Thursday, June 16, 2022

Houde Re-Release Puerh Ranked

 About a year and a half ago an old staple of the Western Puerh scene started to re-release some of the puerh that they once sold years and even decades before.  It turns out the Huston storage from Houde was quite favourable.  I ended up sampling maybe half ? of their re-releases and below is a ranking of the ones I enjoyed the most:

1- 2006 Xi Zhi Hao Lao Ban Zhang Yin “Black Wrapper”- Obvious Lao Ban Zhang Gushu with really good storage gives us the pure unadulterated power of Gushu Lao Ban Zhang! This was a great deal for those who picked some up.

2-     2001 Xiaguan 8653 Huang Yin- 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.

3- 2001 Jinyehao (Green Sun)- I actually only tried the Yang Stored cake of this and you could expect Houde storage to do this one better.  There is intense wood character that sometimes occurs in semiaged autumn cakes that I’ve tried before. What impressed me the most about this sample was the deep penetrating warmth cozy feeling of the Qi here which is really satisfying and pretty intense.  This kind of Intensely warming Qi is really satisfying!

4- 2007 Xi Zhi Hao Dianguis a deep sweet resin incense taste with this very sweet initial pop of flavour.  More of a deep complex lurking bitterness underneath.  There is this deep penetrating perfume taste that just lingers for a long time on the breath.  Nice strong Qi and bodyfeelings and very intense unique tastes and long stamina.

5- 2005 Shuangjiang Mengku Mu Shu Chathis is a nice early, example of Mu Shu Cha that has optimal storage for such a thing. Still quite strong with the power influence of Mu Shu Cha stoner Qi and a more factory-like production.  To me this tastes less like Bing Dao and has much more in common with other Mu Shu Cha- Fruity bitter Qi powerhouse.

6- 2001Menghai 7542 Fake- This is believable 2001-2004 material but it doesn’t taste at all like Menghai Factory.  To me it tastes good with Qi sensation and bodyfeeling which drops off quickly.  There is also interesting complex flavours in the first handful of infusions.  Some of the flavours are a bit weird like a strange hay but others are quite tasty.  There are also nice signs of good dry storage aging of a marshmallow, cherry talc taste.  Something old school factory like this that is also dry stored gives it some inherent value as it would be rarer to find.  Is on the whole a dry stored old school blended fake.  I recently have been really enjoying the nice Ginseng taste which can be had from the right puerh with the right wearhousing.  Blindly picked up some of these cakes.  Shah8 and Marco would likely rate this one higher than me.

7- 2005 Yang Qing Hao Yiwu Chawang- nice clean well stored Yiwu Gushu, enjoyable cherry tastes, slight warming Qi with relaxing mind and sometimes a bit of buzzy body feeling.  The simple delicious Yiwu that was hard for me to pass up.

8- 2003 Xiaguan Special Grade- this is a bit better than average Xiaguan with a nice dry storage but still is very much typical classic Xiaguan in taste and fee.  The stamina is good with nice condensed tastes.

9- 2001 Mengku “Yuan Yieh Xian” of Mengsa Thick PaperThis is the first Traditional HK stored cake with a distinct floral taste to it which is interesting to me. I’m always of the thought that Yiwu and Mengku areas are much better dry stored.  This one is no exception but nicely enjoyable either way!


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Blind Storage Guess: 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu from

Okay I have three ¼ cakes of this 2003 ChenYuan Hao- onefrom Teas We Like, one purchased with the 2003 ChenYuan Hao Youle from four days after it was released (here) and this quarter cake purchased with the 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yibang from on May 17th.  I didn’t think that it would have come from a different storage than the first one I purchased.  However Paolo recently clarified in thecomments here that the remaining cakes come from a slightly different Taiwanese storage.  I mused that I no longer know which storage I had received because I didn’t pay much attention to the description when I re-ordered.  Below is a sampling of the second quarter I received in an attempt to uncover which one I had received…

Dry leaves smell like a plum and tobacco leaf odour.

The first infusion has a vibrant perfume floral grape plum onset.  Nice raison/ grape tastes here with a long cooling taste and deep throat opening with a thin full chalky mouthfeeling.  There is a creamy almost talc finish to the puerh.  The main note here is raisin.

The second infusion has a deep plum and perfume floral subtle raisin and talc finish.  The sweet layers come on quickly with a subtle sour note underneath and a creamy almost Rou gui perfume talc finish to it.  The mouthfeel is a sticky mossy chalky full feeling.  The Qi is warming on the face and has a nice focusing feeling to it. 

The third infusion has a raisin woody perfume very deep fruity raisin taste.  Nice oily perfume fruity raison.  Nice strong returning sweet raison plum sweetness.  Has a subtle creamy chalky finish.  This infusion has strong perfume floral raisin.  Nice sustained focused feeling.  Super delicious puerh.

The fourth infusion has a jam kind of plum raison taste initially with an oily returning taste of sweet plum raison and perfume sweetness.  There is a raisin overall taste to it.  Deep throat opening and subtle cooling in the breath subtle creamy talc.  Nice very relaxing feeling takes hold with a warm resigning feeling and nice calm focused feeling as well.  There is a bit of throat gripping and a dry chalky mouthfeeling under the texture.

The fifth infusion has a resin woody incense with fruity plum jam initial taste.  There is a bit of sour fruity splash of sweetness in that initial taste and is goes deep into the throat and leaves a chalky dry feeling that stimulates the upper throat a bit.  My favorite thing about this puerh is this incense floral perfume lingering taste minutes later and kind of finishes like wood resin.  Very nice.  I also love the tension easing and mind focusing to the Qi of this puerh… so good.

6th has a woody resin plum chalky onset with a perfume resin and raisin finish.  The mouthfeel is left behind the oily tastes with a deep relaxing with heavy limbs sensation. The returning taste sort of comes with a more gripping stimulating top throat sensation that is sort of saliva producing.  Incense perfume finish.  Relaxing tension easing feeling with heavy limbs bodyfeeling.

7th infusion has a resin incense onset with lesser sweet fruity tastes.  There is a deep throat opening and top throat stimulating sensation with a faint plum and perfume finish.  Dry gripping chalky mouthfeeling.  Nice deep relaxing focusing with heavy shoulders and limbs.

8th has a sweet bread and woody resin onset with a deep throat opening and upper throat returning gripping feeling.  There is a deep opening feeling in the throat with some faint plum perfume left behind with some bread sweet tastes.  A dry mouthfeeling is becoming more intense and grips at the throat.

9th is left to cool and gives off a rich coco resin creamy sweet with raisin returning sweetness with creamy and bread sweetness underneath.  Nice mossy dry mouthfeeling with a returning throat stimulating gripping feeling.  There is a coco and incense aftertaste minutes later.

10th infusion has a fruity coco resin primarily quite sweet onset.  It is almost like a chocolate bar with currents in it- super yummy.  The Qi is mainly focusing and warming.

11th is less flavourful coco with a raison creamy bready fruity edge.  Surprisingly bitter with a returning or developing gripping mouthfeeling.  There is a resin coco aftertaste that is a bit bland in the mouth.  Nice focusing Qi and warming body and face and heavy shoulders and limbs.

12th has a fruity coco bland woody resin onset that finishes more incense and resin.  There is interesting movement of the mouthfeeling that reaches deep into the throat then grips the upper throat.  It’s done this throughout.  Has a mainly woody-incense-coco taste where the sweetness is a bitter sweet coco now not fruity nor is there any perfume now….

I mug steep out the rest….

