Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2017 Zheng Si Long Mang Zhi and Teapot Clogging

After rapid firing through some 2018 maocha, I decided that this 2017 Zheng Si Long Mang Zhi ($111.79 for 400g cake or $0.28/g) would be the first actual product from Tea Encounter reviewed.  I liked the 2018 Mang Zhi maocha, a nice example of Mang Zhi, and thought I was in the mood for this sport.  I decided to gong fu this at work through my erratic work day.

The dry leaves smell of a candy, licorice, chicory, slightly, woody frosty sweet mineral.

The first infusion delivers a creamy sweet initial taste with slight fruit and floral.  The creamy sweetness ebbs and flows through the profile and sometimes resembles cotton candy in its finish other times a floral tropical fruity taste initially.  There is an interesting, mineral, almost rainforest, base taste.  A long cooling aftertaste of sweet creamy tropical fruit after the cooling arrives.

The second onset is creamy tropical sweetness with mineral and rainforest tastes.  The sweetness peaks three times- in the initial, returning sweetness, and long aftertaste. The mouthfeel is soft and simulates the tongue softly and opens the mid throat nicely.

The third infusion has a sweet and slightly bitter buttery sweet onset. It expands to a mineral, forest taste before returning to creamy, almost tropical, sweetness and slight cooling.  The mouthfeel continues to expand on the tongue coating- a slightly gripping, slightly sticky coating.  This infusion is more mineral a forest then sweet.

The fourth infusion is a nice mix of bitterness, buttery caramel sweetness, light foresty, slight astringency, slight mineral.  The juxtaposition of a dominating caramel sweetness with slight astringent and bitter minerality is nice.  The tea has a nice medium oily viscosity to it.

The fifth infusion starts off initially mineral, then caramel sweetness comes in with slight bitterness.  There are some tastes of fresh green pea and tropical fruits under these base tastes. 

*******The sixth infusion the pot clogged completely rendering the resulting infusions moot.  Darn.  Didn’t catch it until it was too late. Sigh…

Anyways it gives us a glimpse into a cupping style infusion to see what this Mang Zhi is made of.  Deep buttery caramel sweetness dominates, slight floral aspect, interesting mineral taste, almost wood florals, nice full mouthfeel that mainly gripping and slightly soft/sticky but not off putting.  Nice coolness in throat.  The qi is slow to come but felt lightly in the head.  Very relaxing and very mild euphoria.  Leaves the body nimble.

The following infusions show signs of a more tropical fruit profile, with slight rain-foresty in a mild bitter astringent backbone.  The sweet tropical dominate when the pot starts pouring flash infusions again.

Although this tea is only 2017, it is obviously stored in rather humid conditions of Xisuangbanna as evidence of its caramel taste and light brownish liquor.  The storage is very clean though.  I can image all of the Tea Encounter’s Zheng Si Long will have these charms.

This tea offers a nicely balanced taste of a solid sweet base with medium notes of minerality and rainforest.  Many subtle but different sweet tastes can be found in here.  However, this tea has enough strength in its medium bitter and astringency, medium thick viscosity and full mouthfeeling to offset the sweetness and make for an interesting session.  Qi is a slower builder and mainly relaxing in the head with some subtle power.  The bodyfeel is nibble and whimsical feeling.

I kind of like this one and should try it again with the remainder of the sample.


Friday, August 10, 2018

2018 Mr. Zheng’s Selected Maocha

It has been a while since I sampled a decent number of puerh this fresh.  These five maocha samples were personally selected by Mr. Zheng of Zheng Si Long.  I can imagine him matter-of-factly rejecting hundreds of others as he did in that video.  It was passed on to me that they may or may not be the actual maocha used in his 2018 line up.  Nor do they represent the processing end product of the puerh he did chose to select.  Rather, they are used to give us an indication of the quality of these puerh producing areas this year and, for me, the skill and character to which Mr. Zheng selects for his puerh.
Thanks again to Tiago (aka Curigane) of Tea Encounter for sending this treat.  There is no time more natural then the peak of Summer to drink such young raw puerh.  I imagine the 2018 line up will be up for sale in a few weeks/ months.  I hope to also review the actual 2018 Zheng Si Long puerh samples when they arrive. But for now, let me present this teaser…

2018 Yibang Maocha
Pungent, fairly intense sweetness, honey, floral, rainforest smells, less high and deeper than some small leaf Yibang dry leaf. Icing sugar, floral finish, sweet, foresty, top sticky mouthfeeling, very yibang character, nice mouthfeel sticky mouth roof, soft flowing qi, subtle tropical fruit and floral finish, mild cooling, interesting faint fruit finish, subtle, can feel some head floating, qi behind eyes, Qi goes to the head. Clean. Slight sticky cheeks. Slight floating feeling. Release eye tension.  Vision sharpened.  Thoughts clear.  Very mild astringent.

