This is a commonly talked about puerh in Western circles as it was maybe the first Yang Qing Hao puerh to be offered by a Western puerh vendor when Houde offered this one back in the day. Although it is commonly known, it is not considered the best of the Yang Qing Hao offerings and never seems to top anyone’s list of favorites even when price is considered. This puerh always sounds like its mainly just solid or typical Yiwu Gushu. It has since sold out at Yang Qing Hao but a few years ago was selling for $195.00 a cake before it sold out. This completely dry stored cake from Houde’s Huston storage goes foru $375.00 for 500g cake or $0.75/g. This will be my first Yang Qing Hao puerh that hasn’t come directly from Yang’s moderately more humid Taiwanese storage.
First I just want to make a general statement about Yang storage…
You both tolerate it and enjoy it for what it is or you don’tlike it at all. I don’t think anyone out there ever thought that Yang’s storage was the best storage for his cakes, but rather they simply accepted that it was worth the price offered. I think it probably works pretty good for some of his cakes and others not so much...
Dry leaves smell of woody, cardboard, very faint sweetness, dusty.
The first infusion has a creamy sweet woody syrupy onset with a nice oily texture. There is a nice soft chalky tongue coating where sweet woody cherry taste resides. This infusion dominant with oily cherry tastes. The aftertaste of cherry and woody lingers in the aftertaste. The storage is like a dry Taiwanese storage very nice. The Qi is happy and lively.
The second infusion gives us a woody, almost dusty, sweet cherry fruit taste over a chalky mouthfeeling. The sweet cherry taste is still the standout taste here with a tongue coating that there is this lower, kind of faint, almost creamy pungent but more obviously cherry fruity finish in the mid-deep throat. Qi has a little bit of a buzzing bodyfeeling and a nice building warmth in the face.
The third infusion has a nice strong floral onset with background wood and cherry and a long dusty woody background taste. The powdery florals are dominant here. There is a nice tightness developing on the tongue and the throat feeling is faint but deep. Qi has a nice liveliness to it.
The fourth infusion has a syrupy fruity sweet woody taste to it with some dust woody cardboard like back ground taste and an expanding cherry fruity finish with a mildly salivating and oily texture over a soft mossy tongue coating. There is a mild building pungency that pushes the sweet cherry vibrant woody taste out in the aftertaste. This infusion has a more lively sweetness of cherry.
The fifth infusion has a burst of woody slightly tart cherry with a juicy and oily returning oily sweetness. There is a really long oily cherry sweet taste that rides out minutes later. The throat is oily and lubricated at a deep level. The Qi is slightly warming and relaxing as well as mildly mood enhancing. Body feels light. Nice long sweet cherry taste.
The sixth infusion has a dusty woody but mainly cherry mahogany woody taste with an oily texture, thin full mossy tongue feeling with a mid-deep lubricating mild throat feeling. There is a soft woody cherry finish in the mouth. The cool cup has a rich sweet syrupy cherry mahogany taste with expanding sweetness in the return over a mossy tongue coating and faint oily throatfeeling. Nice alerting and calming Qi with light body and some face sensations.
The seventh has a fruity plum orange dried peach thick syrupy sweet taste when I sample the cooled cup. Thick long syrupy fruity finish with a ring of deep oily pungency in the throat. Even a creamy chalky sweetness emerges. I really like this dry storage on here.
The eighth infusion has a fruity syrupy taste creamy and sweet with a chalky powdery almost candy cherry sweet taste in the finish. This is a nice sweet aged Yiwu with nice dry storage to accentuate it. Long creamy sweetness on the breath. Thin mossy tongue coating with a lubricating throatfeeling that goes mid-deep and holds a long sweet taste there.
9th has a chalky sweet powdery sweet fruity cherry onset that expands and returns in the aftertaste. The tongue coating is a nice mossy covering and lubricating throat feeling.
10th has a powdery and creamy sweetness to it initially much less woody over these last few infusions but still a bit that comes out in the mid profile more. The aftertaste is less strong with much less oily texture now. Nice energizing and relaxing Qi.
The 11th has a bit of incense woody not as sweet cherry or powdery now. A bit of that in the aftertaste but the throatfeeling has collapsed so much of that is in the mouth. Nice relaxing Qi.
The 12th is a cool cup and gives off thick syrupy kind of woody-foresty-sweetness over a mossy tongue coating. There is a bit of pungency and creamy powdery sweetness that follows.
13th has a creamy fruity chalky sweetness over a thin mossy tongue with fruity faint aftertaste. Nice relaxing Qi. Simple sweet but enjoyable tastes now…
I push this one a bit more with a 30 second steeping in the 14th infusion deep prune fruity notes come out.
The overnight infusion has a lot more of those deep prune fruity notes with edges of powdery lighter cherry edges.
Overall, this still has an air of “Yang Storage” and likely spent the first year or two there before being Huston dry stored by Hou De Fine Teas. Interestingly, you can still taste it. However, the Huston dry storage has done this puerh well- much better than staying in Yang storage, I would guess. This is nothing new as dry storage is almost always seen as superior to more humid storage especially for puerh that is less harsh or intense. This gushu would easily qualify- a solid Yiwu gushu, although not super exciting but very enjoyable either way. Overall, I didn’t think it was worth the price to cake.