Friday, May 27, 2022

2005 Bi Yun Hao Manzhuan: Smoke& Stregth & Fruit!

This 2005 BiYun Hao Manzhuan was one of three Biyun HaoQuarter cakes I picked up at Teas We Like for $160.00 for 115g or $1.40/g.  There is still one sample for sale on the site at the time of writing…

Dry leaves smell of smoky BBQ and rainforesty woody odours… really unique…

First infusion has a sweet smoky onset with a watery sweet bbq mesquite thing happening.  There is a nice mouthwatering and soft light mouthcoating.  Light almost flower water taste with mesquite BBQ nuances.

The second infusion has a spicy woody sweet bready onset with a smoky sweet mesquite BBQ layer.  The taste has a sweet pop of fresh fruity taste initially with a chalky soft full mouthfeeling and moderately oily returning saliva.  Relaxing slightly spacing me out Qi.

Third infusion has a syrupy dried fruity thick onset with a bready sweetness and a BBQ sweetness that emerges underneath the dominant syrupy thick sweet.  Nice oily sweetness here.  The cooled infusion is really delicious with that hinting at tropical fruity sweetness with a mesquite mild under taste and oily saliva producing thickness… Real nice there is a bready sweet taste that finishes in the mouth. 

4th has a juicy fruity sweet onset with nice mesquite under taste which adds a bit of depth.  Nice sweet bread tastes cap off the finish here.  Creamy smoky and mysterious depth perfectly counterbalance this oily fresh tropical hints of sweet taste.  Nice sugary sweet bread finish.  Lots of oily saliva feeling in the mouth.  Nice numb bodyfeeling and slight space feeling.

5th has a woody sweet bready less fruity sweet and more sweet bready oily syrupy sweet onset.  The silky feeling and oily coating with a bit of lip drying and grasping feeling is quite nice with a strong sweet profile through and through!   Oily sweet bready sugar and almost milky chocolate taste.  Nice chocolate taste left in the mouth minutes later from the oily texture and nice slow saliva release.

6th infusion has a sweetness that is sort of a bread and sugar and not really fruity anymore but slightly there is also a faint floral edge to it.  It ends with a bubble gum taste on the breath.  The feeling in the mouth includes an oily texture with a silty and sticky lips feeling.  Nice relaxed bodyfeeling with a heavy base-of-skull feeling. 

7th starts with an oily sweet and bbq fruity onset with a more surgary, bready-sweet, and smoke finish.  Very nice tastes here.  Thick oily mouthfeeling.  The oily texture is meet with a stickier lip drying sensation in the mouth which is really nice.  The smoke or BBQ nuance is never overwhelming.  Nice strong relaxing but now uplifting and energizing feeling with strong heart beats. 

8th has an oily peachy fruity thick bready onset.  Nice thick layering of taste.  The cool infusion sort of has a cooling menthol foresty taste there with lots of peachy tropical fruity sweetness that turns to sugar and bread sweetness.  The smoke is less in the cold cup it seems like.

9th left to cool is an oily thick full taste of bread and coco like sweetness that turns more coco in the breath.  Full delicious tastes in a thick oily texture is nice in this cooled down infusion. 

10th infusion has a more fruity sweet taste upfront with a more bread and coco finish.  Nice thick and oily feeling in the mouth the smoke is pretty much gone now.  Nice focused feeling.

11th is an oily bready coco sort of thick dense taste with oily texture.  Chest beats give me a surge of energy with a backdrop of spacy relaxation.  Mouthfeeling is a soft gripping silkiness with oily textures.  Nice minutes later coco on the breath.  Very good tasting.

12 oops left the water in the kettle for 2 minutes!  Strong thick syrupy tastes with a mild smoke incense under the woody bitter-sweet chocolate taste.  Stronger dry gripping here and more of a fruity blob caught in the throat.  Strong sweat with chest beats now.  Invigorating feeling that makes me want to get out there and get something down.

13 infusion has cooled down but gives off a thick oily coco and woody taste with a bit of bitterness lingering with coco – a bitter-sweet coco taste.  Nice salivation effect still. 

14th is cooled down but gives off a fruity onset that is less thick but still substantial with coco and woody finish.  Nice slow salivation still. 

15th has a flat woody onset that quickly shows some sweet fruity then coco that rides out on the breath. 

The mugs steepings are terribly sweet and delicious… thick syrupy sweet taste with a cool pungent woody underbelly and intense thick sweet bready creamy sweet finish.  Thick syrupy layers that finish coco chocolate in the mouth. Very oily still lots of salvia producing dry lips and subtle silky chalky full feeling.  Nice chest beats and energetic focusing.  There are grape and date like tastes that emerge in the initial thick taste as well.  Overall tones of thickness and sweetness and oily tastes.

Vs 2003 ChenYuan Hao Manzhuan…(pictured top wet leaves) I’m drinking these back to back and they are both very good Manzhuan… but the 2005 BiYun Hao is logically better but it has not fully intergrated its flavours and feels a bit young compared to the 2003 ChenYuan Hao.  The high points for me are due to the bbq nuances which are super interesting juxtaposed with the thick layers of sweet Manzhuan.  I feel like the BiYun Hao has a bit more depth and variety to the sweet layers and also has a more invorogating energetic effect.  It also is a tinny bit astringent when pushed hard and still a bit younger and not the dense and thick package of the 2003 Chen Yuan Hao.    

Overall, I definitely crave the 2003 ChenYuan Hao Manzhuan over this 2005 BiYun Hao.  For sure some of these earlier BiYun Hao have a bit of old school factory style influencing them before the move to more gushu modern style this is especially evident by the smoke and BBQ nuances.

I need to sample the 2004, and 2006 to get a better read on the Biyun Hao Manzhuan… but this one was a good introduction.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

2003 Chen Yuan Hao Manzhuan vs Teas We Like

I got this 2003 Chen Yuan Hao Manzhuan free sample in my last order and intended to compare to the Teas We Like stored cake.  The Teas We Like storage wasfavorable to this Manzhuan and its really a great example of Manzhuan… it passed the wife test easily… I wonder how this storage compares…

Dry leaves were a muted woody faint herbal sweet.

First infusion has a woody sweet herby onset that has a thick oily feel with a soft oily mouhfeeling.  The sweet taste expands in the mouth.  There is a creaminess to the sweetness as well as a melon fruity taste.  The tastes are really clear in this first infusion.

The second infusion has a woody oak dry woody with creamy oily sweetness onset.  There are layers of tastes there.  The mouthfeeling is a bit sandy full sticky with a creamy milky chocolate taste left in the aftertaste.  There is a vegetal base taste in there as well that lots of Manzhuang area puerh will have and I have a hard time explaining it.  Nice warming chest feeling with relaxing laid back vibes.

The third infusion has a woody vegetal taste with evolving and expanding oily sweetness.  There is a pop of melon fruity taste then vegetal base with woody then it snowballs into a chocolate nuance then fruity melon pops of sweetness.  Milky creamy sweet fruity evolutions.  The oily thick liquor with layered sweetness and levels of taste combine to a complicated and pointedly sweet deep and thick experience.  This is a particularly tasty experience with a nice relaxing calming feeling- slight dreamy.

4th has a woody creamy sweet almost coco but then pops into a melon sweetness.  There is an undercurrent of choclatlely coco throughout the whole profile from onset to late aftertaste.  The oily texture and subtle sandy tongue coating underneath is a very enjoyable feeling.  Relaxing easy going vibes.  Cooled down it presents with a more vegetal woodiness subtle cooling menthol initially with a fade into creamy almost bready sweetness.

5th has an oily sweet creamy woody expanding bready and evolving melon taste.  The flavours are intertwined with a vegetal base taste and over a soft sandy mouthfeeling.  There is an oliy thick evolution of sweet tastes.  There is less coco chocolate in this infusion and more creamy expanding sweet tastes.  Nice relaxing vibe.  Time sort of disappears under the Qi of this puerh.  Nice sweet oily tastes stick around a while.

6th has a woody vegetal almost bitter edge to it with a more gripping mouthfeeling that is a bit drying and gripping.  There is a bit of sour and bitter and vegetal taste and bread and creamy sweetness.  A bit more biting that other infusions so far. 

7th is left to cool and gives off a woody vegetal onset with some juicier fruity tastes under a bland wood veil with distant coco lingering on the breath.  The mouthfeeling is a bit dry and gripping.

8th has a watery woody coco bland-vegital onset with not really any obvious sweetness there.  More of a lingering fruity sweetness on the breath.  Nice super laid back lazy feeling to this Qi.  There is a bit more sort of fruity coco taste in the cooled down cup.  Chalky dry mouthfeeling.

9th infusion is more bland vegetal woody taste with little sweetness left.  Drier woody tastes with distant harder to grasp at fruity sweetness.

Mug steepings are a bitter woody bland vegetal sort of taste with not much sweet left in there.  There are edges of fruity tastes but not really… mainly just this bland bitter woody taste.

Vs Teas We Like storage- The Teas We Like storage is much thicker and fuller without the bitter-bland takeover at the end of the session.  I like it quite a bit more than the storage which feels more complex in flavor for a few earlier infusions but too bland and thin in the later infusions, still obviously, not bad at all.  I would say that this cake has the biggest difference in preference between the two storage comparison tastings that I have done so far in favour of Teas We Like.  The other strong difference was the 2003 Chenyuan Hao Tong Qing Hao Commemmorative in favour of Teas We Like.  On the other hand the 2005 Chenyuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi is much preferred with the storage.  Thank you to Paolo for the gift of this comparison (and the others as well).


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

2005 BiYun Hao Yiwu: Qi Extraordinaire!

I picked up this 2005 BiYun Hao quarter cake in the second release for $160.00for 95g or $1.68/g.  This is one sold out quickly in the first drop of cakes and quarters and I wonder how it could be better than the 2004 BiYun Hao Yiwu I sampled the day before… it turns out its pretty much a completely different Yiwu…

Dry leaves have a sweet hay and distant grape bubble gum candy sweetness.

The onset is woody hay with a fresh creamy candy like sweetness that is light, airy, and watery.  There is a juicy feel to this first infusion with a long expanding air and creamy Yiwu sweetness that returns very strong on the breath.  Very deep throat opening with slow salivating release.  Lots of bubble gum and creamy sweet tastes with no storage tastes or deeper tastes to ground its progression and unraveling.  Nice strong calming peace.  Very high quality, entrenched, and ethereal Yiwu qualities.  Strong deep and gentle tension relief.

The second infusion left to cool and has a creamy cooling sweetness that goes deep in the throat and candy creamy sweetness stretches out on the breath.  There is a woody sort of almost herby undertaste.  But the sweetness is long and evolving and long candy finish.  Soft out of body feeling to the Qi.  Spacy in this regard.  Nice soft chalky mouthfeeling.  Slow release saliva.

3rd infusion has a woody creamy sweet onset that is a bit dry, a bit sour, but mainly this long evolved creamy almost candy-like sweetness.  More depth here with the drier woodier note but still slow mild saliva release.  Spacy out of body feeling.  Very very nice Yiwu here.

4th has a melon juicy pop of sweetness with a sort of resin woody base taste.  The sweetness has a sourness to it but slowly expands and returns on the breath.  The mouthfeeling is this soft dry chalky feeling that is similar to the 2004.  The breath taste is way more ethereal and sweet.  The Qi is a spacy out of body feeling.

5th has a rich sunny fruity onset with a coolness imbedded in the breath which pulls along the returning sweetness which is a creamy sweetness.  There are subtle melon, woody, and cookie, and sour tastes in there.  Nice sweet Yiwu profile with distinct spacy feeling.  The Qi sensation feels a lot like Wan Gong Qi- a high out of body spaciness.  Strong saught after Qi experience here!  Creamy lingering almost candy-like sweetness.

6th has a sweet juicy and a bit syrupy sweet almost melon like creamy sweet taste pop initially.  There are nuances to the sweetness that reminds me of waffles… don’t know why?  Long sweet taste here.  The thicker richer taste is not really there so it’s just this long progressing sweet taste.  That has a melon edge to it and a fresh light juicy feeling.  Nice spaced out feeling a bit out of body experience with the intensity and deep spiritual Qi and mind floating here.

7th has a syrupy melon sweetness that is a bit creamy and more syrup-woody tasting.  The mouthfeeling is more dry now.  Strong melon tastes now.  Mildly spacy. Soft mouthfeeling with a touch of dryness.

