" nubs of abalone flesh hanging on to a very minerally shell" this wins my vote for flavor descriptor of the week.
" nubs of abalone flesh hanging on to a very minerally shell" this wins my vote for flavor descriptor of the week.
Sheng of the day...
3g of half'nhalf YS Mushucha/Nanpozhai + 4g YS '10 Yongxueshan...
This was very nice, kind of dominated by the '11 leaves, but the YXS really helped make things more interesting, and the taste blend was more or less seemless. If I had one of the 11 YS bings, I would regularly make this blend...
06 XZH Lao Banzhang Yin this is a treat I love a good LBZ. I think I like the Yan caker better. But this is still good a little more on the tabacco side. I wish they still had samples of the Tai Chi cakes left at Houde . But the 2005 Guoyan LBZ is for sale at Yunnan Sourcing US for $105. Don't know if this is a good deal for this cake but i gotta think $105 dollars for a 7 yr old LBZ is at least fair considering what the new stuff costs
SOTD: 2007 XZH KuZhuShan JiPin GuShu - It seems that some have found this tea to be "weak". I find that can be true. However if you brew with a bit more leaf and time, then I quite like this tea. I had a great session with it today. It has a very good, fruity huigan and really coats the mouth. However I will admit that I brewed it the other day, using different water, and found it to be fairly boring, even insipid. The durability is decent but not great. I followed this up with some of a sample (also from HouDe) of the 2007 JingMeiTang SheDe GuangBien LaoZhai. I think it is a decent tea but I didn't find it to have any particularly unique qualities. Partway through the session I was too hopped up on caffeine to continue. I don't know how much was from this vs the KuZhuShan or if it was just the quantity of the two combined.
Yesterday I had the 2005 CGHT BanZhan ChaWang. I am really getting to like this one even though the durability is a bit lacking. I didn't notice any qi but I also should probably have used a bit more leaf.
GN, this is probably a better bet...
Also, for you and others, I immediately headed here, after finding this site...
Enjoy! (And yes, I wonder if that's for real, 'cause it does seem too good to be true...)
Gave in and opened another bing of Tai Lian. It seems more aged, the aroma is slightly less complex. Less acrid, more dry. The bing is tight, and the leaves very heavily rolled, but little prefermentation. More fragrant wood taste, more aged vanilla-ish tastes, no hints of dark stone fruits this time, plenty of cooling. The sooner you rescue a bing from the boney grasp of Madame Mountain, the sooner you can get results!
Had 2003 Bada wetstored yesterday...It was kind of boring for me, a round, red soup with fine woody rims on the buds.
Day before that, a nice session with '05 Yiwu Yesheng, with more woody tastes
Day before that, a good as usual session with Nadacha Manmai.
I check this: http://www.sampletea.com/ I though it is from some very dubious country, but after I check it, it's from Singapore. I "ping" the site to get the IP address then I enter the IP address into this site to find the country: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ I wonder why don't they do sample for the 97 Va Lun Brick, instead selling the whole brick for $1200?
They have a same site layout as finepuer.com It might be worth a couple bucks to find out.
SOTD the 2003 YiWu "Zhen Shan Da Yeh" at Houde nice stuff at least so far I'm only on infusion three and trying to decide whether I want the year of the dragon two brick package or just the one. Its a little thin though. with a similar flavor profile to the 2001 kunming tie lan yin but less smoke more leather and very aromatic.
edit: not the most durable but good hui gan I think I'll only get one.
Also tried the 06 Bingdao from pu-erh.sk its definitly some if not all plantation nice huigan and up front orchid flavor nice not what I was hoping fo but for the price not bad. I also got samples of all his 2011 pressing and he sent me free samples of every yi wu he has to compensate for the expensive shipping. I'll post on the other cakes shortly if their good it could be an excellent source for Gu Shu.
Last edited by GN?; 02-06-2012 at 11:50 AM.
