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2009 Lao Ban Zhang Mao Cha Sheng Pu-erh
loose puerh from norbutea.com, a sample from a tasting organized by the egullet tea forum
April 2010

Today's puerh was the first time I've taken one tea and compared it between gaiwan and seasoned yixing pot.  The term 'seasoned yixing' should be taken lightly here:  this is a very cheap pot ($6.99) that has been simmered in hot water, simmered in tea, and had a lot of tea steeped in it overnight--part of a redone seasoning program for all of my clay pots.  But it is genuine unglazed clay, holds water and heat, and tea can be made in it.

The tea was spring 2009 Lao Ban Zhang Mao Cha Sheng Pu-erh (loose tea) from norbutea.com.   I used 1.6 grams leaf (did trade a few straight overly long leaves for some slightly curled ones to get all to fit without breaking leaves), trying to keep about 1g leaf to 1 oz water.



2 20-second rinses first (this tea has a strong bitter start)
5-second infusions thereafter:  wait 5 seconds, start pouring, takes about 10 seconds to get all out), have gone up to about 12 previously, so far only up to 5 on this pair, but running out of space for more liquid even with these tiny vessels

wet leaves

Leaves are variable sizes, 1-2 inches (3-6 cm) long, mostly intact, twisted and curled but not rolled tightly.  The liquor is yellow, sweet, delicious, some vegetal and herbacious notes, a bittersweet undertone, little astringency, and really no earthy or smoky notes. 

As for the gaiwan vs yixing, I found the sweetness and liquor seemed slightly stronger from the gaiwan, as though the yixing clay is keeping some sweet for itself.  Just a tiny difference, not so obvious in every infusion, but when I could detect a difference, it was the gaiwan-brewed that was sweeter.

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