26 November 2011

Douji 2011 Red Da Dou (红大斗)

No manufacturer of tea, however well regarded, is infallible. Yiwu Zhengshan Tea Company, more commonly known by its (only?) brand, Douji, has produced many teas I have enjoyed. Even those Douji teas I thought un-spectactular, none did I suspect were poorly processed.

2011 Douji Hong Da Dou - dry leaf

Unfortunately, today's tea is such an example.

2011 Douji Hong Da Dou - brewI rather enjoyed the 2008 version of this blend, red "dà dŏu", roughly meaning red star, red north star, or red big dipper. The leaf grade/quality for this year's production compares poorly with it, however. Many small bits of leaf, twigs, and older leaf bits (huang pian) comprise the blend--material that was not hand-harvested.

The smells and tastes of the tea are green tea. This surprises me because usually tea blends' having multiple raw material sources usually results in any one poor source being balanced by other better sources.

How to tell? For one, the flavors say green tea: vegetal, buttery, mild. Young sheng pu can taste bitter, but the bitter of this tea appears in the wrong place: the front of the mouth. It also appears without the delicious feature of shengpu bitterness, which is that it fades into sweetness.

The most interesting note the tea gave was Parmesan cheese. The most interesting occurrence during the tea session was the appearance of this little stinker on our rubber plant.

Sort of appropriate.

Visitor at Tea, 25 Nov 2011

Anyway, here are the leaves, which along with the soup, prove that looks can only tell so much about a tea. That is, they don't look bad.

2011 Douji Hong Da Dou - brewed leaf


Anonymous said...

Do you know if the 2010 has the same issue? I ordered a tong of it after trying the 2009 version and liking it. But I have not tried it(the 2010) yet. I would rather age it as a tong but maybe i need to open it up.


Bearsbearsbears said...

Hi GN,

I have not tried the 2010, unfortunately. Put a post on teachat or badger & blade and see what response you get before you open yours, if you'd rather keep it whole.