April 7, 2010
2009 Douji Red Dadou
Not even having opened the cake the first thing I notice is the higher quality paper wrapper, just a little touch of class. Also the wrapping of the cake itself is evidence that they have their own way of doing things.To me it's obvious that Douji wants to visually set itself apart from Menghai and Xiaguan. Look at the back of the cakes wrapper, very neatly folded pleats with a re-attachable sticker that clearly states what it is. In such contrast to Menghai's wadded up wrappers with the anti-fake label that turns out to be not so anti-fake after all.
Now, on to the tea. The cakes surface is very attractive. Whole, healthy looking leaf that has a splattering of silvery buds. This cake smells very fresh and green. The wood and tobacco smells are there but much more in the background when compared to a Menghai tea. Doesn't really have anything unique in it's aroma, nothing I haven't seen before but what I can say is that it's very balanced. Judging by the smell alone I,m not sure I could guess in what direction this teas flavor is going to lean.
The cakes compression is perfection. Tight enough that it has a solid and hefty feel to it yet loose enough that prying into the cake is effortless. The maocha is very easy to separate into a nice pile of unbroken leaves. Not the dried up, chopped mulch that you get with a Menghai tea. But I do realize that those chopped leaves is how they achieve consistency from one cake to the next. With cakes made from whole leaves there is variation from one cake to the next. Even from one side of the cake to the other you can find differences in the teas flavors.
Note: just as I suspected, gotta use extra leaf in order to bring the best out of this tea. The teas richness is much more noticeable and those sweet and beany flavors are more assertive. However, I do think that this tea needs some storage time to fill out a little as it,s still a tad thin. One aspect of this tea that I had not noticed before was a delicate floral, perfume like aroma in the cup. It's a very nice tea and I have high expectations for it in the coming years. I really hope that Douji doesn't turn out to be one of those "here today, gone tomorrow" company's.
Labels: Puerh (Sheng)