I was relieved that Teas We Like offered this one in a
Quarter cake because I really wanted to sample this one but yet couldn’t fully
commit to a full $450 g Qing bing. That’s
right- this 2001 Xiaguan Green Mark King Bing is a big 450g cake that goes for$1.00 g! The description of this cake
describes it has the same commissionaire as the 2001 Green Sun cake that I
quite enjoyed! At the end of the notes I
will rank all 2001 Xiaguan productions which I sampled over the last year or so…
Dry leaves smell of peat and subtle incense and dry
grass. I go right into flash steepings
after a 10 second rinse.
First infusion has woody peat onset with a watery feeling
and dry grass sweetness. Has a bit of
tongue tight tingling. Slight
pond-marshland storage taste. Still too
tight in the pot…
Second infusion has a smoky fruity woody onset with a
vibrant oily sweet fruity glimpse. Nice
vibrant oily smoky and slight sweet fruit taste. Tingling mouthfeeling especially on the
tongue. Subtle marshy peat storage
Third infusion has a sweet peat woody grassy onset with a
resin incense body to it. Overall the
taste is sweet but it’s hard for me to explain the sweetness- not quite fruity,
not really pastry, more like a sweet grass taste. The mouthfeeling is oily with a mild tingling
sandy feeling on the tongue. Nice
relaxing focusing feeling Qi.
4th has a caramel sweet onset with an oily woody
resin like taste. The sweetness returns
on a long faint cool throaty breath.
There is this resin woody oily almost fruity taste. The sweetness dominates but not overly so
with a balance of resin-woody, and incense.
The mouthfeeling is really nice with a tingling numb tongue feeling with
a subtle gritty sandy mouthfeeling with a very faint going into the throat
happening. There are some relaxing sighs
and spacy focusing feelings. Face and
shoulder feel floating.
5th has a fruity tingling sweet pop with resin
incense to follow. The texture is both a
bit oily with the contrast of a tingling tongue feeling. The cooled cup is more caramel resin incense
taste. There is definitely smoke in
there. The Qi is a relaxing wavy
bodyfeeling like I’m in a boat bobbing back and forth. The cooled down cup of tea is a smoke and
caramel taste with an oily body and some resin and incense in the finish. Nice rocking bodyfeeling and spacy
focusing. Minutes later there is an
interesting taffy taste in the distance.
6th has a resin sweet woody oily taste with a
smoke incense finish. The tingling
feeling on the tongue and oily texture is an interesting contrast as is the
oily sweet onset and smoky incense finish.
There is a sweet subtle returning that is a bit like taffy and a bit
fruity- it lingers minutes later. Nice
Face and shoulder have a numbing floating feeling.
7th infusion has an oily resin sweetness with a
smoke incense resin mid-profile with a faint breath cooling that is hard to
feel but brings out nice taffy sweet taste.
Nice relaxing feeling. Nice taffy
taste minutes later in the mouth which is really tasty and pretty unique. Face and shoulder Qi feeling.
8th the liquid is left to cool and then it gives
off a caramel with a candy taffy finish.
This candy finish is a nice dry stored feature that is really sought
after. Nice face and shoulder floating
Qi with a relaxed feeling.
9th has a bland woody with a fruity edge less
smoke and resin here. The mouthfeeling
is really good with a tingling tongue. Long
taffy sweet finish in the mouth. Nice
relaxing focusing feeling. Shoulder and
face bodyfeelng of floating.
10th has a resin smoke and subtle emerging sweet
taste. The texture is an oily but a bit rough
and dry smoke underneath. Nice relaxing
feeling with face and shoulder sensations.
It’s thinning out a bit here.
11th has a smooth sweet onset with a thin woody
almost smoke mid-profile. Somewhat oily
onset with edges of fruit sweetness and a dry gritty tongue and mouthfeeling
that makes the mouth pucker. Nice
focusing energy- shoulder come up and face feels heavy.
12th has a woody sweet onset with a smoke
mid-profile and some faint returning candy like sweetness in the distance. Nice numb tongue and faint candy but also gripping
and puckering strong mouth and upper-mid-throat feeling.
13th has a woody smoke taste upfront with some
cooling breath and sweetness that tries to come through. A bit rough in smoke and dry and puckering
I mug steep out the rest and get a nice rich resin smoke
taste with any sweetness left. The
mouthfeeling is a bit harsh dry pucker.
It almost reminds me of watered down coffee and has a nice soothing Qi
feeling now with face and shoulder Qi sensations.
Longer mug steepings have a medical bitter woody taste there
is a bit of sweetness underneath but the bitter-astringency is just so
overwhelming here and with the smoke taste doesn’t come off too enjoyable.
The overnight infusion of spent leaves gives off a very deep
sweet plum taste with a deep mysterious fruity taste and not much else. This gives you an idea of how durable these
leaves are. There is almost like a black
berry and coco taste to it. Its very
rich and sweet and deep. Nice rich sweet
taste here almost brown sugar at times as well. This one will continue to age well…
Overall, this is a nice oily sweet resinous tea with a nice
smoke and amazing tingling tongue mouthfeeling.
The Qi is really nice too with great bodyfeeling in the shoulders and
face and a nice relaxing Qi. As the
session progresses the harsher smoke and dry astringency shows itself which
suggests it’s not quite ready to drink to full enjoy.
Ranking of 2001 Xiaguan and Xiaguan-like productions
2001 Xiaguan 8653 Huang Yin- ($1.00/g) (wet leaves pictured above) This one
spent its life in Houde’s epic Huston storage.
I had this one before drinking the strong 2001 Green mark and it is significantly
better in my mind mainly because it is strong but not harsh where the Green
mark is a bit rough and harsh. This one
is just crazy insane powerful! Much
stronger that the Green Mark. It has an
insane strong alerting and really overwhelming energy to it, as well as a
strong bitterness but not any astringency really. I use only ¼ to ½ of the dry leaves I
normally use and its still insanely strong.
Love it. Easily drank through my
sample. I passed on a cake a few years
ago but obviously would have been pretty happy with one.
2001 Iron Zhongcha- ($1.00/g) This one is the outlier
of the group, its storage is also a nice drier Malaysian giving it a much
richer aged feel. Material seems better
than the rest. It is basically an oily
tasty lubricating cherry fruity puerh with satisfying well aged taste and it’s
something I could easily drink through really fast! Nice relaxing Qi with a heavy chest
2001 Xiaguan 8653 Iron cake- ($0.79) This one was purchased from Teas We Like and
has Taiwanese storage on it which leaves it both powerful and a bit harsh but
also complex dense and a bit aged. The result
is stunning and the old factory puerh nerd in my lost my shit over this storage
in a completely blind tasting here. I
ended up picking up two cakes when it was available. Probably not truly as good as this Green mark
but as far as just a really good and satisfying example of the classic 8653
Iron- it is better.
2001 Xiaguan Green Mark King Bing- ($1.00/g)- maybe
the roughest of the bunch. Storage
similar to the 8653 above. Not as
powerful as the Huang Yin. Has the best
bodyfeeling of the bunch with its floating face, shoulders, body levitation. Could easily be at the top of the list for
some other people.
All pretty amazing 21 year aged Xiaguan
productions! I had a really awesome experience
with tasting these! Thanks to Teas We Like
for curating these!