Friday, May 18, 2012

Adding a bit of sheng in shu

My husband brewed me a sample of the 1999 Mangshi melon Phyll had sent as part of the Live Journal tasting so many years ago.  Ah, we were young then, hopeful too. 

Berkeley definitely is too dry as this 13 year-old tastes more like a 5 year old except not as punchy. Perhaps this sample is in that awkward stage where the taste is muted and not as interesting as it's young version but not quite there as an aged cake. I would love to see how my sample compares with samples aged elsewhere if indeed they had not been consumed. (Must track down Phyll and ask about it!)

After a hiatus of many years, I am carefully trying out my oldest shengs to see if my body can take it and see if any of my cakes are finally ready!  Ironically enough when I started drinking puerh, I was not interested in the taste of aged cakes- it was the dynamic forceful flavors of sheng I really loved so I did not bother chasing old cakes or shus.  Sadly my stomach is a bit ripped up even with the 13 year-old sample so I have no choice to brew up a big pot of shu.

My 2001 Feng Qing Ripe which I remembered being more lively back in 2007 now sadly tastes  a bit flat, or is it that my taste buds have been dulled over the years.   (I had forgotten that I had this cake as it stuffed was way back in the tea cabinet....)  Although cooked shu's do their job adequately, it's hard to find a reasonable shu which has satisfying complexity and aftertaste.  I added just a wee bit of the leftover Mang Shi sheng leaves to my shu tonight and to my delight found it added a spark.  I wish I had done this years ago as it really perks up the most boring of shus giving it a more interesting camphor dimension and a long lasting after taste- it's been an hour and I still have the sweetness on my tongue.

1 comment:

  1. He's alive and well. You can find him at