8th melon and pie crust and woody sort of sweetness with a more juicy taste overall.  Spaced out tranquility now.  Subtle chest beats.  Nice soft chalky mouthfeeling.  Lesser sweet fade out.

9th has a syrupy sweetness with distinct long menthol like creamy sweet taste.  There is a slightly dry chalky mouthfeeling.  Still a bit oily texture with an overall juicy sweetness but less obviously fresh melon and more creamy juicy vibrancy.  Nice saliva release.  Strong spacy feeling a bit out of body experiences.

10th has a woody juicy syrupy creamy sweetness with a juicy and shining taste with a long creamy sweetness over a full slightly dry chalky mouthfeeling.  There is this lingering creamy almost melon sweetness that is really nice and nice spacy feeling.

11th has a creamy sweet bready taste onset.  A bit of woody underneath but it moves quickly to a creamy and almost melon taste that turns to candy Yiwu sweetness.  Nice space out feeling but still somewhat focused.  Chalky bland breath finish now.

12th has a creamy almost coco bready taste.  The sweetness is obvious throughout but has a woody bland chalky taste to it underneath with some bitterness emerging there.  Nice spacy relaxing with a bit of Heart beats.  Not too much bodyfeeling in this puerh despite its strong Psychological Qi state.  More of a body disassociation more than anything.  Some Melon and coco on the breath.

13th infusion has a bland woody coco with some cool breath and faint bready sweetness underneath.  Some bitter chalky blandness emerges now.  Spacy relaxing here.  Cooled down it has a nice coco and creamy sweet taste with some wood and bread over a chalky full mouthfeeling.

14th has a woody almost medicinal but more creamy sweetnesses and coco.  Still very oily and full mouthfeeling.  Spacy and relaxed.

15th is left to cool… and gives off a juicy somewhat oily coco creamy bland woody but mainly still expanding sweet taste.  Nice relaxing feel and somewhat out of body but not unfocused. 

Mug steepings of the spent leaves gives off a honey and herbal woody slightly bitter onset with a creamy long sweet milk chocolate nuance.  The taste is still very vibrant and full.  Nice long creamy sweetness is probably the main note here.  A full chalky mouthfeeling with a touch of driness.  Nice relaxing and subtle high feeling.  Nice long aftertaste still.  Nice full feeling with creamy coco breath tastes minutes later.

Vs 2003 ChenYuan Hao (top leaves)- is a very much a feel good Yiwu to me compared to these 2004 & 2005 Yiwu.  The Chen Yuan Hao is not as complex as either of these but is more of a classic Yiwu in its pure taste and Qi.  Again very different than both BiYun below.

Vs 2004 BiYun Hao Yiwu (middle leaves) these two are actually very different which is a bit shocking to me… They are both really good but really different.  The 2004 is much rougher, intense, and complex in taste- it is almost like a factory gushu type thing where the 2005 (bottom leaves)is deep, ethereal, elegant, with long expanding sweetness and otherworldly in its Qi experience and feel more like a modern gushu production.  In some ways, the contrast represents the historical shift happening with these productions at the time.  The 2005 has a Qi experience in it that is pretty amazing and harder to come by so it’s noticeably better of the two but my factory leanings have me really enjoying the 2004 for its complexity and power.  If this 2005 becomes available again it’s possible that I might pick another quarter or even a cake-djvbdvbdv.  The price is the main deterrent for both of these Yiwu for me-its probably priced right but it ain’t cheap either.

Marco’s (Late Steeps) Tasting Notes

James & Denny’s (TeaDB) Tasting Notes


Saturday, May 21, 2022

2004 Biyun Hao Yiwu: Complex Taste +++ Power +++

Got this 2004 BiYun Hao Yiwu quarter cake ($170.00 for 95 g or $1.79/g) from Teas We Like in their drop of early Bi Yun Hao productions.

The dry leaves smell both woody and intensely herby also a bit sweet.  There is a slight pondy marshland Taiwanese dry stored smell and lots of depth to the odour.

First infusion has a medicinal root beer like onset with a subtle bitter sweet taste.  There is a nice deep cooling happening here with a silty full mouthfeeling and herbal sweet taste.  The texture is nicely oily with a subtle pondy marshland nuance of the storage.  Nice very complex balance of herbs, woods, sweet almost brown sugars.

Second has a rich woody resin herbal bitter sweetness.  It is classic wood-bitters taste with a resin and herbal edge.  There is a vibrant sweetness of brown sugars taste underneath and on the edges.  The mouthfeel is full and almost drying silty.  The throat is a medium-upper depth cooling.  Complex taste here.  Very root beer like complexity.  The Qi is pretty strong in the chest you can feel the heart go and a euphoria building.

Third infusion is left to cool and has a creamy menthol medicinal herb taste to it there are emerging caramel sweetness and a nice rich depth.  The throat opening and cooling is middle-deep and opening where the mouthfeeling is silty and slightly sticky and faintly drying.  The oily texture sort of just melts over the tongue.  Nice stronger chest beats with an uplifting energy feeling subtle high with stronger body chest feeling that almost wraps around the ribs.

The fourth infusion has a very herbal medicinal deep dark menthol root beer thing happening here.  There are just very faint suggestions of pondy storage but not really and more herbal-bitter-sweet-medicinal tastes.  The taste is deep and dense.  There is this initial splash of tastes that comes up in the mouth a result of a pop of bittersweetness.  Nice chest beats and uplifting Qi with subtle mild high.  There is a creamy sweetness left in the mouth minutes later.  Dense and rich and deep tastes.  Strong Qi.

5th has an almost turpentine good woody taste with a sweet almost floral taste to it over a caramel.  There is an emerging candy like sweetness in the mid-throat and breath.  There are also layers of herbs, chalky sweetness, and creamy sweetnotes.  There is a bitter sweet taste in there and less of the bitter-sweet woodiness.  Lots going on in this Yiwu blend.  The mouthfeel is chalky slight dry-sticky full in the mouth.  This infusion has that sweet almost candy-like breath… Yummy!

6th has a deep medicinal syrupy taste with sweet edges but a bitter-sweet woody rich taste and nice oily texture.  There is a deep sweet almost resin and incense.  There is a lingering rich sort of caramel.  Nice strong chest beats and upbeat energy with mild high.

The 7th has a woody almost bitters that quickly turns to melon fruity Yiwu and lingers in the mouth like this a while before sort of fading into a creamy sweetness, there is some richness there and some woody caramel resin sort of thing, even slight herbs.  Nice chesty bodyfeeling with heart beats and some mild euphoria high building in the body.

8th has a woody bitters and resin taste with a pop of sweetness underneath it.  There is a creamy sweetness that emerges.  Lots of rich depth to the taste.  Nice Chesty Qi feeling with a bit of uplift and kind of zoning out.  The mouthfeel is a bit of an oily chalky now.

9th has an incense woody onset with a sweet edge.  There is a bitter sweet pop with some melon tastes also some bland woody tastes starting to emerge now as well.  The mouthfeeling is a dry chalky feeling.  There is an almost melon creamy sweet aftertaste left in the mouth minutes later.  Nice mild building high with chesty feelings.

10th has a woody varnish with some sweet edges that develop into a melon sweetness that then turns into a creamy sweetness only mild cooling here.  Still rich taste in a way and deep things that are less obvious now but still within grasp. 

11th has a rich syrupy woody bitters deep like medicinal sweetness.  There is still some oily texture and sticky mouthcoating.  The taste goes toward a long creamy sweetness with medicinal woody base.  Sometimes it tastes almost mushroom.  Nice mild high with chest beats and energy uplift.

12th has an almost sour bitter woody with touches of coco and flashes of melon tastes.  There is more mouth salivating here than in the infusions before it and it has a sweeter and syrupy and fruitier feel.  Nice uplift and chest beats…. This Qi is pretty steady throughout.

13th has a rich juicier and thick sweet almost tobacco fruity sweetness that is a bit caramel and flashes of fresh honeydew melon.  The mouthfeeling is very sticky and full the breath is faintly cooling.  Nice high with a bit of pep.

14th was another complexity of sweetnesses.  With a caramel sweetness creamy sweet with melon tastes and creamy tastes over a sticky mouthfeeling with less intense mouthfeeling and less woody-bitter herbs.  Now is the time for the sweetness to shine.

Mug steepings reveal a mushroom bland woody taste with creamy sweet and almost sweet potato sweetness that you could get out of Gua Feng Zhi.  Nice oily still, still lots of depth and complexity.

The longer overnight steepings pushes out more strong bitterness and woody-bitters with a rootbeer like sweetness at the edges but strongly bitter… there is still lots of bitter bones in this deep complex Yiwu blend.  There are some pond-marshland notes in there as well and herbs… complex…

Overall, this is a pretty intense Yiwu experience.  It feels more like a factory tea trying to make a gushu type of thing than a Taiwanese Boutique production!  It likely represents the historical transformation of factory type gushu productions to more modern type gushu productions that we will see in my next post.  It has still a strong bitter back bone and intense invigorating Qi to it. 

Vs 2004 Nan Qiao Bulang King- It reminds me lots of the 2004 Nan Qiao Bulang King for some strange reason.  I think the dry pondy marshland storage, factory/gushu type production and the general intensity of the Qi are strangely similar.  They both have a sort of herby body to them this 2005 BiYun Hao has more Yiwu sweetness layered in for sure but a lot of other complexity which includes cola, herbs, woods, bitters, creamy, vegetables, melon-candy, mushroom, medicinal… anyways the dry storage and blend gives this one way more complexity than most Yiwu of this age I’ve tried but it has a strength and harshness that could almost be aged out longer and is more of a rugged beauty than an ethereal Yiwu beauty for sure.  It was interesting and intense enough for me to pick up another quarter cake to play with mainly because it left me feeling so good…  but it is pretty pricy to go in for a full cake for me right now…

Vs 2013 BiYun Hao Mahei -This cake also reminds me of my blind tasting of the 2013 BiYun Hao Mahei which almost tricked me into believing it was a Bulang blend, before reflecting that it was actually a Yiwu… this 2004 BiYun Hao Yiwu is very much in this stronger BiYun Hao style.

Marco’s (Late Steeps) Tasting Notes


BiYun Hao: Where Art Thou????

Where has Biyun Hao been all these years?

I think, I remember first seeing it for sale, a 2007? Byunhao Yiwu at Puerhshop of all places!  Then you really didn’t see any Biyun Hao at all really but you knew it was going to be pretty good because James of TeaDB got a hold of the better older BiYun Hao cakes a while ago and it was my guess at the time that someone gave him a hot tip… and you would hear some mummers by the Tea Illuminati that Bi Yun Hao has some pretty good mid-aged older boutique stuff… but nothing really appeared until Teas We Like decided to take it on.

I think it has been, since its earliest formation, one of the missions of Teas We Like to give us a deep and thorough introduction to Bi Yun Hao.  Biyun Hao is a Taiwanese boutique brand of puerh that has never had the attention nor the appreciation in the English speaking world that has afforded Yang Qing Hao (thanks to Emmett) and Zhi Zi Hao (Thanks to Houde).  I think the choice of which cakes to offer from the BiYun Hao catalogue was a very deliberate decision by TeasWeLike .  They have kindly given us a slow, easy and controlled intro to BiYun Hao.  First with some newer and better priced (less expensive) gushu stuff that is both stronger blended materials such as the Mahei blends they offer (such as this 2013 BiYun Hao Mahei) as well as the more elegant Yuwu Gushu stuff such as the Yibi Gushus (including this 2015 Yibi Gushu) and even the 2015 Lishan Gongcha and the brand new 2020 and 2021 BiYun Hao Longdui productions (here and here ).

However, the main attraction, as far as I could gather, has always been these older Biyun Hao productions…

They are finally letting these out of the gate with both quarter cakes and full cakes.  The slow release of the other productions over the years has put me, I think, in a greater position to appreciate them on a different and deeper level.  So I very much appreciate their care in releasing them.

I managed to get a few of these before they sold out and will post them here with a few other BiYun Hao that they will likely focus on in the coming years which they haven’t released (2008-2010).


Friday, May 13, 2022

1000th Blog Post!!!!

