On a related note, I've started seeng some newly-packaged Yellow-label at my local Chinese grocer which is quite different than the old stuff.
The older stuff has more brokens and a chocolatey aroma, and is mostly rolled in loose twists.
The new stuff has more whole leaf (to the point where you can actually see the pluck in some of the used leaves, seems to be mostly three-leaf or a mix of two-leaf and three-leaf, although I didn't see any tips...), a fragrant almost floral aroma, and sort of a crumpled ball roll.
The old stuff brewed quite dark, (using the very non-Chinese brewing procedure of a little under 3 grams tea per 4 ounces of liquid and a five-minute steep with boiling water, the old Indian taster's method
) and has a nice, faintly astringent flavor that's not bad, although also a bit of a distracting sour flavor and faintly musty aroma that I'm not quite used to in teas. (From the roasting? Bad tea?) I seem to remember it performing a bit better when made Chinese (gongfu?) style, which isn't surprising, but it's never been a favorite of mine.
The new stuff brewed a bit lighter, no sourness, a bit of astringency and a lingering pleasant aroma that I quite enjoyed.
I'm starting to suspect that I've been drinking an ancient stash of Tikuanyin...
Does anyone know when Sea Dyke updated their packaging? The most obvious change is that the new stuff is handled by the much more appealing-sounding "Xiamen Tea Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd.", rather than the old "China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Corporation, Fujian Tea Branch, Xiamen Office.". Another notable detail is that the new packaging has a barcode, while the old one does not.
Any info would be appreciated!