Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | New Puerh Tea

I just received a shipment of tea from my supplier in Yunnan Province, China. The market has apparently recovered from the Puerh Tea Crash of 2009 and 2010 turned out to be a pretty good year for Puerh. I bought four cakes of the new 2010 Puerh tea, three of the classic “7592” recipe and one Hai Lang Hao ªAs You Like It” cake, all from the famous Menghai Tea Factory. These four cakes I will lay down in My Tea Cave (see bottom of linked post) for further aging. By 2025 they should be perfect. I can only hope that by that time the earth is still spinning as usual on its axis and that I myself have not transmigrated. For immediate drinking I bought one cake of six year old (2005) Jin Se Zhen Min (Golden Treasure) Puerh Tea.
“7592” cakes top; Hai Lang Hao ªAs You Like It”, bottom left; 2005 Jin Se Zhen Min” (Golden Treasure), bottom right.
A cake of six-year old Jin Se Zhen Min (Golden Treasure) Puerh
Leaf detail of 2005 Jin Se Zhen Min (Golden Treasure) Puerh
I rinsed the 2005 Jin Se Zhen Min tea leaves for ten seconds, discarded that water, and then infused the leaves for one minute.
First one minute infusion of Jin Se Zhen Min
First infusion. Note the lovely orangish-yellow color.
A second infusion of two minutes resulted in this gorgeous reddish-orange tea, indicative of a perfectly aged six year-old Puerh. The taste was slightly tannic and smooth as Khotan Silk.
This grade of Puerh is good for at least five or six more infusions. Indeed, when you taste Puerh Tea on Maliandao Tea Street in Beijing the tea ladies usually make ten infusions from each sample so you can experience the entire range of color and taste of the tea before you decide if you want to buy it. Puerh tea, by the way, is renowned in China as a blood and kidney cleanser and women believe it clears their complexions. It also counteracts the effects of overeating and over-indulgence in alcohol. Most important, however, it is a delicious and spiritually uplifting beverage. Louche Coffee Drinkers would do well to sample its benefits.