not as great as the iron cakes i have had lately, but fun enough :) !
Xiaguan Tuocha Co. Ltd.
Popular Teas from Xiaguan Tuocha Co. Ltd.See All 18
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.
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.
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.
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.
I brewed this tonight to continue my sampling of the Mysterious Sheng. I see the previous reviewer hated it. The reviewer in JAS e tea loved it. After drinking the first cup the aroma that lingered in the cup was a lovely mossy pine forest scent that I find to be very nice. However I am not getting these in the flavor. It is giving me that energy that I have got from most of the Sheng that I have had. It steeps quickly and will get strong. I would have to say I am in the middle here. I love the energy it has given me. No doubt. Truly a lovely awakening. As I continue my adventure, I can only say it is a decent brew. Nothing more and nothing less. I am not flying high in the friendly sky with this one….
I gave this one a bit more time in the Yixing with extra leaf today. The result is a more flavorful cup. It is also going to my head quickly. That floaty feeling is for real. These Tuocha are relatively inexpensive. I think this one is a great bargain. My liquor is a burnt orange-red with a slight numbing. I will admit I am getting quite warm from this one as opposed to the chills I got from last nights tasting. I recommend this young Sheng for now and for further aging….
It’s late here on the Jersey Coast and the full moon is making everything shine. I am going to brew up the Yixing several times and fill up a glass jug and then leave it outside in the 35 degree cold. This is my attempt at Moonshine Sheng. The brew is a golden burnt orange hue. As I was making my tea I noticed it had the most wonderful aroma. And for whatever reason I still cannot determine a flavor to compare a Sheng to. They are so unique and in a class of their own. This tea promises a " floaty feeling ". I have’nt drank much but between the full moon and this delightful tea, I am floating….
I believe I like this tea better this time around in fact significantly so. The tea fills the mouth with incredible flavors, still with young sheng qualities and still the green banana flavor. Wet leaves have a distinct smokey smell and I cannot describe the intensity of flavor this. Incredible really. After an infusion the flavor last and lasts. Taking a sip of cold water only accentuates the experience. This is everything I’ve found that a young sheng should be.
I am a big fan of Xinguan tea factory products and this tea is no different. Since this tea is only 3 years old it still has a young sheng qualities to it, astringency but less so than other younger sheng. After the initial rinse and steep I got the distinct aroma of jasmine flower in the yixing from the. the flavor of the tea for the first couple of infusions was indeed floral in nature, with a hint of asparagus. The third infusion surprised me to get a taste of banana, not a sweet ripe banana, or a starchy green plantain, but a banana that will ripen in a day or two. Truly fascinating how that essence came out of nowhere.
I actually didn’t buy this tea from Yunnan Sourcing but from an Asian Grocery. I cannot say enough good about this tea. When I first tasted it I immediately was touched by the flavor of cherry not entirely unlike how a cherry pipe tobacco smells. I brew this tea often in an office setting and every time I do someone always comments about how it smells like cherry pipe tobacco. But the pipe tobacoo taste only lasts through the first couple of infusions. Subsequent infusions the taste changes to a roasted cashew flavor. I can get close to 20 infusions from 7 grams in a 120 ml yixing. Also this tea consistently gives m the feeling of being tea drunk… likely one of the best shus I’ve had…
My original tasting of this tea was apparently good enough to convince me that I should buy a bing, especially since it was a very reasonable price. Revisiting the last of the sample, I now look at this tea with a bit more skeptical eye and treat it more like the factory material it is.
How did I miss the insane smokiness of this sample the last time around? The first rinse of this tea explodes campfire, smoked pine, and incense all over the place. Bacony. As the well-chopped leaves agonize, it’s apparent that this is an even blend of three kinds of leaves: ruddied stems and medium sized leaves, dark green larger leaves, and paler small buds. Mostly red stuff though, as this tea pours out a dark orange. Accordingly, there’s a flatness and lack of bitterness throughout this tea.
On the other hand, however, this tea is a wild mangy beast. At a distance, the wet leaves smell like the funkiest french cheese you can encounter (think Époisses). Closer up the pine smoke intensifies and the finally, in the mouth it really pulls through on the mushroom, sesame, and herbal qualities. I think this tea demands using a large quality of leaf. Finally, it has some headache inducing potency, unfortunately. It will be very interesting to see where this tea heads in the next 5-10 years and how I think differently of it then.
Cleaning out the sample closet, I polished off this example recently. My opinion of this tea has declined even further. The interior of the cake is really rough and finely chopped. The first few steeps are cloudy! A touch sour, with a bit of ash, and some aged mesquite bark. A yellow color, thankfully, but heavy on the forward and back bitterness. The more pu’er I drink, the less interested I become in these heavily cut, strongly processed big factory names.
In search of a sheng pu’er to drink at work this morning, I combed through my catalogue and decided to weed out some of my least favorite lingering samples. This was at the bottom and became today’s tea.
I had not remembered how small the leaves were, tiny. I unleashed the remainder of my sample on my larger gaiwan and have now worked through about seven steeps. It isn’t as bad as I remember. It’s not good or great, just not atrocious. Less cigarette butt, less sourness. Still, fairly orange, fairly plain, and fairly ho-hum. It’s got some enjoyable campfire and moss on the frontend of the aroma, but it doesn’t have much complexity to give in the flavor. And while I think I’ve done a better job of brewing this time around, I have no intentions of revisiting this example from Xiaguan.
This may have been one of my least favorite sheng pu-erhs. The iron compression was dense, but easily extractable. Numerous small, dark leaves. My favorite part of this tea was the initial aroma from the first steeping. It had the intensity of warm beeswax, oozing honey and just glowing. A dingy orange soup made for a less inviting experience. Flavors were all over the place, damp moss, rough tobacco (not the elegant, floral pipe or aged wrapper, but maybe wet cigarette or old burnt cigar), and tree bark. The most noticeable sensation was a parching “cooked” bitterness, as if it were blended with some hongcha. The finish was thin, with little viscosity or sweetness. Unbalanced.
As the first tea brewed in my new yixing, this sheng puerh was a wondeful opener. Rather tight build, with small, dense leaves. Opening quickly, it released gentle sweet yellow plum, hot afternoon rain, and camphor. The soup a dense, even clear dark yellow. Further steeps gave a distinct aged and musky golden tobacco, a bit sticky. This tea knows no bitterness. Only intense, wonderful sweetness, despite a rather fine chop. The only downside of this tea is that I thought it gave out a little quickly, becoming a bit thin on the ninth steep. Otherwise, a fresh, juicy cup that is already well-married and will probably age beautifully.
Brewing this tea reminded me that I need to hone my pu-erh skills. The first 5s steep was very juicy, with hints of straw and strong on the pale tobaccos. The 10s, 15s, 20s steeps picked up very brisk dryness across the palate. Not bitter astringency, just parching dryness (I guess a form of astringency). The tobacco held strong. The soup was very orange. I think I need to do a better job of breaking up the cake, letting the boil rest for a breath, and using a bit less tea in my small gaiwan. More steeps over the next two days.
I’m no sheng expert, but this one’s good. Slightly off yellow toward orange, so it definitely has matured a bit in 4 years. It definitely doesn’t have quite the bite of the few younger sheng I’ve drank.
Prepared gongfu style – about 6g of leaf in a 5.75 oz Yixing pot. One 10s rinse and rest, then steeps at around 15s for the first few and gradually increased.
No notes yet.