2018 Ding Jia Zhai Maocha
Distinct fruity odour of cherry, fruity, creamy sweet, slight pungent noted dry leaves.  Round fruity aroma, woody mid-profile then sweet strawberries.  Tongue coating.  Distinct fruity cherry/ strawberry/ wood taste.  So Yiwu.  Lots of complex movement of tastes in the profile.  Lingering fruitiness. No bitterness. Spacy Qi.  But centering feeling.  Comfort in Stomach.  Full feel in mouth and mid throat, fine sandy slight squeaky feeling.  Soft cooling fruit sweetness returns.

2018 Xiang Chun Lin Maocha
New producing area for me.  Creamy sweet, slight vegetal-like intense berry fruity sweetness in the dry leaves.  Starts savory, seaweedy, rainforesty, long subtle berry fruit/creamy sweet finish.  Sticky full mouthfeel.  Berry taste pops nicely in very full sticky mouth.  Long sweet cooling berry aftertaste.  Feel qi on forehead and brow.  Slowness in the mind.  Heart noticeably beating now. Vigorous and relaxing very early in session.  Nice dizzying Qi.  Green tea-like, vegetal suggestions.  Reminds me of boarder tea.  Creamy sweet taste dominates with long cooling sweet menthol.  Slowly becomes softly astringent in mouth and mid-throat.  Fairly big Qi sensation in head- very relaxed but acuity strongly sharpened.
2018 Mang Zhi Maocha
Incense, foresty-mossy, slight sweet, savory, almost seaweed, distant floral dry leaves.  Very savory, seaweed-like, with monotone sweet note, thick slight drying mouth coating in front of mouth and lips, slight wood, slight briny.  Barely floral/ menthol finish. Floral finish builds and become more distinct.  Woody base taste, floral finish. Mild, Slow to build Qi.  Gripping mouthfeel.  Slow to develop taste but nice when it does.  Sweetness slowly builds up. Wanted to keep going.  Distinct chest knotting Qi under sternum.
2018 Ge Deng Maocha
Intense fruity, cherry, foresty deep, sweetness, cherrywoods in the dry leaves.  Mild icing sugar onset, slight cherry fruit and mild cooling floral, cherry candy sweet finish. Dominating deeper forest woody base under less obvious high notes throughout. Deeper mid- throat feeling. Gripping mouthfeeling felt in back mouth fuller mouth covering. Medium astringent/ bitter.  Opening in throat.  Mild Qi in back of neck/shoulders. Nearly warming.  Woody tastes dominate high notes faint on the breath/ returning sweetness. Turns into mainly woody tastes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Tea Encounter, Mr. Zheng, and Zheng Si Long: Introducing New Western Puerh Vendor

Before you read any further watch this video if you haven’t already….


I find this video super interesting.  It is simple enough.  A local Yiwu man, Mr. Zheng, in search of the best tea in Yiwu to press in his modest home for his own private label, Zheng Si Long.  There is a few things I find super interesting about this video.

One is how you can really sense that Mr. Zheng is actually searching for the best mao cha for the price.  Many local people near and far come to him to sell their tea leaves.  But he also does drop in visits of local residences in search of good tea to buy from nearby families.  He is very straightforward and choosy about the raw material he is looking to purchase.  This leaves me with the impression that his product has honesty, integrity, and is, through his own hard work, good puerh.

I think what proprietor, Tiago (aka Curigane), of Tea Encounter is offering to the Western puerh drinking audience is very unique.  He is basing his business model/ brand of Tea Encounter on the man who is meticulously sourcing and pressing the material, Mr. Zheng.  I don’t think I’ve seen this model for Western puerh vendors before and I find it unique.

I wonder to myself, Why we have never been told this narrative before by Western puerh vendors?  A plausible answer: fear of competition.  I think we sometimes forget about this as puerh drinkers.  Rarely do vendors reveal the full personal identities of those who source their materials and press their cakes or the exact families who pick their tea.  But here we have some of this direct connection to these people with the help of Tea Encounter.

