|chubby new yixing pot|
I want to write a bit about a taste-compare I did the other day with the 1996 Truly Simple Elegant and a tea that's marketed as the "2nd generation" of this renowned tea, the 2003 Green Snow Manor (or Hut, as I've also seen it advertised). But first a bit about my new yixing purchase. After simmering it in the TongQing Longma last week it smelled heavenly and I've been drinking more shu than I normally do in an effort to really break it in. But I'm finding some annoyances with this new teapot. It pours in spurts, and despite tipping it this way and that to try to empty it of tea after a steeping it's still left with a puddle of tea at the bottom of the pot. The only explanation for this is the type of filter inside the pot.
|New yixing on the left, my old stand-by on the right|
It's a ball filter, and if you look closely you'll see that the filter holes are set a short distance away from the inside surface of the pot. This would explain why I keep finding extra tea water in the bottom of my pot between steepings. The matter of the flow of the pour is another issue. My old teapot, with nine holes pierced into the actual body of the pot (on the right above) pours wonderfully. When I tip it on it's side the tea flows out smoothly, taking about 7-8 seconds to pour, eventually slowing to a few drips. To empty the pot fully I just give it a few shakes. Very simple. But this ball-filtered new pot is a bit different. I can't just tip the pot sideways to pour like with my other one. If I do I get lots of tea coming out from under the lid and the pour comes out in uneven spurts. Instead, I have to be more careful with this one, only tipping it partially to start the pour and gradually rotating it to finish. As a result, the total pour time is a bit longer, about 9-10 seconds. I also wonder how much this slower pour has to do with the smaller holes.
I knew it wasn't completely fair to be comparing the two outright. Not only is there a 7-year difference in age but the TSE has some unique characteristics that would be hard to repeat, like leaves from trees that hadn't picked for decades So I wasn't expecting them to taste the same, but I was interested to see if I could detect how they were related.
|GSM on the left, TSE right|
In the end I learned only that these teas, despite their connection of source of leaves and processing, are two very different puerhs. The TSE is clearly special and unique, but if I was served a variety of 2003 shengs, including the GSM, I would be hard pressed to pick it out of the crowd.