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SOTD- sheng of the day

My scale got broke so I haven't had much pu recently except for shu that I didn't mind not knowing the dosage for.

Yesterday, I had 2003 Xiaguan Baoyan. Light in flavor, mostly the same as it always had been. Had an unexpected amount of older tea qi, more than I've felt from things like the 2003 Youle Round Cake or the 2003 Yongpinhao. Very nice and relaxing alertness. Generally smooth, and had some of that aged huigan that doesn't spout up the throat, but seeps up, almost like hongchapu, except it's from deep in the throat. The throat constantly felt warmed/chilled and caressed. Might be junk leaves, but it was junk leaves for 2003 and not today.

Today I had 2010 YS Yakouzhai. This tastes and smells good, and as a Nannuo should be. A little body, no qi, some dynamicism in session, but I didn't find it compelling enough to drink this tea very long, like I did yesterday. I did have a few more cups in the evening so it wasn't wasted. Well worth what YS wants for it, but not awesome.


Do keep in mind that from around Christmas to February, merchants will be making decisions on how much their tea costs next year, so if you're thinking about buying tea, have an idea what you want to do in the time allotted. Sooner or later, the not-so-good tea is going to stagnate or drop. Maybe not this year, maybe into next year, but it will happen. When people start, as a group, caring about the actual qualities of tea, and strong provenances, the better stuff that don't drop will keep getting more expensive, especially as more Westerners get into puerh tea.
 
Had taochaju lao man'e '08, almost done with it, but for a couple of grams. I had an okay time. Early brews are very nicely chocolatey. After about brew three, it starts lowering in potency. Later brews have a nice floral element to what is a pretty hollow taste. Decent to good body and texture. If any qi, then minimal, and from a touch of age. Aroma was good to brew three, with some complexity. Not much aftertastes.

Houde put up the 2003 Xiaguan jingcha, but with the sold out sign, so I guess that means favored customers gets to ask for a price. At $34, it would be well worth it. Not too much taste or aroma, but pleasant enough, and last session delivered excellent qi and aftertaste for me.

Origin Tea has added a couple of very notable tea in the Private Collection folder. The 2004 Yangqinghao Yiwu Cha http://www.origintea.net/2004-yqh-special-reserve-cha-wang . A couple of notes, sez 400g. Houde sold 500g cakes, and my cake is the same press as the 2006 Gushu Chawang, and they both feel like 500g cakes, very tightly pressed. I do recall one of the 2004 YQH cakes being 100g less than an identical cake. So that cake might be from a different run, with slightly different material, and be mindful of storage, but I think the price is nice for something like this. Better than paying lots of money for new GFZ. Also be mindful that YQH are all relatively light taste, so if you don't like that, and want some of that heavy wooden taste of many aged Yiwus, well you may be disappointed.

The other cake is the 2001 7542 purple wrapper, that's a 104 run. http://www.origintea.net/2001-purple-dayi-no-4-tea-cake It looks expensive, but donghe tea wants about $50-$100 more for it than Tony. Again, with cakes that old, storage is an issue. This is a famous tea, and more famous than the 2002 208 tea that I've tried before. At one time, this was a peer tea to the 2001 Simplified Cloud character 7542, using more buds and less large leaf than the Simplified. It fell behind because the flavor is less distinct and more normal wrt to other 7542, compared to the Simplified. It also fell behind because it's less durable. I can attest that the Simplified has always been extremely durable, and routinely does 20 decent brews and better. This, however, it not chopped liver, and there is a reason people want more than $500 for their cake! Not too highly inflated by the Dayi premium.

You wanna talk Dayi premium? I bought 2005 Dayi Mengsong Peacock from Houde at $32 in the fall of 2010. Donghe Tea now wants slightly less than $500 for it. Wasn't that long ago that it was $300. It is minimally cheaper, about $15 than the most expensive Dayi cake from that year, though the 2007 Yanyun is still more expensive, I think. Anxiang is still going up, and now more than $230 at that shop.

So what's up with all that? Apparently, the 47th issue of the Pu-erh Teapot Magazine had a lengthy article about the financialization of puerh, reprinted on the teabbs forum (would be worth a decent translation by somebody). And there was some pretty interesting thoughts about securitization in it, and it uses the example of Dayi trying to push people from using Donghe Tea, cited as an innovative player, in order to control the market. Really interesting and worth even the google translated reading... Believe it's this one: http://teabbs.zjol.com.cn/viewthread.php?tid=258081&extra=page\=1&page=1
 
Are we sure that the Yan Qing Hao is even legit. I'm not saying its not because it could be a different production. But I have a cake of the 04 YQH Yi wu the neifi and description ticket are different as well a size of the cake and leaf. Also I remember Gaung talking about fake Jians of YQH cakes.
Has any one tried this cake? The leaves on it look pretty nice plus it looks like it has seen a bit more humidity then the YQH from other sources.

