The Reviews2009 Xiaguan FT8603-9As reviewed by shogun89
Every time I walked into my pu closet I was being enticed by the Xiaguan FT8603-9. It has an incredibly potent aroma. So I decided to grab one of the cakes today, and give it a run. Upon opening the wrapper you get hit by the smell, very smokey with some sweetness to it, I personally love it. The leaves are fairly nice, very similar to a 7542 blend from Dayi. The brew is quite dark orange/amber. It is a very powerful tea, defiantly smokey so dont get this if smokey tea arnt your thing, I love em so this cake is great for me. Overall I just love everything about this cake from the attractive price to the quality, just very good. I believe they should be very good for aging and they have quite a punch. I will defiantly be buying more of these at some point. Highly recommended.2009 Mengku "Jade Dew"As reviewed by shogun89
After discounts I paid $7 per cake, an excellent deal for a cake. It is a 400g. cake, the first thing I noticed is how nice the leaves are, this cake has some good material, alot of buds, furry leaves, just nice stuff. The flavor is quite interesting, it starts of very "hayish" tasting, It is a very potent tea indeed, quite astringent. The liquor is a very nice deep yellow. The hay flavor dissipated in latter infusions and became more enjoyable. There was talk on here a few months back about this cake not looking good because it had very red leaves, this is not the case, I do not find this in the dry or wet leaves. Would I pay $15 for this cake? No, but for $7 per cake it really is a bargain, just as a nice tea to just sit back with at very little expense. I would not recommend buying large quantities of the stuff, rather get a few cakes, try it out, for the price, you really cant lose.2007 Mengku Mu Ye Chun 001 Raw Tea Cake of YongdeAs reviewed by Trioxin
Nice looking cake. Larger, full leaves, not too many stems, and a very nice aroma. Using 7grams into 6 ounces of water produced a clear golden light color. Good flavor, easy to drink and not overly bitter, but still a little light for my taste. I'm going to increase the amount of tea a gram or two and maybe increase my brewing time with the next brew and see what happens, hopefully posting back with more informative results. 2008 Mengku Mu Ye Chun "Old Tree Green Cake" Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by Trioxin
My favorite of the newer Menku's. Nice flavor profile, low on the bitterness, Overall, a very decent cake at an attractive price. The cake itself wasn't overly tightly compressed and easy to pull apart. As with the 2007, the leaves seemed of the same quality throughout the cake. The slight bitterness from the first infusion wore out in later infusions being replaced by a slight sweetness and that wonderfull pu-erh flavor. My advice would be for all of you to hold off on ordering this one for a month or so. I'd hate for it to sell out before I get a chance to order a few more.2008 Mengku "Sage Verse" Premium Raw Pu-erh teaAs reviewed by Trioxin
Doesn't seem this one is ready to drink yet. Similar flavor profile to the two Mengku Old Tree cakes, only much too bitter yet to drink. Unfortunatly I didn't get through too many infusions before giving up on this one. Maybe time will turn this one into a great tea, maybe not. Update
Time in the humidor is doing wonders for this cake. The bitterness is starting to subside, and some nice flavors are starting to creep out. I may end up liking this cake yet.2008 Mengku "Old Tree, Green Cake" Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by Trioxin
Very simalar to the MeYuChun Old Tree, maybe slightly lighter. Good cake, worth the $12 or what ever I paid for it, but I'd go with the MeYuChun. Nuff said.2008 Menghai "Da Yi Hong" Premium Raw tea cakeAs reviewed by Trioxin
I really didn't think I would enjoy this cake when I first looked at it. The leaves looked very green and it had a rather unusual smell. Not bad, just different than most of my other beengs. The first couple of brews were stronger and had that slight touch of bitterness expected from a younger cake. As thanks (who is a much better reviewer than I) said in another thread, "the Mengsong leaves fought slightly with the Nannuo", which to me seemed to bring a little more complexity and fun to the tasting. By the third infusion things started to mellow out a bit and the various regions blended together into a very nice, smooth brew. I need to start working on my descriptions, so that I'm able describe what I'm tasting, but for now all I can say is that I really enjoyed the flavor profile of this cake. Worthy of purchasing a second cake.As reviewed by thanks
The Dayi Hong is one of the best smelling teas I've had in the pu'er world at such a young age, made from Mengsong and Nannuo leaves it is an excellent tea. Strong, vibrant, yet later infusions boasting a mellow smooth rounded flavor. First few infusions show the Mengsong leaves fighting slightly with the Nannuo, but in a good way, and in the middle to end they blend together wonderfully.2007 Menghai * Silver Dayi * Premium Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by thanks
The Silver Dayi is a rough, ragged, and wild tea, but when handled with care brings about an excellent rounded flavor profile, and later infusions prove to be deliciously sweet tobacco. My first session with this tea was absolutely awful, but the three after that proved absolutely excellent. 2008 Menghai "Springtime Water"As reviewed by thanks
Oily, vibrant, young, energetic. These are pretty good ways of describing the Springtime Water cake from Menghai. A fantastic bang for buck weighing at roughly a pound for a mere $13.70! Be mindful of it's age and tenacity, use slightly less leaf than you normally would and this tea shows you an evolving flavor over infusions, pushing it tends to provide excellent results that differ from the last infusion, while only gaining slightly in a good bitterness and astringency. This is quite simply a surprise tea, a sleeper hit Dayi release for 08. I've not heard anyone even mention this cake this year, and it's really quite a shame. If you're looking for that cake to round out your next order from YSSLC, think twice and take a gamble. I'm sure if you don't agree with me now you might in a few years. Good tea for the money.2008 Menghai Da Jing Dian (aka Big Classic) Premium Raw tea cakeAs reviewed by thanks
Balanced! This tea is the best example of a balanced sheng. Almost all of the infusions carried the same characteristics; thick, honest yellow, slightly cloudy, super astringent, a fair amount of good bitterness, and sweetness to match, all the while having that classic (no pun intended) Menghai low tobacco bass going on in the background. There were honestly, at least 4 infusions where the good bitterness, astringency, the sweetness, mouthfeel, and Menghai tobacco all matched each other seamlessly, and if you weren't paying full attention the subtleties of the complex flavor might pass you by. You can tell the attention to detail when they created this blend as some infusions offer all of these things as a finely layered experience. Each characteristic taking turns with one another to show you the complexities, almost as if to say "here's all the parts so you can better recognize the whole". This is a tea to be slowly tasted over a long period of time to really get a feel for it. Fantastic sheng, definitely not for the "drink it now" crowd, but obviously meant to be an ager. I really think it's worth the price, and I will be ordering a tong. I can't wait until this tea gets some years on it. It makes no excuses for what it is, and is so refreshingly honest in it's presentation that one wonders why all young sheng can't match this quality coming out at this price point. As reviewed by Trioxin
Can't say it any better than Thanks. This is a very nice well balanced tea that I will be ordering more of. Can't wait to see what it (and the Da Yi Hong) turn into later down the road.2008 Menghai "Peacock of Bada" Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by thanks
Pretty straightforward tea. Being a single-estate big M release, this provides a fairly simple range of flavors. The smell of the wet leaves, however, is absolutely breathtaking. It's like an intensely sweet tobacco-melon. Otherwise, it tastes and looks like a plantation Menghai affair. That's not a bad thing, obviously, as I am a huge fan of Menghai. The thing about it though is that it provides some very familiar Menghai flavors, but in an almost boring fashion. I bet this tea will age into something special, but for my money, I'd rather have the Big Classic at this price range. Tomorrow I'll try the Peacock of Nannuo.2008 Menghai "Peacock of Nannuo" Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by thanks
First things first, the smell of the wet leaves is great, so far a trait shared among three of the five Peacocks that I've tried so far. Very impressive. The leaf quality is obviously great plantation material, and the single estate claims are very believable, especially in the case of the Bada as it proved to be too boring. This tea changed quite a bit from cup to cup, and proved to take to oversteeping fairly well. In fact, there was never an unpleasant cup. One of the infusions, I believe it was the 9th was overbrewed, yet the only result was a strong huigan. The good bitterness was kept to a very tolerable level as well. The flavor only soured ever so slightly with this one.
