In a bout of bad luck last year, I both broke my dailyyixing teapot and had a sellout of a puerh at time of checkout!
Wilson (Adventure in Every Cup) turned my bad luck into good by remedying both of these issues! First he helped me find this beautiful old factoy 1 early 90s/late 80s yixing 200ml teapot (pictured in this post). Scondly, he sent me a bit of a treat, a sample of this 2008 Dayi Qui Xiang ($85.00 for 500g cake or $0.17/g) - the one that sold out on me at Tuo Cha Tea! If you are into 10 years factory puerh, its worth checking out Willson’s interesting selection of good drinkers.
There are many many reasons that I had reservations about purchasing this dry stored option at good ol’ Tuo Cha Tea. First, I had to get over the fact it is an autumnal produced puerh. This 2008 Day hardly resembles autumnal material to me and will challenge your assumptions about the nature of autumn puerh. The second reservation I had is, like most factory options, there is usually a lot of it out there with a multitude of storage options and availability online. This makes for a hard choice if you are looking to buy in volume. For me I almost want to try it in different storage conditions before deciding on purchase. Often, if there is a deal to be had, you have to act quick in the face of rising prices.
The crazy cheap option at Tuo Cha Tea that I just couldn’t complete was the least optimal storage for this cake, I think. I have bought some of Menghai factory stuff before that pretty much requires/ was really only meant for more humid storage and am currently dosing them with heavy humidity. Not all Menghai Factory (Daiyi) requires such humid storage but most of it isn’t meant for overly dry storage. This is one of the reasons I have not owned any Dayi in the past. This 2008 Dayi QuiXiang is so strong that it really does need many more years of humid storage before it is consumed. It’s more of a long term buy. I always have a hard time going down this road due to past advice to just avoid it and buy something that can be enjoyed in some way at time of purchase.
The previous samplings I’ve done with this tea, it kicked the crap out of me so this time I use less leaf! This infusion I’m using ½ to 1/3 less leaf as I usually do… Let’s see what this Maylaysian stored one is all about…
The dry leaves smell of faint rum, plumb and wheat grains and decaying flowers.
The first infusion has a slight sweet, slightly decomposing leaf taste to it with a long cooling mouthfeel and subtle spicy finish. There is a nice sticky mouthfeeling distant smoke.
The second infusion has a nice thick rose and wood powdery taste with a nice floral sweet backbone in a more typical Menghai factory feel. There is a long sweet finish a sticky mouthfeel. Retuning menthol. The qi is strong and alerting in the mind, I can feel the intensity behind my eyes and in my stomach.
The third gives me a mild itch sensation but flavors are strong, thick and deep. Layered woods, slight talc rose, sweet floral, plumb, and sweet potato layered sweetness. The mouthfeel is dense and the finish is camphorus, slight floral, sweet. The qi is quite intense, very strongly alerting, it still beats up the stomach pretty good.
The fourth infusion has a leafier, woody layering to it with sweetness and talc rose floral on the edges. The long menthol finish is nice. Sweetness pops slightly in the long cooling aftertaste.
The fifth infusion is of woods immediately with sweetness lingering in the distance that stretches its legs in the aftertaste along with menthol like tastes. In the aftertaste there are faint suggestions of tropical fruits under floral talc tastes and fruity nuances. The menthol finish is strong and the monthfeel is dense. The mid throat opens under the threat of abundant menthol. The Qi black logs in the head and mind and makes me feel like I am levitating a bit. Strong Qi but a bit too harsh on the stomach, needs to age at least another 5 years.
The sixth and seventh infusions are much the same rose talc, woods, sweetness, thick mouthfeeling, strong qi. Long menthol. This tea stays pretty consistent from infusion to infusion but is deep and enjoyable.
The seventh infusion has a nice mellow woody start, the action is in the aftertaste with long champor and tight aged florals.
The eighth and ninth infusions becomes very smooth, velvety wood and plum with leathery tastes. The aftertaste is forever cooling. Mouthfeel is not as strong but present.
The tenth infusion I add 10 seconds to the flash infusion which seems to bring a bit of a thicker mouthfeeling and more of a nuanced initial taste of woods and talc sweetnesses. The menthol becomes more pronounced but it is not harsher.
The eleventh infusion I add 15 seconds to flash and get a slightly more rough infusion with a mouthfeel that has a drier astringent edge with mainly woody character now with there is a noticeable smokiness now that has gone from being more background to more upfront with the increase dry astringency.
With the 200ml pot and rougher profile, I toss in the towel with this tea early.
This tea is flavorful, has a nice mouthfeel, aftertaste, and powerful qi. It is economical in the sense that you need about ½-1/3 less leaves to get a strong flavor and that it is a 500g cake ($0.17/g). It tastes to me like it may have both Menghai and Nannou blended in there. Reminds me in many ways of this older and cheaper but harsher 2005 CNNP Big Yellow Mark but this Menghai Factory option is much cleaner, no smokey mesquite, and has some charms of typical Dayi factory deliciousness.
I would love to see someone who thought they could get away with just using a gaiwan attempt to enjoy this strong tea. I’m happy I have this pot to curb the harshness, it seems to do a great job at reducing the difficult edges of the 2007 Yang Qing Hao Qi Zhong that I have been most frequently stepping in this pot as of late.
Really this 2008 Qui Xiang needs at least another 5 years to be enjoyed as aged pureh. I think people in the West are just beginning to understand how to age these stronger factory things out.
In the end, this has got to be one my favorite 2008 Menghai Factory puerh but I’m unsure about a purchase and almost would like to try a few more different storage options before settling on this cake. Thanks again Wilson for helping to lift me through my streak of mishappenings! So far, this cake has the best storage I’ve seen on it.
Interesting post, thank you. I'm particularly interested in the spring vs autumn puerh issue, it seems fraught with controversy. Best wishes
This puerh doesn't really show its autumnal self until I put the used leaves into long infusions which I've been doing over the past few days and the results are so nice- warming cinnamon spice, slight medicinal notes with woody nuances and faint deeper sweetness. The dry leaves have the typical longer stems that often are a signature of autumnal puerh.
I also wanted to note a few more things about this puerh:
1- its my understanding that the autumnal material for this cake was selected over a period of many years not exclusively 2008 material
2- I had compared this to the 2005 Big Yellow Mark. I would say that this Dayi is less complicated in flavor and ends more typically autumnal but both are cheaper and stronger puerh mixed with Menghai and Nannou, I would guess. Also both cakes are not yet ready for immediate consumption. So this comparison is fun to make.
3-its ending has more of a warming, more typical autumnal nuance but a very flavourful one
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