Xiaguan flavours

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


User avatar
Nov 26th, '16, 08:58
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 12th, '15, 13:13
Location: Hungary

Xiaguan flavours

by Xeractha » Nov 26th, '16, 08:58

Hi!

Does anyone know the flavour differences between Xiaguan grades (raw)? (Or which is less smoky.) I can't really find too much information about them. Mostly just something about grades. I'd like to buy a tuo or 2 and can't really decide. I know smoky flavour is usually given though I didn't feel it in a 2006 Te Ji tuo (at least not as much as in the Red Thick Edge one). These are the tuos that I'm thinking about:

2006 Mabei (horse back)
2006 and 2009 Cang Er
2008 Dream of the Red Chamber
2011 Ancient Wild Tree (only 8,5 USD on YS, thought wild tree teas would cost more)
2005 Te Ji

(I'm also looking at a 2015 YS Impression cake... :O)

User avatar
Nov 27th, '16, 06:19
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Nov 27th, '16, 06:19

Nowadays there are a lot of different grades of Xiaguan raw. I bought a fancy cake this year that is produced like modern small-production cakes and has NO smoke to speak of. The old school tuos and cakes absolutely reek of smoke when new. A 2006 tuo could be very smoky or not smoky in the least, depending on storage. Considering that tea is all Kunming storage, the newer/classic stuff is likely to still be very smoky. It really depends on the storage, though, and I couldn't tell you what the tea would be like without trying it! Some of the 2016 XG stuff I bought this year is so smoky, I won't even try to drink it for ten years, and it might need even more time since I'm dry storing it (high heat and humidity, but not as much humidity as HK warehouses' environments usually provide, so the tea ages more slowly and delicately).

User avatar
Nov 27th, '16, 08:30
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 12th, '15, 13:13
Location: Hungary

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by Xeractha » Nov 27th, '16, 08:30

jayinhk wrote:Nowadays there are a lot of different grades of Xiaguan raw. I bought a fancy cake this year that is produced like modern small-production cakes and has NO smoke to speak of. The old school tuos and cakes absolutely reek of smoke when new. A 2006 tuo could be very smoky or not smoky in the least, depending on storage. Considering that tea is all Kunming storage, the newer/classic stuff is likely to still be very smoky. It really depends on the storage, though, and I couldn't tell you what the tea would be like without trying it! Some of the 2016 XG stuff I bought this year is so smoky, I won't even try to drink it for ten years, and it might need even more time since I'm dry storing it (high heat and humidity, but not as much humidity as HK warehouses environments usually provide, so the tea ages more slowly and delicately).
So I didn't make a good purchase with a 2016 Nan Zhao. :D Well, it's not here yet but at least I'll have a nice boxed nest that I can forget about. I think I'll go with the Te Ji or the Red Chamber. Holidays and exams are coming, can't spend too much now. I hope USD value will decrease soon. The last 2 weeks it's value grew by 7% compared to hungarian currency but at least there's a sale on YS.

Oh.. I just looked at YS, the 2011 Wild Tree XG is out of stock. I might be wrong but I could see some of it yesterday.

User avatar
Nov 27th, '16, 19:42
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Nov 27th, '16, 19:42

Xeractha wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Nowadays there are a lot of different grades of Xiaguan raw. I bought a fancy cake this year that is produced like modern small-production cakes and has NO smoke to speak of. The old school tuos and cakes absolutely reek of smoke when new. A 2006 tuo could be very smoky or not smoky in the least, depending on storage. Considering that tea is all Kunming storage, the newer/classic stuff is likely to still be very smoky. It really depends on the storage, though, and I couldn't tell you what the tea would be like without trying it! Some of the 2016 XG stuff I bought this year is so smoky, I won't even try to drink it for ten years, and it might need even more time since I'm dry storing it (high heat and humidity, but not as much humidity as HK warehouses environments usually provide, so the tea ages more slowly and delicately).
So I didn't make a good purchase with a 2016 Nan Zhao. :D Well, it's not here yet but at least I'll have a nice boxed nest that I can forget about. I think I'll go with the Te Ji or the Red Chamber. Holidays and exams are coming, can't spend too much now. I hope USD value will decrease soon. The last 2 weeks it's value grew by 7% compared to hungarian currency but at least there's a sale on YS.

Oh.. I just looked at YS, the 2011 Wild Tree XG is out of stock. I might be wrong but I could see some of it yesterday.
Yep, that Nan Zhao might be good to drink in 2030 ^_^ I thought Hungary used the Euro?

