Tuesday, October 29, 2019
2013 Bao He Xiang “Zi Yun Gui”, Xigui… I Don’t Know You…
This premium blended “Zi Yun Gui” Bao He Xiang cake ($188.00for 357g cake or $0.53/g) is described as being blended exclusively from the super famous Xigui producing area. Xigui is thought to be one of the 3 famous puerh producing areas (others being Lao Ban Zhang and Bing Dao). I actually have no experience in my memory with Xigui which kind of rose to prominence as I was stepping back from puerh. Unlike the famous regions of Bing Dao and Laobanzhang which I was fortunate to get some education on from purely the kindness of others back in the day…
Dry leaves smell of very faint stone mineral with sweet floral. Very faint odour.
First infusion has a layered woody approach that turns into a honey and maple syrup sweetness over woody the taste is quite condensed and the mouthfeel has a thick and sticky. The first infusion feels really complete- and this is just the first flash infusion. The completeness here is a good sign of things to come.
The second infusion has a dense thick onset of woods but mainly licorice, caramel, maple syrup, type of sweetness. The taste is really layered and the liquor feels viscus. The qi is relaxing.
The third infusion has a very dense woody and layered sweetness- maple syrup, caramel, but not very sweet but more of a diffuse sweetness. In the aftertaste there is hints of candy underneath. The mouthfeeling is thick and sticky.
The fourth infusion has a thick density of dates, licorice, not sweet maple syrup and dark honey. The dense taste hold and in the aftertaste there are lighter candy nuances over a thick sticky mouthfeeling. Qi has a happy relaxing feel to it.
The fifth infusion has a very thick density to it of layered woods with licorice and deep not that sweet dark honey underneath and an almost menthol returning taste in which a sweet candy like fresher sweetness lingers mildly. The taste is a very layered dense woody taste that feels thick and sticky. The Qi is relaxing.
The sixth is much the same there is a thickness and syrupy density to this one that holds through the whole profile. There is an almost carrot sweetness in the woody, syrupy initial taste that pops up too. There is something in here that reminds me of a Nannou and Lincang blend. A faint floral and almost candy fresh aftertaste breaks through the dense base in the aftertaste.
The seventh infusion is a thick woody, almost carrot, with menthol underneath bringing in a slight candy and floral nuance that pushes through under a thick woody layering.
The eighth infusion packs on that predictable initial thickness that maintains throughout the profile as well as throughout the infusions. There is also a slight candy like finish in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel holds as a sticky chalkiness. The throatfeeling is mild and has a vacuous opening feeling where a menthol taste holds space.
The ninth infusion starts with a mouth numbing taste of layered woods. The menthol is kind of intertwined with the numbing and leaves traces of candy, turnip and floral in the breath. Overall, the presentation is quite thick. It taste like a thicker Lincang with some Nannou blended in to me. The candy aftertaste is a nice touch.
The 10th has a thick density of wood and leaves and deeper less sweet dark honey taste throughout the session. Relaxing happy Qi feels nice. With nuances of candy under a dense woody layered not that sweet taste.
The 11th infusion starts with thick licorice, layered woods, oily and thick in the mouth. Relaxing Qi a mild Qi. Nice thicker sticky mouthcoating with menthol release. Sometimes almost mouth numbing sensation. Throat is vacuous but menthol goes to a mid depth.
The 12th the menthol seems to build with closer infusions and so too does the mouth numbing sensation. Dense woody, less sweet now, thick feeling.
13th infusion is still thick licorice, layered woods, dense syrup but not sweet taste throughout with a building menthol pungency that reverberates deeply.
A thick mouthfeeling and dense flavor greet me next morning. This puerh is not overly engaging but pretty stable and attention grabbing enough throughout the infusions. The Qi is nice a mild a relaxing thing. I overnight steeped this for the next 4 days. It had good stamina and depth and density of taste even later in the session. I wish I had an uninterrupted longer initial session with this sample.
Overall and enjoyable puerh the price is about right, maybe. If had the name Xigui attached to it, it would no doubt be under priced. Does it have at least some Xigui blended inside? I have no idea. Will have to sample the rest of my sample and get more experience with Xigui to know for sure. Overall, pretty enjoyable puerh from a region that many Western puerh vendors don't offer.
I had a look at the description as I prepare to post this…
Li Wen Hua's offers us a Xi Gui tea with a strong full taste, some slight bitterness up front, that quickly transforms into a creamy sweet thick tea soup. The body is incredibly full and there is a sweetness that comes quickly after the tea enters the mouth and throat (huigan). The "cha qi" is strong but very pleasant and tranquil.
It seems about right. I would say that age has curbed most of the bitterness out and that the sweetness is not overly strong. The Qi is bang on and that thickness…. The thickness of flavor or density is hands down the most enjoyable aspect in this one…