Wednesday, 15 August 2012

2005 Changtai - Yi Bang

After I defended my degree I decided to give myself a present, and what else could it be than half dozen of pueh beengs. This time I made the ordered form Red Lantern and I went for slightly older shengs, mainly form the 2005 vintage. After 3 weeks of waiting finally arrived …wait for it… the bill for the custom fee. This always rises my blood pressure since 20 % from the total price (including shipping) is not negligible. But I payed it, the package arrived and after the opening (which reminds me myself as 7 years old on Christmas eve) I did the usual fist contact ceremony: sniffing and smelling each cake a couple of times. This gives and idea about the storage. For instance I rarely buy Kunming stored puercha which is older than 2008-2007 since in that dry climate the teas age very little and makes no sense to pay the extra money. But this time the scenario was different. The 2005 cakes are dark with low and heavy fragrances, some of them with developing aged character. I picked the one which seemed to be the most aged. 

I never had tea from the Changtai brand before, but Hobbes usually writes positively about them, what can be promising. 7g of leaves goes into the zisha pot (100 ml) dedicated for those shengs which have already a bit of age. This session was done at the evening after a rather hectic day what can alter the overall impression, but nevertheless, here comes a brief review of the first trial. 
After the rinse the wet leaves show a sweet – crispy smell with a basement touch. The taste feels aged, sweet and smooth with some spiciness. The storage seems to be wetter which may be disturbing for somebody but certainly not for me. I personally prefer a bit wet than too dry. The tea also have a cooling effect on the early infusions what I usually take as a good sign. The fragrance from the aroma cup is intense on the sweet-woody side. My mother stops by and asks for a cup of tea. She also likes this sheng a lot what makes her to stay for a while to drink tea and chat with her son who happen to roam in Europe lately an such moments are becoming more and more rare.The leaves at the end of the sessions are fairly large and on the dark green - brown side. 
This sheng is a nice surprise with his full body and the developing aged character, but I miss some kuwei what would make it even more interesting. Its comfortable to drink it now and I am curious what will happen with it in the following years. Meanwhile, it goes to the drier part of the puerh cabinet.

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