; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Two Blogger Samples: 2003 Pink Dayi and 2006 Taetea 7452 ;

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Two Blogger Samples: 2003 Pink Dayi and 2006 Taetea 7452

This past week I set myself the task of trying two teas sent to me from bloggers. I have had these samples for some time, and perhaps the bloggers told me not to write about them and I am forgetting whether that is the case. Pretty much everybody sending me tea says not to write. This is a downside to writing a blog, when nobody wants their teas in print. But the teas sent to me are perfectly fine, so why not.

The first tea is Wilson’s 2003 Pink Dayi, a tea he surely has a lot of pride in owning since it is rather tough to come by. He is selling bits of it on his new website, you can acquire 50g for the tiny price of $20, and I recommend you do so especially if you are ordering any of his other fine teas. I got a smaller, single session sample, since it was a gift during a bad health phase, when a tea like this will either permanently put me out of my misery or revive me into a bionic woman.

Bionic tea
Wilson writes that this tea is one of the “strongest” teas he has ever tried, and he is not kidding. Though I have to say it stops short of the pure pain of his 2008 Haiwan LBZ, which opens up the scalp pores causing hair to fall out, likely due to the addition of some Laoman-e in the blend. Nevertheless, the Pink Dayi, a re-wrapped tea sold originally to a Taiwanese collector, has plenty of torture on its own.

As you can see in the listing, the tea is shrink-wrapped which has protected it from the perils of Taiwan storage, and in fact the tea differs from Wilson’s own storage in that the tea is far greener than it would be without the shrink wrap. I think the decision to shrink wrap here is wise, because the early steeps have a strong orchid top note, that lovely floral we find in the best teas. Underneath that is burly bitter pain. The tea delivers this pain through its oily texture, the oil coats my entire mouth and makes certain the bitterness is trapped such that water will not wash it away and I remain in pleasurable agony for a good hour. This tea sits in every organ and probably works as well as any antibiotic to detox what ails me, producing profuse sweating (which I’m prone to anyway) like a session of hatha yoga.

Fourth steep shows drier storage just turning
With bitterness like this, and so much youth left in the tea, I would feel tempted to really push the moisture in storage but doing so risks losing that lovely orchid top note. No doubt prior owners had the same thinking, and in the end keeping the tea wrapped is probably the best idea given the humid climates it has lived in so far. This tea is already 15 years old and still needs another 20 years at least, just crazy. 

Tea looks much younger than it is due to shrink wrapping.
I enjoyed the pleasure and pain, and I inquired about purchasing an entire cake, and this request was pointedly ignored. Wilson’s blog is one of my favorites for his dry wit, and I interpreted his lack of response along the lines of his blog humor, and chuckled to myself. Who would want to let go of a tea like this? Nobody. We are lucky he is letting go of sample sizes. I have seen “this” tea offered elsewhere, cannot remember where just now, but I doubt the other vendor has the real deal like Wilson does.

The next tea is a sample sent to me by Hster some years ago, a 2006 Taetea 7452 601 ripe. Her blog is another favorite of mine, she is probably the longest term puerh blogger in English, as she started in 2003 and has written consistently since about 2006. The samples she sent me a few years back consisted of shou teas she enjoys, along with a concern that her northern California climate is too dry, something she writes about. I recommend reading her blog from start to finish. If you cannot manage that, at least read 2012 onward.

Based on her samples sent to me, Hster seems to enjoy shou teas that have what I call a cognac/wine/mushroom profile, in other words she likes them strong. As do I. One of her samples was the 2009 Lao Cha Tou brick from Yunnan Sourcing, and after trying her sample of that tea I snagged one of the bricks before they sold out.

Tasty looking chunk
I have had the 7452 sample stored in the bag for a couple of years, then I kept it in a gaiwan for a couple more, so the tea sample is likely a bit more dry than the entire cake at this point. Today I decided to give this tea a try.

Shou for what ails you.
I do not find the tea to have lost flavor, except that the wo dui has of course faded some after 13 years since the tea was originally fermented. This tea still has some green leaves, and more time to go. I like the strong mushroom and wine profile, and as with Wilson’s tea I sweated profusely after a few cups. I notice a dry storage sour in the first few brews, but that can easily work itself out in a crock with a bit of added moisture since we still have green here. Making shou myself has taught me a good deal about the stages before hitting heavy fermentation, so I know I could work this tea hard if I had a cake.

Inspecting the leaves shows some green tea left to age.
The 7452 recipe is strong and more flavorful than a 7572, and the leaves are sturdy. Luckily, the tea is available for sale at Yunnan Sourcing if you want to give it a try, although at $65 for a full cake we are paying for age at this point. For a more budget-friendly strategy, buy a 7452 every year when they are new and much less expensive and put them away for a few years. That is, if you can take the blend, otherwise the more evenly fermented 7572 is a gentler choice needing only half the time in storage to clear. Otherwise, I need to change my shirt because I have sweated completely through the one I put on after my shower today.

Much thanks and tea love _/|\_ to both Hster and Wilson for the pleasure of their blogs, and the immense enjoyment I got from trying their teas.

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