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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The benevolence of a friend

I got a Christmas gift of sorts today in the mail, and as such I decided to pull a lengthy brew till I can take no more tonight while watching movies in my room. The gift was a sample of a late 80's 8582. This is my first late 80's and the 8582 has always been one of my favorite recipes and I'm assured by the sender that the older versions are of far better quality than even those of the 90's let alone current offerings.

The dry leaf aroma is whats really peaking my interest, it smells fresh but at the same time earthy, it smells well aged without much in the way of wet storage and molding.

I have not been drinking puerh as long as some, not even drinking tea as long as many, but from all the aromas rising from the cup I just know its going to be a great time. Slight hint of the damp wood indicating its age, but the rest of the aroma is mostly fresh, besides a hint of mushroom. I'm getting Bamboo and hints of a fresh cut grass, but there are also hints of fruit, perhaps a mix of apple with certain melons, and just the lightest touch of camphor.

Day 1:
Its taste is rich like coffee, and has so many dimensions. The weirdest thing is I'm getting this flavor profile that reminds me of mint oreo cookies. This tea though tea somehow is rich and fulfilling like cookies and cream.

Into the third infusion I'm thinking this tea is redefining my whole view of aged puerh. I swear I'm getting a slightly berry flavor. After the second could rival any cup of coffee I have ever had in terms of boldness of flavor. But needless to say Chaqi is alive and well and I'm so relaxed I have to remind myself I am keeping notes on this tea. If I keep on progressing into relaxation at this rate I very well may be humming and singing to myself with mind for nothing but the tea.

Infusion six brings out a flavor I struggle to describe its fruity yet lingering on the sides of the tongue. But I must say I think if I didn't drink after the first infusion I would still be tasting the first infusion. But on the lingering finish comes out a hint of orange.

Around the 10th infusion it no longer looks like coffee though its still darker than just about any non puerh tea would normally brew. The most amazing this is as the infusions go on the tea naturally gets tamer so I'm doing longer infusions, which while they are not very powerful, have a mouth feel which is impeccable

Well I nearly had my Lins kettle full (took a heck of a long time to boil), and if I pour one more infusion it will run dry something I always try to avoid. so it is off, and will be resumed tomorrow. I'm doing an overnight steep, though after 15 or so infusions the longest infusion I've done yet was 5 minutes, meaning this tea probably has much much more to give.

In this tea lies truth,
emphatic reinforcer
of our inner mind.

-Adam Yusko
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