Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2005 Douji Purple Yi Sheng

Half of a 10g sample pack of this much talked about tea arrived from generous Dr. Hobbes a while ago. One had tried much of the 2006 and 2007 Douji cakes years back when they were fresh but still have not experienced the famous 2005 cakes. So, quite naturally, was excited to finally try this sample. The Pacific Northwest got a dumping of snow a few weeks ago, rare for Victoria. Thought it a perfect time to cuddle up to the fire and spend some quality time with a pot of this tea.

The dry leaves smell of strong raisin-tobacco with a slight underlying pungency. These leaves are rinsed with hot water before the first infusion is consumed. It presents with creamy muted tropical fruits initially within a chalky full mouthfeel. Tobacco and wood present nicely in the aftertaste. Overlapping tropical layers return with a sweetness that lingers long and strong on the breath.

The second infusion first flirts smokey tobacco then nuanced layers of sweetness among the tobacco. The tropical fruit notes have been pushed under these elegantly rugged tobacco notes. The aftertaste is an extension of these full tobacco notes. The mouthfeel becomes expansive. The chaqi warms ones body with a movement from the stomach and traveling upwards making the forearms warm, face softly flush, and forehead pull down- not quite enough to break a sweat as this energy finds no escape thereby warming the body further.

The third infusion starts with light, juicy pear sweetness which carries with it tobacco and wood. The taste stretches into a deeper wood note. The mouthfeel is nice and full. The fourth infusion starts off fruity but more of a melon than pear taste in that familiar tobacco-wood base. The aftertaste is more sweet tobacco then later turns to sweet fruit on the breath.

The fifth infusion presents with more flatter wood flavour initially with faint melon tastes. Tobacco taste fills in the gaps and a cool menthol returning aftertaste is noted. The sixth infusion is much the same with the cool menthol returning tobacco sweetness stronger now. There is also a spicy-pungent melon taste left in the long aftertaste as well.

The seventh and eighth infusions have smoothed out considerably now offering a melon-smooth-tobacco taste with tobacco menthol returning sweetness and a spicy-sweet aftertaste that only reveals itself later on the breath. The mouthfeel has become more rich and oily.

The ninth infusion is quite a deep mix of flavours with the more spicy-wood tastes in the initial taste and the tobacco sweet tastes pairing with the distinctly cool menthol in the finish. The tenth and eleventh infusions see more malty tones come out in these flavours. The tongue feels a bit dry and gritty here.

The twelfth and thirteenth infusions present full flavoured peach and woody, almost anise like flavours that are pushed out of this full mouthfeel in longer infusions.

This tea is also put to a handful of overnight steeping yielding pleasant peachy notes in a deep base and still satisfying mouthfeel.

Hobbes (The Half Dipper) Tasting Notes

MarshalN (A Tea Addict's Journal) Tasting Notes



Centranthus said...

Matt -

There's a part of processing that I don't quite understand: Sheng is raw pu-erh, correct? It's my understanding that raw goes through a sun fixation, rolling, and then drying. What is the fixation, and what is it accomplishing?

Your Douji looks and sounds awesome. I remember seeing this one over on Teachat and Half-Dipper's page. Seems to be a fairly popular sample! Very beautiful photos that just exude peace and tranquility.

Matt said...


Fixation refers to a process which fixes or stops the natural oxidation process that occurs after fresh tea leaves are picked. For green tea a stronger process is used such as steam or pan fry fixation. Sun fixation is used for both sheng and shu puerh tea.


ZiCheng said...

Dear Matt,

What's that amazing assembly that looks to be heating water? Is it a kettle or a water warmer?

Matt said...


You must be referring to the Kim Kyoung Soo oxidized tea warmer?

Its function is to keep infused tea warm between cups while giving a nice welcoming warmth to the tea setting.

Glad you enjoy.


ZiCheng said...

Thanks Matt. It looks amazing and I imagine would be a pleasure to use.