How terribly exciting, I thought to myself - a 1998 Zhongcha tuocha available for $58 at Tearoma. Following my previous two 8582-related disappointments from this merchant, perhaps the prospect of a lovely old tuocha might improve things.
Alarm bells, now all-too-familiar, begin to sound when I open the sample-bag: small, densely compacted leaves that are bright red and have the reassuring aroma of... shupu.
Sigh. My own naivety is to blame for not knowing that this tuocha is, in fact, a shupu. I comment to the (ever-friendly) Tearoma correspondent, who then helpfully adds the label "Shupuer" to the product description.
I enjoy shupu, but it's always much the same, within certain bounds. It has to be a good blend and process, and Menghai are the safest bet. Then, the effects of aging can mellow and smooth it somewhat, but the result is alwayus... shupu.
As shupu goes, this is a very decent example. It is smooth, sweet, and, as you might be able to see in the above photograph, it is pretty and appealing.
"Quite pleasant", observes my mother, who is visiting, and whom usually finds Yunnan tea to be unenjoyable.
And there we have it. A pleasant shupu, so inoffensive that my mother could tolerate it. With such a lofty recommendation, I look to my tea-shelves for some shengpu with which to finish the day...