Saturday, February 21, 2015

1960s Hei Long Zhu (Bug Shit Tea)

"Eat shit!"

This is a statement that has been directed towards me countless times. Before this tea passed my lips, all I could reply with is more vulgarities. Now I can tell them "I've drank shit, and it was okay."

That's right, I drank bug shit and hot water. This is sold by SampleTea and was generously sent my way by LE (thanks!). This was supposedly collected from some 60s aged loose tea in Guangxi (very likely Liubao). Worms ate the tea leaves, digested them, and excreted these little balls of tea. The digestive system of the worm somehow changes the taste of the tea a la Kopi Luwak.

Enough talk, let's get to brewing. In order to brew Hei Long Zhu, people use a method similar to a coffee pour-over (don't worry, I'm done with coffee analogies). You put a few grams of tea into a filter and pour hot water over it. Suddenly, tea drips from the filter. This only works for Hei Long Zhu (although it could work with CTC hongcha or gongting pu'erh) because the tiny pieces of excrement provide a high surface area for extraction.

This tea smells exactly like the bug shit tea I threw away, so the dry aroma is regret (along with medicinal herbs). Ends up this tea doesn't smell that great in general. At least I only paid ~$10 for the other one. I dumped the first ~60ml or so of this tea as a rinse, although that probably wasn't necessary. This tea tastes herbal and medicinal, with a thick body and little bitterness. Very little complexity or strength. This tea died off fast, however I was able to prolong its exhaustion by steeping it (pouring through) multiple times near the end. Overall, I think tea is somewhat enjoyable. I wouldn't buy more. In the future I'll probably mix the rest this with some aged pu'erh in order to get a more balanced flavor. I'll update this post when I do that.

Tuamie - Chicken

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