30 July 2008

2001 CNNP Yiwu Zhengshan

2001 CNNP Yiwu Zhengshan Old Tree Cake - dry leaf

Jim has a handful of adolescent young pu'er teas on offer, and this is one of them. Like the keyixing, whoever stored this tea kept the storage very dry. The leaves carry only the suggestion of brown. After 7 years, and the tea brews up the color of fresh tea.

The tea smells like the Tong Xing Hao cake I reviewed before, but more biscuity. It's not bitter unless overbrewed...prosaic the whole way round, really. Strong flavors, some sensation on the hard palate, some floral flavors.

2001 CNNP Yiwu Zhengshan Old Tree Cake - brew

I brewed the tea over the course of two days; it weathers multiple steeps very well, and doesn't seem to die. Admirable. Nice leaf quality, as pictured below, again with very few bud tips. I'm noticing this pattern amongst teas labeled "Yiwu"...

2001 CNNP Yiwu Zhengshan Old Tree Cake - leaves in gaiwan

7 comments:

Lewis said...

[...]again with very few bud tips. I'm noticing this pattern amongst teas labeled "Yiwu"...

I wonder what the farmers might be doing with their Yiwu buds - making tippy Dian Hong? (Please note, no snark here, just following up your observation.)

Salsero said...

Do Dian Hong and Pu come from the same varietal? Or is Lewis making a little joke?

Salsero said...

Oops, sorry to double comment, but I just reviewed my own notes on this tea which corroborate yours. But I was wondering about this tea as well as Jim's 1998 Lincang Jia Ji Yinhao Tuocha (another tea that doesn't taste it's age): do you think that a dry stored tea like these has the potential to pick up speed dramatically once placed in a more humid environment, sort of enter a fast lane? The idea being that perhaps by, say, the 15-year mark it may have nearly caught up with a hypothetical twin that had been aged with more humidity. Or would the more humid environment only get it finally started down a road that it had not yet traveled, only to arrive at the hypothetical 15-year mark in year 23 or 25. Or worse, could 8 years or 10 years of dry storage just kill off the vital organisms and processes that make a properly stored tea age in the first place, essentially leaving a dead or at least debilitated bing?

Of course, I suspect the answer to my question is going to be one of those divinely inspired shrugs of the shoulders.

Jason Fasi said...

Lewis: Haven't a clue. Maybe it's not so absence of tips as it is the presence of lower bud flags altering the tips:flags ratio in the cake. Will investigate more as I brew.

Salsero: The jury's out on what does the bulk of pu'er aging. Most agree oxygen and moisture simply break down the cell walls over time, releasing materials that then feed germs and fungi that inhabit the tea. I suspect that lack of moisture does not kill off all of these organisms, it simply gives them less to feed on less quickly...? *big shrug*

Lewis said...

Do Dian Hong and Pu come from the same varietal? Or is Lewis making a little joke?

No joke. As far as I know, Dian Hong's made from the same Da Ye cultivar as Pu'er.

Salsero said...

Holy macherel! Does that mean that Puerh, Dian Hong, AND the Wuyi oolong called Da Ye all come from the same cultivar?

Small world!

Bill said...

Good God man, looks like it just fell of the tree yesterday!