Happy Tuo for me tonight! I like it :)
Happy Tuo for me tonight! I like it :)
Shah what leaf water ratio are u using with nadacha?
Today early 60 s GYG 5 grams 70 ml pot. The qi is the only real highlight of this tea.
Well, this round, I have been doing 4g/~110ml.
Started off with another 4g of XZH Yangta Fall '07. I think this is aging quite nicely, at least as top taste goes. When I first tried this as a sample, it was kinda tobacco-ey, and tended to be easily bitter. The sample did make enough of an impression on me, over the Xue Shan Chuen Lu, that I grabbed the last bing available instead of two of the latter tea. Nowadays, it has the complexion of a sophisticated white wine...a nice, high pitch wood and wildflower florals on the top--like a cask taste, with a body like a slightly sweet white wine, or maybe champagne, with a suggestion of dark fruit in the murk of the lower, very slightly sour fungus notes. There was a little bit of cooling, less than it usually is, and less sweet sensation on the tongue tip. The thickness was good, some light qi only showed up later in the session. Not especially complex or layered taste/effects. Durable.
Then I had Nadacha Manmai, with the usual 7g/140ml serving. Good aroma, okay thickness, very little bitterness, not much qi, transforms in the mouth well into fruit notes, no huigans, light qi, lasting and coating aftertaste like the '03 Dayi High Mountain Bada tuo. Will check to see if the leaves are too hongcha or what. Was pretty durable. Not as good as Bangwei yesterday, though, even though top taste was nicer.
edit: After looking at the used leaves, I saw a lot of red stems, and a couple of leaves with the mid-rib being red. Not too many leaves with bruises, and I don't remember malt. I don't really remember seeing or tasting this before, so I'm not sure if this isn't merely an unusual set of leaves...
Last edited by shah8; 05-07-2012 at 09:33 PM.
06 Changtai Bada Shan -
Damp hay, wood and mushroom. No storage flavors...nice and clean. Hit the spot tonight.
A very good tea day today.
First I had 7g of Dayi Mengsong Peacock '05. The wild bitterness and astringency was under control. Got a very nicely deep flavored cup. Relatively strong and good aroma. Good qi. Good huigan. Good texture and thickness. Essentially nothing wrong with it, except that it's every so slightly processed in some kind of Xiaguan way, and it opens out into a pleasant but broad flavor after about 8 brews. If you're ever in China, this is one cake to look out for, since it's clearly better than most factory cakes, even high quality factory cakes.
Then I had 4.2g of XZH '07 XiShengMeiShao. At first, it was slightly dissappointing after my earlier positive experience. The flavor was quiet, and featured Lancang style sweet grains. The tea never did get around to its usual feisty huigans. However, after a few brews it really picked up (other than being kinda thin). Complexity went up. Aroma got to be incredible, and I strongly recommend using aroma cups with this tea, given the exquisite aromas I got under the lid, especially after it cools a bit. The soup smelled good, too. Later infusions had some strong camphor bursts on top of oftentimes intense sweet sensation. There was excellent qi, and very nice cooling in the throat. This was much more durable than normal, got about 15 good brews, and consistent taste volume most of the way there. I am really beginning to think Lancangs do offer much in terms of aging, now. It's simply that with Jingmai and Jing Gu, and many of those other places, you absolutely *have* to get top stuff in order to get tea that doesn't fade too badly while transformed by age. Outside of Jingmai (and Jiangchen, but who cares?), most excellent Lancangs are part of very small and sparsely planted ancient plantations, where 2 tons is a really big deal. In any event, the quality of this XiShengMeiShao makes me resent the rather so-so samples I've gotten from HouDe over this last year. The XZH Osanzhai and Manzhuang just aren't at this level, especially in terms of qi, and yeah, not in flavor either. The CGHT Ban'E is not this durably enjoyable either. I'd say that it's because of the increased difficulties of the chase, but...it's not 2011 or 2012 tea here. It's 2010 and 2005 maocha... 2010 wasn't *that* bad a year, was it? It's such a huge difference from 2009 XZH to 2010 XZH, it seems! I also kinda want to try the 2010 YS Yangta, and see if it's improved in age or fading.
