As the name suggests, this tea is a product of the Wuhan Jiarun Tea Co. Ltd., who are based in Wuhan, Hubei Province.
Because of that, I feel that this post simply can’t be just a way to record my observations about some tea I drank.
The presence of this beeng on my tea table is a poignant reminder that our shared love for tea binds and connects us to a network of fellow enthusiasts, farmers, workers, and merchants, one that spans the globe.
As I sit here holding the cake, I can’t help wondering about how the people at the factory that crafted my tea have coped during this crisis. The chances are that I’ll never know their names, or how their lives have changed since December of last year.
All I can do is hope that they’re OK, and that all of us, whoever we are and wherever we find ourselves, will come through this as best we can…
This 100 gram beeng came to me as part of the Lübeck Haul, when Mrs. Teaist spotted it in Lübecker Teekontor.
The shop’s website didn’t tell me a great deal about this tea, so I used a nice little trick I stumbled upon a while ago to find out more information.
If you just Google a particular text string you’re bound to get many, many hits, the vast majority of which will probably not be relevant to your search. If, however, you then switch to image view, you can then narrow the field down by following the links that show an exact match for the wrapper or packaging of the tea in question.
In this case the beeng’s wrapper has a quite distinctive design, and so it was relatively easy to zero in on pages that contained the data I was looking for.
I managed to find two other webshops – one Swedish, one German – that stocked the cake, but even then I wasn’t able to find out much more about this beeng.
The information available seems to suggest that the raw material hails from Simao district, Pu-erh prefecture, and was ecologically grown.
The dry leaf wasn’t really saying much apart from the standard dry storage sheng stuff – dried mushrooms, leather, freshly planed hardwood – but after the rinse I got a sort of plummy fruitiness, and a general feel of “spices“.
|Water Used:||Filtered tap water|
|Weight of dry leaf:||6½ grams|
|Steeping vessel:||150 ml unglazed clay teapot|
|No. & duration:||13 infusions of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, and 300 seconds duration|
Although the first infusion laid down a good mouthfeel, the taste of the soup was very mild. I initially put this down to the leaf not being fully opened, something not exactly uncommon during the first round of a gong-fu session.
The second steeping saw the broth become a little more assertive, with a dark, fruity aftertaste. The Qi started to roll in, and the sweat taps were turned on full.
By the next round the Qi and the body were accelerating away, but the taste seemed to be lagging behind still, and then the penny dropped. I started to wonder if part or all of the raw material came from an Autumn harvest.
I started thinking that maybe I should bump up the water temperature from the 95°C I started the session on to boiling, which seemed to make a slight difference. By now the Qi and mouthfeel were weighing in at light heavyweight, while the taste of the liquor was still more of a middleweight.
From this point on there isn’t really much more to tell, to be honest. There was a gradual fading out until I called time on the session.
But that seems to be the tale of this tea, though. It’s a good, solid, but ultimately unremarkable daily drinker.
Having said that, I still might consider re-ordering it from the Swedish dealer I found.
Can’t say fairer than that.