03 September 2011

Dayi 2008 "Great Classic" (大经典) Shu Bing

This was a sample sent courtesy of Jogrebe, America's greatest shu pu'er lover--or, at least, the one who drinks the most quantity of anyone I have come across.

2008 Dayi Great Classic Shu Bing - leaf

The leaves are medium small, not quite tribute grade. I like this size of leaf because its better examples offer a similar flavor to gongting (tribute) teas but without the difficulty of brewing tiny leaves.

Interestingly, the smell after the rinse is mineral. The flavor is rooty, like jicama or potato skin, sweet and bright lifting up the darker notes of bark.

2008 Dayi Great Classic Shu Bing - brewed

The compression of the cake seems pretty high (maybe I received pieces from closer to the center of the cake?), which meant the leaves released their flavors slowly and consistently across infusions.

The wonderful thing about this shu pu'er is that, in a genre known for odd flavors, there is nothing odd about it. This is also its biggest drawback: while it suffers no glaring flaws, it offers nothing exceptionally interesting, either. It appears to be unblended, and perhaps being all of one leaf and fermentation prevents it from being complex.

2008 Dayi Great Classic Shu Bing - brewed leaf

At just under $18, you could do better and you could do worse. Someone looking for lighter flavored shu with no flaws that doesn't require much finesse to brew into something tasty, this fits the bill. For something more interesting, check out its cousins in the brand.

1 comment:

John Grebe said...

Thanks for the nice introduction and you might be right as shu puerh tends to have a very short lifespan around me. Also I remember the cake as having a very tight compression all over so what you experienced was a typical session from the cake and not just an extra hard center chunk.