This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?


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This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby JakubT » Apr 2nd, '12, 04:29

Hello,
what do you think about this cake? It is priced quite nicely for sheng puerh, but I am not really sure if it is sheng...
http://skip4tea.com/%E4%B8%8B%E9%97%9C- ... doit=order

What do you think?
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby Drax » Apr 2nd, '12, 06:46

I think that this is an example of one I *miiiight* gamble a purchase of 1 on (what is it, $70 USD?) but I'm not rushing to do so.

I've only made one purchase from skip4tea in the past. Good experience, though.

I thought I remembered somebody saying that if you were in the area, you could drop by to sample -- I realize you aren't, but there are others on this board who are....
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby gasninja » Apr 2nd, '12, 08:03

LpIts actually about $135. I Would still say its worth a shot. I would love to hear that about it if you get one. I have thought about getting this for a while.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby shah82 » Apr 2nd, '12, 11:28

Looks to be a ripe cake. If that is actually a raw cake, then I'm not sure I'd want to drink that.

Xiaguan supposedly has a fairly distinct flavor in their ripe cakes.

Anyhow, that's roughly about what a mid-nineties ripe cake cost. It's not a super deal or anything... If it's a raw cake, then of course, it's generally a deal at that price.

Typically, most aged ripes are terrible deals.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby G-off-re » Apr 2nd, '12, 17:10

I've had my eye on that cake for awhile too but the lack of pictures of wet leaves/brew and almost no info makes me less inclined to order anything. They do returns though.

"Skip4tea.com guarantee your satisfaction and money back guarantee on your purchases. If have any reason that not satisfied on the item. Within 3 days of receipt of your order to arrange for a return and refund your money upon receiving the return item. Returned products must be in their original condition and packaging. The both ways shipping cost is responsible by the buyer."
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby MarshalN » Apr 2nd, '12, 21:59

shah82 wrote:Looks to be a ripe cake. If that is actually a raw cake, then I'm not sure I'd want to drink that.

Xiaguan supposedly has a fairly distinct flavor in their ripe cakes.

Anyhow, that's roughly about what a mid-nineties ripe cake cost. It's not a super deal or anything... If it's a raw cake, then of course, it's generally a deal at that price.

Typically, most aged ripes are terrible deals.


Doesn't obviously look ripe to me, although with colour balance and things like that you never know. The one closeup that I'd like to see doesn't seem to be working
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby wyardley » Apr 2nd, '12, 22:41

The site says it's sheng. I think it looks most likely like sheng.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby shah82 » Apr 2nd, '12, 23:13

Oh, I would assume that the vendor does actually know whether a cake is raw or ripe. My perspective is based on how dull brown it is, with not much of a green tint. However, my more real thoughts are about just how wet-stored is it.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby wyardley » Apr 2nd, '12, 23:54

I think it's really hard to judge the color of a cake from photos alone, especially when it's just the whole cake (no pictures of brewed tea, wet leaves, etc.). Cameras, lighting, and so forth vary too much.

Whatever you can say about the consignment business model (it's one reason I haven't really dipped into buying anything from them), I'm reasonably sure that skip4tea's proprietors are able to tell the difference between a 1997 sheng tea and a 1997 ripe tea.

In any event, to me, the storage does not look overly wet from the stains on the wrapper and neifei, and from the condition of the wrapper. Xiaguan tea (even non-tiebing) tends to be tightly compressed, so I think if anything, if the cake is raw, it will probably benefit from greatly from some degree of wet storage. That doesn't mean this tea is good, of course, but personally, I'd be more apt to buy this tea if it's had some traditional storage.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby MarshalN » Apr 3rd, '12, 00:00

shah82 wrote:Oh, I would assume that the vendor does actually know whether a cake is raw or ripe. My perspective is based on how dull brown it is, with not much of a green tint. However, my more real thoughts are about just how wet-stored is it.


It isn't significantly more dull brown than the cake I posted about, given the relative lack of light in that picture. I can assure you mine is raw.

http://www.marshaln.com/2012/03/2003-menghai-7542/
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby G-off-re » Apr 3rd, '12, 00:04

shah82 wrote:Oh, I would assume that the vendor does actually know whether a cake is raw or ripe. My perspective is based on how dull brown it is, with not much of a green tint. However, my more real thoughts are about just how wet-stored is it.


Should we be expecting to see bright green on a cake thats 16 years old?

This cake looks similar to the other 90's raw Xiaguan cakes but nothing resembling the 90's shu.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby shah82 » Apr 3rd, '12, 00:19

I would disagree that the 2003 is only slightly better looking.

Of course, the lighting *is* an issue, but seriously, zoom those suckers. In my very abbreviated experience, even 90's sheng that has been well-treated isn't as devoid of a certain tint and gloss as this cake seems to be. Not the most horrible cake I've ever seen, but definitely not one I'd ever consider without sampling
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby MarshalN » Apr 3rd, '12, 00:34

This is entirely within the realm of possibility given the extremely high pressure that XG presses their cakes. I have some XG shu, granted in iron cake form instead of the dimple cake form, but they don't look like this at all. The 2003 is also years younger.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby shah82 » Apr 3rd, '12, 00:39

Of course we shouldn't see bright green. We shouldn't even see green. Leaving aside my total inexperience (and talking out of my assedness), my heuristics when looking at a cake has an element of checking whether the brown/orange is unrelieved by not so lushly brown or grey tones. In the last photo, when being held by hand, the brown and orange tints pop out like bings of aged shu does. That, of course, could be a lighting issue.

I also checked against pictures of HouDe's boutique shus, and neither one looks like this aged Xiaguan, aside from the bit of color.

Of course, opposite Will, I'd be much *less* likely to buy the tea if it's significantly traditionally stored. I'd be okay though, if it was an iron bing and the storage wasn't too long and has since been dried out. A little bit of traditional storage is quite all right with me, to take the edge off, but I find that the post 2001 teas I've had with traditional storage are far less dynamic than I am accustomed to. Nice, sweet, but no challenge, and little engagement after not enough brews. They just don't offer all that much more to me than very good shu, which is cheaper, usually.
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Re: This Xiaguan cake, shu or sheng?

Postby MarshalN » Apr 3rd, '12, 00:40

Sounds like you've had inferior stored teas.
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