In the end, despite magnificent story lines and marketing, it’s all about the tea.  Over the next few months I hope to be reviewing these teas heavily here on this blog.  Exploring Zheng Si Long for the first time and taking you along for the ride.

As a matter of discloser, almost the whole line of Tea Encounter was offered to me.  It is actually a matter of coincidence, in that I had reached out to blogger Curigane to offer him some free samples of some puerh that he was curious about on my blog.  Following a successful recipe of Western puerh vendors before him, Tiago has maintained a sustained tea blog presence over the last little while before opening shop online.  As I reached out to send him some samples, he informed me that he had just weeks ago opened an online puerh outfit called Tea Encounter.  As we do, I googled it and there is literally nothing written about Tea Encounter or Zheng Si Long puerh in English.  It’s that new!

Please join me in our first encounter with Tea Encounter…


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tea Ceremony Art Installation at UofR

Attended the mediation group tonight...

If you are near Regina, Saskatchewan, this is a rare opportunity to take in tea ceremony curated by  graduate student Lin Liu.  The artist in question grew up in a monistary in Taipei, Taiwan.  Very beautiful stuff here people.


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Toddler Yixing Teapot Throwing Tantrum

Yesterday,while I was at work, I was given some ominous news.  Apparently, in a tantrum, my toddler climbed up on a stool, to the tea table, grabbed the item with the most emotional reactivity, my new 1990s "fang yuan pai" yixing teapot (seen seasoning in this post here), and threw it at the hardwood floor.  Certainly, my little firecracker knows how to get a reaction out of us... hahahaha

My wife explained to me that the pot didn't break.

I said, "How didn't it break?"

She replied, "I don't know, it must be your lucky day..."

"It didn't break?"


"Is there any damage to the teapot?"

"You'll have to look at it when you get home from work."

"She threw it at the hardwood floor and it didn't break?"

"You'll have to put away the tea set from now on."

Sure enough, when I got home from work I inspected it over and over and there was no damage at all.  Not even a chip or scratch.  I guess its not that surprising.

One of the criteria I had in replacing my broken yixing pot from a few months ago was that it be of a sturdy and durable form.  I think its already past this test.  Hahaha...

My teamster, Mr. Kim, told me that Yixing pots were made famous when explorers sought them out for their durability.  He said that they were the only teapot that wouldn't crack to pieces when the temperature was near freezing and boiling water was poured into them to make tea.  Although, yixing teapots are not made of steal, for being made of clay, they are incredibly resilient and durable...

Thank God!


Friday, August 3, 2018

2006 Yang Qing Hao Shenpin Chawang and Extinct Puerh Blends

What I found most interesting about this puerh is that there is not really that much written about it (see below).  What is out there on the internet is pretty scant and brief and you can’t really get the feel of what this 2006 Shenpin Chawang ($375.00 for 500g or $0.75/g) is really about.  Sure, it is #4 on a list of Emmett Guzmen’s personal favorite Yang Qing Hao, but even the vendor page has almost no information or reviews.  It simply states “Blend of Bohetang, Chawangshu, and Wagong”.  That alone is pretty impressive but more on that later…

Let’s get to this sample that came with a recent order of Yang Qing Hao (this and this)…

The dry leaf has a creamy mellow intensely sweet icing sugary creamy sweetness.

The first infusion starts with a light, fresh, creamy-cream, sweetness, there are soft nuances of florals in a round developing cotton candy sweetness over faint aged woods.  The sweetness is such that it is expansive in the mouth and throat and tumbles on for a very long time in the throat.  The mouth and throat feel are very deep but also very light and ethereal in this first infusion.

The second infusion has a very interesting onset of very light but complex tastes.  The delicate interplay is beautiful florals, high fruits, layers or waves of lighter soft and creamy sweet notes.  They expand like a cloud on the light mouthfeel.  The aftertaste is nuanced floral, light sweetness with a soft soothing coolness in the mouth.  The mouthfeel and throatfeel are very full but very subtle.  The effect on the mind is relaxing.  There is a glance of cinnamon in there briefly as well.

The third infusion delivers a creamy creamy very intense gentle sweetness.  The mouthfeel and throatfeel are very deep and light.  Intense creamy sweetness prevails then unravels in the mind.  The mouthfeel and throat feel are very very nice in this tea.  There is a beautiful harmony among this feeling, the very light sweet creamy sweetness and the soothing qi.  Very harmonious.  The throat holds creamy sweetness for a long long time.  It is a deep throat feeling, like a ball of saliva stuck in the deep throat holding the flavor there.  This tea has a certain subtly about it that is sustained, captured like a butterfly in a net, by the throat and mouth.

