Masterclass is a tuition session where an expert e.g. in music conduct classes for students. In tea, a tea expert often conducts this teaching by producing the actual tea to share their interpretation of a potentially good tea. Some tea like Puer tea has decades of learning experiences, so the only way to teach the tea is to produce the tea for a lifetime of sessions.
I normally call these tea “masterclass tea” i.e. tea produced by tea expert or teamasters. Notwithstanding, the quality of the tea are based on the tea expert understanding and interpretation of an ideal tea. It may or may not be the ultimate tea but the experience gained from drinking the tea over a long period of time is definitely worthwhile.
I was fortunate to obtain 2 batches of masterclass Puer tea.
The first masterclass Puer tea was jointly produced by four teamasters from four different countries. Their names are endorsed on the wrapper of the tea. The details are:
Collaboration production (芾監合聯, Fèi jiān hé lián) of the following tea experts:
Hong Kong : 葉榮忮 Yè Róng Zhì
Taiwan : 吕禮臻 Lǚ Lǐ Zhēn
Singapore : 李自强 Lǐ Zì Qiáng
Malaysia : 蕭慧娟 Xiāo Huì Juān
Name of the tea cake: 福䘵夀禧 (Fú lù shòu xǐ)
Year of production: 2014
Cake size: 375gm Bing
This Puer tea is said to be a spring tea from Yiwu mountain. The tea leaves are consistently good quality with nice natural floral and fruity fragrance.
The second masterclass tea was produced by 鄧時海 Dèng Shí Hǎi
Name of the tea cake : 福祿圓茶Fú Lù Yuán Chá
Year of Production : 2012
Cake size: 380gm Bing
I was supposed to meet 鄧時海 Dèng Shí Hǎi for a tea session with my regular tea friends in Malaysia 2 months ago (December 2014) but unfortunately my trip was delayed. What a missed opportunity! I am sure that I will catch up with him soon as my old hometown is 15 minutes away from his old hometown and we travelled to that region often and in contact with the same tea groups there. He was kind enough to leave a tong and two extra bing of the tea produced by him in 2012 and autographed on the bamboo wrapper for me. This tea is the 3rd batch produced by him, the others were in 1996 and 2007.
According to him this tea was inspired by the ancient Puer tea recipes and method of processing. He said that it will be the tea for the future generation to appreciate and drink. The tea leaves are blended and looks like a mixture of many types of leave. It seems to resemble what the ancient Puer tea look like. This would be an interesting tea to experience for many years to come.
Masterclass tea is a tea that worth its’ experience for many serious tea hobbyist. It reveals the tea expert interpretation of a good tea based on his expertise and knowledge. It may or may not be an ultimate tea but definitely worth the experience. A tea like that should be humbly appreciated for seeking understanding and experience.
I certainly look forward to experience these tea for years to come by brewing them often to follow its aging and changing character.
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