2005 Xiaguan Ancient Wild Tea


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

2005 Xiaguan Ancient Wild Tea

Postby Drax » Apr 21st, '09, 21:19

I picked up this bing in my last order from YS. (I'd link it, but I think the URL is too long or something... it keeps goofing up).

Just curious if anybody has had this? Scott says "bold taste" -- I'm more thinking along the lines of that smoky-bacon taste.

Which now makes me wonder if I'm not confusing that taste with some other standard tea taste, and 'smoky' really means something else. I'd definitely appreciate any thoughts from somebody else who has tried it.

This was the one, by the way, that came in the 'box' when I was asking whether to keep it or not.
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Re: 2005 Xiaguan Ancient Wild Tea

Postby hop_goblin » Apr 21st, '09, 21:42

Drax wrote:I picked up this bing in my last order from YS. (I'd link it, but I think the URL is too long or something... it keeps goofing up).

Just curious if anybody has had this? Scott says "bold taste" -- I'm more thinking along the lines of that smoky-bacon taste.

Which now makes me wonder if I'm not confusing that taste with some other standard tea taste, and 'smoky' really means something else. I'd definitely appreciate any thoughts from somebody else who has tried it.

This was the one, by the way, that came in the 'box' when I was asking whether to keep it or not.


Hey Drax, smoke doesn't happen naturally. Smoke in pu is generally considered a defect albeit acceptable. Good pu should never taste like "bacon".
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Postby Drax » Apr 22nd, '09, 06:05

Tom, yes, that's the one.

Hmmmmm.... then I'm definitely curious to hear anybody else who has had this. Whatever the odor/flavor is, it reminds me of hickory... and well, I tend to associate that with hickory smoked bacon. So this may be a good example of flavor mis-association. Yet another reason why it would be good to know what somebody else might call the odor/flavor!

I can definitely smell it in the dry leaves.... I haven't had a lapsang yet, maybe that would be a good comparison.
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Postby tony shlongini » Apr 22nd, '09, 11:12

I'm not saying this is the case in this instance, but I wonder how often people say "smoke" when they in fact refer to "tobacco". Smoke=bad. Tobacco=good, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Though it may not be "bacon", there is a meaty, leathery essence in many shengs, Xiaguan in particular. Recalling my snooty wine jargon, the term sauvage comes to mind, and it is far from a pejorative.
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Postby hop_goblin » Apr 22nd, '09, 11:13

Drax wrote:Tom, yes, that's the one.

Hmmmmm.... then I'm definitely curious to hear anybody else who has had this. Whatever the odor/flavor is, it reminds me of hickory... and well, I tend to associate that with hickory smoked bacon. So this may be a good example of flavor mis-association. Yet another reason why it would be good to know what somebody else might call the odor/flavor!

I can definitely smell it in the dry leaves.... I haven't had a lapsang yet, maybe that would be a good comparison.


Drax, if you are smelling Smokehouse sausage smoke, its a production defect, which can possibly either caused by frying the leaves in an unproperly ventilated area or using wet wood.. either way, it is "real" smoke and not a profile.

Pu can smell even after 4 years of aging. Actually 4 years is relatively a short period for the dissapation of smoke. I have bricks and beengs that are almost 10 years and they still have hints.

In case of Lap Sang ..well, they intentionally add smoke. :D
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Postby thanks » Apr 22nd, '09, 18:24

I've had a tea from the Kunming tea factory that dates to 2000 that still tastes smoky. I enjoy it, but I could see some people having a problem with it.

By the way I have had the 05 Xiaguan you're referring to, and I did notice smoke, but I've had teas much smokier than that! To me it's fine, but I think it's a preference thing, really.
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Postby tony shlongini » Apr 22nd, '09, 18:31

Any way you look at it, that tea is on my short list.
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 22nd, '09, 18:55

Hey Drax, I know the bacon taste you speak of! It has quickly grown on me. At first I was like, "whoa... sausage!" I'm not sure that it's the same as "smoky" though... I dunno. I haven't tasted that 05 XG, but I've tasted the bacon in other teas (notably YS's own DeHong brick).
I have a hunch that that really meaty flavor is something that could mellow into something nice and complex. That's what I want to think, anyway. :)
-dave
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Postby Drax » Apr 22nd, '09, 20:29

Haha, well I did notice I was able to brew the 9th infusion at 2 minutes and still get a really strong yellow cup, albeit with a more mellow flavor (or smokiness), and I finished it off with a 10th infusion at 5 minutes that brought it back to some of the power of the earlier infusions.

I really appreciate the feedback, everybody. I have a feeling this is like when I had my first oolongs, and I kept thinking "soap" -- it's an attempt of my brain to link it to the closest thing it knows.

I've noted this flavor/smokiness is other teas, too. I'm sure in time, I'll come to think of it more like nicely smoked tea than hickory bacon. But wow, it sure packs a wallop. And this one in particular lasted strongly. For a long time. I could have easily kept going past the 10th infusion....
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Postby JAS-eTea Guy » May 1st, '09, 15:49

thanks wrote:
By the way I have had the 05 Xiaguan you're referring to, and I did notice smoke, but I've had teas much smokier than that! To me it's fine, but I think it's a preference thing, really.


I have to agree with "thanks." While this tea has some smokiness or hints of tobacco, I really enjoy it. It's a preference thing...

Steve
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Postby coloradopu » May 1st, '09, 17:20

Drax how do

I do not have that tea but i do have the happy tuo and it does have a smoke to it all be it light it is there in odor and taste. I think it is as hop goblin said
its a production defect, which can possibly either caused by frying the leaves in an improperly ventilated area or using wet wood.. Either way, it is "real" smoke and not a profile.


But i think it is part of the tea profile it should be there in some of them because of the authenticity of production if a wood fire is used then it will have that taste and smell and there is no way around it. No mater the ventilation. Hell I even found some charcoal in a cake once. Not that small a chunk; still have it.

I wonder if the smoke smell/taste should not be part of some teas due to their origin and processing method?
Or do people notice from year to year that the tea has it on some but on other years it does not?

it will grow on you !
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Postby Geospearit » May 2nd, '09, 19:21

I love this cake! It has a very unique taste. I feel it to be more tobaccoy than smokey. It's my favorite younger cake right now.
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