SOTD 00 7542 from Far wen wa I like this tea although it does taste wierd for a 7542.


Grasshopper-- is this originally from Grand tea?
 
As my memory goes, there are three cake lines for YQH in 2004, the top line that's all Chawangshu, the Yiwu Chawang, and the Yiwu Special Reserve. One of the later two *does* have both a 500g and 400g version in YQH's blog catalog. There is also a 300g tuo/jingcha as well.
 
Yesterday was a good, if typical session of the '06 2nd Memorial.

Today, I had a, frankly, delicious session with the '06 Taipei Expo Jincha. Just four grams left in my tin, and three mushroom salted away for the distant future... So I was determined to savor it, and the tea made it easy. Bounced around coffee with hazelnut creamer taste. Good thickness, a decent bit of energy, aroma was slow to get going, but did as the session went on, flavorful huigans and lasting taste in the mouth and throat, and a bit lighter qi than usual for the tea.

Sanhetang products are available on Taobao, from the Guo Xiang Cha Pu outfit which just opened last month, and spammed apparently the entirety of chinese internet forums announcing so. Mostly some 2012 and 2013 stuff, incompetently presented, but also has the 2007 Longfeng, 7542, and 8582. LongFeng and 8582 costs about $240, while the 7542 costs about $210.

Older famous banzhang cakes are still skyrocketing. Seems like the 2006 Dayi Banzhang is about $1350 these days. The bok choys have gotten up to 2k, 3k, and more $$$.
 
Older famous banzhang cakes are still skyrocketing. Seems like the 2006 Dayi Banzhang is about $1350 these days. The bok choys have gotten up to 2k, 3k, and more $$$.
wish I had stocked up on bak choys when I had the chance. But I did not feel it was worth $400 then.

well you can still get them at puerhshop for under $200:001_rolle
Zhou Yu 's 07 hong yin good session I think this cake will age well. But I think I should have just bought another zi pin.

Shah do you have a link for YQH blog?
 
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I finished off the 2007 Wisteria Hong Yin with 8g in 120ml pot, so heavy dosage for me. More or less, the 6612 post that reviews this tea still holds. I drank this today because I was mindful of the fact that the Taipei Expo tea was largely about replicating the Hong Yin, much as this tea was, though the jincha claims no specific linkage to the cakes that are known as Hong Yin replicas. The Taipei expo tea is better than the Wisteria Hong Yin, while Wisteria has an actual firm wood and herbal note to go with that coffee, and it matches in terms of energy in the mouth, it doesn't really have the strong aftertastes or qi of the Taipei, and it's not a dynamic session. GN? is quite right to wish to have bought another one of the 2003 teas, not necessarily just the zi pin (even though I don't really think the zi pin is truly that outstanding either, but it's much more dynamic than the Hong Yin).

edited to add: A few hours rest resulted in five or so more good brews, and a more obvious qi that was nice. Which lifted my opinion of this tea a bit more. I generally liked the high quality of the bitterness, and I think this would be quite good in another 20 years or so.

As far as the bok choys, if you don't want to drink them, then there never was any point in "loading up" on them, because most of those prices are the sort of prices retailers get, not hobbyists, so unless you had an unopened tong or box (or is highly trusted), you can't get those prices for yourself. The point of buying these nice teas is to get them as cheap as possible. When you see a good one at a price point, hit it hard, even if it means a thousand or two.

Okay, GN?, here's the 500g at the yqh site:

http://translate.google.com/transla...9B(20405)&client=opera&hs=p1z&channel=suggest

http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/ychtea-blog/article?mid=15043&next=14471&l=f&fid=20 for the non-translated version.

Here's the price list that shows the 400g versions (apparently there are 400g for both of the non-top grade teas, and both a 300g tuo and 300g jincha). Note that there are no images available anywhere on the YQH sites for these 400g versions.

http://translate.google.com/transla...8E%8B500g&client=opera&hs=jfz&channel=suggest

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5dcfed2a01013kri.html

When making comparisons between the 500g and 400g version, you can see that the image at Origin Tea shows a different neifei tucked into the front of the cake, while the ticket and the back neifei are presumably the same.