By the way, it's come to my attention that some people haven't noticed as quickly as me, but the Taipei Jincha is back in stock at HouDe under the Mushroom category. Doesn't really get much better than this for blended factory-ish tea for storage. Yeah, things like Dayi Secret Fragrance or Mengsong Peacock are somewhat better, but they are very, very good for what it is, and the Taipei Jincha is also quite good for what it is. It's also expensive (but seems to be the actual going China price) at $30/250g.
01 fuk hoi from Sunsing. A decent wet stored tea no off taste at all witha thick soup decent mouthfeel and still has some hui gans . The cha qi is apparent and calming yet at the. Same time stimulating . Really this is a quite well done storage tea if your not to worried about complex flavor profiles. the 03 bada at Sunsing is way more interesting flavor wise and is a 400 gram cake, for the same price. If I was forced to chose between the two I would choose the bada with out a second thought. But thankfully I'm not.
Last edited by GN?; 05-09-2012 at 07:39 AM.
As I go through my review...
Everytime I open my mouth with praise for Secret Fragrance sheng, I wind up trying a session and being disappointed. Nice tea. good aroma, a bit of qi, nice herbal and fruit flavors, but big factory sheng to the core, and the low taste/punch volume to match. The '05 Mengsong Peacock and Taipei Jincha are more similar to each other (and they're not similar) than they are to the lower class tea.
Then I tried 4g of 07 XZH Yiwu. Definitely in the awkward phase right now, at least early on. The green edge is now a kind of lightly sour mushroom. Never more than light qi (and this tea never has had heavy qi), but it does do well in aroma. The taste is clearly getting more woody, overall. Certainly more woody than the '05 MYH Yieh Sheng. It's not sweet, aside from a couple of moments. Just not as good as any of the XZH Lancangs, even the Kuzhushan. Not as good as the Yiwu or Youle from '06, and the LongFeng might actually be tastier on occasion. I'm not sure how the quality is beat for the cash for a Yiwu, however. Something like the '07 CGHT GFZ, when it's good, is actually better, but the XZH has never been as bad. Sold out for now, anyways. I see a great number of extremely expensive Yiwus, though.
99 dadugan not the famous wild cake but there standard thick paper cake. Just really nothing special about this cake. It does kick up an interesting little huigan every now and then but that's not enough to save it from blandom.
Moved on to 09 Youle by Douji. I was kinda surprised at how good this was. This cake seemed to sit around the longest at yunnan sourcing and . so I figured it was sub-par compared with other douji single mtn. Cakes. Not the case this was a fruit bomb. A decent mid range cake.
Counting the days untill I get my 2012 EOTs cakes.
Youle is typically a very fruity tea when young. They tend to not be very valuable because the majority of them tend to be low in qi, and most do not age into anything exciting either.
My shengs of the day...
1) SE Memorial. Very good taste, not enough qi, same ole same ole. Good everyday tea.
2) 2004 YQH. Essentially a 10/10 for not-new puerh class. One of those top-ten feel session. Best I've ever gotten it to go, with an absolute load of qi--on the body, relaxing and swimmingly/sauna warming, it it smooths out the head in a dreamy way. Very spicey taste, which is far more robust than usual. Deep, layered, leaves lots of taste in the mouth and throat. Good and complex aroma. Not a hint of bitterness, and only a bit of the good kind of astringency. Still drinking now, and it's obviously killing the 1999 Song Charactered Changtai (which is sweeter and a bit thicker, but so much more boring...less qi as well). Well outperforming the 2007 XZH, better taste, better *wood* taste, way more qi, and way more complexity. The only thing missing are active huigans, but taste is so lasting and interesting that it is not missed. If someone has it for sale and you have to pawn off your grandmother's things...you probably should think about it...
Trapped in an alien university, in London, I am impressed that the locals are drinking a noticeably rocking shengpu. It's hard to cater for the five thousand and let them drink pu'uercha, but somehow these crazy geniuses have managed it. I bet the delegates didn't know what hit 'em. Tomorrow, I aim to find out what it is that we're a-drinking.
So be it, young Jedi.
SotYesterday: 2010 Nadacha Bangwei.
Bangwei? 'Cause we gotta.
