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SOTD- sheng of the day

Poor Hidden Song, so uninteresting, it's forgotten. Put that above the Ban Komaen, of course.

Yesterday, I did the 2002 Yiwu Ancient Spirit, sold by YS. This is similar to the Fuhai Six Leaves Yiwu, except that it's a little nuttier and doesn't have as much backbone in terms of wood or leather. Viscosity is sometimes marginal. Astringency is a big factor, as is some bitter-tart, and needs to be brewed around. The taste has little dynamicism through the session, and grows thinner at too rapid a pace. A bit of deep honey, a bit of soil and root herbs, a bit of leather, and a bit of nuttiness. Aftertastes are generally pretty minor. A bit of Yiwu style sweet huigan in mouth, and I caught a pungent huigan at the top of the throat in a sip of one cup. This does have a bit of noticeable qi. The durability is not particularly great. It'll last longer, but the taste gets too thin and boring.

Today's tea was the 2001 Yiwu Spring buds with that old-style wrapper used for a more famous yiwu in the 80s. The leaf material in sampletea's '99 version looks exactly the same:http://www.sampletea.com/product/1999-yunnan-yiwu-shan-chun-jian-tea-cake-green . I didn't really like this one because it reminds me very much of this dingxing cake that I have. I can drink it, but it has pesticide (as this spring buds does too), so I have to wash it and all. The weird thing was that the dingxing has a bolder and deeper taste, so in theory, I should like this a lot, but it has always rubbed me the wrong way. I think it's mainly because the taste is muddy, with some micro-not-so-nice tastes (I've never valued the 2001 Mingyuanhao at Houde because it tasted similarly dirty, but in contrast to these two teas, has way more sweet flavors). So I always drink the dingxing, have some cups, and mostly not come back for the back end out of a lack of appetite. This Yiwu Spring Buds is *very* similar to the dingxing, except that it uses somewhat smaller leaves and has more tips, and that's borne out with a somewhat sweeter note of root veggies and root herbs like sarsaparilla, while having less wood and bark notes that the dingxing has. Aroma is not much of a factor. Decent viscosity, and a random huigan in the throat. Doesn't have much in the mouth, I don't think. Certainly more dynamic than the Ancient Spirit as depth notes changes (can include licorice, for example). Drying astringency has to be managed in later brews. Needs to be said that there are lots of this sort of tea floating around. If you're paying more than $50-$60 for this, you're getting ripped off. Don't necessarily get fooled by the thickness and depth of the flavor, and you definitely need to wash this tea.
 
I decided to compare my Yan Qing Hao 04/tei ji pin stored in Houston until 2013 then in my storage with one stored in Taiwan for its whole life. All in all it did not fair nearly against the Taiwan stored cake as my 06 Qixiang did. The Qixiang ( gushu chawang) was stored in Seattle than in my storage since 2011 both more humid. I think I preferred my qi Xiang to the Taiwanese stored version. But The TaiwaneseTeijipin was much more mature and flavorful. The qi was crystal clear but strong. The only advantage my storage had was I'm durability. But that could just be that mine was freshly chipped off of a cake and not from a sample.
Has anyone (Shah ) tried the Tai Hong yin or the yiwu cakes from Bana. It is a shame she is only offering 100 gram "samples"on a few of her teas I would like to try.
 
GN? The YQH we have from Houston is the Zhencang Chawang, and not the Tejipin. If you mean the Hongyin iron cake, you can get 50g for $28. I'll wait for that special person to buy 20g of the Big Green Tree and report back to all of us! Tho' we have BGT reports from almost a decade ago, really. But hey, maybe new changes! I will be trying the 2009 Sanhehao in a couple of days.

