Hello again! The bad thing about being most of the day in school is that there is litle time for tea at home, which also means less time for writing. Ah, can't be helped I guess. Anyway, I collected my paper notes on these three "Slovak" puerh teas to convert them into online form.
By the way, it's probably like that for longer time, but it has been brought to my attention (huge thanks Marketa) that Google added space for storing photos at Picasa. I.e., if you, like me, have filled the 1GB quite quickly and had to link to other websites, it's possible to upload pictures "natively" again.
Many thanks to Peter from Pu-erh.sk for providing these teas!
Let's take it chronologically again, starting with the grandpa of these three:
1999 Yiwu maocha
Pretty, is it not? And it smells quite good too - like an aged Yiwu. There is some additional humidity on top of that which I enjoy.
Rinsed leaves smell sweet, aged and decent, with small amount of fishiness. It seems to me that the variance in aged maochas is a lot smaller than in cakes or even tuos...
The liquor is quite dark even for a 99 maocha, almost pitch black. That's not a bad thing though, just saying...
In mouth, I'd say the tea is "adequate". It's aged, it's kind of sweet and full (though not really like a cake), with a bit of vanilla. There are still remnants of fruitiness, which make it quite interesting. Also, small amount of extra humidity seems to make this tea stand out a bit in a lot of generic aged maochas - it's actually quite nice. It is a decent approximation of good, rich aged tea, but it's not really "it", if you know what I mean. Anyway, it's pleasant enough to be sure.
Compared to the 99 Yiwu I tasted recently from Origintea, the one from pu-erh.sk seems a bit richer, less fishy and overall better (and a lot more expensive too).
Two things that I did mind slightly (not like they're bad, it's just that one slightly expects them) was general lack of qi and not that great stamina. The tea gave me about 10-11 steepings, while decently aged cakes from 90 can often give up to 20.
I seem to appreciate loose aged tea less and less, which is unfortunate, given that it is cheaper than compressed tae. Such is the price of learning I guess.
So - I did enjoy this 99 maocha, but do not expect aged tea enlightment. Also, it seems a bit more expensive to me than it should (0.6$ per gram). The 2001 BGT seems like a lot better tea to me an it is actually cheaper. But it's just my ill-judged opinion so don't go by it :)
Teachum Brano from Slovakia wrote highly of this tea and therefore I was quite eager to taste it. Is it good? It sure is. I may miss something in it, but it is good nevertheless.
The aroma is explosively fruity, sweet, with some darker notes which make it obvious that this is not really a young tea anymore.
The taste is...explosively fruity too. There is a good mixture of various sorts of fruits - darker jam, ripe garden fruit and some fresh, higher, grape-like tops. Even though the taste is a bit on the dry side, it is full and sweet.
It has got some nice huigan, which I enjoyed. Not much qi, unfortunately.
The strange thing about Bada seems to me that even these which taste really good (this 2008 Bada or Menghai's 2003 Bada), there is something I miss in them, there is a sort of hollowness in comparison to "classical" regions, such as Bulang or Yiwu.
But still, it tastes really nice - I think that for most people, it will be a great tea and they won't mind what I minded a bit.
When I first tasted this tea, I thought "ah, another generic young Yiwu". Later, I realized it's more. Even though the basic form is indeed usual youngish Yiwu - wet straw, sweetness, sugariness and dark forest fruit. The bonus is that this tea is fun to drink, which can't be said about all young Yiwus. The fruitiness is accompanied by slight mixture of "candy" and camphor.
Therefore, I'd say that this is basically a very well done Yiwu tea - perhaps not astonishing, but it makes you think "hey, this is definitely better than normal". At the same time, it's good to realized that given today's crazy pricing of Yiwu, it is rather cheap.
Smoothness of this tea is quite remarkable - it's smoothness itself in the initial steepings, becoming a bit astringent with time, but not in an unpleasant way.
You could say that it is autumnal, which is baaaaad, but I don't think that's really true. Autumnal tea can be good from time to time and this one is an example of that.