Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I picked up Xiaguan's 2008 '8100' bing a month or so back from YSLLC because I really want to try as many of the '08 cakes as possible. I want to find my niche and be able to say for sure what I like, what I don't like, and be able to say why. This is one of those cakes that helps me make that clarification.
This has small leaves that don't really smell that fantastic yet. Maybe someday they will, but for now...it just isn't doing it for me. I've tasted this a couple of times, but haven't had much success with this thus far. The flavour didn't seem to carry, chaqi was weak, and it didn't last more than four, maybe five infusions. Maybe tonight I'll prove myself wrong.
The rinse smelled like wet earth after a drunken night around a bonfire cut short by rain. The first infusion is kind of bitter. Quite bitter, in fact. Not the good kind of bitter. I choke it down and hope that maybe it just needed a second rinse. Much to my dismay, the liquor is a little darker on the second infusion and the taste is actually more bitter. We'll go another round. Third time a charm? Not in this case. It's darker still and that kind of scares me a little bit. Three second infusions for all three of them and this one, albeit a bit less, is still quite bitter.
Either one of two things is happening:
1) My tastebuds are finally starting to become particular when it comes to pu-erh. I'm finding things that I really enjoy as well as things that I simply detest.
2) This pu-erh is flat out way too young for me to be drinking.
Actually, if I had to put money on it, there'd be a third option:
Obviously, I cannot rule out that it could be both, and very likely is. There is absolutely nothing exciting about this tea in it's larva stage. I may as well ice it down, add some sugar, and drink it through a straw while I'm at it. There's no telling what my thoughts will be the next time I sample this, but I can say for sure it won't be before my daughter says "I love you Daddy" for the first time.
If infusion #4 isn't any better, I'm going to brew up some jasmine white peony and call it a night.
#4... I quit.
I even tried removing some of the leaves. It helped, but not enough to merit retracting my former statement. Right now, my cups sit like this: