This was Tea Encounter’s only house autumnal offering and is picked from small younger bushes in the famous Chawangshu area. It came from the same area and farmer as their now sold out Spring production. This one was a free sample for review of my order of a few of these delicious 2015 Nannou DuoYi Zhai cakes that I decided to pick up months after sampling. This 2020 Tea Encounter Chawangshu of whichonly 20 cakes were produced goes for $48.49 for 200g cake or $0.24/g… being both Autumn and from young small bushes you won’t really find cheaper Chawangshu…
Dry leaves smell of paper and lime woodiness.
First infusion is a lime woody creamy woody potato taste with a very subtle bitterness. This infusion shows how young this puerh is. It’s very green tea like. Has a faint coolness with nice potato and creamy woody returning sweetness on the breath. Slippery soft/ soft chalky mouthfeeling with a mid-upper throat opening when aftertaste dwells. Qi is starting to subtly build.
The second infusion has a spicy woody potato taste with a full mouthfeeling of chalky mild coating and nice upper-mid throat opening sensation. The texture is nice and oily. The taste is a balance of salty, sweet, bland, bitter, and pungent. A long aftertaste of wood and potato lingers on the breath has the most sweetness almost melon and comes after a slight cool pungent throat. Nice warming hug Qi feeling that is pretty subtle.
The third infusion has a melon floral onset with a sweetness that splashes up into the mouth. There is a bit of woody potato there is a chalky moderately full feeling in the mouth with a long aftertaste in the upper-mid throat and nice oily texture. The Qi is nice and warming with a comforting feeling in the body and building spacy feeling in the mind. Overall this infusion has a sweet oily feel to it which is quite enjoyable. It offers me strange comfort for such a young puerh.
The fourth infusion has a pungent gamey border tea taste to it with a melon, potato, and woody underneath to give it some depth. There is a nice chalky mild full mouthfeeling with upper-mid throat opening and a nice mild-moderate oily texture to the liquor. The Qi has a nice revitalizing and comforting feeling this sunny morning.
The fifth is vibrantly sweet and juicy with a pungent gamey boarder tea flare to it. It has a nice oily texture. The cooling pungent in the upper-mid throat hold the sweet melon taste long on the breath. This infusion has a mild sticky mouthfeeling slight warm chest feeling and nice vibrant mind Qi.
The sixth infusion has a chalky fruity floral pungent onset which spreads into the mouth. There as subtle notes of potato, wood, but a chalky melon floral taste. Nice feeling of comfort in the chest and happy feeling Qi. The aftertaste is long.
The seventh infusion has a pungent gamey onset with a fresh cut of sweet melon. I really like the taste of this puerh pungent, gamey but very refreshing with a nice balance of elements. Nice cooling throat with an almost lime like refreshing aftertaste with melon sweetness. Nice chest warming with
8th has a stronger potato taste with a slight woody melon underneath. The mouthfeeling is chalky and mild to moderately full with a upper and mid throat opening where the long aftertaste dwells. I like the mouthfeel of this puerh too- it’s not super strong but does the trick. The feeling in the body is very comfortable and comforting. Qi in the mind is happy.
9th has a woody potato almost but not that sweet melon. Overall these last few infusions are more savoury than sweet and have a simple balance to them. The Qi is really nice and cozy despite this puerh’s youth. I like this taste, mouthfeeling, and Qi. Works great together for the price.
10th has a lime mango creamy sweet onset over an increasingly sandy mouthfeeling and open top throat. The mouthfeeling, aftertaste, Qi, and complexity is falling off quickly here.
11th is the same with a buttery melon woody tasting thing in a chalky almost sticky sandy mouthfeeling with some open throat sensation. The taste is a bit like chalk and melon with woody tones. Qi is happy and bodyfeeling is vague but comforting.
12th I push into a long infusion here… it cools down and gives off a syrupy almost potato sweetness with a bit of melon and wood. Nice oily feeling still with not much bitterness. A mild silty mouthfeeling kind of sandy now with a mild open throat that holds some cooling and woody melon aftertastes.
I put this one into mug steeping…
Overall, this Autumnal xiaoshu Chawangshu production has good value and is quite enjoyable for the price. It is solid in taste complexities, mouthfeeling and throat opening, liquid texture and Qi. Overall, I am fond of puerh from this area and the overall package is nice for that price.
Edit: the next day I did some mug steeping with the spent leaves and felt that this puerh was a bit weak on stamina which makes sense given its pedigree. It was more of an insipid potato, sort of woody pond almost but not quite sweet blandness. Not bad at all for the price you pay.