07 February, 2014

Ancient History

I have been thoroughly spoiled by Peter of Pu-ersh.sk of late, it seems, and this session marks the end of a string of delicious examples.

5g is not a lot of tea, but with the age of this old soul in mind, it is entirely appropriate.  I am extremely grateful to Peter for the opportunity to try something so reverend.  The tiny leaves, pictured below, are very "old fashioned".

I mentioned recently that I have a small pot for those smaller samples of older tea that might arise, and this little fellow is pictured below.  His name is General Zod.

The General may be small, but he brews tea well.  This may be because he only gets older samples to brew, but such selection bias aside, I find him to be thoroughly suited-for-purpose, which is the primary goal for me when buying a pot.  The General has a particularly wide berth, as you might be able to tell from the photographs above and below: his opening is the width of his body, which makes him very sociable, and unlikely to damage the leaves.  This is important in an old tea, though of course the tiny leaves of today's sample are unaffected by the width of the opening.

General Zod also pours extremely quickly: he can eject his entire contents in a second or two, which is again a function of a pot that gets overlooked.  I don't care if a pot dribbles, or looks silly, but I do want a pot to be able to eject tea promptly.

Thanks to the small size of the fragments, even the first infusion is a plummy, purple shade.

The character of the soup is fascinating: it is smooth, but not the "old library" that I was expecting.  Instead, there is an edge that is actually rather sharp.  The scent of the second infusion reminds of the old Chinese herbs that give Xiaohu's bedroom in our house its unique aroma.  It is aged, but excellently poised between young and old.  I am most impressed by a tuocha that has noticeably extended my understanding of "old tea".

My journal records that "This tuocha is not the dusty old bookcase of a dilapidated, crumbling volume; rather, it is the sharpness of an aged textbook with sharp-yellow pages.  There is dust, but it is sharp and crisp, like those well-preserved and vivid pages in an aged textbook."

The chaqi is startling: I am buzzing, though the quantity of leaves in the pot is small.

Indeed, there is much to be discovered in this intriguing little fellow, and I am most grateful to Peter for the opportunity.


ezorro said...

Hey Hobbs, due to my fault not keeping notes about sending samples (I just started to do it), meaning I like more giving people tea than selling, I sent you this precious tea twice, you have written a blog about it, called "You had me at "Hello"". I still spared of this tea about 5 grams of dust and I think I will brew it now. I think I should not mentioned the price of this tea at all then it would change the whole idea of it, I mean once a gift is given there should not be a price tag on it.

Vovic said...

Thank Peter for the clarification. I was thinking: Fault in "The Matrix". :)

Hobbes said...

It's easy to confuse me if the wrappers carry (slightly) different names. :)