Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2004 Xiaguan Te Ji Tuo Boxed

I purchased a few of these 2004 Xiaguan Te Ji tuos during my recent trip to Kunming. I had heard that the Xiaguan Te Ji in box was better than the ones in wrapper (5 tuos in a wrapper). I have the wrapper version as well (link) even though there were from 2007 instead.

I think I may have overpaid for these 2004 tuos at 80rmb each in Kunming but this was the only occasion where I had came across these 10 year old tuos and I succumbed to buying half a dozen of these tuos.

This 100g tuo is smoky. It exudes a nice dry sandalwood scent when brewed. I could detect a faint floral aroma with a tiny sweet after taste. Quite a nice tea, in my opinion.

As this tea had been stored in Kunming, making comparisons with some of my tea stash that has been stored in Singapore would imply any conclusions are unbalanced and unfair. I felt that pu erh tea stored in Kunming, seem to be more delicate in taste and aroma. Perhaps the lower humidity there could be one of the reasons.

A very enjoyable tea but I hesitate to recommend a 'buy' of this 2004 tea. You will have recalled that I had also purchased in Kunming, the 2013 Xiaguan 100g bricks (link) that had 5 year old raw pu erh blended into the production. This is way much cheaper. Both are very good teas, but the 2103 Xiaguan brick, in my personal opinion, would give more bang for your buck.

But I digress. I received a mail which the writer suggest I seem to like the big production teas like Xiaguan, Dayi or Haiwan. Yes, I do like them and writing about them does allow my readers to make notes or compare their views on the teas which they may also own or have intentions to buy. Writing on the more obscure brands, I think, may just read like a fiction book. I would like to add that I had bad experiences with these big brands as well. One of them was a 2003 Jia Ji boxed raw tuo 100g, which I had kept for almost 5 years. The tea was flat, almost tasteless. There are also some old raw teas that has the 'sabun' (malay word) or soap aroma which my Malaysian tea friends enjoy , that is found in the first few infusions of some big brand raw pu erh tea. I am really trying to appreciate this aroma....really. With so many teas in the market, it will be hit and miss for everyone..... tea drinker, tea shop and tea producer included.

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