2014 Naked Gedeng Dragon Pearl


I’m at infusion number eight of this little treasure.  I looked back to what I wrote before.  The aroma of this is floral and it is the same as what can be tasted in the broth when you hold it in your mouth.  Whatever bitterness that I may have detected in the past is totally absent, but the astringency of this is a noteworthy feature.

You may have trouble talking as your lips stick to your teeth it’s so astringent.  Since writing about it two years ago, the floral essence seems to stand out more.  The thickness is exquisite sliding down easily and its colour is now a shimmering gold.  I am 10 infusions in and at 10 seconds and water at about 180 it is going strong.

I know someone is saying, “Ah-ha,” you’re faking it by using *artifically* low temperatures.  Viscosity is a more important control for me than temperature per se.  If a lower temperature is producing thick tasty pots, then there’s no need to up the temperature, particularly for young raws.  I rarely seem to be able to wait long enough for the pot to cool.  Even when blowing on the cup, it’s often still too hot.  This is more than a matter of convenience, because fullest taste is not at a particularly high temperature.  Why must brewing be so terribly different?  Should a high-quality production require more or less temperature to release its stuff?  And still, what do the temperature adherents make of the concept of scorched leaves?

I digress…

Though the astringency hangs on for quite a spell, alas there is only a faint afterthought of some ancient and forgotten fruit left in the mouth.  At eleven the thickness has remained but the fragrance has started to fade.  The sweet juicy broth remains.  I’m going to start to up the infusion time.

by Yang-chu