Xiaguan Tea Factory (Yunnan Sourcing)Edit Company
Popular Teas from Xiaguan Tea Factory (Yunnan Sourcing)See All 7 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Yunnan Sourcing says this shou has notes of whiskey, smoke, and peat, but in the first few steeps I get what I can only describe as the smell of an abandoned warehouse full of lumber or disused whiskey casks. It’s old, decaying wood, but it’s not earthy and organic, like a fallen tree on the forest floor; it’s more musty than that. Takes me back to my urban-exploration days, of all things, when a friend and I would find ourselves exploring PA’s odd little ghost towns, poking into the stale interiors of forgotten houses weakened by summer rain and sun.
Not sure whether that note comes from the fermentation or storage, but it’s not something I’ve experienced yet in a shou. Tasting it, I do notice some old smoke, along with a faint sour cherry note. The wood and smoke linger through most of the session, but start to diminish about halfway through and reveal a thin stevia-like sweetness in the middle. By the end, this puerh’s distinctive flavors have faded into a more “generic” shou profile. The body remains pretty thick throughout — I’ll be honest, the combination of viscosity plus the wood/smoke flavors was a bit off-putting at first, but it’s starting to grow on me.
My experience with shou is still limited, but this one stands apart from other, more typical examples, like Xiaguan’s own Xiao Fa tuocha. A learning experience for me — and an unexpected bit of nostalgia.
Flavors: Cherry, Decayed wood, Smoke, Sour, Sweet
I have had the tea twice now and this sheng is fantastic. It is 3 years old and smooth and sweet and will only get better. The compression is typical of xiaguan but none of initial smokiness remains. The taste is smooth and sweet with a ton of lasting feeling that extends deep into the throat and lingers in the back of the mouth. The color of the cake is quite dark for a sheng of only 3 years and it has mellowed quite a bit. The material has quite a few full leaves of roughly 1 inch in size. As I type this I’m on my 8th infusion and I have not had any issue with astringency or bitterness. Smooth as silk even with longer steep times if I get distracted. For a factory cake this thing is awesome.
Flavors: Stonefruits, Tea
Having a bit more success as I fiddle around with ratios. Tried using ~10g, but with my 100mL gaiwan, the leaves just didn’t have enough room and it was nasty. The best seems to be about 7g. Get some odd flavors off of it…kinda reminding me of leather, and some light smokiness. I don’t find the texture particularly enjoyable, as it leans more towards chalkiness. Some very brief sweet notes, only in the early steeps. Not awful, but a cheap tea which tastes like one. Oh, it was pretty nasty grandpa style too…smelled/tasted unfortunately a bit like woody sewage :/
Flavors: Leather, Smoke, Sweet, Wood
This is a tasty ripe cake with a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. For those with an aversion to fermentation flavor it was initially somewhat unpleasant even if I wouldn’t say fishy. It was sweet with little bitterness to it. The Yunnan Sourcing description says notes of Whisky/Smoke/Peat. That was not my initial interpretation of this tea but I think it is an alternate description of the notes. This is not really a chocolaty shou. It did develop a nice sweetness in later steeps and was dark and rich in the initial infusions. This was a very strong tea. It was quite enjoyable in the end and the price was right at only $25.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10g 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, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. Judging by the color of the tenth steep I’d say I could get four or five more steeps out of this if I had a desire for that much caffeine.
This is a very tasty ripe puerh that despite being a 2005 tea has not fully cleared. There was a fair amount of fermentation flavor left, especially in the first four steeps. Later steeps were free of fermentation flavor. There was however not funk to this tea, just some basic fermentation flavor. There was a lot of natural sweetness to this tea and very little bitterness. I didn’t find any chocolate notes but could have simply missed them. There was also no smoke to this tea despite being an Xiaguan production. I did find some fruity flavors in later steeps. At $17 for a tuo the price on this is decent. It is not overpriced by any margin.
I steeped this eight times in a 180ml teapot with 12.1g 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. Had I wanted to continue I’m sure I could have gotten another four or five steeps out of this tea.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Sweet