OTTI Round #5 Pu-OTTI, Young Raw Pu-erh


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby AdamMY » Sep 7th, '10, 17:42

2006 Mandarin Tea Room Yiwu

I used about half the 12 gram sample so about 6 grams, and I am some what befuddled, because I quite liked this tea though I am a bit unsure exactly why.

Pros:
Great Mouth feel
Great after taste
nice sweetness, both over all and in the finish.
Being about 4 years old it was quite nice in the sense that it lost a lot of the bitterness that people will find in the Essence of Tea Cakes (not bad, just a lot younger), and its showing some signs of good tastes developing.
Great Qi.

Cons:
While certain flavors did shine through at times, for the most part it seemed a little bland.

Undecided:
The few leaves I picked up and felt, felt incredibly thin and flimsy. Not really sure if that is typical for that age, but typically young puerh leaves are quite thick and almost leathery after a few brews.


Like I said I really liked this tea, and there are more pros than cons, but the Con seems like it should be a major negative mark but some how with this tea I did not mind that much.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Drax » Sep 7th, '10, 18:55

Woo hoo! Pu here, too!

Too late in the evening to try. I will have to take a sample with me to work tomorrow and enjoy it there.

Adam, thanks for the notes! How'd you brew it?
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Proinsias » Sep 7th, '10, 19:39

Nada's bangwai first up.

All the leaf in my little black, dragon egg number from Yunnan Sourcing. I think it's about 120ml. I was going to use a gaiwan as this is a 'tasting session' but I don't want to deprive my pot of all that lovely tea. I'll stick with the same pot for all the teas and will post a pic or two of a least one of the sessions.

First impressions are it's quite tame for a brand new pu. This is the first 2010 I've had. It is rather nice. Can't really say much about the taste atm but it has a wonderful aroma that took over the room, and I could feel it right down my throat. The liquor is thick and the tea has depth, I find this rather unispiring as I drink it but the real pleasure is in the minute or two arfter drinking. It lingers. It's not got the sensory onslaught that I tend to label as 'good for aging' but it does have a kind of subtle strength and longevity. To use a sencha analogy if I frame much of the mass produced pu as fukamusi this seems more like asamushi, quiet and unassuming but with a lot of character you might miss if you're not paying attention.

I've had seven infusions so far and I think I will call it night and resume tomorrow.

more to follow tomorrow on this one.

I just got a little Jewellers loupe, apprently 30x & 60x though I'm not convinced on those figures, to keep an eye on the edges of my straight razors. It's quite nice to see the wet leaf up close. It looks like the stems have been cleanly cut as opposed to 'plucked' which I presumed was the case. Do they snip the stems from the bush?
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby laura99 » Sep 7th, '10, 19:59

My package arrived today as well! Now to pick which one to try first tomorrow.

Thanks Adam/Proinsias for your tasting notes!
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Drax » Sep 7th, '10, 20:05

Wow, I'm surprised, 9 grams in 120ml? That's twice what I would normally put in, and yet not a knock out? Hmmmmm, curiouser and curiouser....!
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Seeker » Sep 7th, '10, 20:22

My package arrived today.
I've had a sniff of each.
Manmai - inital dry aroma - the mildest of the 5.
Each of the others smell like other young pu's I've smelled - strong, almost acrid, smoky.
I've been attending the puerh training sessions for my local tea shop's staff (they happen to do the trainings when I've been coming in - so I get to be included. I'm learning a lot about puerh from the owner Winnie Yu (daughter of Chitfu Yu, artist) - she grew up with tea, and really knows her stuff. Also, Angela (prior mod for this forum) has been present.
I feel blessed to have access to such experience and knowledge, but what I'm learning is sobering relative to my puerh purchasing.
I look forward with both excitement and a bit of trepidation to tasting the young pu's.
Cheers.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Seeker » Sep 7th, '10, 22:14

Okay - 1st tasting complete. '10 Manmai from EOT.
3 steepings at rolling boil, 3s, 20s, 1m in 3oz porcelain gaiwan, ~1/3 full when leaves dry.
Here's pics:
presentation of dry leaves:
Image
just after rinse
Image
1st infusion
Image
2nd infusion
Image
3rd infusion
Image
leaves after 3rd infusion
Image
detail of leaves after 3rd infusion
Image
(that unfurled, intact leaf roughly at low-right image center is approx 1" (2.5cm) long, measuring left to right).

