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


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