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…
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.