Xiaguan Mystery Tuo Cha


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Xiaguan Mystery Tuo Cha

Postby brandon » Aug 29th, '08, 08:41

References:
The mystery. Xiaguan Tuo cha produced at unknown time (possibly for export to France, by the packaging?). Bought at a store here in the US - has been on the shelf there in box for at least 2 years.
http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/213994.html

Same Xiaguan product line, Guang puts the vintage at 85-88. Dry stored in the box.
http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... 2283458bdc

I tasted both of these and my notes will go here for posterity.
Both were sampled in the same pot, roughly 5oz, with a 5g chunk of tea with one flash rinse.

Hou De's Jia Ji:
At this point I would call this "extremely" dry stored. It would be interesting to have a "control" - a very young vintage of this same recipe.
The tuo from Hou De has slowly mellowed rather than undergoing a transformative aging. Wood, camphor are not present. 2nd infusion finds a small amount of qi, which soon disappears. This is not honey sweet like the 03 Keyixing Yiwu, but it is at a similar stage of mellowing. Mouthfeel is not especially long here. Color mirrors the keyixing, a few shades more orange than a young sheng's amber, but no sign of red.

Aging is greatly slowed by the box and dry storage conditions. After some thinking, BBB tells me this is his experience with othered boxed tuos as well.

This is a very pleasant tea that I enjoyed for 6 infusions, but it is an uncharacteristic representation of a sheng of its age.

Mystery Tuo Cha
Oh man. This tea has taken a completely different journey than the tuo I just mentioned. Wood and camphor are instantly recognizable. The minty mouthfeel is lasting and pleasant. Infusions are a much darker red. No mustiness or other signs of wet storage. Missing are any other unpleasant notes that turn me off from most adolescent (10-15 years) sheng.

Shot in the dark, I would place this in the mid 90's. AMAZING find for $8/250g, I have paid much more for small samples of aged sheng that I enjoyed less. Congrats on the find, Ellen. Enjoy this one.
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Postby hop_goblin » Aug 29th, '08, 08:48

I actually own a few of the tuos from XG. Same Wrapper, same tuo of 2001 Vintage. You are right, if my memory serves me correctly, the box does not correspond to the tuo. I believe that is a sheng box. Pehaps the vendor put the tuo in the box to make it look more appealing. Wes, I sent you a sample, Did you like it?

*revision* please discredit this particular thread as had misread it and therefore my comments are inapplicable. :oops:

Image
Last edited by hop_goblin on Aug 29th, '08, 09:05, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Salsero » Aug 29th, '08, 08:49

Wow, that's great, Brandon! I didn't realize that you actually had the Hou De in your possession. This looks like a grand experiment in aging under different storage conditions, working a bit in the dark, unfortunately!

You will give Ellen your notes to post in the LJ, I assume.
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Postby brandon » Aug 29th, '08, 08:55

Salsero wrote:You will give Ellen your notes to post in the LJ, I assume.

Right, has been sent in her direction.

Hop, when you say sheng here, are you referring to the fact that the OP originally suspected it was a cooked tuo? Because both of my samples are certainly sheng as advertised - no funny business there.
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Postby hop_goblin » Aug 29th, '08, 09:02

brandon wrote:
Salsero wrote:You will give Ellen your notes to post in the LJ, I assume.

Right, has been sent in her direction.

Hop, when you say sheng here, are you referring to the fact that the OP originally suspected it was a cooked tuo? Because both of my samples are certainly sheng as advertised - no funny business there.


My bad, I misread the thread. I haven't had my tea this morn. :lol: Indeed, it is sheng. Understandably why I was confused about the box! lol :oops:
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Postby eanglin » Aug 29th, '08, 23:59

Thanks so much for the review!
Its good to know I wasn't too far off in my evaluation of this tea. I really enjoyed the sample I brewed and I kept on brewing it for three days- after the first day I'd pour on boiling water, let it sit for several hours or overnight, and enjoy the cool tea when I had a quiet moment.
It was still nice two days later, but had very little 'body' left. I guess its what I have heard some call 'sweet water'. Yummy.
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Postby Salsero » Aug 31st, '08, 22:31

This is a cross post with the Bears' Puerh Live Journal.

I brewed up half of the very generous sample that our own Eanglin sent me, 5+ grams in a 110 ml pot, and progressed though 10 infusions, from very short to one minute. The dry leaf was dark brown almost black, as were the spent leaves. The liquor was very clear, producing a couple dark yellow infusions, then yellow orange, followed by two or three very dark red orange infusions, then lightening to clear, light red or orange infusions. I found it very smooth/no astringency, sweet, and just a bit of an oily/full mouth feel at the beginning. The early tastes reminded me of wood, mushroom, and sweet loquat. As the infusions progressed I tasted dark cherries, not acidic at all and more dry than sweet. The tea certainly would have progressed beyond the 10 infusions I put it through, if I had had the time to devote to it.

Clearly this is not shu. It is a very satisfying sheng, and certainly priced way below market at $8.00 a tuo. A great find, Eanglin! If I had to guess at age, I would say more than five years old but probably not more than 10 or 12 years old.

Thanks so much for sharing this experience with me and our other tasters!
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Postby Wesli » Sep 13th, '08, 02:28

http://thegreenteareview.blogspot.com/2008/09/mystery-xiaguan-tuocha.html

Yarr. I think that is an excellent tea.

Yes, very delicious.
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Postby eanglin » Sep 13th, '08, 17:55

Thank you all SOOO much for the wonderful reviews!
This entire project has been a lot of fun- I've learned a lot from reading your notes and comparing what you find to what I've observed.
(Sadly, I also find I'm not terribly observant. I never even noticed the mold that several of you found in abundance.)

This lesson has me really questioning the very negative attitudes many Westerners (Not sure if this is a correct term/grouping.) have toward wet stored Pu. This tea is Yummy, and if it is wet storing that does it, then we may need to set aside, at least for a while, our aversion to things growing on our food.

I keep reminding myself that Puerh is a living food, like cheese, and it would be silly to avoid Brie, blue cheese or even yogurt because they have things growing on/in them. I'd just like to see more science applied to tea aging so that we know more about what is going on, what conditions the friendly organisms do best under, and how to avoid the unfriendly ones.

Mmmm Moldy tea. Yum. Never thought I'd be saying that...
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