Tasting notes.
1st infusion - tolerable, no "chan ko" (choke throat), which is a good sign, tho I'm taught young pu's can have ck and still turn out good after proper aging. Very 'woody/stemmy' with mild hints of smokiness and tar.
(I've decided today that the intense 'smoky', stemmy, acrid aroma/flavor is akin to tar - not straight up tar, just akin; and I get it in all young shengs I've experienced so far).
Mildly bitter, tingling on back sides of tongue and back of throat.
2nd infusion - bitterness increased exponentially as did 'tar' flavors.
3rd infusion - continued increase of bitter and tar to the point of unpleasantness.
Based on leaf appearance (and recent teaching) I'm going to hazard a guess that these leaves are too small for proper aging. However, the leaf quality seems to be decent to good, ie - no debris (stems, twigs, wood, etc), and not too many broken leaves (hard to account for what happens when breaking a bing - but high quality puerh should have no debris, large leaves, and the leaves should be whole) - or so I'm taught. Sheng "Puerh" tea isn't ready for approximately 15years (if you want the benefits accorded to traditional puerh tea). Based on my recent lessons, involving the analysis of leaves, these leaves probably just won't hold up after 15 years.
Further - I do not have enough experience to gauge if the tea was processed properly, but I would hazard a wild guess that it was. 'Yunnan' has been 'teaching' consumers to drink 'puerh' tea young so that money can be made, farming of this tea can be sustained, etc - all totally understandable. But, 'false' puerh is being made - ie, green puerh, overcooked shou puerh, and worse. I personally feel that some of the green puerhs are nice - but purists turn up their noses. I personally mostly enjoy good, quality aged puerh - and it is darn hard to find.
As for the young stuff and gauging whether it will age into something wonderful or even passable? Who the f knows? I certainly don't. (and I am also taught that many, if not all, of the masters responsible for creating the great puerhs that are considered really good now are lost - either dead, killed, or relocated. Yunnan is in a process of attempting to recapture this lost art - and I am told it remains to be seen if it will be so.
All that said - Does that mean this tea won't make a nice brew somewhere down the line? I certainly don't have the experience to say.
But I wouldn't enjoy drinking it now. Yet it is kind of fun to taste it, look at it, analyze it, think about it, talk about it, debate it, and my hope is that all of this experience will edify us all.
Cheers!
ps - another note about leaf quality - seems to be lots of young, small buds - again, wrong for true age-able puerh. For the puerh we know and love, I am taught that most of the leaves should be large, not the tips.
Hmmm...
pps - another thought about the 'tips'/'buds' - also the smallness of the leaves - could indicate this is harvested from bushes, not old trees. I recently had it explained that the bushes don't produce adequate leaf size for really good age-worthy pu - you've got to have the really old trees for those leaves - and again - should be mostly the large leaves, not the tips. For further quality - there should also have been no grafting. Grafting is common with tea, but the really top quality pu's from old trees are original root stock.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby TIM » Sep 7th, '10, 22:32

1 min on the 3 rd brew is way off... The color of the brew is overcooked.
It will only turn bitter from that on just like a over brew oolong or green tea. IMO :( perhaps try a more gentle parameter? Cheers ~ T

This is a good example of how this tea should taste:
http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... n-mai.html
Last edited by TIM on Sep 7th, '10, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Chip » Sep 7th, '10, 22:52

Yes, the suggested brewing parameters are for much shorter brews according to both vendors.

I am looking at your photos, Seeker, the dry leaf photo seems to indicate lots of larger leaves, yet the wet out of cup seems to indicate a select group of smaller pieces? I am just curious since the dry leaves in your photo do not really look like the wet out of cup?

Also the seller indicates that this is from 400 year old average trees, not cultivated bushes.