The first two infusions of this tea were light, both in flavor and liquor color. Pale, almost that light pinkish Yiwu look, but not quite. Third infusion on starts to show a healthier yellow, which continues the rest of the session pretty consistently. The flavor is low, bass, salty "fern-like" (term borrowed from Hobbes, but never thought I'd experience it myself), and remains pretty consistent throughout. You won't find Menghai tobacco sweetness here. It's really a classic Nannuo flavor (at least in my limited experience with Nannuo leaf). Very distinct like it's smell. While the flavor is good, and at times very interesting the real draw of this tea is the mouthfeel. It starts off fairly medium bodied, but later provides a fairly thick brew that coats your mouth.
When taking a sip of any infusion, the same few things happen, but in varying degrees which can often be mistaken for complexity in flavor. These things are the huigan, which comes on fast and strong, then fades quickly to a pleasant bitterness at the back of the throat where I like it to rest, while at the same time the sides of the back of your mouth start to experience a (usually) fairly strong astringency.
This tea won't win any awards on big flavor (although what it does have is pleasant, fascinating, and keeps drawing me in), but what it lacks in flavor it certainly makes up for in every other category. I couldn't even begin to imagine how delightful this will probably be in a few years. A fun tea to sample, and a delight to own. At $16 a beeng it's hard to beat, and so far much better than some of the other Peacock series. 2008 (801) Menghai "08 Qing" Tuocha 250gAs reviewed by thanks
This is a fairly big tuo weighing in at roughly half a pound each. Out of the two teas I'm writing about, this is by far my favorite. Also one of my favorite 08 teas period, for that matter. Deeply rich, thick, oily Menghai deliciousness is what this tuo is full of. Liquor is healthy bright yellow, and light amber when oversteeped. Bittersweet low tobacco, comfortable mouthfeel. Don't let it's tuo status bias your opinion, this is made of some quality Menghai leaf and it shows. Not the cheapest tuo available out there per gram, but this tea beats out some quality beeng offerings of Menghai's own line so all in all it's worth it's price. Virtually no chaqi to speak of, but that's fine. Also no noticeable effect from caffeine which is odd. All in all, this is really good tea. Right up my alley. 2008 (801) Menghai "Da Yi Jia Ji Tuo" 100gAs reviewed by thanks
This tea is super weird. After sampling this I'm not entirely sure if I love it, or if it's just "meh." Liquor on this is a healthy solid yellow, a shade lighter than the 08 Qing tuo. The leaf on this is complete mulch. I have tasted a lot of Menghai recipe blends, and believe me when I tell you that this is one of the most chopped up teas I've seen from them. Maybe it was my particular tuo, but it was pretty interesting. The huigan on this is massive! What's the deal here? The tea tastes like it consists of an even combination of Mengsong and Bada, with a dash of Nannuo. It's a very active tea. Not as thick or soupy as the Qing tuo, but still pleasant. Slight sour taste upon swallowing- this might turn some people off as it's quite pronounced. One thing that is interesting about this tea is that there is no unpleasant bitterness to be found whatsoever. There's some good decent ku if oversteeped, but nothing unpleasant when brewed normal. There's just a slight good bitterness compliment that's hard to detect. Very interesting tea. 2008 Guoyan "Queen of Yi Wu" Premium Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by Trioxin