Conclusion:  The old man storage of this cake (Taiwanese hot and dry storage) from seems to be a bit darker with notes like caramel and prune coming up.  The other storage( which I believe this quarter cake comes from) has much more noticeable resin taste and a very thick floral perfume taste as well.  There is no caramel or prune taste here and there is no thick floral perfume nor as much resin taste in the old man storage.  Interestingly, the storage is somewhere between Teas We Like storage and the other storage.  While I was drinking it I was thinking that it might be from the old man storage but looking back at my tasting notes it seems unlikely.

Now, I will wait to see if Paolo can give me his opinion on which storage this second quarter cake could be based on the times I ordered, change in label with “” stamped on Mylar, whether he completely sold out of the old man storage before refilling with the other storage, and based on my notes???

I mentioned in my sampling of the Teas We Like storage that there seems to be a lot of variability with this 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu session to session.  That coupled with the fact I didn’t have the time to do back to back sessions leaves a bit of room for error.  To make matters most interesting, I like the this sampling better than the old man and Teas We Like storage options.


Thursday, June 9, 2022

2003 ChenYuan Hao Yibang: More Classic, More Mellow

Apparently, this 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yibang (approx. $541.00for 357g cake or $1.52/g) is less commonly put for sale.  It had the same old man hot and dry Taiwanese storage as the 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu (which is now sold out of this storage) and 2004 ChenYuan Hao Song Pin Hao sold at  Picked up a ¼ cake due to my preference for Yibang and this type of storage.  Currently it is completely sold out at and it has not yet been offered by Teas We Like.

Dry leaves smell of flat wood and piercing sugar with faint sweet plum.

First infusion has a woody-wine-like taste initially with an oily liquor and a faint distant plum astringency.  There is a faint coolness in the breath with a sweet sugar-wood finish.  The mouthfeeling is a bit grainy.  Faint cooling sugar on the breath a bit of plum.

The second infusion has an initial splash of sugar and plum and a bit of astringency with a plum sugar and bitter woody finish.  The cooled down cup has an oily and more plum taste with a movement to mild astringency and plum and sugar.  There is a sandy and subtle mouth puckering mouthfeeling.  The tea give me a mild off putting itch and allergy feeling.

The third infusion has a rich bubble gum and rum and wine like initial taste that has a vibrant rich sweetness.  There is a mild puckering mouthfeeling with a sugary plum woody almost grape candy like very Yibang fruity taste.  The texture is oily and provides a contrasted balance to the mild gripping mouthfeeling and top throat simulation. 

4th infusion is left to cool and gives off a rich syrupy sweet sugar-plum-caramel pop of sweetness.  There is an oily texture that comes then a cool plum sugar aftertaste with slight woody-astringency pucker in mouth that stimulates the top of the throat.  A dry fine sandy puckering feeling is left in the mouth.  Nice mild euphoria with mild itching-allergy feeling on arms and face.  Last time I had an itchy reaction like this was to the 2007 Yang Qing Hao Lingya!

5th has a creamier sugar pop of sweetness that is a bit oily and melts into a cooling mouth that is a touch dry sandy chalky.  There is an almost bready sugar grapy-fruity-plum taste in the aftertaste.  Nice mild faint euphoria with some faint spacy relaxing feeling. 

6th has a vibrant rich pop of grapey-sugary-plum astringent sweetness there is some coolness that comes and upper throat stimulation.  Itchy arms and face allergy feeling.  Nice stimulation in the mouth with oily textures and faint chalky gripping feeling.  Long grape-plum aftertaste that lingers on the top throat and comes out when swallowing.  Mild Qi euphoria with mild faint itch.

7th has a fruity grapey sugary astringent pop of initial sweetness in an oily textured chalky silty mouthfeeling.  Nice sugary bready grape-plum finish after a breath coolness and some upper throat stimulation.  Nice mild euphoria. Some faint face itch.

8th has a syrupy grape sugar sweetness with some hints of wood astringency pop of sweetness.  There is a slight puckering silty dry sandy stimulating mouthfeeling.  Nice bready sweet sugar and almost floral grape finish with some mild astringency.  Face tingling and itch with mild euphoria.

