Friday, July 5, 2013
2000 Langhe Raw Puerh Cake 357g
I had purchased this pu erh cake at the Malaysia tea expo 2013 (see previous blog). This tea was for sale to visitors of the tea fair and a visitor like me could be entitled to buy an item (actually 3 different items) daily throughout the week of the tea expo.
I did not pay much attention to this cake when I arrived on the morning of the 1st day of the fair. One of my tea friends there bought a cake and opened it and started brewing at one of the booths (he was a regular patron of one of the tea shops there.....and had the privilege to brew the tea). I liked the taste and managed to buy a this cake for 125RM( US$39) before it was sold out the same afternoon.
One observation of this tea was that the storage of this cake seems good. From the taste, I could tell it was not stored in places like a kitchen or factory where the tea can absorbed strange smells. The cake felt dry and the brittle wrapper broke and tore easily. When I broke the cake by hand, the cakes gave that 'crispy biscuit' sensation while breaking the cake into small pieces to store in my tea caddy.
This tea is one of the better raw pu erh tea I had blog this year. This tea is old - 13 years old and is well stored. It has aged pu erh tea characteristics, which to me meant that the tea has that added dimension of a mature fragrant wood aroma, something like an old camphor wood accompanied by hint of a sweet floral scent. It was a very smooth tea making it an enjoyable tea session. A good tea.
I would like to add that I had tried (even bought little) slightly younger pu erh teas (2003-2004) that have a more pronounced aged pu erh character than this tea. No.....this 2000 Langhe cake is a very good tea. But what I want to convey to my readers is that - Do not be caught up by a tea you deemed to be very good. Lets say you do come across such a tea at a tea shop, you like this tea very much, by all means if it is within your budget....buy a few cakes or a tong but do not buy too many.......Yes, this tea may not be available the next time BUT there will be another tea out there. Trust me on this. If this tea was available, I might buy up to a tong of 7 pieces but not more as I do not want to drink this tea on a routine basis (do a quick count...drinking 10g weekly if you had bought 4 tongs). I had this debate with a tea friend and we had differing views. He would buy up the tea, all of it. "Its hard to find such teas! You may regret it". I understand his point of view.
Buying pu erh tea can be quite addictive. Before you realize it, you would have acquired a good number of cakes. What I am saying is this.....I do not want my readers to be caught in a cycle of 'tea chasing'. I have a friend who would meet me every few months - "This is the best tea!" - and he would give me a generous sample. Few months later, he would call me - "I found the best tea!" To date, he had given me about 6 best teas.
Tea for thought. How many best tea cakes do you have?