When most of the Hong Kong people were having their good dreams, Cloud was woken up by his hateful mobile phone alarm. (Oh! Don't accuse it. It was actually working loyally. Cloud should have said thank you to it as it was loud enough to wake Cloud up.)
Being an ordinary employee, Cloud was forced to wake up at 3:00am. What's happened?
Busy and busy. Cloud was always busy. For what? That was for the last article to be submitted to the publisher for the issue No.19 of "Pu-erh Tea Pot" Magazine (Chinese).
Although I had built a Chinese blog on 22nd September 2006 (p.s. it was closed already and substituted by this Internet Articles subpage), it had not been updated for 3 days. Cloud could see there were some clicks by readers. However, only the article "Traditional Characters" vs "Simplified Characters was available. Reader just had one blog article to read. Even though you may not be bored, Cloud felt bored already. I was sorry for that. In fact, I had promised to write some more about Puerh tea such as the 1997 & 1998 500g Hualian Raw Tea Brick (華聯青磚) and the tasting notes of Supreme Yichang Hao 2003 Tea Cake 250g (p.s. a recent photo). Some readers also asked Cloud to show them how to wrap up a tea cake by video. It seemed that it would be great to have several Clouds to do all these.
It was now 3:45am. Cloud slept for several hours only. Before starting to write the last Chinese article, it would be nice to have a cup of good Puerh tea. By the way, mooncake was the most convenient food at this time. Cloud treated it as the breakfast.
At this particular moment, there was no reason to brew a young and immature Puerh because of their astringent jerkiness. Another reason for not having such was that Cloud had tasted a lot of these 2000 young teas for writing the Chiense tasting notes section to be published in the issue No.19.
I was missing the aged tea cakes. What should I brew?
Thinking for a while....
Suddenly, some numbers came to my mind.
Eighty-five Eight Two...
These numbers were flapping over my mind.
Yes.... It's time to have a nice sip of 1980's 8582 (Eighty-five Eight Two) which was one of the most flavorite of Cloud in the 1980's aged raw tea series.
Although the 1980's Rough Wrapping Paper 8582 Raw Tea Cake had its long-lasting aged taste, it did not lose its vividness, plentiful and rich tea broth. Cloud liked this taste very much. It would be a nice tea to accompany my mooncake breakfast.
Taking out a chipped off aged 8582 tea cake from a stack of 8582 (Remember? Similar tea cake should be hoarded together) and then going to the sitting room sitting down calmly, Cloud had to get the water boiled and ready.
Just a minute! Where were the ticktacks from?
They were from the clock hanging on the wall in the middle of the sitting room. Cloud didn't notice that in the daily life because they were covered by the television's sound and the noise of the automobiles from the street. In fact, the ticktacks are always there. However, it could only be heard at 4:00am.
This triggered me having another thought. Some people or something are always with you. The point is whether you have notice their existence or not. Or, there is just some surrounding noises disturbing you to find out the truth. Sometimes, it is true that noises appear when you are going to purchase your target tea. Apart from tea, talking about daily life, perhaps, your family is always with you, do you notice?
Having a good mood in the morning, Cloud chose a tea bowl (Gaiwan) with colorful landscape painting accompany a beautiful small red tea cup (actually it was a small rice bowl used in the old days). Drinking 8582 with these gorgeous utensils were really amazing and full of satisfaction.
It was just very easy to chip off a little piece with my own hand. No letter opener was needed as aged 8582 was loose enough to break. Further cracking the tea leaves softly was just to assist it to contact the boiled water in the rinsing infusion.
I know, I know. It was too attractive to have such an aged tea at 4:15am, especially just appreciated by Cloud only. It was unfair to read such a read-only post. Okey, okey.... If we may meet in the future, let's enjoy this aged tea together. Wait a minute! Do I have enough quantity for treating you? Let me check.... It was lucky that I still had a stack of 1980's 8582 in my Cloud's Tea Collection. It should be enough in the near future. (p.s. In a year time after I posted this, I have already used up a 8582 tea cake.)
By the way, having discovered an intact "Eighty-eight Raw Tea Cake" next to my stack of 8582, I felt quite happy about that. Cloud had no regret to buy some "Eighty-eight Raw Tea Cake" 3 years ago although they were expensive at that time.
