Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2006 Xiaguan YueShang Tuo

I am a fan of Xiaguan pu erh tea.  In particular, I liked their smoky pu erh tea.  When these tea had been stored away for more than 10 years, the smoky character  seems to be quietly subdued, changing the taste and aroma of the tea into a more complex drink.  There were a few older Xiaguan in my collection which seem to have an extra camphor finish in the tea which I enjoy.  And....the iron cakes - the complexity in taste and aroma is something I enjoy everytime.  However, most of the tuos and iron cakes are extremely tightly compressed.  It can be a health hazard trying to pry open the tea.  I have poked myself more than once with a tea pick.  I have recommended you use a normal plier (new) to break off pieces from your iron cake or tuo. 

This 2006 YueShang 200g tuo is non smoky and I liked it a lot.  I call this the honey tuo as this tea has a honey aroma that reminded me of floral honey.  When I brew this tea, there is a nice sweet aroma intensifying with herbal scents that make this tea very enjoyable.  There is a baked apple pie hint in the tea which I like as well.  Under all these honeyed notes, there is a herbal complexity in the tea as it is already 13 years old.  Smooth, mellow and sweet.  This tea is similar to the Xiaguan gold ribbon tuo but this YueShang is heavier on the honey profile.  

This tea was on my 'to buy' list during my Guangzhou trip last month.  I managed to lay my hands on a carton and it was to me, my 'find of the year' (so far). Really nice.  

Monday, September 2, 2019

Countryside Tea Factory Of Yunnan China

I am guessing you are shaking your head in disbelief when you read the title of this blog.  I am not tea drunk.  There is, really, a 'Countryside Tea Factory'.  Just look at the wrapper on the last pix. 

I got this 50g tuo as a gift from a tea distributor in Guangzhou last month.  He told me it was from his personal collection.  

My guess is this tuo is about 15 years old.  This mini tuo is highly compressed and I almost 'poke' myself with a tea pick as I was dismantling the tuo.

These are my findings from 2 sessions of this tea.  There  was hardly any sweetness in the tea.  This tea is strong in both taste and aroma.  There were strong herbal notes in the tea; almost medicinal herbs and a bitter tree bark taste in the initial infusions.  Middle infusions were quite mouthwatering with a herbal soup taste like lingzhi and ginseng roots.  I felt the aftertaste is a little dry.  This tea made a dozen good infusions in one sitting.  I believed my tea distributor friend liked the unique herbal medicinal profile in the tea.  An interesting tea....from the countryside.