Dry leaves smell of dominating storage smells of Yang’s Taiwanese storage as well as a subtle vegetal, creamy sweet and even smokiness.
The first infusion is a watery almost vegetal empty kind of taste with a slippery but still a bit griping mouthfeeling that simulated the mid throat and tongue. The aftertaste is kind of empty with a vegetal taste in the mouth and very subtle creamy sweetness and subtle strawberry taste. This first infusion has a very watery and mild flavor.
The second infusion has a vegetal watery onset with a subtle body of paper taste almost subtle buried cherry. There is very little sweetness, astringency, or bitterness and a bland taste dominates the profile with a paper and vegetal nuance very subtle smoke and some faint creamy ghostly sweetness in the throat. The mouthfeeling is a slight dry gripping with a mid to deep throat stimulating with a watery texture. The Qi is starting to build a very relaxing euphoria in the mind.
The third infusion has a faint cherry and vegetal onset with a paper tasting base taste and a building gripping and moderately drying mouthfeeling that has a pucker to it. The Qi is powerful and invigoratingly euphoric with a warming out outward moving from the Heart sensation in the body. The power of this Qi is leaving me in a stupor.
The fourth infusion has a paper and vegetal watery onset with barely any subtle cherry sweetness that is sort of in the throat. There is a moderate to strong drying tongue feeling and deeper throat dryness. The Qi is huge though a dizzying strong euphoria and warming and expanding chest.
The fifth in fusion has a bland paper subtle quick moving cherry fruity taste. There is a bit of creamy sweetness developing. Big euphoria Qi happening over a mild drying and astringent tongue and throat. It’s main taste is rice paper pith.
6th has a cloudy paper vegetal astringency with an almost creamy sweet aftertaste over a drying tongue and throat. The taste is quite vacuous as is the mouthfeeling and throatfeeling. Qi envelops the Heart.
7th has a bit of a spicy almost cherry sweet but not really more of a bland paper taste. There is faint sweetness in the throat and a paper vegetal finish.
8th has a subtle smoky vegetal getting to be more slippery mouthfeeling with a mild creamy vegetal and paper finish over a dry tongue and throat. The taste is quite mild. The Qi is more relaxing and energizing with a bit of euphoria and Heart pumping and slowing with light limbs.
9th has a smoky rich tobacco leaf taste with slight rum and vegetal taste with more of a creamy sweet oily texture now. Taste is mild. Qi is turning into a focused bit of euphoria.
10th and 11th has an oily tobacco vegetal taste with a creamy faint emerging aftertaste that finishes rice paper and dry in the tongue and mouth. Relaxing focus with a bit of euphoria.
11th has a vegetal and paper tobacco taste with a dry tongue and mouth. The astringency can certainly be felt in the Stomach. No sweetness here except faint suggestions in the breath.
12th has a nice oily smoky tobacco and vegetal taste with a paper tasting base taste and finishes almost creamy sweet kind of vegetal tasting.
I come back to the pot the next day…
13th and 14th has a fruitier watery slightly oily onset with a paper tasting base taste. There is a bland kind of vegetal aftertaste now. With some more noticeable astringency in the mouth and throat.
The 15th infusion has a fruity and vegetal kind of tobacco taste to it. With a slight dry not that oily finish. The Qi is more mild and restrained today.
The 16th is almost mild bitter astringent vegetal paper pith tasting. It seems like no signs of any sweetness for the last infusions. Actually, almost none of the infusions are sweet. The mouthfeeling is a mild dryness the throat feeling is flat. The Qi is quite mild here.
I stop the session as it’s hard to tell if this puerh died out long ago or is still going. Certainly the Qi has stopped, so I do as well.
Overall, this Chawangshu is all about the Qi of big euphoria Qi. But is Qi enough for a $425 cake? The other positive this one has is its slow to evolve and changing mild taste and mild viscosity as the session progresses. However, the taste really was really very mild not to my liking- a lacking rice paper pithy vegetal taste with very little sweetness, pungency, or aftertaste. The dominating taste is vegetal and paper blandness. I have drank this one three times thus far in 3 very different pots but nothing too exciting happens here. At some point it feels like you are just drinking storage tastes and you just proceed because the Qi is of a nice Gushu quality. The most flavorful infusion is often the very first or first 3. When too much leaf is used there is also an off putting astringency that beats on the stomach but manages to offer little to accentuate the throat or root down any substantive aftertaste. When less leaf is used the harshness is gone and you get very little taste but a really nice gushu Qi euphoria. Overall, I like yang storage and think it works decently well for most of his offerings but it has done little to bring out what might have been positives when this puerh was much younger. Those who purchased this one 5 years ago will have a much better tea than this. This is also a lesson in how some of these smooth Gushu puerh will age. There is a reason that a cake from such a famous region has remained at nearly the same price over the last many years while other Yang Qing Hao puerh in Yang’s storage have increased (interestingly the 2004 Yang Qing Hao Dingji has also remained at the same price as well).
In a year of more mindful purchases and a bit of luck, this might be my worst purchase of the year. I agree with the more recent sentiment that this one is not really worth it compared to others although it is a wonderful Gushu Qi throughout. This post featured maybe one of the best raw materials of Yang Qing Hao stored moderate humid by Yang . Next post I will compare it to 2005 Yang Qing Hao Yiwu Chawang dry stored at Houde which is more standard Gushu Yiwu material but stored brilliantly dry…Peace