It's been a long time since I had this tea. I had a sample, and bought a tong as a result. That tong has remained untouched, until yesterday. Like a rabid dog on a steak, I tore the bamboo wrapping apart using nothing but the vicelike grip of my teeth, shaking my head until tea had been released from its bindings. The result was Big Tea: it brewed for something like twenty infusions, delivering an Optimus Prime of constant sweetness and heavy huigan. I lost count with the brews, because I was failing badly at "Draw Something" (my opponents never seem to appreciate Dadaist renderings conveyed through the medium of iPad fingerpainting). However, suffice to say that the tea continued to rock my world for prolonged periods.
The terrifying prices of the 2012 aside, I'm rather looking forward to some good new cakes in the coming season.
Make it so,
Had I money, the one pair of cakes I would get from Nadacha would be the two Bangwei xiaobings. Everything else, is secondary, what with me already having a GFZ xiaobing. Bangwei isn't the best tasting Lancang around, actually pretty far from it, but good tea is expensive these days, and a good example of B Division can still deliver the bang, especially for the buck.
I do hope that the sex yesterday was good, and a certain somebody doesn't find out.
Cause I gotta...
SOTD was ChaRen (Tea Urchin) 2011 Autumn GFZ. The dry leaf was lightly aromatic. The soup was yellow but tending towards the orange end of the spectrum, but not orange like a new XZH. The tea was light but had some nice fruity huigan. It was somewhat less durable than most teas and the leaves were on the large side. I noticed a wallop from the qi though. This tea was enjoyable enough but really I think it is best to go for spring teas. Of course spring teas will be more expensive, especially this year it seems! I had a sample of the sister cake (GSZ) several days ago. I overbrewed it at first but I thought that the increased strength was rather nice - it brought out more fruit notes but still wasn't overly bitter. The GSZ was more orange although I don't know if this was all or partially due to the longer steeping times. It seemed more durable as well. I believe MarshalN reviewed this one as well.
A week or so ago I tried the XZH DinJinNuEr again. This is really a somewhat different puerh. It was more oxidized when it was produced, presumably to make it more drinkable. For whatever reason, I didn't really care for this rather expensive puerh. While I have never been able to describe taste well I won't try too hard here but I didn't find it very interesting nor did it do much for me in the way of qi. I do believe shah8 is a fan of this tea though, at least at the original price, which still probably seemed expensive in its day.
After a round of '05 Yieh Sheng and a few more rounds of '04 YQH, I had 4g of '06 YQH Chawang. It was alright. The qi was good, as usual, but unlike the older YQH, it wasn't as pleasurably moving and comforting. The top taste isn't the best, and it's pretty reliant on aftertaste for positive taste impressions. Not that thick, aroma is okay. It was durable, actually, this time around, giving a pleasant sweet tea for many brews, along with camphor.
I'm going to resist breaking into either of my Dinjin Nuer cakes! They've gotten so expensive on me, and if I dig in once, I'll dig in more! I do find it interesting that the sample didn't do much in terms of qi, though. My sample consistently delivered rather killer qi, which is one reason why I liked it so much. One can only shrug, and suggest individual tastes, even I'm the only guy here who likes it. ?:~) These cakes are generally fairly expensive. If the tea was sold in equivalent weight, the Dinjin Nuer would have cost $25 more than the '07 XZH Dian Gu. Every other serious cake of that style also costs a tremendous amount. For example, at Best Tea House, the 2005 Feng Qing (a comparable product) is more expensive than any other post 2k tea other than the 2003 Jingmai and 2007 Chan Harvest. From what I gather, tea forums/blogs in the east, who likes this sort of thing, likes them because of a very sweet flavor, and an unusual aroma. Of course, there's also a status appeal of drinking "virgin forest" and "thousand year old tree". On the other hand, there are many people, who has pretty much the same attitude as Hobbes, reviling these teas as the bile of demons.
