05 May, 2008

2005 Six Famous Tea Mountains "Yiwu Zhengshan"

This tea was generously provided by VL. About this time last year (was it really a year ago?), we were fortunate enough to have VL and Iwii come for a tea session. We drank tea, and punted* down the river in the rain. Since that day, we have had an unspoken gentlemen's agreement not to publish photographs of one another.

Until today.

Fans of VL's blog will note from his name, musical tastes, and film-noire photography, a certain Russian flavour. This is no coincidence. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the only surviving artist's impression of VL himself...

(With apologies to Capcom's Streetfighter.)

Those huge hands make his dainty photography all the more impressive, I find.

But enough of the man, let us turn our thoughts to his tea...

2005 6FTM "Yiwu Zhengshan"

Little wee leaves (shown above) tumble out into the chahe, with a lovely loose compression. They are dark and pretty, and have a certain damp-but-quiet aroma of sweetness about them - which could easily be proto-Yiwu.

The soup (pictured below) is untainted, and comes out a straight yellow/orange - just what the doctor ordered. There are no top-notes (high, sweeter scents that evaporate rapidly) in the aroma at all, which consists almost entirely of bass-notes, a low sugary affair.

2005 6FTM "Yiwu Zhengshan"

This is a sweet, sweet tea, with lots of straw-like flavour, and shows good patience in the mouth, lasting well after the swallow to come back with a yunxiang [after-swallow aroma] of mushroom.

The body of the soup is a bit thin, but this isn't expensive tea. In VL's notes regarding this tea, he mentions that it was bought at Yunnan Sourcing, for a small sum. Plenty of actual caffeine lands straight in the forebrain and buzzes consistently. Some other factor (theanine?) lends me a calm, soothed feeling in concert with the caffeine-rush.

2005 6FTM "Yiwu Zhengshan"

The more infusions pass, the more the leaves are coaxed open, and the more I enjoy this tea.

If science and Zen have taught me anything over the years, it is that there can be absolutely no objectivity. In every observation, we must include the observer.

On other days, this tea could possibly seem average. Today, I am enjoying a warm, rainy May evening, and this tea is most welcome. I would be happy to buy a cake of this, were it still available. Thanks again to VL for a pleasant treat.

*Like a more tree-lined, less foetidly-stinky version of Venetian gondolas.


Vladimir Lukiyanov said...

Interesting, I like the picture, though I am lost for the context of where you got it from...

This 6ftm was pretty much average in my opinion, but some time ago it was really very cheap, so its kinda nice for what it is, which is why I like it. You seem to have enjoyed this as much as enjoyed the Yiwu you sent me, which incidentally I tasted today, notes to follow.

Maybe a little less than a year ago, at least so it seems to my memory.


Hobbes said...

Dear Vlad,

Cheap, but cheerful - it was definitely worth owning. It's amazing how quickly tea sells out, given that you bought it less than a year ago. I guess there's just not enough to go round. :)



Vladimir Lukiyanov said...

I would guess more than a year ago.. can't remember though.


Anonymous said...

a haa, what does the first picture mean?