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2004 Xia Guan Jia Ji (Grade I) Tuo Sheng 100g

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Not available
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Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Xia Guan Tuo, is the legend of “people’s” puerh. By people’s, I mean, it is one of the least expensive yet excellent puerh. (I should also mention many people don’t believe Tuo Cha should be put in...” Read full tasting note
    gingko 42 tasting notes
  • “The first two times I drank this, I did not like it at all. Nothing particular that I could put my finger on, just an overall "not for me" feeling. I am new to pu-erh an. The rest of the sample...” Read full tasting note
    79
    ssajami 137 tasting notes
  • “Smokey like a Lapsang and bitter, very bitter. Kind of like hot scotch. There is an aftertaste of sour prunes and dandelion that is not entirely unpleasant. I am only now becoming acquainted...” Read full tasting note
    50
    robc22 144 tasting notes

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3 Tasting Notes

Xia Guan Tuo, is the legend of “people’s” puerh. By people’s, I mean, it is one of the least expensive yet excellent puerh. (I should also mention many people don’t believe Tuo Cha should be put in Puerh category, although most people do call Tuo Cha puerh. Nomenclature of tea is a jungle, so let’s not get there!)

I am very glad to have obtained this 2004 Xia Guan Tuo, because in my eyes, new Xia Guan Tuo is simply undrinkable. It’s one of the excellent teas, but it’s undrinkable when it’s new. At least I can’t bear with the smokiness, astringency and possible bitterness in its new tea. Then, time changes it. A 5-year-old Xia Guan Tuo is still relatively in expensive, but now it is very enjoyable and still very strong.

The dry tea has a nice smoky aroma. It smells almost a little like Lapsang Souchong, smoky and plumy. The tea block is much easier to break than new Tuo, (many people say, new Xia Guan Tuo is such a hard rock and can serve as a weapon!) I used a 130ml teapot, and dry tea leaves about the same size as one and half Triscuit. The first infusions were about 15sec each. The tea is very strong. It is lightly smoky, in a pleasant way. There is very prominent prune aroma. After several years of storage, the smokiness, astringency and bitterness of this tea have mostly faded. There are still hints of astringency and bitterness. I enjoy them at this level. They hit the tongue but don’t stick to the tongue. Very often, astringency and bitterness are what cause the sweet aftertaste several seconds later. Besides sweetness, the aftertaste of this tea also contains some fruity aroma. To me, the sip of tea provides the source of energy that hits your throat solidly. And the aftertaste is the fun part of this tea to enjoy.

A dozen infusions down the road, the tea becomes much weaker, but still stronger than initial infusions of many other teas.

I always believe tea is a luxury of time, but not necessarily a luxury of money. Puerh, especially Xia Guan Tuo, is an excellent demonstration. Five new Xia Guan Tuos of 5×100g are less than $5 in Chinese market. Since puerh tea is deadly heavy, shipping from China costs more than the tea. But still, it’s possible to get them with less than $30. If you keep them for some years, these inexpensive Tuos will become miracles! Current price of 1980s Xia Guan Tuo is many times of 2009 Xia Guan Tuo price, because Xia Guan Tuo is one of the teas with best potential of quality improvement over years. However, how many people are willing to, and able to keep some Xia Guan Tuo for 20 years? There are barely any difficult technical details involved. The most challenging part is the 20 years of time. The very fact of keeping some tea for 20 years in your primary living unit (hot attic and wet basement won’t work) means it has to be one of the priorities in your life.

Should I, and can I stock up some of this tea and keep it for another 5 years or 15 years? I don’t know. But I am very much tempted.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Interesting and informative tealog. I will be passing it on to a friend who likes Puerhs. I say go for it by the way. Buy a couple of cakes? bricks? each year and store them, like wine, until they reach a good drinkable age. You could even save a cake/brick from a given year longer and see how it compares to itself as it ages. I don’t know much about puerh but it sounds like a fun experiment for someone who enjoys it.

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

Thanks for your kind comments, Chrine. I guess I will keep at least 5 of this Tuo. Then I feel I would really love to have more. I like collecting things and my friend already call me a snail :-p I am afraid if such pattern applies to puerh, my house will become a disaster :-p

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

A tea-filled house is probably not the worst thing to have. =) But, you are probably right, not to become a tea disaster.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Lovely nest and wrapper. Tea is such a beautiful thing.

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79
137 tasting notes

The first two times I drank this, I did not like it at all. Nothing particular that I could put my finger on, just an overall “not for me” feeling. I am new to pu-erh an. The rest of the sample sat in my cupboard for about 6 months, until recently I decided to give it one more chance.

The firs two infusions were, again, not to my taste (yes, I rinsed the leaves twice). I either put too much leaf, or else I am doing something else wrong with this tea. It was way to strong, too astringent. (both were 15 sec infusions)

HOWEVER, I somehow pushed through to the third infusion and bam! the tea became something else altogether. It’s fresh and energizing. I can’t stop drinking. I am on my seventh or eight infusion and it just gets better. I’m not good with the flavor descriptions, but this tea is good!

Now I’m still wondering what it is that i did wrong with the first 2 infusions. Anyone?
But I am sure going to be ordering some more of this. And I am going to increase my previous rating.

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

Maybe you just need to rinse the leaves 4 times! lol (I’m not a pu-erh drinker though)

ssajami

Yeah, that’s a great idea. I’ll call the first two infusions “rinses” then I won’t feel wasteful dumping them :)

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50
144 tasting notes

Smokey like a Lapsang and bitter, very bitter. Kind of like hot scotch. There is an aftertaste of sour prunes and dandelion that is not entirely unpleasant.

I am only now becoming acquainted with the world of puerh. A strange place . . .

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