1998 CNNP Youle QiaoMu
This is the last post I am going to write this year, it is for sure. The last days of the year are always strange for me. I never know what to do so I usually end up doing nothing. Today I have spent almost the whole day drinking tea, contemplating my life and everything it brought me to experience this year. I encountered many changes, new interesting people that I am grateful for, and some very good tea. I enjoyed a few very good and rare samples, one of them is this one that I actually cannot compare much to anything similar as this is by far the oldest sample of shengpu I have ever tasted. It implies that I am not very experienced with aged shengpu. I therefore really welcomed the opportunity to taste this particular cake.
I ordered the sample from Chawangshop. It is Youle and Youle has easily become one of my favourite areas. I like its bittersweet taste, changeable profile, it is never boring and as far as I can say thanks to my brand new experience, it ages nicely. As tonight is very dark (and loud) and I brewed my first cup at quite late hour, the pictures lack light. The tea however has plenty of Chinese sunshine conserved in its leaf, it is best for cold winter dark days and nights like this one.
As I do not have much experience with aged tea, I really cannot say much about its expected characteristics. I can only tell that to me, it tasted almost like some lighter excellent shu. It is rather sweet and earthy, less fruity and flowery but still sweet. It smells wonderful, like a mixture of old wet leaves and soil with all its richness and beauty. The broth is rather dark, red-brown which is perhaps not very visible from the pic above.
Drinking this tea, I enjoy the sweetness which turns into bittersweet aftertaste at the back of the tongue. I left the leaf longer than I usually do as I wanted to taste the whole potential of the tea, it reacted nicely. When steeped longer, the amount of bitterness develops and brings with a tone of bitter almond.
It is a nice experience, one that I chose today to close this bittersweet year. I actually do not have much to tell more. I would like to finish this post with a simple message: