1701-7542 Storage Comparison: 4 years, 32C vs 23C
Another followup tasting, compare with the June 2020 tasting.
The heated tea has a slight funk-ferment dry aroma and a sweet attractive wet aroma. Good but restrained aroma on liquor. Juicy, pungent, active, relatively sweet, not very brassy at the start, with excellent empty cup resin musk aroma. Nice balance of aidity, sweetness, pungent resin. Medium astringency and bittersweetness. Steep 3 has some roasty acridity, with higher astringency and a dark sweetness in the aftertaste. Test steep 4 is quite grainy, tippy, brassy, more juicy, darker, leather, new rough leather. Longer steep is very bitter, high astringency, high concentration and quite juicy.
The unheated tea has a tomato vine pungent dry aroma, and the wet aroma is green roasty. Aroma on liquor is more subdued. Initial steeps have a low-grade Darjeeling style roastiness and a young sheng acridity, and an unpleasant brassy note. Empty cup aroma unremarkable. Roasty notes continue, but plenty of sweetness. Stronger bitter-acrid notes. Almost no empty cup aroma compared to the heated tea. Test steep 4 is “smaller”, weaker, but still quite astringent. The long steep is higher pitched than the heated tea, more bitter, less sweet, less juicy, and more acrid. The difference is particularly stark in the long steep.
This series of tastings continues to confirm that typical room temperature storage is really not capable of producing the expected level of development for puerh. The fact that the brassy notes are actually stronger in the unheated tea also suggests that the increased oxidation from heated storage is not over-oxidizing the tea. I have a strong preference for the heated tea. One thing that struck me this year was a greater blend transparency for the heated tea. It was easier to distinguish the higher pitched floral pungent notes from the darker leather notes. There is also a certain graininess in the astringency which developed — perhaps a sign of tannins clumping together.