Thursday, May 12, 2016
2008 Yong Pin Hao Ripe Pu erh
I had included this pu erh cake in one of my online orders more than 6 years ago. This is a ripe pu erh cake 357g and manufactured by Yong Pin Hao tea factory. I believed I had made this purchase due to the pretty printed wrapper on the cake.
I would recommend that if you are drinking pu erh tea, that you break up your pu erh tea cake or tea brick into smaller pieces of about the size of either nickel or quarter coins. Breaking up your tea cake or brick, will allow your tea to 'breathe and awaken your tea" This procedure is called 'xin cha' in Chinese, which will make your tea more aromatic and tasty. I recommend that you put your broken up tea pieces into a porcelain container. If you are using a glass container, use the pu erh wrapper to line the inside of your glass container as not to expose your tea to light. I recommend you let your tea to breathe for a week before you start brewing the tea. There is a clear and distinct difference when you have 'awaken' your tea, in terms of aroma and taste.
I sound like a broken record as I had encouraged my readers, on many occasions in my blog, to break up their tea and place the tea in a tea caddy. I have tea collector friends that just keep a tea cake in its wrapper and breaking off a small chunk whenever they want to brew the tea…..and I have persuaded a few friends to break up half the cake and keep the other half in the wrapper and test the tea over time. I am happy to say that they now 'awake' their tea in tea caddies. There is a catch… in that you need to have, or buy tea caddies and you need storage space for the caddies.
I broke up a small chunk of this tea to brew when I opened the wrapper and broke up the rest of the cake into a tea caddy. The initial chunk when brewed, tasted very mild and bland. However, when I revisited this tea a month later, there was a pronounced change in this tea. The brew was more aromatic and this tea displayed a creamy-like sweet finish. I could get 8 good infusions of this tea. Quite nice actually.
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I agree 100% with this wise advice. I do this with any humid teas, and now too with any new teas showing some char in the processing. The char will sour the tea as it ages. Breaking up the cake lets the black stuff fall out and any smoke airs out. I buy vintage crocks to store the tea. Of course I keep some cakes whole that do not need any help. But so many teas benefit from breaking up, the trick is knowing which ones do.
Am going to continue to beg you for photos of the brews, especially of your teas that you have had for some time now in your possession. I enjoy your posts so much of teas you have had for some time.
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