9th was a cup that was left sitting for hours as my day became quite busy… it is a sugary sweet woody pop with some cooling mouth and an oily texture that turns into a sweet full caramel.  After the oily texture recedes it leaves behind a fine sandy chalky feeling.  Mild relaxing type Qi.

I have no choice but to revisit this puerh the next day…

10th has a fruity almost grape-melon taste initially with a woody mild astringency and mild chalky gripping puckering mouthfeeling.  I’m still getting some arms and face itchiness.  Sort of a flat sweet finish.

11th has a grape woody astringent pop of initial vibrant sweetness a clear sugar with a full juicy grape taste minutes later.  The upper throat is stimulated and the taste holds for a while there.  Itchy limbs aren’t my favorite experience that’s for sure…  There are fruity sweet and astringent tastes minutes later.

12th has a rich thick sweet woody sugar taste almost grape and plum but not really.  Very full puckering silty feeling in the mouth with a stimulated upper throat and less thickness now but strong and active upper throat stimulation from the astringency that sustains the woody-grapey taste.

13 is left to cool and gives off a sugary-woody- astringent pop of sweetness that splashes up in the mouth.  It finishes this woody-cool-caramel taste.  Still limb itch…. Mild relaxations.  Long caramel returning from the stimulating astringency.  The taste and mouthfeeling is really nice and look at the stamina here- very nice…. But the itch….

14th infusion has a fruity grape-melon taste initially with less astringency and woody but also less mouth presence and throat stimulation.  Nice mild relaxing with mild easy to ignore itch.

15th has a woody caramel sugar astringent pop of sweetness that turns into more of a grape-plum and cooling on the returning sweetness.  Nice mild pucker with upper throat stimulations which keep the taste going.

16 has a sweet sugar onset with a bit of plum in the finish. 

I mug steep out the rest…

Overall, this Yibang had lots of stamina and delicious classic grapey-sugar-plum astringent punch.  It’s a good semiaged example of the Yibang profile.  I was most surprised at how mellow the Qi was- not typically Yiwu in Qi and made this one less enjoyable for me.  I got that damn itch as well from this cake! Darn!  Good thing I didn’t blind cake it!  Although I am a big Yibang area fan I didn’t enjoy this one as much as some of the other 2003 ChenYuan Hao for the reasons stated.


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Optimal: 2003 Chen Yuan Hao Yiwu: Old Man storage vs Teas We Like

I was really over the moon with my purchase of 2004 ChenyuanHao Song Pin Hao Commemorative Cake.  Specifically, I mention how stellar the storage was on it.  Currently, has two sources for the Chenyuan Hao cakes they bring in.  This one is my preferred storage over both’s other source and Teas We Like source.  Apparently, it was stored quite warm but also quite dry.  It was enough for me to re-order another one of these after sampling.  This 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu from Teas We Like is winning the speed test of my Chen Yuan Hao quarter cakes… so good enough excuse to pick up another 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu from (approx $148.00 for 1/4 at $1.72/g)and compare the different storage on the two.  Paolo still had a few of these quarters left at the time of posting…

Dry leaves have a very vibrant sweet current and blackberry notes.  Sweet Fruity delicious.

First infusion has a watery creamy sweet taste that and a talc creamy chalkiness to it.  The taste is really silky and creamy and sweet.  There is some nice salivating as well.   Nice slow silky smooth creamy release deep in the throat.  Chalky sweet creamy tastes and chalky sort of mouth salivating.  Nice focusing feeling.

The second infusion has a creamy chalky woody sweet with a layer of berry blend underneath.  There is this creamy silky mouthfeeling with a deep and slower throat opening and long evolving berry jam tastes.  There is a sort of vegetal woody sort of layer, and jam mixed berries, and a creamy silky sweet as well.  Nice deep relaxing with heavy limbs.

