12 March, 2009

2008 Bamboo-Wrapped Youle

I remember one of the first tea vendors we ever met (who subsequently made a fair amount of money out of our ignorance of tea at the time) was a chap in Chengdu. Though I've forgiven him his excessive price-gouging, which in all fairness was the fault of my own ignorance to fall for it, I still recall one thing he told Lei and me. "You drink shupu in winter, and shengpu in summer. If you drink shengpu in winter, people will think you don't know anything."

Though he might have a point buried beneath the hyperbole, given that shengpu is "cold", I'm happy to drink shengpu all year, in moderation. It's more about personal balance than seasons, though seasons have an effect on my physiology. So, with that said, let's turn up the kettle...


Winter at Home


This maocha was kindly provided by RJo'C, who obtained it from Nadacha. A large portion of this tea costs about as much as a loaf of bread, and so isn't really something that I should overanalyse.


2008 Bamboo-Wrapped Youle


For something so low in price, it looks very appealing. I don't remember finding anything like as good for the price during my last round in Maliandao, but Nada's bargaining skills are, in all likelihood, better than mine. At least, I hope they are, because if they're worse than mine, he's in the wrong business!

My friend BR was amused when I got my Chinese numbers muddled in the Maliandao Chayuan and actually bartered the price of a celadon teaset that he wanted to buy up from its original price.


2008 Bamboo-Wrapped Youle


It's a yellow beast, as one would hope from maocha. It is fruity and sweet, if a little "brown" in flavour (referring to that "browning" effect on flavour that occurs if one were to leave something out in the air for too long).


2008 Bamboo-Wrapped Youle


Simple and energetic, if forgettable - but for the price of a loaf of bread, who's counting? It packs quite a punch, and I imagine that I'd keep it in my office for an undemanding morning pick-me-up if I had this in any quantity.



Winter at Home

9 comments:

Nerval said...

I too was surprised by how good this is for the price.
I wonder what price increment one could hope for, by simply pressing the very same leaves and wrapping them in cotton paper with a random image.
There is a lot of better tea in any tea drinker's cupboard but I've been happy to use to educate friends, season or compare teapots.
Best, Nerval

Hobbes said...

What a clever idea - tea as a benchmark for comparisons of pots, waters, kettles, etc. Another use for my "daily" teas - thank you for the suggestion!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Nerval said...

One more thing:
are you allowed to call this maocha if pressed into a bulb-shape like here? Shouldn't maocha be plain loose?

Hobbes said...

Wellll - I usually call it "maocha" if it hasn't been through the steam/compression/dry cycle. Who knows, with this one!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

eileen said...

With your beautiful photo, you've cleverly disproved the old adage — "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
And many thanks for the tea notes. Although much of it is way over my head, I appreciate the chance to learn with each of your posts.

Hobbes said...

Dear Eileen,

Birds look pretty, but they're nervous, scratchy things - better to leave them in the bush. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

eileen said...

I've examined the last image more closely. Is that a barn swallow's nest? Here in Arkansas, we have similar birds in shape but the color is darker. The nest is similar but the swallows don't over-winter here although our winter is very mild compared to yours.

Hobbes said...

Dear Eileen,

Adorable though it looks from afar, it is, in fact, just a plastic nest. It was put there by the previous owner of the house, and I haven't yet tidied it away. :)

I suspect your swallows are significantly more active!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

eileen said...

I suspected but thought better of you. (Just kidding. But wrens love plastic nests if there's room.)