First of all, this is a beautiful cake. I've always liked the look of the larger leaf beengs. The same quality leaves are used throughout this light to medium stone pressed cake. I've had two sessions now with this cake, and while I do like it, I find it to be a little light. I need to do a third session with a bit more leaf and see how it turns out. But, it is a quality tea. It has a very full mouth feel, and a wonderful lingering aftertaste. Very smooth, mellow and easy to drink. I have a feeling this one can be wonderful, I just need to play with it a bit more to get it right, so check back soon for an update.Update
Adding a little extra leaf did help with the flavor issues I had. Now I'm getting a stronger, fuller flavor than before. Much more enjoyable. I'll be purchasing a second cake.As reviewed by PolyhymnianMuse
Quick rinse. The aroma was of tobacco and sawdust. The liquor was pretty light in color. The taste is quite good with this one, it almost has a fruity aftertaste. Just a very small bit of dryness and I think I detected a speck of smoke only for a moment. I had a bit of time in between the first and second infusion, and a nice sweetness carried on the whole way from one infusion to the next. The only complaint that I might have about this one is its light initial flavor but as Trioxin also noted, more leaf with this one really makes it a nice cup. Its being added to my list of must haves for sure 2008 Guoyan "Deep Mountain, Old Tree" Raw Pu-erh
As reviewed by PolyhymnianMuse
I used around 8 grams in 140ml. I did a quick rinse, let the water sit in there for about 10 seconds as it seemed like a tightly compressed cake, atleast from the sample that I got. There really was no inital flavor. It seems to have a nice warming effect on my throat, much like a strong alcohol would without the taste. Note that I say warmth and not burn, so don't think in terms of moonshine haha, no smoke, no astringency, pretty plain to be honest. Brew was a sort of pink color. The aroma reminded me of camping, not so much a campfire smell but it was deff something woodsy, like early in the morning when everything is still damp from the dew. I wasn't really impressed with this cake at all, next to no flavor at all if it wasnt for the color i'd think it was just warm water.2008 Guoyan "Bu Lang Big Tree" Raw Pu-erh
Review Coming Soon2008 Xiaguan "Golden 8100" Raw Pu-erh tea cakeAs reviewed by Trioxin
The Xiagaun cake has a medium to heavy compression and a nice strong aroma. Using 7 grams of tea into six ounces of water gave me a darker thicker brew with stronger flavors than most of the cakes I've tested. Still a bit of bitterness being so young, but didn't really distract from my overall enjoyment of this cheaper cake. For the bargain price of $12.50, I've already put in my order for a couple more.Update
Still liking this one. Very nice full flavor and easy to drink. Slight bitterness is still present. I'm currently on my third infusion and the brew has mellowed out a touch and has become a bit sweeter. Hopefully soon I'll be brewing this out of a much nicer clay pot than the one I'm currently using. As reviewed by Salsero
Wow is this cake tightly compressed! For those who keep track of such things, I brewed it gong fu 5.00 g in 120 ml pot, off boil: no rinse, infusions: 15 s, 20 s, 23 s, 40 s, 1 m, 2.5 m, 2 m.
I was quite happy with the first infusion: flavorful, white fruits, some body, very smooth. Smoky? I settled in for a nice session. But from there on it just seemed to get weaker. Especially since I don't normally rinse sheng, I expect bigger flavor in the second, third, and even fourth infusions. This one seemed to just get watery, and the later, long infusions were quite rough on the mouth.
This has happened to me with several teas lately, notably all the Pride of Menghai series. I don't know if it is me or maybe Menghai cakes. I will give it another try later with more leaf.
