For the shu lovers, I'll post here:
Today I had the 2010 version of
this Yibang Chamasi tea: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z ... 7799953524
That particular tea is from a more official place. The 2010 version is easily available for less than $15 absent fees, shipping, handling.
I liked this tea a lot, actually. Not tops, but of
the sort of
consistent good quality I can expect from Yibang Chamasi/Tai Lian. This is a gongting and first grade blend, rather similar to the Dayi Dragon Pole, but with leaves from apparently Jingmai and Mengku (my guess, since whatever is said is manifestly unreliable). First couple of
brews have a strong fruit note, beef stock w/herbs and a little shu qualia dark taste of
soil/wood. Then the fruit fades and the beef stock gets strong, and this tea tastes very savory. The beef stock taste subsides and a strong floral wood taste, much like the 2011 Jin Dayi, for example, starts to predominate. I had a few cups of
this really nice wood taste that's much better than the usual mengku/jingmai tendency towards a bark taste. This wood taste had much more depth behind it, typical of
Banna shu rather than northern leaf shu. There is little sweetness outside of
the beginning, and as the tea tires, a hint of
the classic bready/caramel shu sweetness after the swallow. It has decent thickness. There is energy and some feel to it, but probably no real notable qi. The aroma was ok. The durability was only ok. The change from brew to brew is rather big, and the character of
the tea is rather in-your-face, and not something you drink in any mood.