Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Comparative Pictorial of Age - Huang Pian

 L: 2001 Centuries Old Teacake from Longyuan Factory, R: 2013 Chawangpu Jingmai Gu Shu Huang Pian (200g)

Huang pian are tea leaves that are picked out during the processing of puerh tea. These consist of broken leaves, yellow leaves, leaves that are too big or were not processed properly. Huang pian are generally judged to be inferior leaves as they tend to be considerably less potent and complex when compared to the tender leaves that make up premium maocha. That said, huang pian can still offer a fine cup of tea and at an affordable price.

The 2013 Chawangpu exhibits youth, the greenness of the leaf is very evident and is accompanied by a slight citric character. The tea is relatively smooth in taste with no harsh bitterness however as someone who is sensitive to young green tea I notice my body rebelling when I exceed my level of tolerance (more on the Yin constitution). It is for this reason that I drink very little young sheng but it is nothing that good aging cannot rectify. Drinking the 2001 Centuries Old Teacake provides a much more comforting experience for me. The age brew presents greater depth in character displaying notes of wood, warming herbs amidst a mild sweetness. More importantly the brew is very easy on the body.

The pictures provide a comparison of the 2 teacakes highlighting the difference of over 10 years in age.

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