SOTD: XZH 2010 LaoWuShan GuCha - Brewing this with tap water at work, I initially found this tea to be very flat. After a few brews I switched to some basic bottled water and the tea improved and the bitterness appeared. That said, this tea was not very interesting. It didn't have any high notes to speak of either. I didn't notice any qi.
Coincidentally Hobbes reviewed this tea today as well. I would have to agree that the 2 XZH offerings from HouDe this year aren't that interesting.
2011 pu-erh.sk Yibang using the whole ten gram sample in 120ml gaiwan This is my first Yibang andf I am really enjoying it. There is a strong brown suggar aroma from the under the gaiwan lid for the first two infusions that lingers with me a while after putting down the gaiwan. There is a slight plantation feel to this but I would geuss this is mostly old tree. I am not really good with flavor descriptors but there was a very nice savory feel to the first four infusions with a slight huigan . around infusiuon five the tea lost some of its original feel and gained a healthy ku but the huigan kicked off nicely around that time and even though it kinda lost its initial shine it still stayed interesting. this tea's aftertaste stay in your sinuses more than your mouth it is very interesting with nice cha qi to boot. Its like forty something for a xiao bing. This is the first of their own pressings that I have tried and I am excited to try the others this is way more interesting than either of XZH's tea's at houde and about 2/3 the price.
08 Xiaguan Nan Zhou round cake 454g -
Lots of fragments due to it being an iron cake. A bit of smoke and that unmistakable Xiaguan flavor. Okay session...I don't reach for this very often.
SOTD: 2002 Tai Lian Puerh Expo cake - same cake as shah8 had on 2/5. I find the tea from this cake to be fairly strong in flavor. It has some smokiness in the background and is showing some signs of age. I detected something similar to the woodiness that shah8 mentioned. I also find this cake to somewhat drying to the mouth. I think this cake would have been even better if it had had some slightly more humid storage. I didn't really notice the qi which is something that Scott mentions in the description and shah8 has mentioned in the past. All in all I just find this cake to be ok although not bad for the price.
Bangwei '10. Was pretty nice, flavor dropped out after about 5 brews though, but the watery remains were pleasant. The taste stayed in my mouth for ages past the last sip. Was more floral than usual.
Tai Lian again. Largely the same results. I really really like this tea as something I can drink a bit more regularly. Too much.
GN, I would treat pretty much all small-leaf puer with suspicion, and would only want to purchase 4-5+ years old small-leaf stuff, because these guys get flat as part of their aging processes. If that stuff's still rocking and reasonably layered after the initial mellowing period, then I'd say go ahead. A long-winded way of saying most Yibangs are drink-now teas. A 400g equivalent is about $68. That's well within striking distance for the XZH Lao Wu Shan, in the sense that it's liable to hold value and get better as a tea. It should also be noted that HouDe is selling that tea for five bucks less than what the sanhetang website is asking for. Also, I think even if you were into drinking now, YS Xikong would be the better alternative, especially when shipping is considered (from the US site). Lastly, The Tea Urchin is going to eventually set up a shop, and while it may be for Aussies, and therefore not exiting, he may well have *spring* Xikong for sale, which would really be worth it. I will, as always, be interested in hearing about the other teas in that sampler they offer, though.
EdoB, the qi is a bit of a subtle whole-body feel. Also, I think you will find that $60 is cheap for Jingmai (or mostly so) of that quality and maturity. Most good Jingmai of that age are extremely expensive (BTH offers two at around the $300 mark), and recognized brands like He Shihua, say the one Hobbes and Nerval has had is about $100. The *premium* versions from '00-'04 ventures from just under $300 to over $700 on Taobao. One of those things I plan to think seriously about, if I ever have real money again, is buying a tong of that stuff.
There are a ton of pie fights about the early Tai Lian productions, notably the '99 Mengku, the pair of 2002, a yiwu cake (not the brick), in the sinosphere, but what really crazy is that the 2002 productions, absolutely NOBODY knows what's in it!!! Check this thread out as an example...
Last edited by shah8; 02-07-2012 at 11:20 PM.