Yesterday, I had the '06 ChenGuangHeTang Fall Yiwu Yecha. It was okay. I had a real problem with the astringency, which is pervasive, but not quite strong enough to be a deal-breaker. The flavors are retired smoke, tobacco, and plums. There are other sweet flavors that show up here and there, especially as the soup cools. As I progressed through the session, it becomes more fruity, but when I resumed the back end, tobacco came back. There are very occasional huigans, and one cup had some lingering aftertaste. Viscosity is generally only around enough. There is qi, but it's kind of light. I definitely can understand the reviews this tea got when it came out, and it was most definitely expensive for what it was. It really is the truth that but for a few classics ('05 Menghai Yieh Sheng, '06 Spring and Fall GFZ...), the majority of CGHT tea is tuition, and more costly than it should be. I mean, even the Menghai Yieh Sheng was priced terribly for what it was at Houde, when for a bit more you can get LBZ.

Today, I had a much more satisfying tea. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Cangliu. I was expecting something along the lines of my previous experiences with the '05 YQH Yiwu Chawang, '07 YQH tuo, '07 YQH Qizhong, but this is a more soundly constructed tea with some real merits. This is a 6ftm blend, but given how this tea behaved, I think there are only two ingredients in this blend, one fall, one spring. While noting how every place can taste like every other place, seemingly, I'm inclined to believe that Yibang and Gedeng are the prime suspects being in this blend. That's because the flavors tended to have that aromatic floral tar taste that I've had in Yibang teas, and Gedeng aged teas seems to have this as well, judging by report from Hobbes and Bill from AncientTeaHorseRoad blog. Along with a kind of basement soil note, under that floral note, there were plums and starchy veggies in the early going, and then just changed over to mostly a deep honey taste, though throughout the session, light pleasant invasions of sour plum notes came into the picture at will. The viscosity varied from reasonable to better than enough, and there was some issues with astringency like yesterday's tea, but much milder. Guess that's the fall tea. I've thought this to be weird how I get the sort of astringency in gushu teas these last two days that I'd expect for fall and summer factory teas. XZH fall teas do not tend to have issues with astringency--usually durability and sourness. This stuff doesn't really go down the throat, but it does do some random ringing at the top of the throat with fruit notes or just cooling and other feeling. There is bitterness, but it doesn't really generate aftertaste, but the bitterness isn't actually unpleasant or long lasting. In the early going, there was some qi that's obviously from some converted caffeine, a much milder version of what goes on with the Qixiang, but throughout the session this tea manages to have a little nice qi going. The durability looks to be good, I stopped at around fifteen brews, and I could have gone further. In general, this turned out to be a tea that rewards the attention you give it, or, at least this one set of leaves gave me lots to think about when I drank it. That makes it something that is potentially worth seeking out, in my book. As far as the price is concerned, it's an OK deal. I'd take this tea over the Bosch or the '05 Naka from white2tea...I think, and I guess it would beat comparably priced EoT cakes. However, it wouldn't beat most of my XZH or the Qixiang or any of the better YQH, I think. It's not a mediocre tea, but it has basically very little competition right now at its value.
 
Today I had the Qizhong, and it was definitely a much better session than I've had the previous two tries. The aroma was pretty nice early on, the first brew had some fruitiness/plummy, gradually gets more floral, and then ends up sort of a light, low, honey aroma by the fifth brew. The taste is a big part of the annoyance I've consistently had with the Qizhong. It's pretty short, and mostly tastes of somewhat bold wood and grains, maybe a little leather element. Not a great deal of dynamicism, as it mostly just fades as the session goes on. In the back end, long brews does revive a stronger taste, but it's just a more mellow version of the taste. The aftertastes do help. In the third and fourth brews, there was a light Yiwu style huigan (what I mean by Yiwu style, is a certain sort of burst of sweet flavor that happens mostly in the front of the mouth, after you hold the soup in there for a bit. Doesn't seem to come from any sort of bitterness, and feels more like a trapdoor that suddenly opens and drops your senses into something something honey) that help make the taste more substantial and enjoyable. Bitterness does generate some very light aftertastes in the back of the mouth. There are some short-lived perfunctory mouthcoats. Some cooling, but earlier brews does a good job of generating throat feeling to the tummy, more or less. Viscosity is generally enough to a bit better than that, with good texture. Some drying astringency occasionally, but not as much as the Tsangliu and certainly not the recent CGHT. The qi is pretty good. Not super awesome or interesting, but you get some straightforward stuff. Seems to actually like the upper back for some reason. It lightens up as the session goes on, but manages to keep at least a little going.

