Today's post is about a black tea from 70. Furthermore, this is no ordinary hongcha - it is a tea bag!
What good could an old teabag be, you might ask. I was slightly skeptical towards it - how could fannings that are commonly put into teabags survive 30-40 years? Well, I do not know how, but I know that.
For obvious reasons, I did not rinse the tea bag...
The resulting liquor (dark brown, with slightly strange dark-dark-brown clots in it) was slightly cloudy, but with a good (not really like a teabag) and heavy aroma: earthy-sweet and woody.
And the taste is also surprisingly very strong and multi-layered. It is an "english-style" black tea rather than hongcha, but is quite exceptional at that - the woodiness is quite strong indeed, but it is accompanied by deep fruitiness and sweet (slightly shupu-like) earthiness. The shupu-likeness is quite a peculiar feature - I wonder how it happened.
The tea numbs the tip of the tongue in a way which is 50% pleasant and 50% slightly strange.
As opposed to today's tea bags, this one gave me two full, strong steepings and one weakish, but decent one nevertheless. Yes, there are more leaves/dust inside the bag than in today's bags, but still, 2.5 steepings (ca. 400-500 ml - I used a kyusu) are a good thing.
This tea is certainly fun and it's not really that expensive ($2.40 for two bags) - I think that this is one of these interesting teas that are nice for drinking with tea-educated guests who can appreciate its unusuality.
A pity that I could not taste the tea when it was fresh - I wonder what it was like and what changes it underwent.