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.
2008 Xiaguan "Golden 8100"
This is a new Xiaguan recipe for 2007. The first release of the 8100 recipe was in 2007 in the form a 250 gram round box tuo. This 2008 cake is composed of blended Pu-erh from spring 2006 and 2007. It is blended in a typical Xiaguan style so the brewed flavor is well-balanced. The “cha qi” is heavy, and there is a sweet after-taste. The brewed liquor is clear and dark gold in color. One of the better Xiaguan cakes released in the last 2 years.