26 May, 2014

Back Once Again

I know, I know: I said that I wouldn't write about Douji any more, but rules were made to be broken. I was in the mood for some tea from one of my old stalwarts, and Big Dou happened to catch my eye. This particular sample is the 2008 Yudou [jade Douji], kindly provided by Jerry of China Chadao. (Jerry's web-site seems to be down at the moment; I hope he's still trading.)

As I mentioned in a previous post (the 2012 Yudou), the Yudou is nominally at the upper end of the Douji range of blends, before we start getting into the (now really rather expensive) range of single-mountain cakes from the same producer. In 2011, the blend for Yudou contained Mengku (Lincang diqu), Hekai (Menghai county), Mengsongshan, and Youleshan (Mengla county), where the latter three are all 'Banna regions.  This is a big old blend.

My first impression is that the leaves look really rather nice, for a company blend. When The Dou wants to make nice tea, they certainly have the capacity to do so. (Especially when it comes to tea that they will not sell.) Today, however, the prettiness of the blend seems to be at odds with the quality of the tea.

There is a heavily subjective element to pu'ercha, and tastes in general, with a significant amount of inter- and even intra-taster variance. Taken on any other day, this tea may have performed better than it did for me today - however, what I have in the cup right now is good old-fashioned plantation tea. It is as rough as the proverbial French lady's legs. The same blend from other years appealed in ways that this 2008 version do not: it is imminently forgettable, which is a shame, given my long-term affection for being Doujified. I remain thirsty.

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