So you can see that it's a different run. Whether that really means anything may well be fairly immaterial. Collectors will prefer the 500g version, and while many outfits will put in an inferior batch of leaves for these non-standard cakes, this is unlikely to be the case, given Taiwanese practices. The zipin tuo and cakes, I've heard to have minimal differences, and probably influenced by size and shape in storage. Sanhetang looks to have used the same pool of leaves for all of their DianGu productions each year, and broadly, the most reviewed Diangu is the 2009 250 xiaobing, and not the 2007 cake, the 2008 productions, the 2009 400g stone/iron cakes, or 2010-today. I can see not really doing the reviews for the later productions since the 2011 DianGu iron cake sample I've tried was really not up to snuff, but I'm honestly rather surprised at how nobody has reviewed *anything* from 2008--not here (aside from my comments on the two shu from 2008), nor in E. Asia. Anyways, I think there should be minimal differences, and that mostly due to long storage in Taiwan rather than Houston--I remember MarshalN reviewing a Taiwanese stored cake of the 2004 and thinking it to be flatter than the Houde version.
 
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Thanks
I did not realize YQH made so many cakes each year.

Do you know when the price list is from? It is hard to tell if they are very high or very low even with the translation off.

Sotd- 70s Grand Yellow Mark This tea was originally from Grand Tea. They state at Grand tea this is composed of 70% raw 20 % cooked leaving 10% unaccounted for. I can only guessbut from tasting the tea that the remainder is a mix of Lu Yu's toe nail clippings and dragon scales. The smell of the dry leaf is nothing special the compression is noteworthy obviously using early Xiaguan site pressing technology. Once water hits the leaf the aroma becomes very potent a strong Oregano smell fills my tea space. Initial infusions are light due to the compression starting off with an oregano taste the next steeping brings out a peaches in cream taste. The peaches become light sweet dark strawberries ( wierd right) with herbal notes in the back, over the next couple infusions while still smelling of oregano. I know The chunk finally loosens around six and the fruitiness disappears and evolves into a strong dill taste. The dill taste remains through many infusions gradually becoming more woody and gaining some camphor. This tea is not very thick considering it's age but the mouthfeel is very refined. This tea was trully a pleasure to drink. I have kind of gotten used to famous teas not living up to my expectations / snow mark ,60's GYG ,shui LAN yin ect it was very nice to have one excess them. I didn't expect as much out of this given it is a ripe raw blend. But this was Truely a treat.

Thanks Grasshopper
 
/me whimpers...

but all *I* had was just a bit of boring '04 Shikunmu Everlasting Yibang. Good thickness, but so bland...

price list is early 2012, so very much out of date. Keep in mind, though, $300 is a pretty hard limit, as teas are radically reduced in liquidity above it, and many nominally more expensive teas are sold at about that price.
 
Yesterday, I had the 2012 TeaUrchin GFZ, but I wasn't really particularly pleased by it. I didn't pay any money for it, so it was entirely indignation... The first couple of brews did have recognizably GFZ leanings, and the rest of the session was primarily just another dark style yiwu. There wasn't any real magic with this tea, and it really fares poorly against the likes of the Wisteria teas I've just had, while it's definitely better than the '04 Yibang (tho' that's a low bar). No complexity in taste, no strong aftertastes, and I didn't get much qi either.

Today, I had two teas:

1) I mostly finished off a sample of 2012 Essence of Tea Bulang from a year and a half ago. I rather enjoyed it. The flavor slumped less than the 2010 and 2011 EoT Bulangs. While it was still smoky the first couple of brews, it resolved into a full tasting, thick brew with nice bitterness, a bit of florals, and a subtext of fruit. The brew was oily enough to leave a coating. It also had a good performance in terms of aroma, bringing into mind Nada's comments about sun-dried bings, and making me wonder if sun-drying would have made the other EoT Bulangs a bit better on the taste and maybe aroma standpoint while it's in the long tweener doldrums stage. Of course, this was a sample, and I was talking about leaves from cakes. The session lasted about 13 brews or so, and perhaps could have gone longer.

I finished off my sample of the 2007 Taochaju Daxueshan, last 3.7g. It was radically different than my expectactions. First, I found a clump of red dust in the middle of the chunk, and I had to pry the clump out and brush away the dust first! Then, when I started brewing, it came out far more like what I'd expect from a Bingdao! Artisinal clay, honey, and fruit suggestions was stuffed into the aroma, and the soup was largely the same. That soup also had a wonderfully textured thickness as well, what Hobbes called powdery. Anyways, thing was, this is much less tobacco-floral-leathery than it used to be, or what DXS usually is. That resulted in a soup that was insipidly sweet, much like Mahei can be. I have a sweet tooth, so I didn't mind to much all that honey, flowers, and fruit, and nothing to cut it with. The flavor didn't change too drastically through the session aside from a little change in the complexity, mostly in the finish. The start of the session had some qi, which then leveled off. The tea did generate very good yuns that lasted a good while after the cup's last sip. No huigans, but the throat action was good. Not that cooling aside from a few bursts. I eventually stopped because I got bored with the taste. I will probably be drinking EoT DXS with my morning breakfast today. I had it in mind to compare the two, but now I'm not sure if that's possible, as DXS.

