I've been through the 1980s "Yiwu Maocha" from Teaclassico in the past (notes here). That was in autumn of last year, in which I concluded: yum.
Sometimes, when you've time for a tea session and that time is becoming ever more scarce in its availability, you simply wish to minimise risk. You wish to set aside learning and experience, and just get down to some tea that is THE MIGHTY THOR.
In this wise, I opted for low-risk 1980s maocha. It is a Mjolnir among teas.
The photograph really emphasises everything we need to know about this tea. It is so very good, and so very dependable, that it completely satisfies my desire to avoid risk. The only hazard in such a session is to one's wallet. Seriously, this one is wallet-critical in terms of risk.
It is instantly (INSTANTLY) dark, and even the first infusion is smooth and gentle in its texture.
It reminds of one of family heirlooms, of sorts: a wooden indoor croquet set, made for very young children, which belonged to my mother, when she was a girl in rural Anglia. It then belonged to me, in due course, and its dark woodiness left a lasting impression on me - the scent of the dark, sweet wood in particular. This croquet set really made an impression on my growing senses.
This 1980s Yiwu Maocha is almost the perfect recreation of that wooden croquet set. It is a state of remembrance in which I dwell for the entirety of the session.
...and some days you wish only to roll the dice, and let the chips fall where they may.
I do not know where this cake comes from - Gentle Reader, if it is from you, then please accept my thanks. Let's roll the d6...
This cake looks good, does it not? The wrapper suggests that it is "Simao Cuiyun Wenhua", where Cuiyun is a town in Simao prefecture, and where "wenhua" is (very approximately) "tradition". It also has a stamp tha reads "huaxing", which "means that the company is traditional", according to my dear wife. Experience suggests that I rather like random Simao cakes, and so I am optimistic.
This cake dates from 2005, and its darker shade of leaf, along with the quite well-preserved maocha, suggests that we might even have something of decent "artisan" status on our hands.
Oh boy, does this cake suck.
Suction of a manner that I have not experienced for some considerable duration, in fact. There is real, true suction on offer here. It has the sweet, sticky character of red pu'ercha with a very low ceiling indeed - its processing has left it almost nowhere to go, and its dry storage has not been kind.
It is aggressive on the tongue and lips, and I do not mean that as a compliment. This is agrochemical all the way. The sensation persists for some minutes, and I have only had two small cups from the first infusion.
My poor, poor tongue. I nurse it back to health with some of that 1980s Yiwu Maocha with which I started this article.
What did I learn? I learned that not every roll of the dice turns up the goods. This stuff is as [insert derogatory adjective] as the [insert name of body part] from a [insert name of continental European country] mother. Like, for reals.
after our meeting
only one of us, minister
will scrub nappies