Sunday, November 29, 2020

Revisit: 2013 Biyun Hao Mahei

I revisited this puerh because it was my favorite of the blind sessions by Marco (which happened to include many puerh from Teas We Like) and I am considering an order.  When I tried this one blind I actually had just finished a full blind tasting sessionof the 2015 Biyun Hao Lishan Gongcha and felt quite relaxed and stoned but was hoping for an energy boost.  I never sample two teas for review back to back or side by side.  You simply can’t get a really clear read on the Qi as the first tea can often interact with the second.  I wondered if that effect happened when I last sampled this one?...

Dry leaves smell of sweet floral woody odours.  Nice long leaves. Initial taste is quite floral with a full chalky mouthcoating and full long lingering candy fullness and perfume floral over a mild bitter-astringency woody base with hints of cherry and coco.  The taste is obviously gushu but has a certain intensity to it.  There is strength in both the mouthfeeling, flavor, and qi yet elegance.  Strong intense bodyfeeling of Heart racing and racing euphoria that builds up in the mind.  Although the taste is strong it is not a dense or deeply layered taste but rather pure and clear and gushu layers of taste.  Sometimes I feel like this puerh has too much space in the taste. 

I think the weakness of this puerh is twofold… 1- The taste is not super deep or dense but presents rather like a bunch of superficial but super delicious and quite complimentary tastes.  The tastes work really well together but they don’t give you a certain satisfying depth. 2- the active phase of this puerh is somewhat short- especially for the Qi which really blows your socks off early but drops off fast in the midsession the kind of way a Bulang will often present.  Also the Qi was strong but maybe not as strong as my initial appraisal and I think it was piggy backing some of the subtle power of the 2015 Biyun Hao Li Shan Gong Cha.  I think my most interesting observation about the blind sampling was my attempt to blindly price something like this which I said “it could be priced higher than the 2005 Nanqiao Double Lion Bulang.”  This goes for $220 and the double lion for $237.  So I guess it’s probably priced a bit lower but either way it doesn’t present with such value that I feel so strongly enough to put an order through at a time when I’m buying much less puerh.  Definitely enjoyable and still on my radar… but maybe just not yet…



Anonymous said...

This review of the tea really echos my experiences with it.

Embarrassingly, I blind bought a couple cakes based off your blind review and Marco's comments. Not sad to own it but will not be purchasing more. It's a great tea for those wanting a mellower yiwu that can be pushed and gives decent stoner/mushroomy qi. A lot of YQH falls in this category for me but this tea has better storage and even if its flavors are a bit too spaced out or mild for my taste, they are more distinct than the flavors the bulk of Yang's teas have.

Matt said...


You bring up an interesting comparison to Yang Qing Hao. I think Yang Qing Hao has stronger flavour and more power but not as nuanced, elegant, or nicely dry stored as Biyun Hao. YangQingHao has more age on it but is also more pricey.


Unknown said...

Hi Matt,

I agree with you, maybe YangQingHao isn't really a fair comparison. I don't think of the bulk of YQH having a lot of flavor but on second thought you are correct but their flavor is rather blunt and muffled.

I bristle at your calling the BYH Mahei "nicely dry stored" haha. I don't want to get into the age old debate on the subjectivity of storage and terms but when you look at the tea color and taste it and realize it's 2013 material, "dry storage" doesn't come to my mind. TWL is calling it natural taiwanese storage which I can agree with. I would say the storage is on the more humid side but still very clean (unlike YQH)and hence it has its distinct, nuanced flavors in tact.

Matt said...


I agree with you that this 2013 Biyun Hao is more natural Taiwanese than dry Taiwanese stored. I would say moderate-mild humid. The dry storage comment was more of a relative comparison with YQH. However, the other two I sampled might have been sealed in plastic wrap or dry or maybe just too young to realize the natural storage quit yet?

In my blind tasting it was actually quite a dark reddish liquor which had me thinking it was the most aged out of all that I sampled and fished me into matching it with the 2006 Bulang Beauty!

I agree with your assessment and interesting discussion points.

I feel that Biyun Hao would be much better for storage in the west though if subtle clear flavours are your thing.


Matt said...

*Have only tired these three Biyun Hao and maybe not even 1/5 of the Yang Qing Hao catalogue so my comparison is still a bit weak