I think this is mostly a Manzhuang tea. I've also thought that there were some interesting, if distant similarities between this and the '07 XZH Yiwu Chawang, so I've been wondering how the Shishehshinpin '07 improves on the Qizhong.

I guess this tea is worth the money, but I think I will always be focused on other priorities had I money.
 
Today I had a good not great session with XZH Xuan xi. The first time I brewed this I almost orders a cake by the 6th infusion. But every round since then it hasn't lived up to the first session. This session was better I am considering it but I think my money would be better spent on some YQH or The 06 Bing Dao peacock ( mainly because I don't have a Bing Dao.)
At the moment I am enjoying 1997 Li Ming 8582. I love this tea. I know some where complaining that this was to wet. But all three examples of this cake that I had where from perfectly to lightly traditional stored. Of course my one lonely cake of this had been airing out in the shop gor a yeqr before I recieved it. There is still plenty of life in this cake. There is even a bit of Ku left still. Which is a great sign for the future. The mouthfeel is rich and oily. And there is a nice amount of qi.It still has that herbal refreshing herbal taste. Though it is starting to turn more medicinal. I prefer this to any Menghai 8582 that I have had from after 1995. I wonder what this cake goes for now I really wish I had a few of these. I think I payed around two hundred for this around 3 or 4/years ago.
 
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GN?, If you want to buy a "Bingdao" just for the sake of buying a "Bingdao", you're best off buying either a 72 Hours (even though that's not a Bingdao), or the Chen Yuan Hao http://teapals.com/collections/2014...uanhao-bingdao-gu-shu-2014?variant=1200709133 . Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can try getting one of the XZH Diangu '14 or '15, which is a similar price.

The last sample was a few grams of the '09 SanHeHao Yiwu from Banatea. This is a tea from Sanhezhai, near Yiwu Town. I got 5g so, I put four in the trusty little gaiwan. Broadly speaking, this tea has no aged/humid depth, just mellowed and softened youth. It's also essentially a LuolShuiDong style Yiwu. This tea is the best example I've had of this sort of tea, '99 Changtai Song Character excepting... The aroma reveals a light touch of some oxidation with a little perfume, floral element to the usual Yiwu aroma, which was pretty good for about six brews--light, with a few interesting things in it. The soup viscosity is an issue, in that it's on the thin side of things, though the texture is usually nicely silky, in a very slightly chalky way. <<Too many y's, I mutter>> The astringency does get higher mid-session (I just sort of keep lengthening the brews, knowing I'm overbrewing a bit). The taste itself is pretty stereotypically refined Yiwu hay with a touch of honey. Also, while the taste is active, it gradually grows more acid-bright. Much more understated than the Teaurchin's '12 LSD, with less fruit, flowers, and much less honey. The feeling and aftertastes are quite good with this tea. There is a consistent good feeling down the throat, with a rise up huigan (much like how we enjoy those '04 YQHs). The later astringency provides some mouthcoat. There is consistently a weighty feeling on top of the throat that is cooling. The qi is moderate to strong, of okay quality, but it dies out at about the fifth to seventh brew. The fun part is roughly about nine brews. Might be more, but I accidently forgot and overbrewed it, proving that there is bitterness in the leaves. The tea seems pretty durable when it comes to just providing flavor, I did fifteen, and there was probably more, but it was kind of boring, and late at night.

This is pretty good tea. However, in light of the alternatives, it's not a dollar a gram good. Last Thoughts clearly does better in terms of viscosity at the very least, and of course, a ton of great YQH are available at under a dollar a gram. Once you get past those (and the EoT big Yiwus/puer-sk top Yiwu if you think they are worth the money), this is a pretty valid choice, and it's the only top Yiwu available from the classical Yiwu area.
 