Dueling 2011 Maanuo's Eot vs pu-erh.sk It was not really a fair comparison. Eot's kind of blew it out of the water. The pu-erh.sk Mannuo was alright decent mouthfeel a little sour.Maybe it wasn't fair to compare it against Nada's Mannuo. Although I must say I feel like my sample was allot better than my cake (that I was fortunate enough to win) It could be the cold. I feel like all my cakes lately have been lackluster due to the low temp. in my storage space.
Different Man Nuo. The pu-erh.sk Man Nuo is an area of Bulang, 'bout 15-30 miles east of the township. EoT's Man Nuo is about 15-30 miles SE of Jingmai. However, I'd doubt that the bulang Man Nuo would fare better against Nada's pair of Bulangs. Man Nuo is typically not an expensive Bulang on Taobao. HouDe re-added Tai Chi LBZ, go get'em tiger!
Tai Lian, *again*, can't keep my paws off since breaking open a cake. More towards the Mengku side of things today. Drank about 12-13 brews of that, now drinking the last 5.3 grams of Jifengyuan, which is pretty good (as usual, my last try with wet storage stuff is the best). The Jifengyuan to me illustrates why I like the Tai Lian so much. It's much thinner and shallower in taste that doesn't really coat the mouth and doesn't have the number of nuances in the soup such that I have fun tasting stuff, and, of course, no surprises. The Tai Lian is just very full, deep, complex, and well rounded. Very odd at times, but I like that...
Last edited by shah8; 02-08-2012 at 12:31 PM.
One last thing...Guang Bien Lao Zhai, like in that Jing Mei Tang cake sold at Houde is just as, or more, often considered a Hekai cake, as it's at the northern end of Bulang Mt.
Ok, maybe I just don't *get* LBZ.....SOTD: 2010 HLH Lao Ban Zhang GuShu from a YS sample. This tea had some of the same LBZ taste that I have experienced in the few other LBZ I have had. I would describe this as a tea with no high notes but some decent complexity. That said, while it wasn't a bad tea at all, it was not a stand out in any way, didn't have any real notable huigan nor, even using 7g of leaf, did I notice much in the way of qi. So why is this a $295 cake? I have to say I have absolutely no idea. As I said, I just don't *get* it. To be fair, I have felt that way about all other LBZ as well. Some of them are nice, but the price seems completely out of line with what they offer.
SOTD: Continuing on the LBZ theme, 2006 XZH LBZ "Yan" which is the cake in black paper. I found this to be much stronger in taste than the sister cake in the white paper ("Yin"). I did rather enjoy this sample. While this is a tea with no high notes,MIT is flavorful and complex with good mouthfeel. This was very durable. I could feel an energizing qi a bit although I did finish the tea in under 2 hours instead of the usual 3.
SOTD: 2011 YS NanPoZhai - Typical green young sheng. The soup is very yellow. The tea seemed to have an underlying apricot flavor which faded over time. This tea didn't have any high notes. It did have a bit of sweetness but not like some of the YiBang I have had. Not bad but not notable.
And where is everyone? This is my third consecutive post with no one in between!
Well, I had Tai Lian yet again, yesterday, and today I had a good session with 6FTM '03 Youle. Brewed around that obnoxious plantation (like licking metal), and it was pretty good, generally wood with a plum subtone, and lasted 20+ brews.
Mansai '10 today. Was pretty thick, and the taste very complex. Not too much qi, though, and it gave out pretty quickly, but there was some camphor water afterwards. Very slightly sour, and the bitterness was heavier today, in the beginning.
Then I polished off the last 2.8g of XZH Lao Wu Shan. Definitely has qi, coats the mouth good, not much above pedestrian in the beginning, but develops a very nice sweet floral taste, and the late tea-water was fairly fruity. Good thickness and texture. In my mind, not a bad buy at $95 if you don't mind the traditional Lancang flatness. Very pure note taste. Not a good deal either, since I would probably prefer the '07 XZH Kuzhushan to this, because the beginning of that tea is so good, and the latter brews are refreshing. Too bad that tea is $175.