29 July, 2007

2005 Menghai V93 Shupu

A sample from DL [thanks muchly], this shupu tuocha sells for around $38 at Royal Puer - the 2005 is alleged to have won first prize in the 13th Shanghai National Tea Culture Competition in 2006. I remain skeptical about accolades from "tea competitions"!

Brita-filtered water @ 100C in 10cl shengpu pot; ~5-6g leaf; 2 rinses

Dry leaf:
Farily pretty, for the usually-homogenous shupu, being fairly large, with recognisable fragments of large leaves. The compression is unusual, being not too tight, allowing these large leaves to come apart quite easily, with minimal breakage.

This strikes me as a shupu produced with respect for the leaves, which is quite unusual (which I state as one who enjoys shupu).

7s, 12s, 18s, 25s, >60s:
A rich red-gold soup, with a decent fresh aroma. The flavour is rich, yet not overpowering. There is little in the way of huigan, but the shupu flavours are crisp, clean, and the texture is fairly smooth.

By the time of the fifth infusion, it's all over for the leaf.

Wet leaves:
Recognisable as leaves, which is a bonus, being 4-5cm in length. Many are still able to be unrolled, if seemingly a touch brittle.

A fair shupu, crisp and pleasant. The most impressive aspect is the leaf, which is clearly Menghai shupu - they have put their considerable experience to good use. It doesn't really push the boundaries, though, being mostly "decent". Perhaps a touch expensive for what there is. Time will mellow and smooth it, but there doesn't appear to be a strong enough character to make this worth buying for the long-term.


MarshalN said...

v93 is now more than just a touch expensive... it's really expensive.

While it's nice... is it really worth all the hype? And to add to the problem... the risk of fakes, which are everywhere.

Hobbes said...

£18 for a 2-year shupu is not really justifiable, I agree. It's rather a surprise that this would attract fakes - they must be easy to spot, given the fine nature of the original bing's leaves.



Anonymous said...

I love my shu and I'm not hard to please, but can only agree with both of you on this tuo. It's clean, pleasant - and that's all. The hype about a new frontier in shupu is baffling. Wouldn't something like the 7452 be more promising as a fresher-tasting shu with aging potential? Are the three of us missing something?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to sign. That was I, Rob Townshend in Australia, who made the last comment.

Hobbes said...

I've not come across the hype for this V93 - "a new wave in shupu" certainly sounds rather wacky, given the evidence!



David Lesseps said...

I am in the camp that enjoys this tea, however, I have no big plans of aging it. I'm quickly drinking up what I have and not worrying about its future.

I enjoy the sweet sarsaparilla aroma and the smooth woody flavor. I can't remember what I payed for it, but it was $15 or less. I wouldn't pay more than that.

New Wave of Shupu? Skinny ties and bi-level haircuts?

~ Phyll said...

Loved it when I tried it! Davelcorp said "rootbeer" to the smell of the wet leaves, and I was awestricken by his keen association of smell. Bull's eye...root beer it was!

Hobbes said...

I'll give it another go with "rootbeer" in mind!



P.s. I'm laughing at the thin-tied New Wave...