Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1980s Bamboo Wrapped Melon - NA


This well aged puerh melon is estimated to be from the 1980s. The tea comes in a simple bamboo tube consisting of 5 pieces, bare and unadorned by labels. For an unlabeled puerh tea there is no hype, no marketing and no brand premium. As a result such a tea can be good value, adding a little excitement and mystery to our tea sessions. However at the same time unlabeled puerh can be a risky proposition for buyers as the quality of the tea greatly varies and is an easy way to pass off fake tea by dishonest merchants. With no written information to clearly reveal the production and origins of the tea an unlabeled tea is judged solely on the quality of the tea leaves and our experience from drinking them.

 Five medium sized melons are contained in the bamboo tube. Each piece weighs approx. 470g (from the original 500g) after losing moisture content and mass from its long years of storage.

This tube of age puerh melons have revealed themselves to be of fine quality. It is my impression that the tea was initially wet stored and later kept in a natural environment for what is likely to be well over two decades. It is the result of this subsequent airing out of the tea that has allowed the tea to brew and present very clean characteristics. The sign of age can be noted by the loosening compression of the melon shaped tea allowing for easy prying of the tea leaves. Drinking the brew and picking up the age character gives me confidence in the genuineness of this age tea.


Comparing this age puerh melon to the 1990s Menghai Orange Label shows the differences in wet storage and how respective tea businesses will apply their own techniques and modifications to create their own unique style and house character. Whilst the 90s Orange Label exhibits more perfumed aromatics and soft elegance the age puerh melon presents a heavier and denser character that is more ripe in nature. For good age tea the one quality that remains consistent and can be found in both teas is the comforting and relaxing effect the brew imparts on the body.

The brew is thick and dense with dark characters of wood, earth, minerals, herbs and ripe fruits combined. An observation of the tea leaves show that the raw material consists mainly of buds and tender leaves.

See more teas from the Tea List

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes this shape of melon can be aged black tea. Looks like a great find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Cwyn,

      Getting lucky every now and again never hurts :)

      Best, VP

      Delete
  2. Nice notes on the differences of storage.I hope to have something like this with the "pumidor" project.
    M














    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mr Mopar,

      I have a vision that in future years we will be tuning in to read your reviews of various tea treasures you decide to pull out from the pumidor.

      That is something I would look forward to :)

      Best, VP

      Delete