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.