Well, 10 months later, I have gone back to taste the 2008 Xiaguan "Golden 8100", and I find it very enjoyable this time. I used a bit more leaf (6 gr in 100 ml gaiwan) and the flavor is still quite light, but there is some character in the lightness and a good feel in the mouth that led me through 12 infusions, every one of which I found quite enjoyable despite the lack of strong leather, tobacco, or horse sweat tastes that I typically crave.2008 Xiaguan FT "Imperial Tribute" Raw Pu-erhAs reviewed by Trioxin
Xiaguan went all out with the compression on this one. While I did manage to break some chunks off the top and bottom, the mid section remains. An unbreakable rock. I own a few of Xiaguans Iron pressed cakes and find them easier to break apart than this rock. On to the tasting. Boring. Nothing offensive about this cake, but nothing interesting either. No bitterness, light flavor, Very thin brew. Even after clogging my pot on the second steep and over brewing the shit out of it, still light flavored and no bitterness and uninteresting. Can't love 'em all I guess.2003 CNNP "Yi Wu High Mountain Wild Arbor" Pu-erh As reviewed by Trioxin
So far in my short time tasting pu-erh, this is without a doubt the smokiest tea I've tasted. The first couple of infusions were incredibly strong. The smell and taste were pure burning leaves, masking the distinctive flavor Yi Wu tea has to offer. It nearly knocked me on my ass it was so overpowering. For some odd reason though, I kinda liked it. The burning leaves taste (while still present) mellowed out in later infusions revealing a very nice Yi Wu flavor. While I did quite enjoy this tea, due to its overpowering nature, and smokiness, I'd recommend sampling it first.Update
Now that its been able to air out in the humidor, I decided to give this one a try again today. Completely different tea. The smokiness has now slipped into the background. I'm not sure why this sample tastes so different now. The brew now exhibits a similar taste to the other Yi Wu Pu-erh that I've tried. Nice lighter more buttery flavor, no bitterness, a touch of sweetness, and a thicker brew that coats your tongue. 2006 Wild Tree Floral Raw Pu-erh Tea from LuxiAs reviewed by Salsero
I found the brick to be rather tightly compressed, the leaves ugly and broken, and a lot of what looks like dirt or sand in the middle. I've seen this sort of ugly before and learned not to pay it too much attention.
It brewed up with a nice series of tastes, with a rather unique flavor profile. I found some very mushroomy tastes, loam, vanilla, and a little rotted manure (like what you garden with). In some infusions I found less of the earthy tastes and more acidity (that means slight tartness or sourness.) For a while there was a nice camphor flavor. I would say this is not a good tea to feed to a beginner, but for someone with a little pu experience, this is a delightful brick with some nice tastes you won't find elsewhere. There is very little astringency and it tastes several years older than it's 2006 vintage would suggest. 2008 Early Spring "Raw Melon" of Dehong RawAs reviewed by Salsero
Brewing: 5.00 g in 120 ml huang ni pot , off boil: no rinse, infusions: 13 s, 21 s, 30 s, 40 s, 50 s, 60 s, 1:15 m, 2 m
This melon is not too tightly compressed for a tuo. Leaves are greenish black, very dry, and inside material is more like dirt or ashes than tea leaves, although the outside leaves are OK looking.
First infusion is a slightly cloudy, medium orange or amber color. It smells like a light shu. Taste is not bad. I could imagine drinking this with food, maybe made a little stronger and maybe after a couple three more years. Sort of reminds me of weak ginger ale taste, virtually no body, no aftertaste, and no strong aroma, a very little astringent, but basically nice in the mouth, maybe a little minty or refreshing.
6th infusion very nice, light but with an earthy taste or maybe more like the aroma of warm sand. The spent leaves are a very, very dark, uniform green but NOT black and mostly broken but quite attractive looking pieces.
Evaluation: It's nice and worth experimenting with at this price. It would be a good tea for someone who drinks sheng as their main tea all day and keeps a large quantity on hand. It could well age into something much better, but that's a guessing game. I haven't tried it Euro style yet, but that's my next plan with it.
Addendum Tried it Euro style at work today and it was very nice, nothing rough, astringent, or objectionable about it. Elegant to have sheng at work!2007 Fu Hai "Yi Wu Large Leaf" Ripe Pu-erhAs reviewed by Salsero
I got around to brewing a session with it last night. I brewed 5.00 grams in a 130 ml pot with no rinse and 8 infusions ranging from 30 seconds to 6 minutes. I could have gotten more infusions if time had permitted, but I felt that I got a complete sense of it in the 8 infusions.