User avatar
Nov 29th, '16, 23:21
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 12th, '15, 13:13
Location: Hungary

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by Xeractha » Nov 29th, '16, 23:21

Nope, we still use HUF (Hungarian Forint). 1 USD = 292 HUF; 1 EUR = 310 HUF; 1 GBP = 365 HUF etc, so quite worthless currency compared to these. EUR is usually stable around 300-310 while USD fluctuates around 270-295 (almost 2 years ago it was only 200), GBP is interesting since the brexit thing. It was around 400-410 HUF and went down to 340, now it's around 360.

Anyway, I bought the Red Chamber 'cause of the nice box. :D

User avatar
Nov 30th, '16, 05:07
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Nov 30th, '16, 05:07

Right, I read about the currency situation in Hungary after I commented because I was curious! That Red Chamber does look cool, doesn't it? :)

I'm tempted to buy more Xiaguan tuos, but they age very slowly and aged ones are readily available here for quite reasonable prices, so I'd rather buy teas I can't get so easily. I do have a lot of pink box special tuos (2005 onwards) aging away, but they're going to take ten years to be drinkable, even with HK dry storage.

User avatar
Nov 30th, '16, 05:13
Posts: 539
Joined: Aug 19th, '15, 07:03
Location: on the road

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by kuánglóng » Nov 30th, '16, 05:13

Xeractha wrote:Hi!

Does anyone know the flavour differences between Xiaguan grades (raw)? (Or which is less smoky.) I can't really find too much information about them. Mostly just something about grades. I'd like to buy a tuo or 2 and can't really decide. I know smoky flavour is usually given though I didn't feel it in a 2006 Te Ji tuo (at least not as much as in the Red Thick Edge one). These are the tuos that I'm thinking about:

2006 Mabei (horse back)
2006 and 2009 Cang Er
2008 Dream of the Red Chamber
2011 Ancient Wild Tree (only 8,5 USD on YS, thought wild tree teas would cost more)
2005 Te Ji

(I'm also looking at a 2015 YS Impression cake... :O)
Of those teas you've listed the Cang Er's, at least the ones I have here are the least smokey but OTOH I don't find them that interesting flavor wise. The older Te Ji or standard Jia Ji (green box) can be pretty decent or really good but a LOT depends on the individual tea, exact batch (see date stamp), storage! and of course your individual preferences.
Some folks recommend the TF (Taiwan) varieties over Xiguan's standard offerings but from my experience it again depends on the individual tea. I have some really nice, old standard XGs in my stash (Te Ji, Jia Ji, 8653, 8613, 8603, ...) but have also had some really crappy TF stuff or special productions.
Just in case .... there are quite a few fakes of older Xiaguans out there, especially cakes. I'd stick with the more reliable vendors some folks have mentioned a while ago but even then there's no guarantee you'll like the stuff you're getting.
(I bought most of my XGs long ago and wouldn't spend 50 or more Euros on anything I haven't sampled before, especially not older XG stuff.)

User avatar
Nov 30th, '16, 06:39
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Nov 30th, '16, 06:39

Thanks for the input on the Cang Ers...I almost bought some new ones. I still might as they are quite cheap when new. I have about fifty XG tuos aging away right now. They're really quite nice when aged well!

I bought some FT small cakes this year. Someone said he heard this year's were good after I bought them--I don't know how anyone knows that as they REEK of smoke! I've also had good JiaJi/8653/etc recently (I never used to even consider XG teas).

User avatar
Nov 30th, '16, 12:45
Posts: 539
Joined: Aug 19th, '15, 07:03
Location: on the road

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by kuánglóng » Nov 30th, '16, 12:45

jayinhk wrote:Thanks for the input on the Cang Ers...I almost bought some new ones. I still might as they are quite cheap when new. I have about fifty XG tuos aging away right now. They're really quite nice when aged well!

I bought some FT small cakes this year. Someone said he heard this year's were good after I bought them--I don't know how anyone knows that as they REEK of smoke! I've also had good JiaJi/8653/etc recently (I never used to even consider XG teas).
Regarding their smokiness some XGs will lose some if not most of it over the years but others just won't - it all depends. I've bought some 2012 FT tuos some weeks ago (beige/orangeish box with a sketch of a village on top) but got nothing, read nothing but smoke in the cup and tossed them right into the trashcan - so much about FT and that wasn't the first time.
Anyway, I've had some very memorable sessions with older XG stuff and wouldn't want to miss them, especially on winter hikes in remote corners of the planet or on days when nothing else seems to work for me.

