. posted by permission.]

Yi Wu Wild Puerh Qizi Beengcha [sheng 2003; Factory: undeclared.] 5 grams in the sample package. Dry leaf: green range. Largish leaf. 5-oz glass gaiwan. Water: just off boiling. One quick rinse. 3 min rest. 15s, 10s, 35s, 2 mins

1st infusion: Liquor typical color range for YiWu of this vintage: yellow-orange. This first infusion is very sweet! Very little flavor to remark. Very mild aroma.

2nd infusion: Predominant flavor is still sugar. Little pu’er character. No fruit, no spice. High range, but no tang and no pungency. I should have used far less water for these five grams of tea—maybe as little a 2.5 ounces.

3rd infusion: Hotter water, much longer steeping. I cannot make it strong. There are many people who would like this tea since it has a very clean taste, but I have developed a liking for pu’er that has authority and lively flavor. I am accustomed to pu’er that carries some strength through the parameters as outlined above. Perhaps I should have brewed it differently. I knock. Nobody answers.

4th infusion: Steeped much, much longer. There is more fruit, more tag, more authority now. Small samples are very difficult to judge, maddeningly so. I would love to re-visit this pu’er and change my parameters completely. This tea does have an excellent aftertaste, almost like a very good green tea.

OVERVIEW: Tasting these teas from Stephane and Danny has been a great experience for me, and I am extremely grateful, greatly grateful! The experience reaffirms that taste is a matter of taste, and the experience is in the taster. I can never say that one tea is great and another tea is bad. I believe teas have missions, and I try to think of what a tea is trying to accomplish. Also, my tastes develop over time from all of the pu’er I’ve had, and my criteria of evaluation grow from that experience. As an example, I do not care for opera, but I cannot say it is bad, for that would make me look foolish. I can say that opera is not to my taste. Further, my ability to taste changes day by day. Finally, I have much to learn. That, of course, is the best part of the equation.

1 comment:

Stephane said...

Just a coment on the brewing times. I had given this advice:
"I recommend that you use fewer leaves than what you usually use when making puer. They are quite concentrated. And use very hot water that has just boiled. They can stand the heat. (Maybe Warren will even simmer them!?) As for the infusion time, adjust it to match your taste: if it's too light, brew longer, and if it's too strong, brew shorter next time."

I should have added that they can not only stand the heat, but also long infusions (i'm talking 2-5 minutes!), as I see that your 4th was the richest. And also that this one can be brewed much more than 4 times (a good number for most oolongs, but pu ers can last much longer)

Well, it's interesting to see how Geraldo brewed it. I see emphasizing the long and hot brewing is very important with such tea. However, concentration remains a personal taste thing and should only be a guideline.