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.
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