Sampled this sheng from Hou De, very nice large leaves…from what I’ve read, the larger fatter leaves and juicier thick stems suggest an antique plantation which has been partially recaptured by nature. Initial aroma of dried leaves are somewhat fruity and musty. After a quick rinse, the leaves smelled almost like smoked fish, I was a bit worried by this. But the smokiness dissipated with the first infusion—sweet hay, peach, hazelnut skin. Very smooth and getting good and relaxed off of this one. The second infusion was more of the same. Leaves starting to unfurl more and more. Lots of thick stems and twigs. Very few broken bits. Aroma from the steeped leaves is somewhat horsey and gamey. But tea liquor is beautifully complex and haunting, very smooth and silky. I brewed it 8 or 9 times gong fu style over the course of two days. Could have pushed it 5 more times, probably.
2006 Autumn "Yi Wu Yeh Cha"
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This is one of the top two 2006 Autumn productions (the other is Yi Wu Cha Wang, will post tomorrow) from Chen Guang-Ho Tang. Using hand-harvested and sun-dried autumn “Gu Hwa” leaves from three higher regions of Yi Wu: San Ho She, Yi Bi and Da Chi Shu. Traditional stone-molding gives just right compactness to this cake.
I brewed this tea in two gaiwans, one was just right brewing time, and the other I let it over-brew for longer than 5 minutes. With proper brewing, the liquor showed great clarity and nice light-amber color. Aroma was sweet, floral, mushroom-y fragrance, with an interesting berry-like acid feeling. Taste was surprisingly smooth and solid. Quite penetrating feeling, and gave me a slight tingling on my palate – a very active and energetic tea. With later brewings, the fruity or berry-like feeling became more dominant, nice complexity.
The over-brewed cup was also surprisingly smooth! I could detect little harshness in it. Instead, a heavy impacting feeling encompassed my taste. Still quite drinkable, with very hearty sweetness in after-taste. Impressive!