 1000 eh?  I still remember over 12 years ago reading the day Stephane of Teamasters posted his 1000th Blog post.  I remember thinking that was a crazy amount of posts about tea!  So I guess that makes me crazy then too?  Hahaha….  Stephane was one of the earliest tea bloggers that indirectly motivated me to start blogging. He was posting fast and fantastically furious about puerh and oolong from his background in Taiwan and it took him only a handful of years to hit 1000!

A year or so ago I remember reading Char of Oolong Owl posting her 1000th post.  That was unbelievable for me as well because she just started in 2013 and I have only been reading her for a few years at that point.  She is a real workhorse and I always end up reading her puerh posts.  Her post had me, for the first time , checking how far I was from my 1000th post.  It also had me thinking of Shah8 and his Sheng of the Day posts at Badger and Blade.  He must have the most puerh posts in English of all time maybe even 2000??? Anyways he’s my favourite one to read in the last few years here.  Don’t think anyone else has hit 1000?  Have I missed anyone???

It also got me thinking what it takes to get to 1000 posts… it think it’s a combination of resilience, a bit of obessive compulsiveness, a bit of inflexibility and a true love of the tea.

This blog has evolved lots over the years but I think it always stays authentic to where I am in life at the time.  Lately, my articles about broader topics have been less.  This is not because I’m out of thoughts or ideas or things to say but mainly because I don’t have the time or energy to write them out or to put my thoughts into writing.  Instead it is mainly my detailed tasting notes and comparisons and rankings.  

What you see on the blog is my evaluative writings.  For some people writing everything down as meticulously as me takes away from their focus and enjoyment but for me it actually keeps me present, engaged, and in the moment with the tea that I’m evaluating.  I find an extreme focused evaluation of tea is in some ways similar to a meditative experience for me.  It sharpens the use of my senses and everyday judgments and evaluations in all aspects of life.  Because I’m already writing this stuff down it’s pretty easy to share it with you wonderful readers!

A few years ago I wondered if there was a resurgence of puerh blogging but now I’m pretty sure it’s an old person’s thing… but I’m old anyways … hahaha

Thanks readers as well you also give me the motivation to continue to post because I can feel your energy and I really do put that into this blog.  Thank you for this!


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

2003 Chen Yuan Hao Youle: vs Teas We Like

In my exploration of earlier Chenyuan Hao from the above two vendors the 2003 Chenyuan Hao Youle is one of my favorites after this reallynice session from Teas We Like.  I like the strong gushu Youle presentation, particularly the strong happy mood altering effect that often lasts a few days for me.  It’s a strong exaggeration of the typical Qi one would get from the Youle producing area.  It’s got to be one of the better examples of the Youle area with this much age on it.  I mentioned in the Teas We Like review that I’m considering purchasing a cake or maybe at least another quarter.  

I purchased this 2003 Chen Yuan Hao (approx. $492.00for 357g cake or $1.38/g) storage version from  I have tried this same storage in other Chenyuan Hao which include this 2005 Chen Yuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi cake as well as samples of the 2011 Chenyuan Hao Qian Jia Zhai Jincha and 2003 Chen Yuan HaoTong Qing Hao.  The Taiwanese storage is a bit drier than Teas We Like and tends to have more sweetness and higher notes exaggerated as well as more bitter and astringency but sometimes less depth.  For some cakes I prefer the Teas We Like storage and for some I prefer the storage.  Let’s sample this one and see how it compares…

The dry leaves have a pine tree, slight grain and prune/raison odour.

The first infusion has a woody sort of creamy flat menthol taste.  It finishes a watery prune taste that has a flat almost tight watery mouthfeeling.  There is a nice mid-profile of peachy prune that comes and goes.  The mouthfeeling is a very thin almost watery but full reaching pucker.  There is a lingering coolness in the breath minutes later with a bread-like sweetness to it.  Lots going on early with this one.

The second infusion has a sweet prune almost woody menthol with a dazzling pop of sweetness initially there is a strong puckering astringent mouthfeeling that is less gagging in the throat and more on the cheeks and tongue.  This induces lots of saliva to push out of the throat and into the mouth.  There is a long cooling in the breath and long sort of menthol taste.  The Qi is very happy euphoria with a mind slowing feature with a chest pressure.  Strong Qi sensation.  There is an almost woody menthol and bready taste lingering in the mouth.  Strong warming in the face and chest and body.

