Xiaguan Tuocha Co. Ltd.

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Recent Tasting Notes


Sheng/Shou TTB
A nice, growing sheng. No bitterness/astringency and an earthy, smoky flavor. Notes of wet hay and wood. Nothing special about this tea, but a very easy drinker.

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Love this stuff. Just hits me with all the right flavors. And for its age its very drinkable.

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I absolutely love this tea. Its everything i look for in a puerh. Im going to stock up because this stuff is only gonna get better

Flavors: Honey, Sap, Smoke

10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Xiaguan teas can be very heavy, so I decided to go for a series of short steeps with this tea. One issue: it was hard to break up. I wound up with three pieces totalling about 2.4 grams for my 2-ounce gaiwan.

It took several steeps for the chunks to dissolve. These initial steeps were light, with obvious smoky character, which I like. There are wood and straw behind the smoke. Despite the short steeps, I’m getting a nice relaxed feeling from the cha qi, helping me to ease out of my work attitude, and into my relax mode.

Not really a special tea, but a good value for 8 years old, and just what I wanted on a lovely spring day.

Flavors: Smoke

200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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Revisiting this one.

Thick, salty. Umami.

Reminds of some braised pork belly I got at this well-known Thai restaurant in Portland last week.

Normally, I am not into tea flavored recipes… but today, today..I am tea drunk. I wonder about marinating a pork shoulder with some over brewed xiaguan (this or a smokier one) and some whole coriander seeds, and then smoking it with some alder or apple chips. Yea. This sounds good.


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Umami similar to the Japanese kombu seaweed or a heavy soy sauce without the saltiness. A dark brown-red liquor with a thick texture. A subtle caramel sweetness, which I appreciate much in the same way I appreciate someone holding the door open and then letting me know that my fly’s unzipped. Not particularly outstanding gestures but warmly appreciated none the less.

A pleasant fullness after drinking, that makes me ponder the usefulness of this tea to drink when I am hungry…

Wet leaf aroma is a bit of a paradox because I think it smells like dried wood. My later steepings produced a liquor with a lighter caramel color, and a “clean” mineral taste. I also noted a hint of char during the entire session. For the future, I would like to compare this ripe to other Xiaguan (shou) creations, maybe other Xiao Fa tuo’s from different years.

The value of this ripe is great. I highly recommend this ripe. Right now, I want to drink this daily but I only have one tuo so I have it about every other day.

Additional brewing parameters: 7g leaf, 100ml gaiwan, two rinses, steepings 1-5: 5-15 seconds, 5-9: 15 seconds- 1 minute.

Picked up tuo at Yunnansourcing.com. The guys over at TeaDB.org have also commented on this tea: http://teadb.org/xiao-fa-tuo/

Flavors: Caramel, Char, Umami

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I love samples from tea friends!

This is very smooth for a sheng that’s from 2011. I guess the material could be older. I didn’t check. In any event, it’s got low bitterness. It leaves a nice aftertaste and is making me salivate like crazy!

I am really enjoying this one. Since it’s not super old, maybe I could get a cake at a reasonable price. I’ll check around. :)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 2 OZ / 73 ML

Steepster friends are the best!


They are! I love this place!!!!


I love Steepster friends. :)


Right? Where else on the internet is there such a vast collection of truly lovely and generous people? No where I’ve seen!!!

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Been hanging onto this for a year or 2 now, time to give it a little taste.

10s rinse.

15s: Colour is peachy; reddish/gold.
Green taste, like grass, and straw. Javan was spot on with the observation of artichoke.

30s: Deeper golden colour. has a slight smokey aroma; like tobacco.
Taste is more astringent; not overwhelmingly so. Leaves a great mouthfeel.

-Mouth cleansed with ice water.

20s: Same deep golden red colour and smokey aroma. taste causes an increase in saliva. Getting the melon flavour Javan spoke of is like pulling teeth, but it’s there. Cantaloupe specifically. Empty cup smells sweet.

30s: Pale golden colour, the red seems to be leaving, as does the smokey aroma; both haven lessened noticeably. Much of the same flavour with an increase in bitterness.

35s: Slightly darker brew, with the same colour scheme; reddish gold. The smokey aroma is back. but the pleasant mouthfeel is gone. I’m left with a dry mouth and a thirst for more of this delicious tea. Just wish it wasn’t making my mouth dry..

- Many leaves in my gaiwan are still pressed together, I’ll agitate them and poke at them a bit with the lid to see if I can expose more leaf/flavour.

-Fresh pot of reboiled water cooled to 195F. Same leaves.

40s: Woah Surprise of the session – Colour has gone almost darker than the initial steep and has toned down the smokey aroma, Which can be good or bad depending on how you like your sheng. The taste is bitter-ish still, but vegetal to boot. I like it. Drank this one down like a blonde on spring break getting free shots.

50s: Getting quite bitter in these longer steeps though the colour is very appealing. Tossed this one out .

35s: Much better. Think this is the sweet spot steep time for me. No discernable change from my previous 35s steep. I’m feeling this tea’s calming effect quite well.

