Fu Zhuan (Mongolian Yak) tea review

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Fu Zhuan (Mongolian Yak) tea review

by omegapd » Oct 26th 08 8:57 am

Hey All,

Tried the Fu tea yesterday

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... cts_id=582

and here's my thoughts- remember now, I was looking for an "adventure" :wink:

Got the brick and looked at the packaging. It has Asian characters on the front and what looks like Arabic on the back (can someone explain that?). The first thing I noticed was what looked like a piece of used dental floss laying on top of the brick. Always nice to find surprises in things, huh?

The brick was very dry and easily crumbled. It's a mix of green, black and brown and has very large twigs imbedded in it. Not just tea leaf stalks, there's plenty of those too, but large sticks close to an inch in length.

Jim says in the description that it's fermented, but it doesn't appear to be. More like a sheng than a shu. Since I had no way of knowing how to brew this up, I tried two different ways- both "western" style with differing times and water temps. I used 6 grams of tea for my 2 cup tea pot and brewed the first batch like I would a green tea (180 degree water for 3 minutes). That infusion and the picture of the tea and Arabic writing is shown below:

Image

The second brew was also 6 grams with boiling water and a 6 minute infusion. Surprisingly, it wasn't a whole lot darker than the first. That infusion and the spent leaves are here:

Image

In the spent leaves, there are NO whole tea leaves, just tiny pieces of leaf along with the sticks and stems. It actually looks like a plate of collard greens to me.

Now, to the good stuff: Both infusions were much better than I expected. I think the lower water temperature is the way to brew it, though. Both brews were very mild in flavor and aroma, with almost no bitterness but a touch of that "buttery" taste that can be found in some teas. The longer/hotter infusion actually took on a slightly salty taste that I didn't find in the first infusion. Both infusions became noticeably sweet after they had cooled to room temperature and my kid (who tries all my teas) said he wanted us to make up some sweet iced tea with it and it passed his test at least. I'll wait on some more aging and see what happens, but right now it's typical (overall) of the inexpensive young sheng I've tried- at least compared to the shu that I usually drink.

It was a fun purchase, but not something I'd ever order again. This brick will last me several several years...

EW

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by rodstnmn » Oct 26th 08 12:10 pm

I was eyeing this tea up not too long ago. Thanks for the great review.

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by hop_goblin » Oct 26th 08 2:58 pm

Man, that is some rough looking stuff! I some how imagine it smelling like lawn clipping that are starting to composte. Nice color though. Thanks for the review

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Arabic characters?

by Jim Liu » Oct 26th 08 3:12 pm

Those you called Arabic characters are actually Mongolian language. Referring to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_language.

It is definitely 'ripen', but it can be considered as light fermented or you would never get that kind of color from your brewing.

Have you tried it after a BBQ or steak meal?

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Re: Arabic characters?

by omegapd » Oct 26th 08 3:25 pm

puerhshop wrote:Those you called Arabic characters are actually Mongolian language. Referring to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_language.

It is definitely 'ripen', but it can be considered as light fermented or you would never get that kind of color from your brewing.

Have you tried it after a BBQ or steak meal?
Jim,

I was sure glad you replied. I had no idea what language was written on the package, and honestly didn't know what the Mongols actually spoke, so thank you for clearing that up. You're right- I can see now how the tea could be lightly fermented by the color alone- I just did not "taste" it as fermented. As to the BBQ meal, I did have it with a hearty breakfast of eggs, grits, and corned beef hash. Maybe the hash qualifies as a meaty meal. Thank you for offering something as unique as this to try- even though it wasn't exactly for my tastes, I appreciate the opportunity to get something like this in the U.S.

Eric

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by shogun89 » Oct 26th 08 3:29 pm

very interesting! Thanks for the review. Cant decide whether to get one or not. ???

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by omegapd » Oct 26th 08 3:37 pm

shogun89 wrote:very interesting! Thanks for the review. Cant decide whether to get one or not. ???
It's only 6 bucks...go ahead. :lol: I'm not really the right person to review something like this. I like deep, dark, muddy shu and that's what I was hoping this would turn out to be. When it brewed a light, mild, sheng-like cup it sort of messed me up. :wink:

EW

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by shogun89 » Oct 26th 08 3:56 pm

omegapd wrote:
shogun89 wrote:very interesting! Thanks for the review. Cant decide whether to get one or not. ???
It's only 6 bucks...go ahead. :lol: I'm not really the right person to review something like this. I like deep, dark, muddy shu and that's what I was hoping this would turn out to be. When it brewed a light, mild, sheng-like cup it sort of messed me up. :wink:

EW
The price is defiantly the one thing that is pushing me over to get it. I mean even if its no good now, I'll save it for 50 years then try it again, or sell it. Its been added to my list.

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by edkrueger » Oct 26th 08 4:17 pm

I did some more research on Mongolian script. It originated in Turkestan and Kazakhstan. A imprisoned scribe was made to create a written Mongolian language.

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by gingkoseto » Oct 26th 08 5:36 pm

Nice review!
I gave a friend something almost exactly like this and now I am somewhat convinced that I didn't give him something that is not good :P

My Tibetan friend treated me with this kind of tea brick for several times. Every time he simply boil some milk and put shredded part of the brick in the milk. He made the shredded tea leaves very small and even drink in the leaves with milk. I wouldn't though :P He did mention that at home they used more authentic diary product to make this kind of tea. His wife, who is not Tibetan, told me she didn't like the authentic stuff but this milk with tea leaves was ok for her. I guess, probably the authentic stuff contained some beef oil or goat oil that mimics flavor of stinky goat cheese - but that's just my imagination :P

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by wyardley » Oct 26th 08 5:44 pm

gingko wrote:My Tibetan friend treated me with this kind of tea brick for several times. Every time he simply boil some milk and put shredded part of the brick in the milk. He made the shredded tea leaves very small and even drink in the leaves with milk. I wouldn't though :P He did mention that at home they used more authentic diary product to make this kind of tea. His wife, who is not Tibetan, told me she didn't like the authentic stuff but this milk with tea leaves was ok for her. I guess, probably the authentic stuff contained some beef oil or goat oil that mimics flavor of stinky goat cheese - but that's just my imagination :P
I think they use yak butter and salt, at least in some cases.

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by tenuki » Oct 26th 08 5:56 pm

wyardley wrote:
gingko wrote: I guess, probably the authentic stuff contained some beef oil or goat oil that mimics flavor of stinky goat cheese - but that's just my imagination :P
I think they use yak butter and salt, at least in some cases.
I heard they use spoiled/rancid yak butter. :shock:

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by Salsero » Oct 26th 08 6:04 pm

Great review and comments. I'm surprised to learn that it is so lightly fermented.

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by nada » Oct 26th 08 6:18 pm

tenuki wrote: I heard they use spoiled/rancid yak butter. :shock:
They do indeed, also salt.

I once stayed for a few days in a Tibetan monastery in India where one night, refusing our polite declinations, our hosts would pour us cups of this tea and, unable to physically drink it, we'd covertly pour them away into a nearby flowerbed only to have them refreshed each time our hosts returned.

I still have some tightening of my stomach at the recollection of that tea :?

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by shogun89 » Oct 26th 08 6:42 pm

omegapd:
Didnt you also buy this brick? http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... cts_id=596 If so, What were your thoughts?