Hmmm, editing to add, I see Tony Chen made some commentary about Wa Long tea from Manzhang. That such tea was made in the national forest named after the Kwun Yam Temple. That the tea was super exlusive and only dozens of pounds are available, and he only got to take home thirty 400g cakes! And that it was better than Mansong Yibang. So I wondered off to Scott's place, and read what he sez. Take a look at, oh, 68 total 250g cakes! The pictures of the cakes were interesting. Scott's cakes are much more stemmy than Tony's, and those stems are really rather red, something I took note of when these cakes were first put up. Tony's cake seems to have smaller leaves, normal colored stems, and more tips. Prices are fairly different. Scott's is $89/250, or $142/400g, while Tony's is about $256. This does make me want to try Scott's tea, overcoming my bias against Manzhuan teas.
 
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Also be mindful that YQH are all relatively light taste, so if you don't like that, and want some of that heavy wooden taste of many aged Yiwus, well you may be disappointed.
So, you have tasted every single YQH cake? o_O

The other cake is the 2001 7542 purple wrapper, that's a 104 run. http://www.origintea.net/2001-purple-dayi-no-4-tea-cake
That is not a 7542 and not a 104 run. Like its name says, it is the "2001 Purple Dayi No.4 Tea Cake" batch 103. Go look it up in the dayi book or the Newborn pu annuals.
 
When making comparisons between the 500g and 400g version, you can see that the image at Origin Tea shows a different neifei tucked into the front of the cake, while the ticket and the back neifei are presumably the same.
FYI. http://blog.yimg.com/2/9QxBs1p7s58s...CxJPgMp.TLw--/54/l/J6XGI7PSqMmUs1O.W4PFrg.jpg
That is not the Neifei. That is an additional ticket inside the double wrapper. The only difference between the 400g and 500g version is that very ticket. The neifei are the same.
 
As to the first, you're quite welcome to say that the tea *isn't* light.

As to the second, whether it's a 7542 or not, is a distinction without much of a difference--there are radically different "7542" through the chaotic years, and I did link to the page with the actual correct information, you know.

Instead of arguing with me like we're a married couple past our silver anniversary, why don't you tell us a bit more about these cakes?
 
Today, I had a, frankly, delicious session with the '06 Taipei Expo Jincha. Just four grams left in my tin, and three mushroom salted away for the distant future... So I was determined to savor it, and the tea made it easy. Bounced around coffee with hazelnut creamer taste. Good thickness, a decent bit of energy, aroma was slow to get going, but did as the session went on, flavorful huigans and lasting taste in the mouth and throat, and a bit lighter qi than usual for the tea.
First, I had that 08 TCJ Laoman'e with a group of puer heads recently and they all bowed down to it. They guessed it was from 2004. Storage is king.

Second, These Taipei Expo Jinchas are funny. I have a small chunk of one left. They are a roll of the dice in terms of consistency. On a good day they are very stable. On a bad day I am tossing them out after a few steeps.

Third, today I am drinking 2006 Dayi Wucai Kongque Nannuo
 
What caused you to toss the bad sessions? You mentioned sourness in the minicakes... With my second jincha, I broke it up and tried to mix everything so I could get more stable performances. I think the entire point of the shape was to allow a bit of uneven aging (and so require breaking up first), what do you think?

I had a very nice Yiwu day today. 2005 MingYuanHao Yieh Sheng, the usual, plus a good effort in the throatfeel. I finished off TIM's Guoyan GFZ (3.5g). This had been sitting in an open foil bag for months, so it was rather aerated. The dark flavors were gone, and the first few brews had that bubblegum floral element I recall from the XZH Risk Ones Life To Pursue (long-*** name...). The qi was noticably very good, and the taste and aroma was quite elegant. This is still tea that you buy, if you can afford it. Very hard to get Yiwu of this quality. In a sense, the excellence is measured what what could be better...it could be a smidge louder in taste and aroma, a smidge broader in the taste, and there could be more activity in the throat, beyond the yuns already present.

So, how does a Beijinger expat celebrate Thanksgiving, anyways? Work?
 
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