Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby tortoise » Feb 10th, '11, 14:16

How many infusions should we expect? Once I get past infusion 1-3, do I need to lengthen the brew time? If so, by how much?

I don't have the feel for timing the steep of pu erh at all.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby shah82 » Feb 10th, '11, 14:32

A good aged tea will pretty much last forever. When you full, stuff it in the fridge for the next day.

Without long washes, it generally takes about 5-10 infusions before things get serious.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby MarshalN » Feb 10th, '11, 14:33

tortoise wrote:How many infusions should we expect? Once I get past infusion 1-3, do I need to lengthen the brew time? If so, by how much?

I don't have the feel for timing the steep of pu erh at all.


That depends on how you think it tastes -- how long are your first three infusions?

If you think it seems bland/weak, lengthen the time, otherwise, leave as it is until it seems to be getting weaker. Water should always be boiling hot.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby meatyard » Feb 10th, '11, 17:05

I am very new to Pu-erh and am unsure how well I am attempting this review or how well I am describing what I am tasting. In fact, as a more seasoned beer reviewer, I decided to use a little of that background in this. I don’t have a Yixing style pot or a gaiwan yet so I am using my Piao I glass pot which seems to work nicely.
Review Of Pu-erh packet #1: used 5 grams steeped with 3 oz. water for each cup
Started with 2 quick 1 second water flushes at 200° F

Cup #1 @ 195°F/10 seconds:
Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber
Aroma: a bit nutty & earthy
Taste: mildly earthy & musty-unimpressive
Cup #2 @193°F/15 seconds:
A slightly lighter color with an earthy, almost bread-like aroma.
Taste: still mild but beginning to get a hint of apricot.
Cup #3 @190°F/ 20 seconds
Appearance & aroma basically the same.
Taste: seems to be more open with a very slight pleasing astringency.
Cup #4 @190°F/30 seconds
Color is just a bit darker with an earthy aroma & fruit beginning.
Taste: Flavor is more open with a stone fruit, like apricot, on the tongue, a very pleasant taste on the tip of the tongue but there is still a hint of moldiness though it’s not detrimental.
Cup #5 195°F/45 seconds
The color is darker but the aroma has opened with a slight mustiness but more earthy & fruity.
Taste: The flavor is started to stand out more than before with the previously mentioned flavors more apparent on the tongue though the mustiness still lingers.
Cup #6 195°F/60 seconds Cups 6-9 changed very little
Cup #7 195°F/90 seconds though each headed a
Cup #8 195°F/ 2 minutes bit toward being a
Cup #9 197°F/ 3 minutes fuller more rounded taste.
Cup #10 185°/6 minutes Color is a bit into peachy & aroma has not changed much. The flavor is still there and has even rounded out to a fuller taste with flavor hitting all parts of the tongue.
Cup #11 195°F/6 minutes Very similar to #10, feels like this could last much longer.

Clearly, to me, the taste didn’t start to develop until the 3rd -4th cup. I enjoyed the 5th cup through the 11th the most. The size of the leaves were not apparent until the 5th cup too. I’m not sure how much I missed by not having the proper brewing pot or that I should have steeped at higher temps but it was still pretty good. I have enough of this for another round, should I be steeping at 205° or hotter?
A big thanks to Nada, Brandon and the Chips for the opportunity to learn something new.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby Seeker » Feb 10th, '11, 17:11

JRS22 wrote:We chose a packet at random and ended up with Nada's Bulang. I started with 180 degree water to minimize bitterness, and there was absolutely none. The flavor reminded us of the forest floor...

hi jrs,
Can you share whatnyour steep times were?
Thx.

Also, I'm really interested to hear how folks define "cha qi"?
I have been told by one tea master that it is simply the effect of the tea's caffiene (or theanine if you prefer).
So I'm confused.
:?
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby David R. » Feb 10th, '11, 19:08

MarshalN wrote:But yes, aged pu really starts at around infusion 5.


Well I didn't know that, but that's exactly what happened to me with the sample #1 today. It began to be interesting after the fourth brew. Next time, I'll extend the rinsing time to do as Nada suggested.

Thanks for the tips.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby tortoise » Feb 10th, '11, 22:36

thanks for the responses to my question.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby the_economist » Feb 10th, '11, 23:05

I worked through all three over the last 3 days. An extremely rewarding experience I must say! Once again a big thanks to Brandon, Nada, and Mr & Mrs. Chip!