I am more sheng than shu drinker by maybe 3 to 1, but I do drink a fair amount of shu. I found this one to be quite average: easy to brew, tasty, relaxing, aromatic. As Orguz mentions, there are none of the awful tastes some shu, especially some young shu, has, but I did not find it to be exceptionally strong, sweet, rich, or aromatic. It's character struck me as being what I have come to expect normal. Hai Lang Hao * Lao Ban Zhang & Man'E cake As reviewed by Salsero
Think: ginger ale, new leather, wood, smoke, camphor. There is not fruit here, no mushroom, little sweetness. It's about pungent aromatics and it can be astringent … not a nice tea at all. Occasionally a little oily on the lips, but not enough, not heavy enough in the mouth. This is a bad boy, and I refuse to pay $56 for a 2008 cake!
But for all that, here I am in the 11th inning thinking that in months or maybe a year or more no other tea has so much reminded me of what I crave in every puerh cup I drink. Dang, this stuff sneaks up on you! 2008 Hai Lang Hao "Star of Bu Lang" Raw tea cakeAs reviewed by Salsero
Yesterday I had the 2008 Lao Ban Zhang & Man'E cake, so my impression today is probably unduly influence by drinking that great sheng previously. I really like the taste profile of this tea. In fact it is not too far off from the Lao Ban Zhang & Man'E, though definitely sweeter and a bit acid at the same time. It does have aftertaste, mouthfeel, huigan. I don't notice any qi. I am a bit at a loss to describe the taste, so I will use words that I have seen others use, but I am not sure what they are referring to: new leather, smoke, camphor, wood, maybe even a bit of mint when I inhale after drinking some. A very masculine profile, it would go well on the shaving forum! These tastes are right up my alley, but I am disappointed that it isn't stronger. I brewed 5 gr to 120 ml, which I normally consider on the strong side, but I think I will increase it to 6 grams next time. The further through the infusions I go, the more I like it.2008 * Wild Tree Raw Pu-erh tea brick of DehongAs reviewed by Trioxin
This is one that I've been wanting to try for a while now. Seems I've actually had a sample for a while now and didn't even realize it. Salsero has sent me so many samples, they've just seemed to pile up. Not that I'm complaining.
First thing I noticed is that it didn't quite look like the picture. The sample I received is basically mulch. I don't think there was an intact leaf in the chunk. So yeah, it clogged the shit out of my Yixing and had to transfer it to the Gaiwan.
Leaf integrity aside, this was a very interesting taste. I can't think of any other pu-erh I've tried that I'd be able to compare it to. First thing I noticed was a strong note of Mango peel followed closely by decomposing grass, black pepper and a touch of smoke. In later infusions, the black pepper and smoke taste faded leaving a nice balance of the mango peel and grass notes. Even though the leaves were mulched, I didn't catch any bitterness in this tea. Maybe a touch of astringency, which in my opinion, complimented the tea nicely. Worth a purchase just for its uniqueness. 2002 Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Raw Pu-erh BrickAs reviewed by Goose
Flavor – Strong and heady almost scotch like
Aroma- Smoke, old wood and marigold flowers
Mouthfeel – strong/thick
Hui gan – light but lasting
Astringency - perfect
Smoke – powerful tapering off
Chaqi- Like wrestling with an alligator
Overall value – very good
Purchase again – I would think so.
I used quite a bit of tea and made very fast infusions in the Gaiwan.
This was the most active and exciting tea I have sampled to date.
The caffeine and Chiqi affected me immediately. I began to sweat, get anxious and restless. The top of my head tingled and my jaw ached. What’s in this stuff anyway?
