Thursday, June 11, 2020

Blind Sampling Reveal from Wilson of Adventure In Every Cup (Updated)

Okay I thought it would be fun to do a completely blind tasting of two samples that were sent by surprise by Willson of TravelingTeapot blog in my last order from him in January.  I have no clue as to what these are and received no instructions on these.  After the post we will all wait for Wilson’s reply as to the answers…

Sample A

Very tight factory tight compression on these dry leaves.  I thought maybe iron bing but you can see the fabric bag impression on the cake so I guess not.  They have a smooth creamy muted sweetness.  Looks like decent quite dry storage but at least semi-aged material.

First infusion has a very fruity burst onset with icing sugar underneath.  There is a long and enduring cooling aftertaste.  Some woody notes.  This puerh has a very elegant start.  A nice full feeling in the mouth and resonating throat feeling.

Second infusion has a very fruity almost tropical onset with a nice full mouthfeeling with a long cooling finish where icing sugar tastes emerge long on the breath.  Qi is strong and dizzying in the head.  The mouthfeeling is a full chalky sensation that really fully coats the mouth.  The liquor is quite yellow coloured along with the still very tropical fruit taste suggests that this puerh is not aged yet but mid-aged maybe 3-7 years.  The Qi is really strong, a dizzying powerfully heady Qi.  It also feels good (possibly reasonably aged in the body).  Strong Qi!

Third infusion has a pondy almost bitter onset with fruity nuances underneath almost a dirt taste and kind of reminds me of Menghai area maybe Bulang but too light.  There is a nice strong full chalky coating mouthfeeling with cooling and icing sugar sweetness.  Chest expands from the Qi and the mind feels high.  I’m left wondering if this is Menghai Factory stuff.  Leaves starting to unravel suggest mid-aged with some olive greenish coloour leaves with some coppery coloured ones.

Fourth infusion has a brassier taste at the onset of clean flat wood almost metallic with a strong mouthfeeling and coating and the pungency opens the throat deeply.  There is some icing sugar suggestions in the returning sweetness as is there malty sweetnesses.  The Qi is strong pushing the mind and heart racing.  The Qi is indicative of a strong factory production.  Strong push on the body and mind.  The strong qi mixed with the comfortable body and suggestions of menghai area and possible Menghai Facotry indicate that its probably a more dry stored but older at least 12-16 years aged. Pictured at 5th infusion …

The 5th has a slight smokey but pondy taste with sweet fruity tastes underneath.  This infusion is a bit oily in the mouth and has a pondy dry storage taste to it.  There is a full mouthfeeling and nice coolness with a subtle woody returning sweetness with fruits and icing sugar more in the distance.  Strong Qi pushing the body and mind.  Warming energy.  I can feel a bit of agitation in the guts which again suggests that it’s not completely aged out.  The tropical fruity first infusions as well as the roughness on the guts suggestion semi-aged again.

6th has a quick powerful rich oily almost bittery pondy onset with woody notes and some astringency appearing as well.  It has a fruity underbelly under a woody pond base.  There is more of an underlying fruity and almost floral returning sweetness now.  There is a subtle herbacious base taste now. The mouthfeel is really thick and full coating, a strong feeling in the mouth with upper opening throat.  This puerh reminds me a lot of 2004 Nan Qiao Bulang King and I am immediately convinced that it is a 2004-2007 drier stored Nan Qiao production. There is a powerful warming Qi to this puerh that is reminiscent of Bulang.  It also has a strong Nan Qiao factory feel to it.

7th has a flat onset with woody and herbaceous woody tastes there are barely sweet fruity suggestions that are kind of buried underneath.  A very faint cooling with not much returning sweetness.  Overall a woody herbaceous feeling puerh.  Strong mouthfeeling and Big Qi.

8th has a woody, herbaceous onset with subtle pond taste. Thicker mouthcoating.  Big Qi.  Returning aftertaste is barely icing sugar sweet on breath.  The taste is leveling out but the Qi remains strong. 

9th has a flat onset of woody slight herbaceous tastes subtle bitter wood with a yeasty bread like faint sweetness that returns in the breath with subtle cooling.  The main tastes are of woody herbaceous bulang taste.

10th has an herbaceous and woody onset in a flat taste.  The mouthfeeling has lessened here but still has some moderate strength.  The Qi is lessening now.  Overall this is quite a nice strong bulang factory puerh.

11th has a subtle sweetness over herbal and woody notes.  The mouthfeel is flattening out but the faint cooling aftertaste is still there if you look and the Chesty Qi is apparent and strong.  A sticky icing sugared sweetness can be found faintly on the cheeks.  This puerh is not that sweet.

12th has herby woody flat onset.  Typical Bulang has flattened out around 7th-8th steeping.  There is still faintn sweetness, herbaceous, woody.

13th I put into a long infusion… it pushes out strong herby base taste with long cooling and hidden sweetness with a big big Qi.  So strong.

It’s interesting that Wilson sent this blind sample to me before I even posted about my mission to find Bulang puerh or before ordering the 2004 NanQiao bulangs from Teaswelike…

Vs the 2004 Nan Qiao Bulang King (wet leaves pictured below and Sample A above)

2004 Nanqiao Bulang King is smoother, thicker and oiler in the mouth, with much more complex nuances to the flavor, Sample A is a bit fruitier the King isn’t that fruity at all.  This comes out in some long steeps.  Sample A's qi is similar but the 2004 Nanqiao Bulang King is a touch bit stronger.

Sample A Guess: a 2004-2007 drier stored Nan Qiao production

Answer: 2006 Xiaguan Yushang Gongtuo.  I feel like I did a really good assessment of this one and was pretty close in age, quality, etc.  This tuo is of better quality than most other Xiaguan Tuos that I've tried before.  I haven't had xiaguan in many years now otherwise, maybe would guess this as Xiaguan.  This one was once for sale at R.J. Teahouse (Ebay) for $38.80 for 200g too ($0.19/g) I'm not sure how long ago this was though.

Sample B

Again tight compression dry leaves maybe a bit less tighter than A but still machine pressed have a subtle sweetness with a bit more fait humid odour still pretty dry stored but maybe not as much as A.

First infusion has a fruitier lighter vibrancy to it but watery as the sample still has to open.  There are fruits and florals detected on the pallet on a smoother woodier base.  A smooth chalkier soft mouthfeeling.  This is showing early signs of a more delicate brew.

The second infusion has a mellow pear fruity onset with layered sweetness there is florals, melon, pear, almst tropical notes over a faint almost woody body.  Very light and vibrant.  The mouthfeel has a soft cottony coating.  The Qi makes the arms tingle and the face as well.  The throat has a faint mid-deep opening suggestion.  Very Classy and elegant tasting.  Very smooth in taste and in the mind.  Another semiaged higher quality, even possiably LBZ, or maybe nice Menghai region.

The third infusion has a thick juicy onset of canned pear and peach a thicker syrupy onset with layers of sweet sugars and florals.  There is a bit of faint layered in bitter/ astringency very faint to add body.  A pungent returning sweetness hits with a thick and complex barrage of flowers, sweetnesses, layers of fruits.  This is a very fine puerh indeed. The wet leaf has a faint suggestion of smoke which doesn’t appear in the soup.  Cottony mouthfeeling with a deeper throat feeling with long complex retuning sweetness of layered fruits.  There is distinct bodyfeelings developing as well in the limbs and chest.  The mind feels sharpened a free.  This is a very nice high quality thing… 8-14 years of decent dry storage, perfect for something as complex and delicate as this… even 5 minutes later you can still taste the sweet layering in the mouth.  Qi is really strong in the mind almost hypnotic.

The fourth has a thick rich fruity onset very dense in its thick syrupy fruity presentation.  There is a subtle smokiness, almost a floral incense to it underlying.  Thick syrup fruity sweetness in the mouth that drags into the aftertaste where a deep throat sensation and where a sugar, menthol, and long floral aftertaste emerges.  The mouthfeel is cottony and full, the broth is oily, and the throat feeling is deep.  This is very high quality puerh.  I would guess probably Menghai area, maybe a bit of Bulang or Lao Ban Zhang even.  The Qi is also very big and alive in the mind and body with varying sensations throughout.  This is a very good and probably very expensive puerh.

