A comparative tasting of Plum Beauty Bronze vs. Gold

I was gifted either end of the Plum Beauty spectrum by a generous teafriend, so I did a side-by-side gaiwan tasting after two rinses, necessitated by the ball needing to be prized apart by fork after the first rinse and then re-rinsed on its essentially still bone-dry interior.

One thing was not expecting was that even at the post-rinse stage, prior to first steep, the odor would have led me to correctly identify which tea was which even if the leaf was not viewable. The gold has a most enticing aroma, while the bronze, not to put too fine a point on it, smelled like young pu.

The trend continued into the cupping – the bronze was certainly not bad, but embodied evetything about why I rarely drink young pu. It wasn’t bad, per se, but really didn’t bring anything much to the table that would lead me to choose it over even a decent, inexpensive oolong or aged pu of dubious material (hi zhuancha!). A bit rough, rather thin, altogether unprepossessing.

The gold, on the other hand, had a much fuller mouthfeel and left a nice aftertaste behind. It may have been somewhat overshadowed by my rather recent experience with F*ck What U Heard, which it simply isn’t on the level of, but it was an excellent drink and one which I am going to add a few of to the stash, as I expect it might be a splendid treat when I don’t want to mess around with separating something off a cake (or don’t have access to any more of W2T’s splendid but high-dollar beengs).

A definite eye-opening experience into just how much difference the initial leaf quality really can make.

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I almost certainly don’t know very much about all that I don’t know about tea.

But I’m trying!


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