Raw Pu’Er – YiWu Mountain – Spring 2016

Raw Pu’Er – YiWu Mountain – Spring 2016

When I think how a good tea should be defined, a quote by Chekhov comes to my mind: “People should be beautiful in every way–in their faces, in the way they dress, in their thoughts, and in their innermost selves”. I think the same of a good tea – it should be good in every way: from dry leaves to liquor.
And what if one of the aspects disappoints? Discard or give it a second chance? One of the loose leaf raw Pu’Er samples I tasted today was a disappointment. Well, rather a rollercoaster.

Not that I had high expectations. It was spring tea 2016 from Yi Wu mountain, but not the highest grade, besides long dark spiral leaves, it had quite a few twigs.

However, the aroma of dry leaves was good, mineral warm, with a few animal undertones.

And then – boom! – infused leaves, besides mineral, marine and slightly smoky aromas let out an odour of stale dump cloth, you know when you forget a dump swimsuit in a bag and take it out one day later… the defect was small, but enough to be slightly off-putting. I hesitated whether to throw the sample straight away, but then decided to give the liquor a chance.

To my biggest surprise, the liquor tasted very balanced and rounded. I even compared it to a few other samples, and it was good or better… So, we went from good to bad and good again, yet not enough to get a great tasting note – i stick to my opinion that every aspect should be good. However, i think we need to taste not so good teas from time to time to better appreciate really good ones… what do you think?

So, no food pairing ideas today. Instead, music pairing: two nice ladies singing about the same thing – things getting from bad to good thanks to our loved one – in slightly different manner:
Aretha Franklin – Natural Woman
Dido – Thank you

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