Later infusions became more domesticated and pleasant, alas, not as exciting.2008 Yuan Nian "Blue Mark Iron Cake" Raw Pu-erh As reviewed by Trioxin
For $9.00, I decided what the hell and ordered a couple of these cakes. Considering the price, I wasn't expecting much, but to my surprise, they are rather nice. Very smooth, balanced and easy to drink, yet strong enough to maybe even Satisfy Salsero. Still needs to air out in the humidor before I make final judgment, but I'm confident enough that this will make a fine daily drinker and have already ordered a couple of more. 1998 Lincang CNNP Green WrapperAs reviewed by Drax
This is my first full review. I post this mostly to see what other people have experienced with this sheng, because I was surprised. I got a sample of this through Netsurfr, who got it from YSLLC (250g brick for $32.00 before shipping).
Scott notes that the tea uses a CNNP wrapper, but it's probably not a CNNP production. He guesses it's from the Lincang area, perhaps Mengku.
I brewed ~7g in a yixing pot that holds ~140mL (~5 oz) of water (all right after boiling). That's a little bit more than I would normally do, but I wanted to go a little heavy on my first run of this tea.
The dry leaves had a nice dark color and a very light odor. They were packed pretty solid, and it took more than a medium effort to break off a smaller piece.
I rinsed the leaves for 20s and then let them rest for 180s. I then had 10 infusions at 20, 20, 30, 30, 30, 50, 60, 60, 120, 180 seconds.
The aroma of the first infusion was exactly what I've come to expect from sheng. The color was a strong yellow with just a twinge of orange. The taste was what I would describe as a rounder raw sheng -- not overpowering, but that definite sheng taste.
The astringency kicked up around infusions 3-5 and then backed off. By the 6th infusion, the taste had mellowed -- it was still there, just not as much 'bite' as the first series. Infusions 7 to 10 were a nice tapering off of the flavor. The color drifted back toward a more solid yellow during this series.
The wet leaves showed what look like cut leaves. They were mostly a typical tea-green, but there was some browning of the leaves, maybe 20%. The leaves had a good odor during the infusions. I do recall them having a small bit of smokiness early on, but I never really tasted this in the tea itself.
So... I had to admit, this was not what I was expecting out of a 10 year old sheng. In fact, during my first infusion (and I noted this in the TeaDay thread), it reminded me an awful lot of the 2007 Xiaguan Tibetan Flame Brick, which is quite young in comparison (of course, I should re-try ths Xiaguan to be sure). This is the oldest sheng I've tried at this point, and I guess I was rather disappointed to discover that it wasn't really showing me anything I hadn't already tasted before. And now it's making me wonder what exactly I'm expecting out of an aged sheng.
Maybe it wasn't stored in the best way to help it age. And I'm sure some will say that 10 years isn't really that old. But again, if I can get a similar taste from a 1 year old brick at 1/8th the cost as a 10 year old brick... ahhh... huh. Da Hong Pao Clay "Xi Shi" Yixing teapot 180mlAs reviewed by Trioxin
I ordered two of these pots after reading some reviews on another thread. One for sheng and one for darker oolongs. Kinda tough ordering a $55 pot without being able to hold it first, but I have never had a problem with Yunnan Sourcing, so I thought what the hell. The pots arrived after three weeks, each in their individual box with a photo of the pot and a card with information about the artist (I think). Also included were two complimentary strainers Scott includes with every teapot purchase. These do seem to be very nice vessels. They have a wonderful and heavy feel. The only smells I really detected from the pots where those from the material used to make the box. After seasoning, they were virtually smell free. The pour is fairly quick, as long as the tea leaves aren't too broken up, and no leaks from the lid. A definite improvement over my cheap pots. In comparison to the cheap pots, the tea also tastes cleaner and brighter when brewed in these. Even my young cakes taste a little less bitter. So over all I am very happy with these new pots and may actually order another for lighter oolongs. Although I may have to get a different style. Keeping these matching pots separate is a little tougher than imagined.Update
A little time has now passed, and my opinion of these pots has not changed. A nice patina is starting to build up, the color has become a deeper shade of red, and they still brew wonderful tea. Thinking about getting one of the other styles before they too are sold out.