Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fishy Mud, Anyone? 2006 Menghai Dayi V93 Shupu

I remember thinking what a nice shu pu'er the 2005 Menghai Dayi V93 was. That was about a year ago. As of this morning, I only had about 10gr of it left, and now it's all gone. The precursor that lead to the finishing of that last bit was the arrival of several tuo's of its younger sibling, the 2006 Dayi V93 (batch # 602).

It was a harsh lesson learned once more. Never assume just because last year's version was excellent, the same should be expected of the next attempt.

Drinking the 2006 V93 was like downing mud in which dead fish had been preserved before. It's probably subtler than my description, but definitely in the same ballpark. For discovery's sake, I endured 6 torturous infusions before giving up. That's when I started to doubt my opinion of the 2005. Maybe fishy mud was something that I liked last year?


(Pictured: 2006 Menghai Dayi V93 Shu Pu'er)

So I brewed that last 10gr of the 2005 V93 after I had had enough of the disgusting sludge. The difference was nectar compared to, well, mud! The 2005 was woody, fresh, clean, creamy and had a slightly sweet aftertaste (huigan). I kept brewing it until all that was left was thinly colored water. I enjoyed every infusion that I could get out of it. The smell of the wet leaves reminded me of root-beer, as it did last year. My stomach felt soothed and cooled, and my mouth was rid of any bad taste.

So what is wrong with the 2006 V93? Is it only with batch # 602? Will time transform it into a swan? I have a sinking feeling that it's crap and forevermore will be so.

I wonder where I can get more of the 2005 vintage from.

4 comments:

Wes said...

Blech! That made me sick just reading it!

But that 05... sounds quite nice... I'll keep an eye out.

Tuo Cha Tea said...

My first thought was "give the shu pu-erh some time to loose the mud-taste", but then I realized, that 2006 V93 is nearly two years old, so I think it will not change too much.

Maybe some longer very dry storage could help.

~ Phyll said...

Wes: Do let me know if and when you find some of the '05. I won't mind paying a premium for it.

Tomas: I hope so, too, that maybe further very dry storage can help. My home is very dry...so we'll see what will happen. But the tea itself (2006) was thin and one-dimensional, unlike the 2005.

waltpark said...

yeah... I just got an 06 from tuochatea... I was excited... until I drank it. :(

It's not exactly disgusting.. but it's also nothing to write home about. It's a bit off smelling for being 2 years old now.