Thursday, December 19, 2013

Two teas from late 90'- Red Mark and Fuhai

 There is so many teas I would be happy to share with you. Not only to write here about my experiences, but rather to prepare water and steep leaves for you. Light charcoal, clean cups, pick up some leaves from my new cabinet. Sit down please, and have a cup of tea.

If you can listen to music when you read this, you can try put on this version of Sting's Shape of my heart.  I like it.

▶ ReMuse: Shape of my heart - YouTube

Yesterday, my morning was about sheng puehr cha from 1997, today then from 1998. I am not drinking them in line to make a competion. I just celebrate and enjoy days after our last firing of this year. When it comes to celebration, then aged tea is more then welcome here.

Two cakes were made under big factories some sixteen years ago...

First sample, the 1997 Big Red Mark, I have bought at Chawangshop, second then, The 1998 Fuhai, from TeaUrchin. 

Both teas have several similarities, like faces of two guys from far away country. They can look the same at first. Not just that they are both almost of the same age and similar in pricing (in both cases is close to 170$). They were also stored in humid areas, both in warehouses. Leaves of both cakes will be probably mixtures from different places and qualities. And I can tell, it was joy to drink both of them.

Big Red Mark 97

Fuhai 98

Big Red Mark is the calmer brother here. It starts with lighter smell of dry leaves and ends with more settled qi performance at the end. Even when I was not drinking those tea side by side, slight but, clear differences were obvious. The Red mark is more "done". Forest aroma of wet leaves, resin and woody aftertaste with some nice bitterness from second to fourth infusion. Many brews, patient leaves. Meditative and medicinal tea. For those who look for colorful fragrances it might be letdown. Not for me.

I dont know were the purchasing officers from newly seperated Fuhai factory spent their 1998 spring. But I would guess: leaves for this cake grown in Yiwu. This tea is stronger, more distinct. Forest honey and heavier colored flowers go though my nose, my mouth, my throat and become part of me. Energy is vibrant, and the tea shows live and still a bit of rush. There is still some spece to grow, to age.

When I can not advice to buy any of those cakes blindly, I would recomment to sample them when you get a chance. Those are good examples of wet stored, aged teas, without moldy/muddy look, smell or taste. When 170$ can sound like expensive, it is (unfortunatelly) not over the roof these days. One way or another, if one like age puehr, it is easier to seek for teas with some age and quality then to dream about aging fresh cakes on our own. It is fun too, I still put aside some fresh leaves every year, but we have to admit...there is too much but and maybes.
spent leaves from 1997

spent leaves from 1998

Thank you for reading!