Saturday, February 5, 2011

2004 Yunnan Ripe Brick

This is a 2004 pu erh ripe 250g brick. I had purchased this brick from Lau Yu Fat tea shop, Hong Kong (see my previous blog).

The pu erh range sold at Lau Yu Fat tea shop was very good. I could sample any of the tea cakes that was displayed for sale. I chose to sample 2 ripe pu erh bricks from 2003 and 2004. I was fortunate and extremely privileged that the proprietor Mr Lau did the brewing of the tea for me.

Mr Lau skills in tea brewing was silky and fast. As I had previously mentioned, Mr Lau used 3 flash rinse for the brewing of the tea. Sorry I did not have the camera with me at that time. Mr Lau held a kettle of boiling water in his left hand while his right hand managed the gaiwan for the tea rinse. The coordination of the hand movement was like 'art in motion' ; skillful, graceful and artistic. In no time the teacups are filled with tea for my sampling.

The gaiwan used during the tea sampling was about 120-130ml and about 7g of tea leaves was used. My estimation of the weight of the tea leaves was visual. I had been practicing visual estimation of the weight of my tea leaves every time before I have a brewing session. I would then checked whether my estimation was correct by weighing the tea leaves on a electronic scale.

The taste of this 2004 ripe brick was very good. The aroma had a combination of chinese herbs with a good earthly and toasty sensation. It was like drinking a chinese herbal soup that underwent long hours of cooking. Nice color. This tea makes a smooth drink and the aftertaste was very pleasant.

I normally use about 7g of tea and brew it in my 150ml teapot. I could not quite achieve the taste sensations of this tea that I had sampled in Hong Kong. I had to increase the amount of tea leaves by an additional 1-1.5g of tea to achieve the stronger aroma and taste. The additional amount of tea (1-1.5g), which I recommend that you increase, sounds minuscule, but in my case it is a 15-20% increase in tea leaves used. This is a substantial increase. I had also noted that, during my brewing sessions at home, this tea tend to weakened by the 8th drinking infusion. This was fine with me as I usually stop my drinking session at this point.

I had paid about HK$140 for a brick of this tea. The taste and aroma of this tea is, to me, very good. I, however, had to use more leaves for this tea, than what I would normally use for ripe tea, to achieve my preferred brew.

I am happy I had purchased 4 bricks of this tea home ........ I had already used up almost half a brick.

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