I have been doing flash rinse, <10 seconds, ~10 seconds, ~10 seconds, then slowly increasing following what I am sensing going on. About 5 grams per 90-100 ml (3 ounces or so). But realllly smelling the leaves after each pour helps to let you know what is going on. Tim says to stick your nose in there, that is intoxicating. :mrgreen:
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby nickE » Sep 7th, '10, 23:00

Hmm, I've heard that buds (not tips) are great for aging as they add punch and Kuwei. I'm a big fan of Puerh that uses everything (spring buds, large leaves, stems, huangpian), adds lots of complexity IMO.

Also, Tim is right about your brewing parameters. 1min 3rd brew is just asking to get your head bitten off. :shock: :lol:
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Chip » Sep 7th, '10, 23:44

I have actually been enjoying each of these, there is a vibrant intensity that is controllable.

Tried the Yiwu tonight, started out a little smokey, but nice. Then earthy, mushroomy. By the third steep the session was evolving nicely, maturing offering some camphor.

Took a break after the 5th steep.

Following the cue from TIM, finding every which way to "sense" these sessions, smelling the dry leaf deeply, smelling the leaves in the gaiwan after each steep, smelling the fair cup after pouring. You really gotta stick your nose into these teas! :mrgreen:

I am looking at these a little differently since I would not have a clue what will or will not age well. I am looking to see what is in the here and now ... is this something I could enjoy today, in this moment? The answer is definitely yes! I will worry about aging sometime in the future ...

I will be brewing one of these up each day.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Chip » Sep 8th, '10, 00:23

OK, 7th steep of the Yiwu, got a distinct whiff of cherry pipe tobacco upon opening the lid (after pouring) of the gaiwan and quickly smelling deeply.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Seeker » Sep 8th, '10, 00:43

Thx for responses.
I wasn't sure about the EOT parameters, where are they posted? Or should I follow Tims suggestions for all?
I'll try shorter steep times.
BTW, I don't think my head got 'blown off' - I've experienced that with stronger young pu's, not this one. Essentially, the tarry character that I have found in this and virtually all 'vibrant' young pu's isn't a positive to my palate, and it is evident from the first whiff. I imagine that this and other intense characteristics are elements that would soften over many years of aging to yield beautiful complexity.
Re: the leaf size - I beg pardon for my lack of photographic skill, the dry leaf shot is on uber-macro and uber close up. The others are not as close to lens. And the leaves I chose for the wet leaf detail were representative of the avg size I think. Truth be told, I don't know what 'correct' leaf size looks like or measures in at - I'm just going on my recent experience of having brought one of my young bings in for assessment and finding out the leaves were too small, and they were just a little bit smaller than these.
Also, I believe buds and tips add character, however, aging 15 years they will be gone/disintegrated, so I imagine there should be only a small % of them in the mix?
I hope it's alright that I'm saying all this, and that I'm not offending anyone - my purpose is to share my honest thoughts, impressions, and experience and learning and see what responses come of it so that I might continue to learn.
I am an admitted novice, and I believe what I'm being taught is legit (altho deeply grounded in traditional chinese tea values).
Cheers.

Add- oh, and Finally - I have a question for Tim and EOT - were you told the leaves were from old trees or did you see in person? This kind of 'selling' occurs a lot in the tea world, or so I've read as well as been told.
BTW - i'm taught buds/tips are milder in character and will be drinkable sooner which goes to the movement popular these days out of Yunnan to be able to sell tea now (which I imagine is an economic must for survival; having to age every "vintage" for 15 years would be extremely costly--in all ways to all people on all sides of this).
This makes sense to me, does it to you?
Last edited by Seeker on Sep 8th, '10, 00:58, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Seeker » Sep 8th, '10, 00:44

Chip wrote:OK, 7th steep of the Yiwu, got a distinct whiff of cherry pipe tobacco upon opening the lid (after pouring) of the gaiwan and quickly smelling deeply.


Hmmmm...
Most intriguing.
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Re: NEW!!! OTTI Round #5 Young Raw Pu-erh

Postby Chip » Sep 8th, '10, 00:55

Seeker, here is where I posted Nada's suggestions. It is a few posts down from Tim's. Note that he in addition stated to follow Tim's.
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=13710&start=45#p168315
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