1970s Fuzhuan via Varat — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #103

A mellow, aged Fuzhuan courtesy of Varat of the Guide to Pu’erh Tea blog. Thanks for this fun, mellow treat!

2 responses to “1970s Fuzhuan via Varat — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #103”

  1. Hello James,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Your reflections are very much on point to how I felt when I was drinking this tea the first few times. If you haven’t encountered something like this before, it can be confusing at first because you don’t quite know what to make of it. That said it grows on you (at least for me). Personally I brew it considerably stronger whilst using a thick wall yixing, possibly x3 the strength of the brews you are getting. That extra heat can really help extract and concentrate the essence of the tea, allowing me to feel the energy in the tea more clearly. The Grandpa style works well also as you have rightly mentioned, ideally with a yixing teapot to maintain that heat intensity.

    Note – Those tea leaves you got are likely from the top of the brick. As I have been delving deeper into the brick the golden flowers have appeared more abundantly.

    Best, Varat

  2. 1970’s Fu Zhuan would be something I don’t think I’ve seen before; or, if I did, I was suspicious enough to have not pursued. Fu Zhuan, to my mind, just doesn’t age real well, at least not for several decades. The original material 茶底 is not high quality and it’s very loosely pressed. It’s post-fermented for only a few hours, so the bricks leave the factory alive and kicking; it changes rapidly and is ‘very’ sensitive to its storage environment/conditions (far more sensitive than a raw pu’er, which hasn’t had the jump-start; far less sensitive than a ripe pu’er, which is pretty close to spent after two months of post-fermentation). It would be interesting to see a picture of the packaging as well as a close up of the leaves/brick. The ‘soup’ James is getting looks cleaner than I would expect from such an old Fu Zhuan. I’d expect that soup to be super cloudy. Any golden flowers long dried out, to the point of being gold dust.

    I’ve seen plenty of older ‘Hei Zhuan’ 黑磚 – I have a brick from 1992. (It starts out far cloudier than what James had here.) Lots of these around. 茶底 with these is also unrefined; however, these are pressed so tightly you need a jack-hammer to break them apart. So they do tend to hold up better over time. Many are 返銷--originally sold to the border regions, stored there for years, and bought back by vendors to resell for good $$ on the urban market. Storage is the big question mark with these. Hard to imagine that a 1970’s Fu Zhuan hasn’t been to the border regions; indeed, hard to imagine a 1970’s Fu Zhuan.

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