601-8582 Taiwan vs Malaysian storage
I am a big fan of the 2005 version of 8582, of which I have a couple of Taiwan-stored versions. I’ve tried the 2006 version of 8582, batch 601, but have not enjoyed it as much as the 2005. My Taiwan-stored 601 is significantly darker in profile than the 2005, with less pungency and herbals and more incense ash and astringency, and slightly more bitterness. I also notice a black tea note on the 601 which I view as a defect. It does have a decent amount of acidity and astringency but I would say it is somewhat rough and earthy in a way that the 2005 isn’t.
That’s why it was so interesting for me to have a chance to taste the same batch with Malaysian storage from Mike (thanks Mike!) Interestingly, this version is noticeably different from mine, in a very positive way.
As we can see from the wet leaves, the Malaysia-stored version, on the right, is significantly more aged than the Taiwan version on the left. Most likely this means that Mike’s storage is warmer than that of the Taiwan source, since the latter is not lacking in humidity.
The difference between the dry leaves is not as extreme, but still visible: Taiwan on top, followed by Malaysia.
The Malaysia-stored 8582 steeped as follows:
Mike’s characteristic rose incense aroma is present in this tea as well. Medium-high thickness initially. Not sweet. Medicinal. Gasoline-oily effect. Dark with a good mouthfeel. Dark resin. Good clean feeling afterwards. Inspiring. No black tea notes, remarkably. Taiwan | Malaysia first steep:
Much darker colour. Orange-brown. Superb acidity, dark resin, juiciness. Definitely not nearly as sweet as 502, in common with the Taiwan stored version. Not as herbal as the 502 either. Excellent. Taiwan | Malaysia Steep 2:
Strong acidity and plumminess. Aged notes and incense. Taiwan | Malaysia Steep 3:
Excellent concentration and clarity of profile. Dark perfume. Sour cherry. Pungent. More astringency in Steep 4-6. Darker than the Taiwan stored. More aged. More incense. Still has some bitterness and generates a lot of heat. Juiciness starts to fade and by the 8th steep is gone.
It is recognizably the same tea as the Taiwan-stored version, but is significantly farther along in its development. Interestingly it completely lacks the black tea note, which I view as a defect of the Taiwan stored version. It is not nearly as rough, and has much more of an aged tea profile than the Taiwan stored 601 or even the 502 and 504. There is no question that this version of the 601-8582 is much closer to the original 8582 from the 1980s than any of the 2005 versions I’ve tried.