The third infusion has a milky soapy raisin prune sweetness that has this sort of resin like body and creamy slowly expanding sweetness that reaches slowly and deeply into the throat.  There is a faint taste of berries and jam over deeper prunes and raisons.  With a mild relaxing focus and heavy limbs feeling.  Nice long creamy resin sweetness.

The fourth infusion has a brassy fruity vibrancy that is a bit prune and current and a bit fresher berry melon.  Very taste with a caramel layer as well.  It turns into a resin-like taste and has a long deep creamy sweet reach.  Depth of the layered sweetness really expands.  There is a subtle tart taste in there as well.  Nice slow mild saliva release with long creamy sweet fruity caramel aftertaste.  Nice focusing energy with chest and limb heaviness.

The 5th has a malty brassy sweet raison and prune sweetness to it.  Nice long creamy layered with dry fruits and faint hints of fresher or jam like fruits.  Very subtle deep coolness in the throat.  Nice lubricating mildly oily texture with resin layers.  Nice full and expanding and long resin, caramel, and creamy sweet taste.  Very tasty puerh.  Nice focusing with some Chest and limb heaviness and tingling face. 

The sixth was left to cool and has a deep caramel layered with prunes, currents as well as hints at jam.  There is this full medium thick chalky silky mouthfeeling with deep throat opening.  Just a faint subtle coolness with resin creamy sweetness with hints of currents and prune.  Very delicious slow moving long fade.  Nice mild slow mouthwatering.

7th is a watery resin creamy evolving sweetness with current and raisin.  The silky chalky feeling is really lovely.  With a nice focusing feeling some chest beats with heavy and open chest and limbs.  Nice long sweet creamy resin current.  Faint jams.  Really nice.

8th is left to cool and has an oily mouthwatering creamy dried current taste with a faint incense resin.  The mouthfeel is silky in the mouth and the throat opening is deep with a not really noticeable coolness on the breath and long creamy resin taste.  There are pops of fruity tastes as well. Nice focusing energy.

9th has a resin onset with a faint emerging sugar sweet taste that slowly trails off on the breath.  It combines with a faint breath coolness and develops a creamy sweet edge.  Nice focusing.

10th is left to cool and has an almost fruity oily resin taste with subtle hints of fruity sweetness.  There is a long slight sweet resin taste with faint cool deep throat. Nice focusing.

11 has an almost spicy resin with faint fruity taste and incense.  The resin like incense notes are becoming stronger but there is no bitterness at all and no astringency so there is still this resin taste but backed by a lingering sweetness still which is quite nice with nice mind focusing, subtle face tingles and heavy chest and limbs.

12 has a fast moving pop of dried current sweetness almost raisin with a stronger incense resin.  Still lots of body to this puerh with a deep throat and slow release creamy sweetness with more resin in there in these later infusions.  The mouthfeeling is a bit chalky now.  Still some oily viscus feeling.  Focused mind and some chest beats with subtle face tingles.

13 has a pop of sweetness and resin and a long deep sweet breath taste with edges of caramel and resin woody.  Still very delicious.  Nice continued focusing mind with chest beast and face tingles.  The mouthfeeling is almost chalky and sticky especially the lips with a deep open throat.

I put the rest of the wet leaves (pictured above)into a long mug infusion and out comes sweet plum and dried currants with a resin base.  Very sweet with a long juicy plum finish deep in the throat.  There are suggestions of incense with a silky chalky mouthfeeling and strong focusing Qi.

VS Teas We Like storage- the old man storage is much superior with that talc storage nuance and rich vibrant deep sweet rich taste. The resin nuances are much more savored in the storage here.


Sunday, June 5, 2022

2010 BiYun Hao Chawangshu: Deep


This sample of 2010 BiYun Hao Chawangshu was the other mid-aged BiYun Hao production I picked up from Liquid Proust (the other one being this very well done ethereal Yiwu the 2008 BiYun Hao Daqishu).  This one turned out to be one of my favourite of the BiYun Hao that I’ve tried but with that name of Chawangshu it must be at least a bit expensive?

