27 October, 2009

2006 Agu Laoshu

I like to seek out the odd stuff. Cakes from small productions, cakes from friends - interesting curios. This cake is selling at Yunnan Sourcing for $40, and has a superbly humble wrapper:

2006 Agu Laoshu
"A Gu Lao Shu Cha"

The production description reads that Aguzhai [Agu Small-Village] is in the Bulang range, and that this cake has been aging for the past three years in Jinghong, the capital of Xishuangbanna. I could find no information concerning its producer.

It always pays to have several sessions with a cake. Time and time again, I have been overjoyed during the first session, only to become slightly less impressed in subsequent sessions - this was particularly true for my time with the Agu Laoshu.

2006 Agu Laoshu

Take a look at the chunk above: the leaves are small and thin. They have a strong, sweet aroma that bodes well. The claim is that they were picked from 200-year-old trees.

2006 Agu Laoshu

During the first session with this tea, I was impressed.  I found that it had a heavy flavour of sweet leather, which swelled swiftly into a long huigan. It had a good, clear tone of kuwei [pleasant bitter-taste], which supported the huigan. It was pleasantly chunky, thick, and particularly caffeinated. The whole affair was clean, well-defined, and potent.

2006 Agu Laoshu

In the second session with this tea, I was less impressed. It didn't stand out as being the obviously delicious cake that it had first appeared, and had traces of maltiness, with red-edged leaves.

I am left inconclusive; whereas I originally considered putting in a rush order to Yunnan Sourcing, having been thoroughly charmed, I now am considering tacking on a single cake to the end of my next order.  Tastes are fickle.

Perhaps I need a third session to arbitrate.

2006 Agu Laoshu
I was initially very impressed by this production


Anonymous said...

hey, did anyone say fatman? o.O

Hobbes said...

"Comfortably robust"

Anonymous said...

Send me the stuff, because I love that maltiness. Sorry that it disappoints you to have it come out like that. --Spirituality of Tea

Maitre_Tea said...

Like you, I was quite enamored by my sample in the initial tasting, and my second time was atrocious...it had some that maltiness you mention, as well as some weird mouthfeel that's not thick enough for my taste.

I was going to confine this to the "do not buy" pile, except for your posting, which encouraged me to go for a third session, which only confirmed this cake's mediocrity in my eyes. I even used more leaf and longer steeping time during my third go-around with this, and it still didn't perform. It tastes inoffensive, but I found it to be a bland affair. I hope your third attempt will reconcile your feelings about this sample, which ever way it might lean

Maitre_Tea said...

And I spoke too soon...the tea begins to open up a bit after the 4th infusion...it tastes/feels okay but not great. I'm not sure if I want a tea in which I need to wait for 4-5 infusions before we get to the good part. Time is money, and there are other cakes waiting in line

Hobbes said...

Despite its limited charms, I'm tempted to get a single cake - there's something appealing about it that I just can't place. Perhaps it is but a mere residual from the first, complimentary tasting, but there you have it.



Unknown said...

I've put this one on my "to buy list", but will try the sample first. I too loved the wrapper - it made me think that this one MUST be all about tea. Yes, I'm naiv... Trust your feeling, Hobbes - that is if your budgetary committee approves.

Hobbes said...

Maybe in my next order :)

Anonymous said...

Comfortably robust?? hahaha. Great one.


eda said...