1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.


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1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby futurebird » Feb 18th, '13, 03:36

I've been excited to find out if this business about drinking old tea is hype or not. On my trip to flushing I got two teas. The first and recent cooked puerh didn't work out so well, and per the advice of a few here, I have placed it in a safe no order-infested spot to "air out" a bit. Someday maybe it will be good.

But, with that fishy tea aside I was free to move on to the slightly more expensive Wu Yi Spring Tip from "Fang's Gourmet" --It was one of three teas I tried at the tasting and I decided that I wanted to take an "old" tea home so that I could sit and really get to know it.

The tea is loose and I could only afford a small amount. It has almost no smell dry, though you can get a faint whiff of oak library shelves if you inhale deeply. It's a very nostalgic evocative smell. My husband says it smells like the rafters of a quiet attic in winter.

I brewed it with hot water in a gaiwan. There seems to be no end to the infusions! The flavor is smooth and just a bit sweet. It's a flavor that has grown on me. Very hard to stop drinking it. Each infusion is a bit different. The woody aspect is the first to go, replaced by something sweeter but softer. Then the more earthy aspect fades and it's just soft and smooth.

I like it a lot. I can see why this stuff excites people so much now.

I want to try something of medium age next, maybe only 10 years old.

In this 86 tea all of the greenness that might have once been there is long gone. I wonder if I can find a tea that is "one the brink" -- still green but with all of the complexity evolving.

I also wonder about a tea like this one with such small leaves, It looks like black tea. Is that a bad sign? What impact would it have on the quality?

In the future I'll do photos with the review. Once I get a better surface to work on. :wink:
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby brandon » Feb 18th, '13, 06:44

Some thoughts on the notes. The name actually references Yi Wu appellation in Yunnan. Probability tells us that puer from this period is rarely single region, or labeled as such. The packaging at the time is so generic that it is a special science just to decode anything at all. On the plus side, it tastes like a cooked puer from the 80s. Not the fishy cooked pu from Chinatown made in the mid 00s, this was a more delicate process. The tiny buds are from early spring and are sweeter tasting than woody, big leaves. Most teas at the time were blending different size leaves to make an overall taste and texture. You might find that by comparison this one is a little thin and lacking in deeper tastes. In all, probably a very good example of how a cooked puer can be pretty nice - although, this kind of thing is much rarer than the garum-style we all end up tossing out at some point. If you stick to Menghai Dayi brand (please don't be misled by "Menghai tea company" on the wrapper, there are dozens of these) with about 5 years after the production date, you can mostly avoid this. But even small leaf cooked pu will not compare to the tea mentioned above.

Thanks for your review!
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby futurebird » Feb 18th, '13, 10:02

The shop said that it was not cooked.

What makes you think that it was? Maybe the shop is wrong? (they seemed to be very legit, though)

I didn't think that cooked puerhs really changed much over time. But I don't know this from experience.
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby MarshalN » Feb 18th, '13, 10:41

You said "Wu Yi Spring Tip" in your first post - is it Wu Yi or Yi Wu?
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby gasninja » Feb 18th, '13, 10:50

It could be the same Yi Wu spring tips Sunsing sells.
Last edited by gasninja on Feb 18th, '13, 10:57, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby brandon » Feb 18th, '13, 10:52

Someone else told me it was cooked. It tasted lightly cooked to me at the time. I suppose if it is the Sunsing batch, we are both incorrect. This seems likely.
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby futurebird » Feb 18th, '13, 12:24

MarshalN wrote:You said "Wu Yi Spring Tip" in your first post - is it Wu Yi or Yi Wu?



It's "易武春尖" that's what it says on the tin. It might be cooked. I don't know, I'm sort of illiterate here. This is my first old puerh, maybe I misunderstood the tea shop woman (who was really helpful, but a little confusing.)

I don't think it tastes cooked, but there is no green at all so it's possible. And I'm not that expereinced.

That said, I'm still confused about the concept of "aged cooked puerh" I thought there was little point in aging the cooked stuff very much... though my recent experience with a fishy cooked puerh has me hoping that one can age away the fish-taste found in some recent cooked puerhs.

I'm drinking it again today. I can't get enough of this tea. I hope my next tea comes in the mail before I use it all up!

It seems like a crazy thing to say, but I feel like this tea takes be back in time. Something nostalgic, and I don't know... emotional... about it. (weird right?) It's hard to explain. It's like the smell is connected to all of these pleasent things, like quiet days in the attic reading, being lost in a library on a snowy day, an old forest in winter. The smell of the place where the roots of the tree grip the earth. And drinking it takes me to these places in a way. Maybe that's why not everyone like puerh, not everyone would think those memories are nice.

Cooked or not I love it, will buy more... unless I find something less expensive.
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby futurebird » Feb 18th, '13, 12:25

brandon wrote:Someone else told me it was cooked. It tasted lightly cooked to me at the time. I suppose if it is the Sunsing batch, we are both incorrect. This seems likely.


Why is that?
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Re: 1986 易武春尖 (Wu Yi Spring Tip) First "old" puerh.

Postby brandon » Feb 18th, '13, 13:02

1986 Yiwu Spring Tip is just exceedingly specific that I think it is likely to be the same tea. My point above is that aging cooked puer that is 20-30 years old now is different from aging cooked puer now, because they are not really the same at the outset. I guess I will pejoratively call it cooking vs burning, a lot of today's cakes do not have much aging potential. It probably isn't even a big difference between light cooking and traditional Hong Kong storage over such a long time and such tender leaves.

http://www.banateacompany.com/pages/pue ... Scent.html

Is an example of what I'm talking about.
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