User avatar
Nov 30th, '16, 13:29
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Nov 30th, '16, 13:29

kuánglóng wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Thanks for the input on the Cang Ers...I almost bought some new ones. I still might as they are quite cheap when new. I have about fifty XG tuos aging away right now. They're really quite nice when aged well!

I bought some FT small cakes this year. Someone said he heard this year's were good after I bought them--I don't know how anyone knows that as they REEK of smoke! I've also had good JiaJi/8653/etc recently (I never used to even consider XG teas).
Regarding their smokiness some XGs will lose some if not most of it over the years but others just won't - it all depends. I've bought some 2012 FT tuos some weeks ago (beige/orangeish box with a sketch of a village on top) but got nothing, read nothing but smoke in the cup and tossed them right into the trashcan - so much about FT and that wasn't the first time.
Anyway, I've had some very memorable sessions with older XG stuff and wouldn't want to miss them, especially on winter hikes in remote corners of the planet or on days when nothing else seems to work for me.
IMO it's all about storage. Kunming storage XG is probably going to be rough drinking! With the right conditions that smoke will dissipate, and with traditional storage it can be gone in no time at all. Where'd you buy the tuos?

Feb 19th, '17, 20:21
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 1st, '14, 02:27

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by toby » Feb 19th, '17, 20:21

For non-smoky XG tuos.

Go for 2004 Xiaguan FT nanzhou tuo 100g or 200g version. Very good tea.

Generally Cang Er tuos are not too smoky, as kuánglóng pointed out.
The only Cang Er I have tried is an Apr batch 250g of 2004. YMMV

For more typical XG taste (without the smokiness), go for pink box Teji tuos.

For XG, most definitely you should get a Southern China, Hong Kong or Taiwan stored one. The wetter the better.

User avatar
Feb 19th, '17, 20:32
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Feb 19th, '17, 20:32

toby wrote: For non-smoky XG tuos.

Go for 2004 Xiaguan FT nanzhou tuo 100g or 200g version. Very good tea.

Generally Cang Er tuos are not too smoky, as kuánglóng pointed out.
The only Cang Er I have tried is an Apr batch 250g of 2004. YMMV

For more typical XG taste (without the smokiness), go for pink box Teji tuos.

For XG, most definitely you should get a Southern China, Hong Kong or Taiwan stored one. The wetter the better.
Thanks for that input Toby! So the pink box Teji tuos are different then? I was wondering about that. I'm considering buy a fair bit of new XG tea this year for aging.

Feb 20th, '17, 00:03
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 1st, '14, 02:27

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by toby » Feb 20th, '17, 00:03

jayinhk wrote:
Thanks for that input Toby! So the pink box Teji tuos are different then? I was wondering about that. I'm considering buy a fair bit of new XG tea this year for aging.
It seems to me that the one in boxes are better. It is better for storage too (but take up more space).

04 shouldn't be too pricy. I sold quite a few 04 Sep Pink Box last year to new Pu lovers. 03 is way pink mix is very pricey since 03 is the first year of Teji tuos.

User avatar
Feb 20th, '17, 08:34
Vendor Member
Posts: 3110
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by jayinhk » Feb 20th, '17, 08:34

toby wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Thanks for that input Toby! So the pink box Teji tuos are different then? I was wondering about that. I'm considering buy a fair bit of new XG tea this year for aging.
It seems to me that the one in boxes are better. It is better for storage too (but take up more space).

04 shouldn't be too pricy. I sold quite a few 04 Sep Pink Box last year to new Pu lovers. 03 is way pink mix is very pricey since 03 is the first year of Teji tuos.
Gotcha, I have some 05 pink boxes aging away. I prefer to buy new ones as they age so quickly here and the price is so low. 2013 or so would be good as the smoke would be partially gone and the tea would come along well in only five years or so.

How do you feel about the 454g Nanzhou vs the smaller tuos? I may buy a few boxes of Nanzhou.

User avatar
Feb 20th, '17, 13:53
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 12th, '15, 13:13
Location: Hungary

Re: Xiaguan flavours

by Xeractha » Feb 20th, '17, 13:53

I tasted the 2016 Nan Zhao and it wasn't that bad as I expected. The smokiness was familiar because it was the same as I smelled at my grandma's house. She used a stove that's heated with wood. I don't know how it's called in english but it was a "sparhelt". Actually it's not something pleasant but I didn't mind. Surprisingly it's not even bitter and felt buttery, at least for a few infusions. Though it won't age well... Half of it is already missing. :D

What's a good price for these tuos?
I found this only : http://www.kingteamall.com/product/2005 ... -sheng-cha

+ Post Reply