About a week ago, I had myself a session of the YS 2010 Fall Xikong. I liked the long, grapefruit and cacao nib, top flavor, with some husky grains beneath it. Had a lot of the sensibility of a good Manzhuan with the floral sweetness of leaves in Yibang/Gedeng. Good aroma lasts about six brews. This tended to have decent to good viscosity with a bit of bracing drying astringency, which was productive in generating aftertastes in mouth. There's a bit of feeling going down the throat, but the bitterness in the tea is productive in making pleasantly sweet pungent huigans. Durability was pretty good. The flavor was strongest in the second and third brews, then collapses a notch for a few brews, and collapsed again to a light flavor that lasted a lot of brews.
 
Had a 2015 "Smooch" from W2T that was included in an order. Put it to good use over the weekend. Definitely a very easy drinking sheng; not sure I'd buy it on its own but would consider it if I needed to have a fix while I'm traveling.
 
a blend of roughly equal portions of YS Mushucha, Nanpozhai, WuJiaZhai, and Sanhezhai has turned out to be a very successful blend with a high quality bitterness that generates floral and fruity aftertastes in the mouth. Texture was also nicely oily. No much in the way of qi.
 
taking a quick moment to state that the '07 Dayi An Xiang sheng is beginning to catch up to the shu. Hacking out the center of the bing, so very bitter in the beginning, properly. A very nice fragrance that's floral sweet, foresty, and camphor. Underneath the bitterness and after was some Pasha like tropical-fruit, some northern Bulang honey. A bit of qi, and some fun in the mouth. I also feel smarter when I drink this tea, which is a special trait of the An Xiang. This is a lot better than it used to be a few years ago, and I imagine that another ten years should make this a really good factory tea.
 
A long march of samples begins today.

The first sheng is the 2011 YQH Tiancang. Only a small sample, and forewarned about super-bitter, I was cautious, and did quick brews early on. I quickly figured out that this is early spring Lao Man'E. Early spring because it's very tippy and all of the leaves are small. Lao Man'E because, of course, it has that Man'E bitterness, but also the flavor base very much is what young LBZish tea is like, a sort of Menghai mushroom with a sort of alkaline woodsy floral character to it. Think Naka, with less tobacco, fruit, less alkalinity, or strong aroma. The Tuhao as ****, I am reminded, isn't all *that* close in taste to proper LBZ. Well, a reminder, locations are general, though--the '05,'06 XZH LBZ did not really ever have the normal sort of solid mushroom character, being broader and not so heavy. Anyways, this Lao Man'E is quite austere, being reluctant to have much sweetness until deep in the session, about six brews, and there is more of an effort at an elegance, which I appreciated. The aroma was nicely complex, if low, early on, and simplifies, lightens as the session goes on. The taste generally stays on the same themes, with more interesting coffee, wood, herb notes in the beginning, and devolving toward alkaline sweet mushrooms. Extremely durable. Know I did more than twenty, and this could probably hit thirty if I had the time and desire to push it. The qi and aftertastes were not that special though. A bit of stronger qi in the beginning, but it fades pretty quickly as the session goes on, past seven to ten brews. The bitterness isn't very productive, but there are some lingering finishes in the back of the throat and a couple of deeper feelings. Not much of a mouthcoat or anything else like that. The top taste, though, while narrow, does have a number of layers and length, so it wasn't just the bitterness that kept my drinking slow. The viscosity hovered from okay to pretty good most of the way, but the real feature is the smoothness and oiliness of the feel, and later thick brews felt very good in the mouth.

