Bought this tea from Fengyuan out of curiosity. While overall I enjoyed the tea session there were some off points although no traditional off tastes. There was the strong taste of what is almost certainly wet storage. It is a flavor I have often seen described as wet wood. I have always found it in teas wet stored for a long period of time. The 1990s Hong Kong stored from White2Tea has a similar wet storage taste to this one. The wet wood taste was very strong in the initial steep. I did start to dissipate as soon as the second steep but was strong until around the fourth steep. Once this flavor substantially dissipated a sweet flavor emerged from behind it. There is a part of me that likes this tea and a part of me that doesn’t. As to the real questions about this tea, is it really from 1998? Is it a real Xiaguan. there is no trace of fermentation flavor to this tea so I tend to believe its age. As to is it real. I have to admit it had some of the hallmarks of a fake. The only thing saying it is an Xiaguan production is Fengyuan Tea Shop on EBay. It came without a wrapper, just wrapped in plastic. If it is a fake it is probably an old fake and a decent one. It’s not a bad tea at all once you get past the wet wood taste. I do not know if Xiaguan had productions that came without a wrapper or if the wrappers for this tea could have been so badly damaged that they were removed. I want to give Fengyuan the benefit of the doubt but don’t know if I can. The basic fact is that the nature of this tea’s true origins is a question I cannot answer. If anyone has checked out Fengyuan Tea Shop on EBay they sell a lot of old teas at suspiciously low prices. If I had bought this from Berylleb I would not be doubting it’s authenticity.
I steeped this eight times in a 180ml teapot with 11g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. Judging by the strength of the tea in the eighth steep I would say this had somewhere between four and eight more steeps in it had I wanted to continue but I was at my caffeine limit. I would recommend this tea to anyone who is a fan of the wet storage taste, you may really like it.
Flavors: Wet Wood