After some Tai Lian that was mostly fine chop, but still good, with fewer huigans than usual, I had 4.2g of XZH '07 LongFeng. It's not really a different tea in concept than the SE Memorial '06, actually. However the 30% Hekai tips does a better job locomoting the rest of the reject leaves from Youle and Bulang than the Jing Gu (I think) with the Menghai and Bulang in SE Memorial. Good sweet taste with slightly junipery sharp mouth aroma. Not an aromatic tea. A touch of fruitiness. Some nice huigans that starts deep in the throat, but not a whole lot of resulting flavor entering the mouth. The huigans are very long, though. A touch of qi, mostly to warm. The SE Memorial has better flavor, stronger sweetness, and way better aroma, but not great at huigans, and definitely not something with punch in the mouth or with qi. The LongFeng is a dubious prospect at $68, but tea has gotten pretty expensive these days. I did think it had the chance to be better than XZH Yiwu '07, but obviously not, and probably never will.
After some SE Memorial, I ringed up some Nadacha Bulang '10. Judgement is still pretty much the same as what got me to buy the '11s + Man Nuo. Bitterness is still very there, slightly like Man'E, but nicer. However, the strength is the same. One of the more robust tasting teas, as short brews were needed for a while to control bitterness. This did not affect the relatively loud and punchy flavor. Still deserves Hobbe's impression. TeaUrchin's Lao Man'E is more dynamic as a session, but the Nadacha is more layered, has more qi (tho' it's not *that* overwhelming), excellent strength in aroma, and magnificent texture with moderate thickness of soup. More durable than the TeaUrchin. At $67, I should have complained less and bought two at the time, tho' it was understandable, since the excellent XZH '09s were around then. Makes me shake my head. I started buying tea right around the last time it was easy to get truly excellent tea at anything like reasonable prices. While deep consideration makes me not malign the XZH Osanzhai and Manzhuang from '10 too much--they have their advantages, I prefer the well-roundedness of this Bulang, superbitter and all. The spent leaves also has a few red stems and midribs, but I did not get any of that hongcha pu coating aftertaste or malt. I suspect that episode with the Manmai is a one-off.
Yesterday I finally broke into nadas banpen. It seemed much improved from the sample I tried a year ago. But had the funny vegetal taste present in scotts 2011. Wu liang.
Today i tried the blue dixing that was just restocked at puerh shop. I am geussing. That this is either a more recent or more dryly stored version than the one that was around a year ago. Some camphor but pretty thin. I would love to swap a sample with someone who has the original or one
from tae bao to compare.
Shah when you say the 06 se memorial. Are
you speaking of the Taipei memorial cake?
Last edited by GN?; 05-16-2012 at 05:58 AM.
This is the better stuff
This is the good daily tea
I would have been pretty surprised if the banpen hadn't improved. My two big knocks on it was the lack of complexity and lack of durability. The citric stuff was just bile on the cow paddy... I've thought about buying those cakes, since at the very worst, I could use them as daily drinks (at their original prices--That french dude edp just composted his batch). How was it improved?
Yesterday, had Yieh Sheng, and 4.2 grams of the other '09 YS Bulang, from Xin Gui (which is, I take it, Man Nan, or someplace close to it). There are some interesting notes, but the processing really hampered it. Wasn't as good as the last time I had it. These two Bulangs were, in retrospect, strikingly expensive for what they are. Dong Fang Bu Bai was, like, $21 in early '10. More than the Nadacha Bulang '09, per gram, and more than many much better teas--or a big fraction of the cost of vastly better superpremium teas.
After a very nice session of Tai Lian, I tried out, for the second time, the Nadacha '11 Bulang. In terms of potency, it's a clear step down from the '10. I don't get the over-roasted feel that I got the first time. More feminine than the '10, more fruits and flowers later on. Good fragrance, but less qi, bitterness, and somewhat less durability. Where the '10 forced me to keep sessions short in the beginning, the '11 could be treated as a normal tea. The Tea Urchin '11 Lao Man'E is the better tea, here. This is still good tea, but it's really more equal to the Man Nuo and Nan Nuo than the '10 Bulang was to its peers. The used leaves were much bigger and prettier.
well i picked up two of these today for sample purposes.
1 rinse at 100c
1st infusion 10s: floral
2nd infusion 20s: astringent orangy and floral
3rd 30s: astringant tangy and floral.
4th 40s: floral but weak
5th 1:30 weak
6th 5m: light floral not much else its done
ok leaves are small and shreaded kinda twiggy and not many flowers. all in all not a terrible tea quite well mannered.