No more side issue and let me enjoy my 1980's 8582 now.
(Cloud was still in front of the computer to write this blog post and not even pouring the boiled water into the tea bowl. How could I write futher tasting notes? It'd better to appreciate the tea and finish my task (writing the magazine article) first because it was now 6:00am. Using 3 hours to record this blog post and prepare the 8582, Cloud had not yet done the job. How dare I was!)
To be continued tomorrow....
26 September 2006 @6:00am
(Time flew, another day came. Continue...)
Finally, that Chinese magazine article was finished. Cloud could sit down and appreciate the remaining flavorite 8582 freely without much pressure. The tea had been brewed for several infusions, but it still had a long way to go.
Slight aged plum aroma rised from the surface of tea liquor. That was a very aged fragrance with its clear and solid old, smooth, mellow and vivid sensation. It was a naturally aged raw Puerh tea so that it did not contain any so called earthy or woody taste. It had not much stimulation or astringent jerkiness. Definitely, it was very different from what people had those immature young raw tea cakes which were absolutely astringent.
That slight and soft sweet aged plum taste occupied me entirely.
The aged tea broth was absolutely clear as you can see from the photos. It was a bright chestnut red with its brilliance. Without certain period of time, tea broth could not show such a gorgeous clear color.
Another sip again. Well, what could I say? GREAT!
The taste started to change from rich to pale. However, this did not ruin its freshness and vividness. The aged tea aroma was still very clear to connoisseurs. After the strong aged taste became pale, suddenly, Cloud could feel the slight aged "camphor" aroma which was quite elusive. This showed that the aged 8582 evolved to another level of aging.
Even though the aged 8582 did not have the strong taste of aged 7542 which was also from 1980's, the aged 8582 showed another side of Puerh tea which was soft and coordinated as if it were an old man being ordinary after having its great history.
It was now again 3:00am. However, Cloud was not getting up early but just stating late and not going to bed because Cloud promised to post the tea broth and brewed tea leaves today. At least, Cloud was able to keep this promise.
The large sip of aged 8582 around the 11th infusion was fascinating. Cloud must have one more cup because it was a lovely chestnut red liquid when it was poured from the fairness jar. Aged sensation and no more astringency were the major characteristics of mature 1980's 8582. Therefore, Cloud was of the view that it required no more further aging. Let's drink it now.
27 September 2006 @3:00am added
(Time flew again, another day came. Continue...)
The aged 8582 was first brewed on 26 September 2006 at 3:00am. It had been brewed for 2 days. It accomplished its historial mission, that was to offer a great tea broth to Cloud. Why did I brew it over days? The answer was clear because only Cloud was drinking it and I could only drink 7 to 8 infusions a day.
These great aged tea usually has its long and many infusions. It is very normal for these well aged Puerh to have over 20 infusions. Having around 10 infusions is the average standard of Puerh.
Can you compare from the photos (A0055, A0056, A0057, same as the above 3 photos)? The color of tea broth was changing from deep solid chestnut red to normal bright red and then finally to pale yellow sweet liquid. Although the tea sensation was not as strong as the one at the beginning after the 17th infusion, that pale yellow sweet tea broth actually had another appreciation feeling which was slight and not strong as if one had calmed down after a great passion. It was the best tea broth to refresh somebody. That sweet pale yellow liquor was very suitable to be drunk freely in a large soup cup. Even though it was just a thin tea broth, one could feel the slight aftertaste. There was still something in there as if a partner still wanted to have a nice dance in the street after the passionate dancing party. A good tea is always a good tea. By the way, it was also a good mood to sit down and spent some time to write these little paragraphs afterwards.
In fact, with such long and many infusions, brewing and drinking aged tea is not too expensive.
Next time, let me write another tea feeling when having some other kinds of aged Puerh.
Rating (The Highest, 5 Stars):
The issue No.13 of "Pu-erh Tea Pot" Magazine (Chinese), "How to identify 8582 and its quality".
28 September 2006 @11:16pm added
12 November 2007 translated
Cloud (Hong Kong)
[Cloud's Tea Collection - Internet Articles]
Cloud's Tea Collection - Private Tea Album