Zhutong is the Chinese name for puerh that is kept in bamboo leaves. This one is cooked and of the highest quality I have found so far: only small buds that are quite easy to flake. Besides, the year is 1984, which means that this cooked puerh had time to rest after fermentation (cooked puerh doesn't have as much potential to improve as raw puerh, but it also benefits from aging to shed some of the bad smells that happen during manual fermentation).
Here is a look at the other faces of 1 of those 10 gram 'coin' included in this bamboo leaf (20 'coins' in total). This side looks like a coin with a 'valley' in the middle. The small buds are also easy to see on both sides. The light color indicates a lighter fermentation.
Below, I've brewed 1/3 of a coin in a 10cl gaiwan a first time for 5 minutes after a short wash. The color was so dark, I had to use the spoon to see the transparency and color of the brew! Excellent! This level of transparency and appealing color are good hints for a very good tea.
The nose doesn't distinguish itself by unordinary fragrances. It's typical cooked puerh. A little grassy, a little earthy. Even the mouthfeel was not very strong and longlasting like my wild cooked Tuo Cha or my wild raw puerhs. But what I found special with this puerh is its purity and its finesse. Each brew comes out differently depending how you brew it (long with few leaves, short with lots of leaves, first or third or fifth brew...) but you always got like a single, clear and sweet note.
Here are the buds after the first 5 minutes brew:
A good way to enjoy the easy brewing of this puerh is to use just 2 grams for 10cl and to brew almost at will (less than 5 minutes for the first 3 brews and more than 5 after).
I also brewed it in my new duanni clay I Li Zhu teapot for cooked pu-erh. The result was a fuller mouthfeel, but less precision at the edges. For most cooked puerhs with rough edges, this would be an improvement, but because of the finesse of this one, I felt that the better mouthfeel came at the expense of its purity. A plus for a minus. Therefore, I think it would even make sense to brew it in a harder clay teapot.
Spring 2017 Wenshan Baozhong
2 days ago