4 more steeps at 35s yielded much of the same, albeit slightly weaker.

40s: trying to get a little more life out of this tea with a slightly longer steep. I’ll do a few more of these 40s steeps and then I think I’m done.

Good tea. Could mature a bit more, I’ll try again early next year. I bought a few of these touchas so I’m glad to be only tasting off of 1 and waiting until it’s just right to tear into the others.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

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I’ve been drinking this on and off all day. A very SMOOTH rich solid shu here. Very clean, lightly earthy but no musty dirty notes. I got raisin and a faint hint of cocoa in later steeps. Quite enjoyable! :D


Do you order direct or do you have a local source? Loose pu-erh is as good as it gets locally—no cakes to be found.


This one was a gift from a friend, I’ve not made many puer orders yet, just a few things from mandala. I’m feeling things out and decided what I like before I start collecting. Plus I can’t afford a lot with my budget :) no local sources I’ve found either!


gmathis – Most of us are without good local sources for puerh cakes so we order from a few reliable local US sellers (Mandala and Puerhshop.com) are frequently mentioned choices for many on Steepster) or directly from China sellers (Yunnan Sourcing and White2tea are two popular sellers) and, finally, sellers on both Ebay and Aliexpress are used by many of us. The particular Xiaguan tuo mentioned by Stephanie can be found at Yunnan Sourcing or Angelina’s Teas (a smaller US tea seller). Please contact me if you need more specifics or seller info.

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Overall this is a surprisingly enjoyable tea. The 100g tuo is a classic Xiaguan ripe puerh. I’ve had it aging a bit for the past year. Tight compression but careful picking made it fairly easy to break apart. Very dark leaf without any golden teabuds. Dark tea soup with a pleasant aroma – did not detect the typical Xiaguan smoke (a plus for me since I am not fond of the smoke in my puerh). The sip is smooth and woody – a bit leather like. The flavor profile presents a bit of spice in the background. This recipe was originally made for export to France and has maintained its consistency. This is a budget friendly tea (purchased in mid-2013 for $6.50) and offers a favorable quality/price ratio. Definitely a respectable daily drinking shu.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 145 ML

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Quite a nice young sheng pu-erh it has a pleasant alfalfa like green taste with a hint of depth and a touch of astringency and a hint of orchid and melon smell/taste on the finish. Very pleasant to my taste for a young sheng. I look forward to watching its development.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 185 ML

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Had this one last night. It has gotten a little darker than some of the others I have this age. It starts off with a light golden brew. It has a faint vegetal aroma. It give a good mouth feel with a slight bitter edge in there. A touch of smoke up front that disappears giving an effect you can feel way down. It is not an overpowering brew but a rather nice light one. I brewed this in advance of the arctic front heading our way as I will have this after work tonight to warm up with.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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This one is good. This tuocha haven’t this battletaste of young Xiaguan tuochas, because it was produced in 2005. But it have a nice dark color of infusion and deep and rich shu notes in a taste.

Steep it for a 30 seconds first time.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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not as great as the iron cakes i have had lately, but fun enough :) !

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I got a ’97 version of this which is superb

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This tea is made my yesterdays’ evening.
With strong aroma and well known Xiaguan taste, it bring the power to me every time I drink it.

Just don’t forget to grab the tea leaves from the water at right time :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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This is my description on the tea’s page, because I did not find nothing on the official site, so I will repeat…

This tea was first released in a second half of 2007 after the Pu-erh market crash, and it is loosely based on Jia Ji Tuocha. “Yan Yuan” means something like a “strong and fine predestination” while “Lu”, like I know, means that the tea is “green” or something like this.

The tea have refreshing and strong flavor. Just opened bag of five tuochas have a strong flavor of fresh mowed grass and then it turns into a strong nice smell of prunes.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I got this tea at a grocery store in Chinatown for only a few dollars. I was told that elderly people like it, but I had no idea that it was pu-erh. It was hard as rock and sat forever in my cupboard, having eluded all my efforts to break it apart. One day, I decided to deal with it once and for all. I took it into the basement and struck it variously with a hammer and an axe. Chunks bounced off the walls. I reduced it to manageable pieces that I collected in a jar without losing too much. I began to drink it assiduously. It turned out to have a rich body and a good flavour, rather earthy in character, but in no manner musty. It suffers only in its impossible packaging, for which I docked 5 points.

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The smokey tobacco Xia Guan flavor fades pretty fast in this one!! It is almost not there.

I think mine was stored somewhere humid for most of the tuo’s life, because the change is pretty big, it tastes older than 2005. The vendor I purchased from said it was in Guangzhou for several years, which makes sense.

Nice tea!

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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My morning cup. This is a wild child. A gnarly cup. Some of these younger Sheng are just that way. Maybe with age it will mellow. I like it this time. The first experience with this was mediocre at best. This brewing is totally different. Just like before it brews up strong after a quick steeping. The energy is there like before. Very invigorating. But for some reason it is growing on me. A very eye-opening flavorful cup of youthful Sheng. I absolutely must up the score.

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