2009 Yunnan Sourcing You Le Zhi Chun
Over the weekend, I pulled out my old six ounce gaiwan and felt like I was a small child, playing with a giant-proportion vessel. Appearing enormous in comparison to my now-trusty 90 mL gaiwan, I find it hard to believe that it was once my daily brewing cup at work. After moving my office to our second bedroom at the turn of the year, I hadn’t seen it for awhile and, this weekend, put it to use brewing some home-blended green tea chai and tisano.
I suppose it’s still good for brewing Chinese greens or blacks that only get a few steeps, but for puerh and oolong, I found that I used too much tea and frequently pushed myself over the edge of reasonable caffeination. Some day, it’ll have a place in sharing tea with others. For now, I’m sticking with the little guy.
Crossing the half-way mark of my four sample set of Yunnan Sourcing cakes, I’m left with the memories of the fantastic Wu Liang and the massively disappointing Bu Lang as I move onto the You Le, which the commissioner himself offered as his favorite tea of the moment two years ago. I’m doing my best to suppress the dank memory of the Bu Lang and hold high hopes for the experience of this tea.
Giving little dry leaf aroma, this tea unfurls slowly and begins in an incredibly mild manner. I stuck with a safe five grams, but again found myself wondering if I should crank up the leaf volume for what proved to be a very subtle tea. By the fifth or sixth steeps, when this tea finally began to push out its full essence, what came through was heavy on the bean-based oligosaccharides, fresh wood chips (think balsam, birch, and hemlock), and high floral herbs a la lavender-scented cotton, laundry detergent, and foxglove. All very enjoyable, but reserved and distant. An underlying strong wet moss and earthen floor pushed up from beneath.
Most notable for me in both this tea and the Bu Lang was the intense parching nature of the finish. That cottony, dry wood, sand, and hot moisture-less air experience has been a new kind of exit in puerh for me. It’s not the most pleasant, as it rasps at the throat and leaves me thirsty, not quenched. In a way, it also lets the classically enjoyable lingering and swelling finish evaporate more quickly.
The Half-Dipper – 2009 Yunzhiyuan/Ruicaoxiang “Youle Zhi Chun”
Tuo Cha Tea – Beta – “You Le Zhi Chun”
The 39 Steeps – Review Series Pu-erh 2: “Beta” by Yunnan Sourcing
My Private Collection – Tea Tasting Event ( Half-Dipper / YS )
Tea Goober – Yunnan Sourcing Tasting ( Beta ) = You Le