The fourth has a slight sour woodiness building in there now the dominant flavor of creamy sweetness comes later and undulates like a wave over the profile.  There are wildflower tastes and almost chicory medicine tastes in the background which add depth here.  This is paired with the very mild returning cool sweetness.  The returning sweetness is soft and comes and goes gradually without much fuss.  The mouthfeel becomes chalky and full in the mouth.  The creamy sweetness dominates.  The qi is very relaxing and soft.  There are some significant body sensations that replicate this nuance.  The shoulders feel heavy and like there is no joint.  The qi makes the joints feel very light and nimble.  The body is very light and relaxed in a profound way.  This qi makes you want to stretch your body.  Like a cat in the sun but without the warming of the sun. Stretch.

The fifth infusion has an expanding medicinal woody initial taste even slight fruity tastes now like raisons in there the woody taste is not really that woody but more foresty-wildfloweresque.  The sweet creaminess dominates/ expands in the very sticky mouthfeel and deep throat feeling.  With a depth of taste developing, this tea is becoming very interesting from many different angles- qi, bodyfeel, throat/mouthfeeling, taste.  This is another interesting one. I feel very happy and light.  A mild warmth is felt on the face.

The sixth infusion has that long dense sweetness in the very sticky mouth.  Before that there is the initial taste of foresty, wildflowery, raison/prunes as well.  This mouthfeel is becoming very thick and sticky.  The sweet flavor lingers for a long time.  Muscles in my face start twitching and releasing.  The tea or its mental effects seem to be unraveling the tightness in my body.  Like a forced meditation or a massage.  The body feeling is profound.  The qi is like a muscle relaxant especially targeting the face, shoulders, neck.

The seventh infusion starts with sweet pear tastes which pop and fade to more mellow woody tastes.  The creamy sweetness comes later now as the flavor builds up in the mouth.  The body is nimble- a feather.  Mouthfeel loses some of its more intense stickiness but remains full and light.  The throat feel holds the line.

The eighth is more intensely creamy almost tropical notes even cherry note pop and disappear initially.  Forest notes linger in the mid-profile and the medicinal notes/ fruit raison notes are not really present here.  Minutes later there are edges of a prune like taste in the aftertaste.  This tea doesn’t have any bitterness but feel full and stratifying.

The ninth infusion is deliciously creamy, light, floral, a slight touch of talic in the mid-profile then long creamy suggestions of very mild forest even plum but mainly fresh almost tropical creamy sweetness.  This tea is nicely harmonious.

The tenth has a wild-flower light honey like sweetness initially which turns into a floral long sweetness with some light wood underneath.  The creamy sweetness comes later and is long.  The camphor coolness is so subtle with this tea.  The body and mind is so nimble and light.

The eleventh infusion has a chalky mouthfeeling now wildflowers seem to dominate this infusion.  The mouthfeel is becomes a touch sandy in the mouth but very full.  The deep throatfeel remains.  There is woodiness in there but the creamy sweetness is less here.  The bodyfeel is the best quality of this puerh, I think.  So light in the joints, it pulls the mind to lighter places.

I start to pull the infusion a little longer than flash infusion here adding 5 seconds to the pots pour for the twelfth.  This infusion is still lighter.  It has a round light wildflower honey taste which is the dominant now.  Slight wood in the aftertaste as well as creamy sweetness.  The creamy sweetness popped initially but is more obvious in the aftertaste.

Fot the thirteenth infusion I add 10 seconds to the flash and get much the same maybe a bit woodier and even slightly more tangy which is kind of new.  A tangy sweet fruit like mango comes to mind.  The mouthfeel resumes its sticky feeling after adding a bit more time.  There is still a long wildflower sweetness.

The fourteenth I add 20 seconds and it gives off a forest, barely woody, slightly sour-astringent watery wildflower sweetness.  The mouthfeel and throat feel are dropping off fast.  The fifteenth is much the same.  The mouthfeel is weakening and the taste profile is becoming more monotone or streamlined.

The fifteen is a long infusion and pushes our sour wood and plum like tastes with a more pronounced camphor taste.  The wildflower finish is prominent in the cooling throat feel.  The mouthfeeling has a long stickiness to it minutes later.