The fifth infusion has a very thick viscus fruity oily syrupy and incense taste.  The soft cottony full mouthfeeling and deeper throat feeling allow for a very long complex sweet finish.  This is a very thick, sweet, oily and Qi heavy puerh experience for me.  There is a long candy like sweetness under thick layers of fruits and florals in the aftertaste.  Complex returning aftertaste of sweet tastes.  A very subtle not really astringent or bitter at all but some kind of subtle thick bite to it very remissant of Menghai region.  Very thick, full satisfying puerh.  Strong and elegant and complex.  Even brown sugar like minutes later aftertaste with pungent candy… pictured in 5th.  Qi is hypnotic and strong and makes me feel high.  I’m starting to get the feeling that this might be a very nice high quality Bulang factory production.  The smokiness tips me off in that direction and it has a general feel of a high quality very nice stored factory puerh.  Looking into the teapot the leaves are small grade no

The sixth infusion has a smokey thick fruity syrupy vibrancy with a full mouthfeeling that is stickier now and a deep throat penetration causing me to gulp saliva where a fruity long and almost pungent taste is long on the breath.  The Qi is quite warming and pushes me into a sweat.  Hypnotic in the mind strong push with some tingling bodyfeelings in the face and arms. 

The seventh infusion has more smokey tastes building but with strong returning fruitiness, sugar, pungent floral, very sweet and thick finish.  The smoke is stronger now and infiltrates the breath and aftertaste but is not too much for me.  The aftertaste is really really sweet and long.  The Qi is really hypnotic.  The sweetness in the aftertaste is really mouthwatering.

The eighth infusion starts with thick juicy smokey fruity tastes.  This has a Menghai area feel to it, a smokey factory feel, and a high quality factory production feel to it.  The tastes are narrowing a bit and a bit less complex now.  Still a very long and satisfying returning sweetness with a deeper throat sensation.  Mintues long complexly fruity returning sweetness.  This puerh is very very satisfying to me.

The ninth infusion comes off a bit flatter initially but thickens out in the mouth with a cottony mouthfeeling and deep pungent throat.  The thickness and oily nature of the broth with full mouthfeeling and deep throat with long complex finish is very nice.  Minutes later there is still a long satisfying sweet taste.

The tenth infusion has a smokey onset with a flat base taste.  This infusion has much less sweetness and I decide to push this one early…

30 Second steeping… 11th is smokey fruity a bit flat now with less intense aftertaste.

A few minutes long infusion pushes too much smoke out with less sweetness now.

This one dropped off fast like a factory cake.  It also has quick powerful qi like a proper terrace puerh/factory production.  The vibrancy of this puerh is awesome.  Possibly a bit of Bulang in the mix, definitely Menghai area nice factory production, nice slightly humid dry storage, 8-13 years production, with smaller tippy leaves.  The combination of thick oily feeling, full mouthfeeling, and deep throat sensation with very long aftertaste makes this a very nice production and a great candidate for further aging.

Sample B Guess: 7-12years quality or premium factory production, the fruitiness still in here makes me think closer to younger part of this range, smaller leaf grade, Menghai region production.

Answer: 2007 Jing Mei Tang Jing ($86.00 for 357g cake or $0.24/g).  I think I got the general idea right with this cake- age, drier humid Malaysian storage, fruitier elegant tea with a subtle harsher factory smokiness and strength.  The smaller leaves I mentioned suggest Jingmai region, it definitely crossed my mind but my experience of Jingmai is a bit more elegant and less factory strong.  Also, I seem to chronically mis-guess Jingmai in almost every blind sampling I do of it, I think because my initial idea of Jingmai is mainly the gushu idea of it not the plantation/factory idea.

I am drinking the 2007 Jing Mei Tang Jing now with about 2/3 less leaf and it is still strong.  At this lower ratio it isn't has vibrant in taste but Qi is still strong and it still has a nice full mouth and throat feeling.  The stamina of this puerh is definitely a weak point because this puerh basically lasts 8 steeps but the fact that you can use much less leaf due to its strength makes up for it in value.

Okay… now we wait for Wilson of Adventure In Every Cup and Blog Traveling Teapot to reveal the answers and see how horrible my assessments on these are…. Hahahah…


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