Dry leaves smell of paper with a almost minty wood sweetness.

First infusion has a woody honey onset with a pop of melon with a paper mid profile and cooling long breath finish with a chestnut and caramel sweet finish that is oily and expensive in the breath.  Nice melting sweetness! Deep throat breath feeling.  Nice strong relaxing with relaxing muscles body feeling. Long rolling caramel and chestnut.

Second infusion has a minty numbing onset with a sweet melon pop and paper and Forest vegetal mid body.  Nice full chalky mouthfeeling with a subtle throat gripping.  There is a chestnut and almost coco sweetfinish with glimpses of caramel.  The minty fresh onset sort of lingers long from the onset.  Nice relaxing feeling and face warmth and slight tingling.

Third infusion was left to cool and has a very maple syrup honey and woody paper onset with a minty woody Forest body.  Nice long sauntering profile with mouth water effects! Deep breath coolness and caramel and almost coco sweet finish.  Nice deep body relaxing.

4th infusion has a caramel and paper onset with watery oily mouthfeeling and a long elegant release of caramel chestnut coco and wood.  Nice clear and pure flavours.  There is a mid profile of paper and forest.  Nice deep open throat with mild stimulation on top and mid throat.  Long taste and evolves and is held by the throat and saliva.  Nice warming face feeling with relaxing body feeling and nice subtle euphoria.

5th has a rich caramel onset with woody brassy body.  There is a splash of sweetness almost like melon woody paper base taste supports the motion of sweet releases of caramel and almost nutty almost fruity. Long faint coolness throughout with a soft drying chalky mouthfeeling a subtle stimulation and opening of mid and deeper throat with nice saliva producing.

6th has a pungent fresh coolness that comes initially with caramel and bland woody sweetness. The sweetness expands in the throat and breath.  Nice mossy slight dry mouthfeeling deep throat breath.  Nice chest gob expanding feeling.  No bitter or astringency at all but feels very full and satisfying- very nice.  Nice mild euphoria.

7th has a caramel oily onset with faint minty Forest emerging.  Nice long evolving caramel and almost hazelnut and fro but not quite.  Clear single estate profile nice euphoria and strong chest gob centre building. Nice full mossy mouthfeeling very clear profile and deep throat’s opening. Really enjoying this.

8th has a fruity melon taste with a woody coco under belly.  Mouthwatering pop. Nice subtle caramel notes that mingle with coco.  Very nice mossy mild but full mouthfeeling very clear pure flavours.   Chest energy gob feeling is super interesting body feeling subtle euphoria.  Very clear energy, taste, direction.

9th nice pungent cooling woody honey sweetness with such a nice oily clear taste.  There is a coco and caramel sweetness that evolves here.  Nice mild euphoria and chest centre energy.  Mossy mild full mouth.  No astringency and very clear flavour.

10th has an oily almost melon woody taste that feels full and turns more coco caramel.  Nice forest paper base taste with a mouthfeel that starts mossy and ends a bit drying with saliva in the back throat and a bit of a warm face and trapped chest energy build up.  

11th is cooled down it tastes of woody papery melon the taste is layered and moves towards coco caramel. Warming face with energy building chest sensation.  Mild euphoria.

12th is cooled and has a melon papery woody fruity full onset with saliva producing effects that bring a bitter coco aftertaste.  Mossy mouthfeeling becomes more sticky gripping.  Warm chest and face with chest energy blob and face tingling.

13th has a watery oily honey taste.  It tastes more lubricating with an almost melon woody taste.  Strangly is more oily with less taste. Warming qi now especially in the face.

14th has an oily fruity taste with some coco popping up long oily feeling with juicy melon and lots of saliva.

I mug steep out the spent leaves and do a few overnight steepings.  Still lots of power   nice mouthfeeling and lots of sweet depth and Qi power…

This has to be one of my top favourite of the Bi Yun Hao that I have tried!  Liquid Proust must have done a pretty good job of vetting the Bi Yun Hao to get these two really nice mid-aged examples!  Thanks Andrew. Who will be the first western vendor to offer such a thing???


