21 August, 2007

1995 Yunnan Import/Export Shupu

To the tea-tasters of the forthcoming tasting event, Gordon of Dragon Tea House has indicated that the samples are away, and winging their way to you. I am informed that these should arrive within three weeks, so don't be too concerned if they are not with you immediately.

The results of a little experiment with a 2005 Dahongpao from Houde are shown above, in which we tried following MarshalN's suggestion of using copious quantities (3/4 pot) of leaf.

We don't keep a lot of yancha in the house, but this small experiment yielded particularly pleasant results: what we both assumed would be a revoltingly bitter soup turned out to be deep, rich, and filled with nuances that had passed us by in the first tasting. I previously noted a green harshness in the finish of this tea that appeared during later infusions, but even this was removed by the "overbrewing" method.

Jolly good results made this a brewing method that we shall likely continue to employ. Do give it a go yourself, and see if your favourite yancha doesn't come out that little bit richer.

Many thanks to JMcM for the shupu brick, from the Yunnan Import/Export Co., which forms the subject of these additional notes.

"Ashbeck Mountain" @ 100C in 10cl shupu pot; ~5-8g leaf; 2 rinses

7s, 10s, 12s, 20s, 40s, 60s:
Malty and refreshing - this brick has a certain zestiness in its character that hints at a certain youth about it. Lei and I sat down with this for a warming session, wearing thick clothes and with the heating on - despite the fact that it is, nominally, summertime. Given that we had our first barbecue in the sweltering heat of March this year, one might be forgiven for thinking that the seasons have somewhat lost their way.

The brew, while thick and dark, does not overbrew, but retains a stable character until the end of the session.

Wet leaves:
Tiny and fragmented, but from a small grade, with a number of tips inside - better than the usual shupu grade.

A welcome, warming tipple on a cold evening. Thanks again to John for the kind gift.


MarshalN said...

It seems like I'm always encouraging you to use more leaves :p

Hobbes said...

Dear Lawrence,

It certainly does. I note with some degree of satisfaction that you have not influenced me to use more leaves when brewing lucha (yet)!

At least our teas don't sit around for as long, this way. ;)



MarshalN said...

I use very tiny amounts when brewing lucha, so no worries there :)

xdustinx said...

I finally tried the 3/4th leaf method with one of the Shuixians you sent me David, and it didn't make the tea any better. I blame the tea since I didn't like it much in the first place. I'm going to try it again with something better. There has a been a steady increase in leaf usage as time has gone by, and this seems like the next logical step for me.

Vladimir Lukiyanov said...

I think quality is really a must if you're going to get many infusions from this kind of tea, that and(/or to an extent) high roasting.


Steven Dodd said...

It has been swelteringly hot this past two weeks. You are on my people-who-rub-in-their-good-fortune list now :( .... :)

Hobbes said...

Dear Dustin and Vlad,

Agreed, regarding the quality aspects. Did the older of the three Shuixian have anything going for it on heavy brewing?

Dear Doddy,

At least it's hot somewhere. When I went for that last conference in Italy, I was still dressed in clothing suitable for the chilly English climate (thick rugby shirt) - it wasn't until the 'plane doors opened and I was hit by a wall of heat I realised that I was "abroad". :)

Toodlepip all,