The third infusion has a woody almost cherry tart menthol sweet astringent onset.  The woodiness is more prominent here as is the astringency.  Strong puckering mouthfeeling with sweetness and woody and menthol punching through.  The tongue and mouth is a full dry pucker with the throat opening deeply to push some saliva out and greet a lingering cool bready sweet woody menthol.  This version seems more astringent and puckering and less layered and deep than the Teas We Like version.  There is some sort of peachy/prune sweetness lingering at the end.  Nice time slowing and happy euphoria Qi sensation.  The profile has 4 sort of phases: the initial sweet and astringency, woody menthol puckering, deep throat cooling and flavours, lingering sweet prune/peachy.  Qi is equally layered and complex with slowing properties to the mind, chest beats, and happy euphoria feelings.

The 4th has an almost sour tart tangerine woody taste initially.  The astringency is less as is the menthol.  The mouthfeeling is almost a grainy sandy feeling here with a chalkiness to it.  There is some throat cooling and bready tastes in the finish.  A bland chalky taste lingers.

5th infusion has a woody bland chalky very slightly sweet tart cherries onset.  There is a dry bland woody taste that comes after then a woody faint tart cherry finish. This infusion has a bland chalky woody taste that dominates even in the aftertaste.  There is less of a deeper aftertaste now.  Minutes later a bland chalky taste is left in the mouth.  Warming feeling mild happy euphoria with Chest heaviness and openness.

6th is left to cool and gives off a bland woody creamy sweet peachy taste with less astringency and more bland with a cooling almost but not really menthol finish.  This cool infusion has a long bland chalky taste to it.  Faint bread in the aftertaste and a lingering sweetness with not as much astringency and pucker and chalkier mouthfeeling than pucker and bland woody chalky taste throughout.

7th has a fruity fresh fruity sort of melon peach type of taste over a bland chalky woody taste.  The astringency becomes less here and is just very mild now in these flash infusions.  There is a creamy bready sweetness in the finish.  Nice calm mind, less slowing now but still nice happy vibe with chest opening and beating.

8th has a fresh but muted by woody bland tasting fruity melon/peach.  No astringency in these flash steepings.  It has a deep open slight cooling with creamy sweet woody bready sweet aftertastes.  This infusion is less astringent and less bland chalky than previous.  Nice mind slow focus juxtaposed with a happy vibe with a slight euphoria.  Long creamy chalky sweetness many minutes later.

9th as a more vibrant peachy sweet onset with a mild oily texture.  There are woody almost incense notes underneath.  With an open mid-deep throat there are lingering bread and creamy tastes with dry woody lingering.  Nice chest beats.

10th has a more woody than peachy fresh onset that is a bit oily and put together and full.  Nice slow emerging creamy sweet over woody with lesser bready notes.  Nice heat beats and warming feeling in the body with stronger euphoria and happy feeling.  Deep creamy woody lingering taste sort of resin but not really not really incense but satisfying.

11th infusion is left to cool and gives off a creamy woody chalky taste.  There is a deep throat faint cooling creamy sweetness that lingers.  The flavours are less now but the Qi has pushed me into a very happy-go-lucky state of mind which this Youle always manages to do.

12 has a woody bland sort of but not really sweet taste.  There is suggestions of peachy tastes but barely now with more of a grains cereal nuance with bland tastes- some faint breads.

I mug steep out the rest and it gives off a woody bitter with just edges of faint sweetness with a long strong deep coolness in the deep throat and strong Heart beats and vibrant happy mood feeling.  The Qi of this puerh is just great- the best of Youle!

Vs Teas We Like storage Overall, the Teas We Like storage on this is maybe a bit more preferable.  This storage version, I don’t think has the depth of the Teas We Like storage other than its interesting pine woody resin taste and dry leaf odour which I really loved… actually there was lots of complexity here. The Teas We Like storage has a deeper resin ashy quality that gives it depth without being as astringent.  The layers of this kind of thing appeals to me bit more but it lacks the complexity the version has lots more dynamic complexity in the first few infusions.

Oh man… still can’t decide on if I’m going to get more of this Youle or just back away with the two quarter cakes here…. Both storage options here are are good in their own way…