Saturday, June 4, 2022

2008 Bi Yun Hao Daqishu: Pure Yiwu

Daqishu is an area of Yiwu and I don’t remember having one from this specific area.  I picked up this sample from Liquid Proust last year

Dry leaves smell of a very creamy candy floss sweet floral woody odour.

First infusion has a creamy soft candy sweet taste that begins then floats off into the distance.  There is some sweet creamy candy like sweetness that rides out on the breath also an almost carrot/ sweet potato nuance faintly in the distance but mainly this long creamy sweet ethereal uninterrupted taste very Yiwu taste.

The Second infusion has a peachy creamy sweet onset with a long airy clear note of sweet creamy Yiwu that hangs up in the breath a bit.  Very soft mossy full mouthfeeling with a bit of saliva producing but a deep vacuous throat feeling.  Nice floating out of body Qi feeling here with some body wobbling side to side feeling as if bobbing like a buoy in the ocean. 

3rd has a slightly more woody sharing a balance between sweet creamy and woody dry onset with very clear notes not interrupted by any storage notes- this one is stored quite dry and the result is lots of clarity here.  There is a bit of a juicier peachy nuance here with mainly a long creamy sweetness that uninterrupted rides out in the breath.  Deep breath throat feeling.  Nice mossy full mouthfeeling with a deep subtle open throatfeeling.  Nice spacy Qi with some chest beats.  A bit time slowing Qi here too.

4th was left to cool down and it gives off a woody watery almost honey sort of floral and ends creamy sweet in the mouth and breath.  Ethereal and airy and pure and light.  There is more of a mossy gripping mouthfeeling now with a slight pull at the throat.  Nice spacy feeling qi with some chest beats.

5th infusion has a watery almost sweet potato nuance to it over woody with faint suggestions of creamy sweet and maybe peach taste.  Nice chalky mossy and slightly tugging the throat sensations.  Nice spacy Qi feeling.  Some almost candy glimpses in the aftertaste.  Clear taste profile nice spacy qi.

6th has an oily buttery creamy taste slight woody with a melon and sweet potato there is woody creamy nuances that fade into the breath here.  Nice spacy feeling.

7th has a melon watery fruity onset with clear taste of Yiwu here.  The cool cup is even clearer sweet potato and melon taste fade out in the breath and less deep in the throat now.  Very straightforward single estate material.

8th has a woody oily sweet potato and melon onset with a subtle fading out into creamy sweetness.  Very clear and simple single estate gushu brilliantly dry stored.  Nice spacy feeling to the Qi.  In the body there is a loose jaw feeling in the face and some more obvious chest Heart beats.

9th is cooled down and gives off a sweet woody sort of melon peach with a nice faint fade out.  The mouthfeeling is mossy with a bit of gripping- pretty mild.  Nice floating feeling, spacy, with heart beats.

10th has an oily peachy woody taste with a nice lubricating texture when left to cool.  Nice soft mossy mouthfeeling.  Simple and clear taste.  Nice mild spacy feeling.

11th has a woody oily taste with a bit of distant peach not that sweet but absolutely no bitter or astringency either.

I mug steep out the spent leaves and it gives off woody faint onset with a peachy melon taste to it.  The mouthfeel is a full mossy slight gripping feeling.  The peachy taste lingers for mintues later popping in the mouth and saliva then fading only to come back again.  Nice spaced out feeling here.

This is a very simple high quality, straightforward and pure single estate Yiwu Gushu with near perfect storage and processing.  What’s not to like about this?? 

Shah8’s Tasting Notes


Ranking of Xiaguan 2001s: 2001 Xiaguan Green Mark King Bing

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 taste.

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 mouthfeeling.

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

1-      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.

2-      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 bodyfeeling.

3-      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.

4-      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!