Wednesday, November 08, 2006

2005 Mengku Banzhang Ancient Tree Pu-erh Tea Brick 100g

Finally my new camera came today. These are the pix I took. There is no comparison to Canon. The picture quality is so poor with flash on, all pictures came out with a blue hue. Perhaps I should give it an other shot in the sun and see how it goes. I am considering buying a Canon and return the Nikon already.


I had this tea since June and I just open it for a taste. Seller's note about this tea: Mengku Tea Factory made an expedition to remote area near Banzhang mountain to obtain the leaves for these cakes. The leaves are from trees 400 to 500 years old that were heavily cut during the Cultural Revolution. The trunk is still intact and in the 35 years since the trees have continued to grow and produce excellent quality Pu-erh with that special Banzhang taste and penetrating perfume-like aroma. When brewed is golden yellow and takes 10 or more infusions, each infusion with it's own taste and gradually less bitter and ineffably sweet.




1.5g, hot boiling water, zisha pot

Dry leaves: light aroma resembling tobacco and floral, mixture of young hairy tips and mostly dark green leaves, a few medium green leaves which doesn't look like it's from the same tree.

1st brew: 10s, light yellow color, lovely intense aroma of summer/fall floral, crisp clean mouth feel, not sweet, a bit of astringency

2nd brew: 15s, same color, still a lot of floral aroma plus a smoky taste, some astringency, no bitterness, a lot of wild puer aroma after taste, pleasant taste lasts a very long time - 20 minutes and more

3rd brew: 10s, same color, floral still strong, smoother in taste, astringency still, very nice after taste

This is one of those nice wild varietals which gives the kind of long lasting aroma I enjoy time after time. It lacks the aged flavor which due to its young age, in time, the glucose should break down enough to give it smooth and sweet taste. I find this tea taste differently when drunk hot or luke warm within the same brew. More floral when hot, and more smoky and smoother when cool.

10 comments:

Dustin said...

What a familiar looking cha he. Oh wait I just bought the same one two weeks ago. I was equally unimpressed with Infusions of Tea. Being served with a glass mug was definitely a huge turn off. The people who worked there seemed nice enough though.

~ Phyll said...

Oh nice! I'm considering this brick from Scott of YSLLC (right?).

I'm sorry about the camera...I feel responsible. However, don't return it yet. It sounds like you just need to set the white balance properly to AUTO. The reason your pics turn bluish with flash on is most likely because the white balance is set on Tungsten. If you shoot under Tungsten mode using a flash, your pics will turn blue. The same blue will appear if you shoot it under the sun.

Give it the benefit of the doubt before returning it. Nikon is a good reliable brand, and I'm not convinced that it's THAT bad compared to Canon. Unless, you got yourself a lemon.

Pics look fine here, though.

~ Phyll said...

Oh, now I see what you mean by blue hue. Yes, the pics do do have that "cool" bluish tone. There should be a setting to adjust the "warmth" level. You need to customize this camera, probably, whereas with Canon they are good to go from the start. It's the same thing with my Minolta digital camera. Pics are crappy with the default setting...but great after I customize all the settings properly.

Imen said...

Dustin,

Do you know if they have the same cha he in yellow? I want one if they do.

The Asian couple who own the shop are usually there, very nice people, just a bit too amateur to own a tea shop. And I don't mean it in a bashful way. It might be enough to serve the norm though.

Imen said...

Phyll,

Sorry for making you feel guilty, and you really shouldn't have. According to description, it is the best choice with all the must haves. I truely appreciate your help. You are not responsible for the quality of nikon. :)

I'll try playing with the setting once I have time tomorrow. My lack of knowledge might be partially to blamed. There is hope after your recommendation!

Yes, it is from Scott. This is a brick worth drinking and should get much better after aging.

Dustin said...

Imen, one of the owners said he thought they had some in yellow. If I'm in the area anytime soon do you want me to pick one up for you? My mom works in the area and my girlfriend loves the mall near it so I'm up there fairly often. I can definitely ship it up your way if you want, just let me know.

Imen said...

Dustin,

Cool! I have a friend goes to the shop every other week or so too. Thanks for the offer! I'll have my friend pick it up, or I can pick it up myself in a couple of weeks when I take my family there for dinner.

Tea people are nice! :)

Imen said...

Phyll,

I learn a few tricks with this camera. It operates very differently from Canon which I am soooo used to, especially just point and shoot.

The nikon however takes some skill, particually when it comes to macro and flash light. Pointing too close to the subject and flash at the same time is a big no no. However it is suposed to get as close as 4cm. The position of the flash light is odd too. It's positioned lower than the lens, therefore, the light is blocked off on one side when taking close range pictures. You can see that from pics on this post, left hand side is darker than the other.

I am now using macro about a foot away zoom in len and use flash at the same time to get a nice clear shot. It takes a while to adjust the focus automatically. You can not just point and shoot. It is still bluish at this distance and white balance is set to auto. Other options are preset, daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, flash. What would be the right choice Phyll?

This camera takes good pictures at normal range. Picture quality is not as good as Canon, but close enough for portraits. It should be good for traveling.

~ Phyll said...

Hi Imen,

I wish I could find the manual online on Nikon's website, but I couldn't. However, to answer your question, you can preset the white balance depending the type of light you shoot under. If you take pics of your teas under light bulbs or halogen, set it to tungsten (incandescent?). If you have fluorescent lighting, set it as such.

Sorry, I wish I could help further. But without the camera or any manual in front of me, it's hard.

Imen said...

Phyll,

I guess it will just take me some time to get used to this camera. It does take good quality pictures at times, I'll need to learn how to take good pictures most of the time if not all times.

I also miss my canon s500 so much, I might buy an used one for my close up tea and orchid pictures. Canon is too convenient for dummies like me. :)