I had been contemplating a more expensive Yiwu buy for many months now. I have been reasonable restrained in my tea buying lately and was looking for a good enough reason for a bit of a splurge then this one came along… $600.00 for 357g cake ( $1.68/g) fromTeasWeLike. You can’t really go wrong with TeasWeLike. Its more finding the style of puerh you like and your budget.
This cake is a tribute to famous Yiwu Tongqing Hao cakes that came before… I have never sampled any Tongqing Hao so that doesn’t give me any reference point but here we go…
The dry leaves smell of fall dry leaf and a subtle sugar and pungency.
The first infusion has a watery icing sugar onset in a full fine sandy a bit silty mouthcoating. There is a long sweet coolness on the breath intersected by a licorice, slight medicinal cola taste. The taste is really crisp clean drier natural Taiwanese stored thing.
The second infusion has a rich mouthwatering pungent fruity condensed sweetness. There is all these little complexities in there- cola, traditional medicines, minty pungencies, woody layers, creamy sweetness.. It finishes cool and expanding sugar and cola sweetness in the mouth.
The third infusion has a rich cola woody lubricating sugar onset with a base taste of faint icing sugar, woody layers, subtle root beer, over a sticky sandy coating. There is a faint fishy dry storage note but quite faint then it sinks into a sweet berry cherry cola surgar finish. Lots of subtle complexity in this relatively dry Taiwanese stored cake. The Qi is a subtle neck massaging Qi with a nice deep rejuvenating with a slow breathing feeling.
The 4th is left to cool and gives off a rich slightly medical and root beer like taste with an oily rich taste and a pungent cola sugar aftertaste. There is lots of complexity in the medicinal root beer taste. It has a Jägermeister liquor taste to it. The mouthfeel is oily and sandy. Qi is calm with some face tingling. There is some increase focused attention that I feel here.
5th has a rich complex medicinal taste with notes of sugar, root beer, Fernet Branca (the best), medicinal complexity. There is also incense notes and woody layers of sweetness. The mouthfeel is a nice full silty feeling but not too thick. There is also a touch of faint bitterness underneath. Nice focusing energy with a deep relaxing bodyfeeling and open jaw and heavy shoulders feeling.
6th has a woody smoke incense onset with some richness and medicinal notes being less here. They kind of emerge as the coolness comes from the throat and into the aftertaste. There is a balance of sweet, bitter, bland, astringent. There is a bit tighter throatfeeling here. Nice tight almost thin sandy feeling in the mouth. Nice focusing Qi with heavy jaw and shoulders bodyfeeling.
7th infusion has an oily medicinal onset with tangerine peel, root bear, woody layers and an emerging creamy sweetness. Lots of complex tastes and subtle Qi feeling. In the body you can feel the heavy shoulders and jaw sensation. Nice focusing. Allowed to cool down it tastes like an oily orange woody sugar taste. The aftertaste is a nice cooling pungent sweetness.
8th has an incense onset with a medicinal woody feeling there are some coco and sugar notes lots of complexity with a cool sweet finish. Nice focusing energy. More of a gripping throat now. Cooled down it has a deep whisky barrel/ wine taste to it with a sweet medicinal feel.
9th has a sweet oily medicinal taste with some underlying bitterness over a flat sandy mouthfeeling. There is some coolness in the breath and a sweet bready medicinal taste to it.
10th is left to cool and is a deeper, slight perfume, slight medicinal taste. Still pretty rich tasting. Nice cooling pungent breath with cola aftertaste. Nice heavy shoulders and jaw feeling.
11th is left to cool for hours and it has a deep syrupy medicinal hue with a decent undercurrent of bitterness it ends with a plum creamy almost peach taste. Some talc tastes and bread tastes in the finish.
I push this puerh with some long steepings and overnight steepings. At first I get some astringent/bitter woody plum sweetness. Nice focusing feeling overall.
The overnight steepings have a rich prune and plum taste to it with still a nice oily viscosity to it.
Overall this is a really nice Yiwu in a style and era and storage that I don’t have in my stash. The storage is a lighter Natural Taiwanese and does the strong and complex Yiwu blend well. This puerh is mainly about the delicious, complex, condensed flavours. The crazy parade of delicious flavours over a deeper body with still some faint smoke at times and some lesser astringency and even faint bitterness, make this an interesting Yiwu with lots in there to find, if you want to… Each infusion will take you somewhere a bit different. The Qi has some sold bodyfeeling in the jaw and shoulders. The Qi in the mind is more of a standard focusing feeling and slightly feeling good vibe. The mouthfeeling has a fuller silty feeling with sometimes some gripping but overall back the taste up nicely.
Makes me curious about the 2005 Chenyuan Hao ShanzongChuanqi that didn’t seem to get too much attention when they had it in stock…