This one is worth the $400, I feel, with some caveats. It's Lao Man'E. It's tippy (and green). So it's really hard to drink, and hard on your system, like say, those potent gongting shus. So in practice, while Manly Men like Hobbes probably would get smacked and love it as any proper sub would, this basically needs to sit for another decade, particularly to mellow those tips out. Also, while this is much better than the TU Lao Man'E I've had, or the '09-11 EoT Bulang, in the sense of refined taste, it's only a magnitude better, and not leave the mortal sphere and lunch with the Jade Emperor better. Of course, you can't buy the teas I've mentioned, and there's only the special TU Lao Man'E and EoT 2012 Bulang, and I know this is no **** better than the 2012 EoT, tho' that's further along with deeper choco/barnyard and fruity/wine sweetness. OTOH, while it's heavier than the Black Wrapper, and far more complex tasting, and thicker--the Black Wrapper pretty much is Jupiter to the YQH's Earth. Nada's personal pressing on 2008 LBZ is also clearly better. LBZ has always seemed to be sweeter, no matter sweet or bitter leaf, and more of an energetic feel in the mouth and deep huigans in the throat than any Lao Man'E.
 
Because I don't want to wait forever, I risk a bit of shipping sickness, and drank half of my 2004 YQH Dingji Yesheng sample.

I was, though, sort of mildly disappointed, in the sense that it's not better than my Zhengcang Chawang--or not by much--or with qualifications with regarding to taste, better. One of the possible reasons it's not better is that my YQH cakes are dry stored nearly their whole life and has kept a lot of potency, while this Dingji Yesheng has had some real humid storage. It's cleaner than the storage from Wisteria Tea House, but a bit more humid. Roughly about the same humidity as the "dry stored" 2001 Dayi Simplified Yun or 2003 Bulang Jingpin that were sold at Houde. Judging from the experience of the 2002 Tai Lian, where I got a cake that has obviously had more humidity and is darker tasting--but it doesn't really have the qi or aftertaste of the Tai Lians I got from YS, I wondered if humidity has had an effect on its way to a mellow and more mature taste for the Dingji.

So anyways...The Dingji Yesheng isn't really like the Zhencang Chawang, definitely different sort of Yiwu teas. It has more top flavor, which is helped along with a degree of fementation flavor, but it's broad behavior is closest to the 2013 XZH (Yiwu) Chawangbing sold at Houde, and I determined it mostly because of a distinct sort of astringency/aftertaste. The flavor starts off with humid taste, wood, and slightly sour hay. It quickly builds up to a nice wood taste, but after the fourth brew, wood declines, more fruit like softly sour plums, a touch of spices, and various very light sweet flavors. Very deep in the session, it's mostly a Yiwu sweetness, and in even longer brews, there is a hint of wood and hay again with the sweetness. The viscosity is thick, but it's not really feeling like to me as if were impressively thick. However, after about five brews, while the entry is smooth (if uninteresting texture) there is a consistent appearance of drying astringency that's a little strong. I had thought maybe that was an effect of warehousing, but now think it's the leaves behaving like the '13 XZH. The aftertastes are generally fairly subtle, and most of it is in the mouth, much like the XZH '13. In the early rounds, the root of the tongue got a lingering stone fruit aftertaste. Some mintiness. A bit into the session, most aftertastes are of the delicate, lingering flavors around the back of the mouth and top of the throat, much like the 72 Hours does. Pungent huigans in the throat were rare, and while there was feeling down the throat, these were soft and subtle. There are some Yiwu mouth huigans, but they are subtle, lingering sweetness. Lastly, there is some floral/camphor mouth aroma in late brews, similar to Menghai teas. The qi isn't particularly strong, though I might have missed some since I wasn't feeling great today. Durability is better than twenty-five brews.

There isn't that much of an overall quality difference between the Dingjipin and the Zhengcang Chawang. The Dingjipin has a broader, stronger, and darker top taste, and generally does a lot more subtle complex lingering tastes. The Zhencang (at least my 500g version of it) is definitely less complex tasting, and less of a taste, but it punches harder. More huigans, stronger feel down the throat, overtly delicious tastes/aftertastes centered around sweet vanilla-fruit, stonger qi. When I think of a mellow complexity, I also think of the Tsang-liu, but the Dingjipin is more than a magnitude better.
 
