Is it because of Lent, the end of winter or a longing for change? I felt like tasting a very good and very old puerh for a lot of reasons. That's why I grabbed a few leaves from my my most precious and oldest puerh: a loose, raw puerh from the 1950s!
Tasting such an old puerh is a tea lesson by itself. First, the look of the dry leaves is very clean, the color of each leave is different (and depends on its size and moisture content). The smell of the dry leaves and of the first brew includes some scents very similar to shu puerh. It probably got them during the few years it was stored in Hong Kong before coming to Taiwan, I guess.
Very few leaves are necessary: only 1 layer on the bottom of the teapot.
The aftertaste and chaqi of this puerh is amazing, full of buzz and alive. That's the sign that this is indeed sheng puerh. And it's pure, sweet, smooth. Excellent.
Such old puerh goes deep. Its energy can be felt in the whole body and it's complex smells bring so many old memories alive. It feels like a travel to a mountain monastery...
The open leaves are fascinating. They are thick and big. On the same leaf I can see a very dark portion and a lighter brown portion. The leaves become more and more flexible as I brew them. They resuscitate!
I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.