26 July, 2009

1980s CNNP Zhongcha

The flower of youth.

Imagine, if you will, what heights could have been reached had Mozart survived long enough to complete his Requiem; what great works Van Gogh could have generated had he not died by his own hand in Auvers, France; what epic contributions to world culture could have been made had Ol' Dirty B'stard avoided accidental overdose - perhaps we could even be listening to a sequel to Return to the 36 Chambers.

Sadly, we will never know. This 1980s Zhongcha, provided by the eternal kindness of ST, has reached that period of maturity that the aforementioned artists never reached.

Duck Train
'Cause there ain't no father to his style

ST claims not to be very good with Chinese. I submit the following photograph as "Exhibit A" in the case for the prosecution, in which we can see that his handwriting is actually really superb.

1980s CNNP Zhongcha

The leaves are very small and dark - take a peek at the photograph below. We can see the tight compression that they have undergone, shown by the imprinted texture on the face.

The aroma is gentle shicang [sher-tsang = wet storehouse], as you would expect for a Hong Kong tea, which is where ST bought this cake.

1980s CNNP Zhongcha

Like an old red wine, the colour of this tea thins out towards the meniscus (pictured below). My filter is blocked after the first infusion, testament to the extreme dustiness of some old teas. When will I learn not to filter the rinse?!

1980s CNNP Zhongcha

The scent is clean, woody, and very soft - and it lasts a long time. I'm always looking for long, potent aroma and flavour. I like 'em dense, and interesting. Such are the beauties of shengpu, young or old.

Taking me rather by surprise, I am accosted by a sudden and rock-solid huigan [hwee-gan = returning character in the throat]. It leaves fine mahogany scents in the nose. Top stuff.

1980s CNNP Zhongcha

After a heavy/sociable night, this tea heals and patches me together, and soothes my stomach. To own a cake of this must be quite a privilege - many thanks, ST, for this superb encounter!


Jack Mockford said...

Looks amazing... Never thought I would read a Pu-Erh review which also mentioned ODB!

Jack :)

organic tea lover said...

Those are some great photos of pu erh tea. Have you tried a pu erh nest?

Hobbes said...

Dear Jason,

Look no further! Several on-line vendors sell little samples of good teas, which are a great way to explore the classics without devasting your bank account. :)

Dear Jack,

I think if ODB drank tea, it'd be some particularly filthy shupu.

Dear Organic Tea Lover,

Thanks for the compliment! Do you mean "tuocha", when you refer to the nests? The little bowl-like teas? If so, you bet! Particular those from Xiaguan, young or old. The shape affects the aging potential, and tuocha typically age slower than bingcha (flat cakes).