Again, with the understanding that the tea is probably a little travel-sick, I drank half of my 2004 YQH Tejipin sample.

In short, the Teji is very much inferior to the Dingjipin or the Zhencang Chawang. It's still pretty good, but if I had money to blow, and in my situation, I'm spending that money on the Lao Man'E, man. I can afford to forget about it for a decade...

Alright... This tea, like the Dingjipin, has had a lot of humidity, so there is a fermentation flavor that helps it be full and broad and a bit deep. The thing though, and what Cwyn picked up, is that this tea has had *a lot* of smoke, even considering that it's from 2004. It's all retired, but the resulting taste is a bit more awkward for the Yiwu than it is for, say the '05 Dayi Peacock. It's basically strong retired smoke with soil or clay note (I don't find any tobacco) atop a typical medium-aged Yiwu sour plum background. Roughly around fifth or sixth brew, the retired smoke starts declining and allowed more defined fruity plum and some florals. It also takes some time for some of that Yiwu sweetness to show up as well. Deep into the session, it's basically a more leather note on light ferment/fermented plum background. As with the Dingji, the aroma doesn't really differ from the main taste, and is not a factor after about five brews. The viscosity of the Teji is pretty good, and the texture can be very nicely syrup-pudding. There is some drying finish, but not as strong as the Dingji. This doesn't seem to do all that much aftertaste-wise, mostly light huigans at the top of the throat early on, and some light Yiwu mouth huigans, besides that, doesn't show up in my notes or memory much. The Teji does have throatfeel going down, and stronger than what the Dingji offered. In the qi department, I did feel qi around my face, and shoulders, and a little in the rest of my body. However, overall, the Dingji does a better job with higher quality qi. The Teji's qi is a bit like the Qixiang's qi in that it's relatively prominent without as much true strength.

I enjoyed the tea, but I'm definitely still getting my YQH sea legs under me. What with Houde YQH, XZH, Vesper Chan's best teas all being relatively dry, this is my first sustained drinking of wetter superpremium tea, from the Tsangliu on...

People really do like that retired smoke taste--those 1990s Hualien bricks has had a lot of praise despite it being so smoky. It definitly does give a masculine character to the tea and a firm sense of drinking something of substance. It's "common" as Cwyn puts it, for a reason. Dayi has a few cakes, particularly in '05 where it's pretty much the point.
 
2014 Chawangshop Ban Payasi. It's basically a simple tea (that hasn't been messed with like the Ban Komaen Black for florals and fruit) that has a mushroom, vegetal, sage, and grain base, with trimmings of florals and chocolate on occasion. Enough viscosity, a teeny bit of cooling, and the bitterness does produce a little aftertaste. Not a bad tea, but definitely very ordinary--much like a Yibang with no fruity floral fun or a Youle without the substance and depth.

I was making out samples of some of my nice stuff, and I hate making samples because it's messy and more time consuming than I'd like, so one of those samples, the '09 XZH Pasha, I took out an extra four grams and gave myself a spin. This was with the 2011 YQH Tiancang in mind. This was a far easier tea to enjoy, the taste is thinner and lighter, it doesn't have that strong Lao Man'E bitterness, but it does have a strong bitterness. The tea has a nice tobacco, fruit, mushroom, and candy sweetness to it, and like the Tiancang, it's pretty close to how a LBZ is, in different ways. The mouthfeel is so good that it makes it feel thicker than it really is, which is a bit above moderately thick. The bitterness generates huigans in the throat, and the tea does go down the throat nicely as well. It also can leave a very nice lasting mouthcoat. Qi is pretty good. Durability is only so so, about fifteen good brews. Tiancang is much better than XZH Pasha in terms of viscosity and durability, like about twice as good for both. The Tiancang also has more complexity of aroma and taste, with more solid character. The XZH Pasha is much better on aftertaste, is much better on sweetness and sweet flavors, and has more qi than the Tiancang.
 
