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I embarked on my tea journey when I studied abroad in China in 2008 and traveled around Taiwan that summer. I'm here to share my experiences and offer my own opinion, advice, and comments on tea.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ripe and Raw

I don't drink a lot of shu, but I recalled that my house has a fair amount of wet-stored shu from Guangzhou/Hong Kong. It's mostly a "daily drinker" type tea for my mom, who brews up a huge batch and takes it to work w/her, or puts it in the fridge to drink it chilled. My uncle, living in Guangzhou, is my mom's supplier, so he doesn't skimp on giving her better stuff. Anyway, I figure at the very least I should try it and see what the fuss is all about. I don't really think much about shu, since I normally drink it during dim sum, so it's more of a beverage than a "tea" to me. Most of the weird wo dui/fishy off-flavors have mostly dissipated, and in some ways it tastes quite nice. I detect some woodiness and some "minty" notes.

I've heard a bit about drinkers mixing ripe and raw, so I decided to give it a try. I went 75% raw and 25% ripe. The sheng in question was a 2008 Xiaguan FT "Instant Sensation" whereas the shu was a early 00s (?) no-name cake (The nei fei is weird...need to post a pic of it sometime). I don't know if this is the "standard" ratio but I've seen this ratio mentioned in some places, and IIRC it's the ratio for the ripe/raw mixed bricks/cakes out there.

The taste is...interesting. It has the bite of a young sheng with some mellowness from the shu. It kinda makes the sheng taste older than it actually is in some ways. It's a bit weird and it'll probably take a few more sessions to see if this is something I could do. Maybe I should try experimenting with a 75% ripe to 25% raw ratio...

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