30 December 2007

1999 Menghai Green Big Tree Black label edition

So the tasting of five prestigious 98~99 arbor pu-erhs began with a sixth one. This is the one that was used at 5th International Aged Pu-erh Appreciation event in Pasadena.

As you can see from the pictures, the leaves are turning brown, but they are still maintaining a bit of greenish appearance. The sample is torn out from the cake, so the leaves will be chopped even if the leaves in the whole cake would be intact.

I used a small yixing pot, good enough for such a mighty pu-erh, the infusions times were rinse (short), first infusions short, then medium, then long. The liquor was crystal clear, very beautiful.

What stopped me, were the smell and the taste of the tea. On about third infusion I remembered, what it tastes like - 2003 HK Henry Special-Ordered 7542 of MengHai. Same strange taste, Guang described it as "most unique fragrance of the ink stick used in Chinese calligraphy - a solid aroma of musk and pine wood with a very refined feeling" - well, the description is quite good, maybe I would mention a hint of "potatoes" on the background.

I remember, that this was the taste I does not like about 2003 HK Henry beeng. I'm not sure if the problem in this special ocasion was in tea, water, preparation?

Even with good, fresh aftertaste and long lasting tea (approx. 14 infusions) I would not buy this tea. Especially considering the very high price.

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