Today with have the sixth American Hao release of 2009 by the well known online retailer, Pu Erh Shop. I am very familiar with the great value 901 and as of this morning have also received one bing of the much more expensive 904 which impressed me as a sample.
The leaves are chock full of silvery tips. The compression is two fold with the edge already starting to crumble under finger pressure however further into the cake it is far more compact.
Aided today by my brand new pot, also from Pu Erh Shop. I haven't yet splashed out a large amount for a pot as I was quite happy my previous $40 or so purchase. I desired another pot so I've forked out a similar amount and here it is. Although the box wasn't so luxurious the pouring of this new pot is quick compared to my other pots, it's like driving a sports car after being used to a transit van!
Here we go then equipped with bamboo charcoal filtered water, my little iron kettle on my induction heater, my new pot and a simple celadon cup.
The yellow soup brings forth some bitterness and plenty of butter. Being so young there is no hiding how green it is! The soup is quite thick, young and rather feisty. Such thickness makes for an interesting throat feel and I don't have to wait too long before the huigan issues forth from the sides of my tongue then difuses itself to the roof of my mouth. The first incarnation of the huigan has interesting complexity too.
Subsequent infusions soon lose the initial burst of bitterness and a more peaceful nature is brought about. The rebellion has been quelled. All the butteriness does make it a little on the rich side and the distraction of the blog caused me to totally over brew the fifth infusion but the resulting soup wasn't undrinkable.
As time passes it becomes a little thinner and flashes of other flavours appear although somewhat fleeting. Hints of melon and cucumber come quickly and leave even quicker. I start to gag a little on all the sweetness and decide to slow down. The last moments of the session leave me with champignons and I ponder what the 904 with offer tomorrow.
As is my habit now I have a little look at the online information on this tea after making my notes to see if I come up with the same sorts of findings and I'm not a million miles away which is reassuring. It's interesting to see that the cake was pressed with bulang and yiwu leaves. Perhaps that burst of bitterness was the former making a statement but the overall impression of the tea was more of sweetness and something that I'd associate with the latter. But what do I know as according to Pu Erh Shop it's the spring yiwu that is bitter, rough and ready!
I had no idea of the cost of the bing as I had completely forgotten but upon checking, $14 seems to be rather reasonable and only the 901 comes in cheaper.
It's not the sort of tea I would want to drink everyday at the moment but as my stock pile increases I will be able to check back every now and then.