A longer sixteenth and seventeenth infusion brings about a Yang Qing Hao house storage like taste with remnants of plum, forest-wood, and mainly wildflower sweetness.  The stickiness in there remains.

I put it into a few rounds of overnight infusions which deliver a thick syrupy wildflowery fruity taste.

These mid-priced blends are really interesting to me.  To me this is a very harmonious puerh blend.  Best parts are body feeling in the joints and face and neck.  This is a tension buster to me.  Like doing yoga in a teacup.  The throat and mouthfeel are deep but feel light.  The taste is mild but has enough to keep it interesting.  However, the taste is definitely not this tea’s strength.  I like this one a lot and wonder if the price will prevent me from acquiring a cake…. Hummmm… not sure.

Overall, this puerh is quite special.  When will we ever be able to taste a blend of Bohetang, Chawangshu, and Wagong ever again?  Blends like this are pretty much extinct and were only a product of a very small window approximately 2004-2007.  Before this date these areas were unheard of or pretty much unexplored.  After this time Bohetang, Chawangshu and Wagong each became very famous growing regions for puerh in their own right and as a result the price of puerh from these areas shot through the roof.  These types of blends then became unrealistic because the raw materials are all so expensive that to blend 3 famous areas is now virtually unheard of now.  This blend offers us a snap shot of what could be.  Personally, I like what I see.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2006 Yang Qing Hao Qixiang and the Classic Grandiose Wrappers of Yang Qing Hao

I arrived at work a few weeks ago to my administration staff at work gathered around a package they had opened that arrived from Emmet.  In it was a tong of 2007 Huangshan Qizhong, a complimentary sample (next post my friends), and this 500g single Qingbing of 2006 Yang Qing Hao Qixiang.  The staff was pretty much ignoring the tong and sample (I was more curious about what sample arrived) and were handling and discussing the sealed clear Mylar bag which contained the Qixiang cake.

They made comments like “it feels so solid and heavy”, “it looks like it should be framed and put on the wall”, “this is like art”, “it’s like something out of an old Chinese movie”.  I found these comments interesting because none of them had ever tried puerh tea.  They were simply giving me their honest opinions on the look and feel of the wrapper.  In their innocence, I think they pretty much summed up the Yang Qing Hao brand without even trying or knowing anything about the tea.  This is why I think Yang Qing Hao’s wrappers, tickets, packaging is the most brilliant of all.

Yang Qing Hao wrappers are, to me, some of the most interesting in all of the puerh world.  They purvey a sense of grandiose, elegance, classic and timelessness, preciousness, solidness, something worthy of appreciation or appraisal.  The above comments attest to this feeling.  From what I know about graphic design, having so much going on in one wrapper without looking like just a wrapper full of random words and designs is very hard to pull off.  But, pull it off they did.  Genius.

Anyways, let crack this cake and find out how it’s doing, shall we?...

The dry leaves smell of, well, Yang Qing Hao storage smells, and a nice floral and distinct plummy aroma. 

First infusion has a mellow juicy fruity overtone which hangs in the mouth and throat over a slightly viscus and salivating mouthfeel.  A mild returning camphor coolness sweeps by but then leaves more fruit to be enjoyed.  A return of fruit tastes ensues even hits at warmer notes of cinnamon which barely penetrate the lighter display of fruit tastes.

The second infusion has a more active and intensely fruity onset which turns into a mild cooling then there is a nice frosty sweetness which arrives later.  Fruit tastes return.  The tongue is mildly stimulated like a very fine beach sand.  It is enough to give these tastes traction despite of an almost complete lack of bitterness.  The depth of fruity tastes is interesting, complicated enough, and deep.  There is just a mild astringency in here as well.  Qi is a very relaxing one, pleasant and happy.

The third infusion the fruit tastes become more mixed in with very mild pleasant astringency almost tartness.  They splash the back of the throat which seems very mildly stimulated.  Then a mild sweep of cooling washes over the taste then more complicated interplay of fruits.  The mouthfeel is filling out here and becomes stickier and slightly sandy on the tongue tip.  Qi is in the head, floating, wobbling, good head feeling.  Relaxing Qi.

The fourth starts with some mild astringency mixed with intense layered fruit it traverses to a mild icing sugared sweetness along with mild camphor coolness.   There is a touch of woody notes in there too.  The icing sugar and wood are new here as the character is changing.  The mouth and throat feel is stickier.  The tongue is especially stimulated.

