Today is a 2007 menghai V4. This tea is a raw tea(sheng) with just a touch of oxidation on the outer leaves of the cake. It has a very light floral aroma when I opened the wrapper. I pulled off a chunk, measured 5gams and put in the gaiwan. I gave a 10 second flash rinse. First steep of about 10 seconds. Brew came out a light green, faint aroma and just a light green color. This tea has no vegetal notes that you would find in a younger tea. It is sweet, smooth and very easy to drink for a sheng. This tea left an almost honey taste in the mouth. Fruity almost a green grape taste. A very nice sheng and I will continue the session later today. 8.5/10.
For this afternoon, I pulled another cake out of my cabinet that I haven't tried in a while -- a 2007 purple leaf that Puerhshop used to sell.
The cake has a rather strong aroma; almost smoky. But the taste is extremely mellow. Almost black tea-ish, though it does have hints of bite. I've had to increase the steeping times much longer than normal to push it more. Brews are definitely in the solid orange realm, and the tea has a very slight age quality. I am feeling a good deal peppier from drinking the tea, but all in all, nothing to get too excited about at this point. I suppose I will check this one again in 4 years and see how it's doing on its 10th year...
Jingmai and Mengsong blend. Seems to work pretty darn well. Beans and grain with some herbal and slight floral tones. Nice lingering finish. I'm not familiar emough with Mengsong to detect it, but the Jingmai definitely comes though. On the second day of brewing and it is still quite tasty.
Yesterday I was on a day trip adventure with my girlfriend. Put exactly 3 leaves of old tree banzhang mao cha in a thermos and had lovely tea all day long. This tea is crazy powerful yet gentle, it can sit in hot water through multiple infusions all day and not get bitter or astringent - yet it is strong, with round smooth slippery mouth taste and long aftertaste. More than 3-4 leaves though and it's too strong for me. I got a pound of it a few years ago - at three leaves per day long brewing session it's gonna last a loooong time. I'm ok with that.
2010 Hai Wan ripe Bada cake. I have been on this one for three days now. I broke some more off for tonight’s brewing to "awaken " my taste buds. This teas brews fairly light in color on the first infusion with a small touch of metallic taste found in the Bada teas I have had. It has a raisin and brown sugar note on the middle of the tongue. Avery light touch of the “dryness” you get with Shou Cha sometimes. It has an almost vanilla carmelly note to it. I find this to be a very good offering for about $22.00. I think it will be consumed pretty quick so I think it warrants a backup considering the price. Most cakes in this price range don’t have the “punch” of this one. Well worth the price. Quick rinses and 10 second steeps increasing with each subsequent steep. I may brew a little heavy on the leaf but I usually have at least a 10 oz. cup. I got this one off Ebay the seller actually sourced this one for me.