I really enjoyed the 8582, great flavour, great evolution of flavour over the infusions, and great huigan. I liked the deep aromatic rich tastes that came through. This was my first wet-storage sheng pu and it was quite something to realize what all the shu pu I had tried before was trying to emulate. Among the shu pu that I have tried, nothing comes close.

The dry-er brick from Malaysia was also an excellent example of good dry stored pu, lively, tingly and with just a hint of bitterness as a kicker. Clearly retains the flavours of its younger days :)

The Bulang was quite the fighter. Rocky start (I wash twice and then begin drinking in earnest), with strong earthy flavours and significant bitter that goes straight to the back of the throat (this is probably from storage). This basically disappears by the 5th/6th infusion and the tea becomes tamer, and is in some respects similar to the 8582. Still, a little more 'dirty' in taste and a little more bitter on the sides of my tongue. Nice huigan emerges after the 5th infusion. Decent qi.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby nada » Feb 11th, '11, 07:55

The_econ... wrote:...bitter that goes straight to the back of the throat (this is probably from storage)... a little more bitter on the sides of my tongue... Decent qi.


This bitterness, rather than being from the storage is the remnants of a strong bitter flavour that this tea would have had when it was young. As you may know, the Bulang area is famed for its strong, bitter teas. As the tea ages, this bitterness is rounding out into a thick flavour and good huigan.
With another 5-10 years, this bitterness should completely round out.

It's interesting that you note the bitterness at the back of the throat - this is one of the characteristics of old trees. The bitterness from young plantation trees tends to be more noticeable at the front of the mouth and tip of the tongue. My feeling is that the leaves of this cakes are mixed plantation/old tree.

The strong earthy flavours come from the storage. Some may find this a little overpowering at first. Others come to appreciate and seek out these flavours. It depends a lot on your benchmarks too - a Hong Kong person's dry storage often will taste excessively wet to someone used to Kunming tea, while even a 20 year old Kunming tea won't taste aged at all to someone used to Hong Kong stored tea. I've brought tea back and forth between these 2 climates and it's often very difficult for many of the locals to appreciate each other's teas.

My aim with selecting this tea for the OTTI, despite knowing it wasn't likely to be the easiest tea for many to appreciate, was to offer something a little different from the productions from the big factories. I haven't received the samples, but the 8582 from this era is an excellent tea and a good example of a tried and tested recipe. Thanks to Brandon for his generosity in providing it. It should be a useful education and a couple of very enjoyable tea sessions for those who appreciate it.
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby tortoise » Feb 11th, '11, 11:02

I've been trying to wait for a new pot to arrive to dive in, but you guys are challenging me. If it's not here today, gaiwan it is...
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby JRS22 » Feb 11th, '11, 11:07

Seeker wrote:
JRS22 wrote:We chose a packet at random and ended up with Nada's Bulang. I started with 180 degree water to minimize bitterness, and there was absolutely none. The flavor reminded us of the forest floor...

hi jrs,
Can you share whatnyour steep times were?
Thx. :?


I used the steep times from the first OTTI and adjusted the temperature down, as noted, to 180 degrees:

flash rinse, 10s, 20s, 30s, rest, 30s, 40s, 50s

At that point the tea was going strong, so I put it in the fridge to use another day. From the comments I've seen here it's possible that the best is yet to come. Oh, and my coffee drinking partner drank the rinse water and pronounced it excellent!
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby TwoPynts » Feb 11th, '11, 11:32

JRS22 wrote:...Oh, and my coffee drinking partner drank the rinse water and pronounced it excellent!


Oh man, that's funny. :lol:
I'm thinking I might try #2 today...
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby MarshalN » Feb 11th, '11, 12:49

the_economist wrote:
I really enjoyed the 8582, great flavour, great evolution of flavour over the infusions, and great huigan. I liked the deep aromatic rich tastes that came through. This was my first wet-storage sheng pu and it was quite something to realize what all the shu pu I had tried before was trying to emulate. Among the shu pu that I have tried, nothing comes close.


That's not true -- you had my sample before you tried the 8582 :p
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby Seeker » Feb 11th, '11, 13:24

Thank you JRS!

I'm curious, what is huigan?

Still curious also about a thorough definition of 'cha qi'?

:)
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Re: Pu-OTTI 9, 90's Sheng Pu-erh

Postby MarshalN » Feb 11th, '11, 13:51

Huigan is the feeling of sweetness that comes after the initial sense of bitterness, usually in the back of your mouth. It comes sometimes with a cooling sensation.

Qi is harder to define. Loosely thought of as tea energy, I suppose, you know when you feel it -- in my case, it comes in the form of a rush of energy up my back.
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