Today was 2007 Bo Nan Yun Wu Yuan Cha. There isn't that much to say about it, it's a very floral puerh without too much else to recommend it. It's perfectly pleasantly drinkable, but, say, the '05 Xiaguan Cang'Er tuo is the same sort of tea, and is better, with more thickness and a little more depth of taste.
 
2015 HLH Youle. It's pretty good, has qi like the Jingjiatang, has a thicker viscosity early on. Flavor is a bit higher and thinner. One brew does well in aftertaste. The Jingjiatang is half the price, and I think it is overall better, maybe--they're close. In any event, I wouldn't pay $150+ for this sort of tea. There are too many good teas, even 2015 teas, out there for a price like that.
 
2014 Chawangshop Ban Komaen Blue. Respectable tea. The dry leaf had an aroma that was similar to the White2tea Poundcake, if the taste wasn't so sencha-like. The taste had a shallow base of dark grains, like Manzhuang or some Yibangs, etc. On top of it were some florals, spices, and herbs. The early brews had some qi, thickness, and the soup definitely can go down the throat. Some sweet Yiwu huigan on occassion, too. The tea does weaken into a more indifferent, bitter, and astringent tea after about six brews.

Ban Komaen is actually not that close to Guafengzhai, it's more to the center of Phongsali province, which makes it more directly east of Yibang or Jiangcheng. Jiangcheng makes a bit of sense because the tea penetrates the throat the way Jiangchen tea does. I do think it has to be considered border tea and not proper puerh, and I suspect that the sort of spiciness present will allow it to age like Vietnamese tea, or at best, like a Yibang-Wuliang. I had been thinking that there were some of the aspects of Wuliang tea, only it doesn't quite have that solanacae vegetalness.
 
The new 2009 Yiwu that up at white2tea.

Pretty much as expected this is pretty good. I think there are two major reasons why this is $65 instead of more. First, there is a sort of funky wet smoke smell (I *think* distinct from the issues white2tea has had with their sample bags) and taste. Second, the taste is on the thin side, and sort of not durable--though it does brew worthwhile very light tasting soups.

Why this is worthwhile: The rest of the taste is pretty good. Chocolate, woods, plums, a little almond, some florals in various brews. It also is pretty sweet once it gets going, with some sweet Yiwu huigans. The feeling goes down the throat. Not something that's great for aftertastes in general. The viscosity is only enough, and the mouthfeel is decent to good. Notably, I do not get much drying astringency with this tea's finish. I also had a good bit of decent qi with this tea, and it was pretty relaxing to drink this.

I don't think there's much of a shot when it comes to more aging with this particular tea, but a bit of rest for a few months or years could help with the obnoxious part of the taste. In any event, it feels pretty ready to drink to me, and is a daily drinker at least as good as the Mingyuanhaos sold at Houde at the same price (for me).
 
2011 YS JingGu was very good. It's basically the same level of premium as the headlining Nanpozhai and Mushucha. It has darkened a lot since I last tried this tea in 2012, but that depth doesn't really have a characteristic taste of chicory or chocolate or anything like that. So it's basically a deep artisanal clay taste to some degree or another. Of course, there are slight hints of this or that along with the clay, but the aroma is a bit more complex than the taste, which is also less complex than Mushucha. This also generates good cooling in the mouth and good feeling down the throat. Does not do much else deep in the throat. The qi was moderate strength, and it made me feel good. Viscosity takes some time to build to a bit better than mediocre to good. Durability is pretty good, and late brews are pleasantly sensate sweet. This is, of course, not as good as similar dark JingGu like the XZH Lao Wu Shan or gift set sheng, but you can see similar virtues. It's certainly better than the YS '12 Nanpozhai, or the '15 Huangshan (even though that has a much sweeter and friendlier taste on outset).
 
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