Xiaguan Tuocha Co. Ltd.

Recent Tasting Notes

92

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. :)

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

Steepster friends are the best!

Sarsonator

They are! I love this place!!!!

Cheri

I love Steepster friends. :)

Sarsonator

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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85

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.

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

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84

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

gmathis

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.

Stephanie

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!

DigniTea

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.

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

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85

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.

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

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70

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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87

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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74

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I got a ’97 version of this which is superb

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94

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 :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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94

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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65

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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74

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!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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86

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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86

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….

Stephanie

As always, a lovely, inspiring note! I wish I could feel the “trancendence” and energy that you feel when drinking these beautiful shengs and shus.

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80

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….

TeaBrat

that sounds like fun. where did you get this one?

Charles Thomas Draper

I just installed a Pur Water filter on my faucet. A definite improvement to the taste of my water. My tea will thank me….

TeaBrat

I use tap water but our water in san francisco is already pretty good.

Charles Thomas Draper

Our water is very good here too. Now it’s even better

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80

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….

TeaBrat

Very true. Shengs i find hard to describe

Charles Thomas Draper

I just ordered 5 samplers of Sheng from Jas E Tea for further investigation….

TeaBrat

sounds like fun!

Charles Thomas Draper

After Drinking the cold tea this morning I have to up the score….

ScottTeaMan

Dammit…I missed the full moon…and the tea drinking experience! :>//

Grace

Where did you buy yours?

Grace

Do you know where it was stored before they got it? Are they storing in the USA? I just got one stored in Guangzhou recently, it tastes much different than the others I have tried

Charles Thomas Draper

Grace I am assuming it was stored here in the USA. I would think that different storage locales would affect the quality.

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95

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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95

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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85

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…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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49

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.

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