The fifth infusion has a chalky fruit sweetness initially.  There is a powdery feeling in the mouth- a cool returning sweetness reverberates.  Saliva is pushed from the throat into the mouth.  It finishes with a slight floral suggestions and sweet dates and cherry finish.  Overall, this tea has a nice full impression in its profile and in the simulation of the mouth, throat, and tongue.

The sixth infusion starts with a slightly sourish, barely astringent, almost tart, dominating fruit taste. It becomes a bit pasty almost chalky and almost woody but mainly fruity.  There is a fainter icing suragy sweet returning taste and now the aftertaste shares woody and fruity notes.  The qi is becoming pretty big here- it pushes me into a fine moist sweat.  I feel warm.  I feel spaced out, things slow but I’m not detached.  Overall, I feel calm.  The relaxation is very profound- I start to feel heavy headed, warm.

The seventh infusion starts with a fruity, woody mix, this is classic Yiwu stuff here.  The mild returning cool sweetness is there followed by fruity tastes.

The eighth and ninth is much the same slight sour/ astringent mainly just good deep fruity, some woods, cooling returning sweetness.  Lots of significantly dense fruitiness.  Sometimes there is different fruitiness but none is too overly light nor is it the deep dried fruit tastes either.  The qi is profound for me.  Would be better if I could just stare at the wall instead of work under its influence… remember to do work today, I note.

The ninth infusion has this interesting mix of vibrant fruits and slight wood.  This tea is really nicely balanced.  Very good Gushu, definitely no plantation in here- guaranteed.  Its too Qi heavy, with no bitterness, full of flavor, interesting blended stuff. Yummy.

The tenth is much the same.  I marvel at the Qi- it is really something.  I can’t believe that some people can’t feel this- it’s really unavoidable.  The mouthfeeling and throatfeeling are also solid enough to hold the flavor but are not overdone or overly stimulating.

The eleventh infusion has some nice fruit but the returning coolness is actually the strongest part of the taste profile here.  This qi is also very very warming energy.  Without any bitterness in the profile, this tea has a warming strengthening character to it.

The twelfth feel more light and fruity and less depth of fruity if that makes any sense?  The wood is mild and slowly saunters very lightly beneath.

The thirteenth I still have at flash infusions here.  When the pot is stuffed full of leaves and the mouthfeel remains very full, pushing for longer infusions has a risk of too much dryness in the mouth and throat.  But with no bitterness in sight I might just try this in the middle infusions next time.  The fruitiness here is less more mellow with slight wood.

The fourteenth I add 15 seconds to the infusion.  It pushes out a considerably more fruit tastes than the last few infusions.  The fruitiness, sweetness, and cool returning taste is stronger but the mouthfeel remains about the same. So I push again.

The fifteenth infusion with about 30 gives about the same.  This tea is fruity and the fruit turns quite heavy with these longer infusion times here.  The returning sweet coolness is longer too now.  The sixteenth is also much the same.  The fruit tastes are robust and full.

Overall, this tea is a good example big gushu style qi in a body of mainly fruity tastes. The qi really puts you in the clouds.  The mouthfeel and throatfeel are solid throughout.  There is no bitterness in here so the mild astringency and sour-tartness pull the tastes through the profile.  A nice tea.  Close to some of the Yiwu blended stuff I used to drink a lot of.  Probably better than what I’m used to.

I had another session and it was really savory and tart…. Very interesting stuff.  The second session I had with this tea was very very different but interesting, more than just Yiwu fruit and wood.  Just on a 3rd session with this tea today and I find that using different water and teapot really brings out different qualities of taste but the Qi remains stable.  This 2006 Qixiang is priced at $260.00 for a big 500g cake ($0.52/g), it is a bit pricy for some budgets but I still feel like you are getting lots for that price- this is not a simple standard puerh in qi or taste.  It has something interesting to it that I’m just beginning touch on in these first few sessions.  It has only doubled in price over the last 7 years when Houde was selling it for $135.  For what you are getting, the price is reasonable, if you compare to modern productions (which you probably shouldn't do), this tea is a deal.

The Qi of this tea seals the deal with me.  Its qi is characterized by being focused on the head, very relaxing, and quite warming in the body.  I really like the qi in here- it is very comforting.  The second session I had was first thing in the morning and it really woke me up but in a very gentle sort of way.  I really like the subtle warming body feeling I get from this puerh.  I think this tea would be nice to drink in meditation, as I would do all the time years back.  Even after the first session with this puerh, I’m convinced I will get at least a cake more, … I haven’t decided yet.