57 Tasting Notes
I almost wonder if the sample I received which prompted me to buy a cake, is different from the cake I received. I really enjoyed the subtleties of this tea when sampling, but found it lacking when I got a cake. Perhaps I need a few more sessions. It was MUCH greener and raw than a tea of this age should be, although it was fairly brown with oxidation so it looked to be the correct age as claimed. In 2019, this tea is 16 years old, but it drinks more like a 5-8 year old sheng. It was raw on the stomach, not much chaqi, no lingering aftertaste, vegetal flavor, and quite honestly not worth the cost of entry. Perhaps I need to adjust parameters a bit when brewing, but can’t figure out why sample and cake are so different. Based on what I just drank, I would NOT buy a cake of this. Many more teas that are much cheaper, that are much better. Right now this is for sale around $550/500g cake. Makes me wonder if prices are arbitrarily attached to age? This isn’t worth half that price TBH.
I have learned that teas stored as maocha then pressed into a cake lose something vital in the process, and IMHO do not age well. They are not necessarily “bad”, but they are lacking. This cake suffers that same fate. The material seems robust like a lot of larger leaves possibly grade 8, possibly some huangpian, but this cake is lacking. Lacking flavor, mouthfeel, body, and qi. Its just sort of bland. No way else to describe it. I wish GTH would offer samples, and tea after tea, I am let down again and again. At this point I can’t recommend a single tea from GTH, I can’t risk purchasing whole cakes after being constantly let down, and I have not had one yet that I thought was worth the purchase or much less that I would repurchase. My GTH teas are my least drank teas that I only drink here and there when I forget how unimpressive they are.
my favorite YQH, I own many cakes, and keep buying more. Its my daily drinker. Since this tea is a blend, sometimes you get a session that’s a flop, but more often than not I get really good sessions. This tea is complex, sweet yet hits the lower register without being cloying or too rich, lingers for a while, and I never get bored.
This is also the tea I give to anyone who has never had puerh and they are blown away at what tea can be. So its safe to say this is a good tea for both beginner’s and experienced puerh drinkers. It can brew strong, but never gets bitter, just a bit leathery tannic which you can dilute with a bit more hot water. I actually prefer the deeper part of the cake closer to the bing hole, the more compressed part. I think the outer edges are too loose and aged too fast.
This is IMHO Yang’s best production and I’ve tried/own quite a few YQH teas. Yet this is the one I always come back to regardless of price or scarcity. Definitely worth a cake+
To bring out the best in this tea I brew higher leaf/water ratio. Around 7.5g in a 95-110mL teapot.
sampletea seems to be dead, website won’t even load. but this tea can be found elsewhere (although it may have different storage).
This tea reminded me a lot of Hojo’s 2012 lao cha tou shu…same flavor, aroma, everything…except I prefered Hojo’s shu to this aged sheng, everything in Hojo’s tea seemed to be enhanced where this tea was lacking.
what I enjoyed most about this tea was the delicious vanilla aroma when I first put the dried leaves into the warmed teapot
rich and prominent dark ripe fruit, raisins, dates, very clean, no storage aromas/flavors, chi is lacking, no bitterness. the body is the same as regular water…nothing to note here. light aftertaste which was more of an astringent feeling, this tea was overall kind of average and uneventful. it wasn’t bad, just not exciting
very good flavor, decent huigan, aftertaste left me wanting…it fell off pretty early. no qi. except someone mentioned feeling “happy” – I read this review during my session and thought to myself “am I feeling happy?” if I was any happier because of this tea it was most likely placebo, otherwise it wasn’t apparent.
It was VERY easy to drink, chuggable, I couldn’t steep it fast enough to keep up with my drinking. Went down smooth, no throat catch. Not so much oily, just smooth.
decent longevity, around 10 steeps it faded and I didn’t feel like to pushing the session. A little astringent when pushed, but this is a good drinking tea. smooth, thick, goes down easy. Not sure how it will develop, but I’m considering it as a “drink now” tea. Very gentle on stomach too. Just the smoothness, flavor, and drinkability are not enough, without qi or activity I have a hard time justifying price. I’ll need to spend more time to see if it changes my mind. For now, its priced me out of buying a cake, which I regret, since I like it a lot.
WHOA dirt! or is that ‘earth’…Either way, not much sweetness.
95ml F1 shuiping yixing, 6gis not sweet, but totally earthy, nearly dirt. A bit of wet wood, wet leather. The leaves are very brown when dry, but the spent wet leaves still some green to them. Kind of slimy too. This tea got a little astringent/tannic on the palate when pushed, and I can tell this could benefit from both additional aging and some airing out. Storage is definitely present, but not foul.
It started to make me tea drunk so I backed off. But otherwise, not much kuwei or chaqi, and the taste I just couldn’t get past. all-in-all this wasn’t my cup of tea. I just didn’t enjoy it. But if earth is your profile this is a decent tea…but its sold out…so this review is kind of useless and I could say blah blah blah here and it wouldn’t matter anyway. I guess I’ll hang onto the remaining sample as a good reference tea of HK storage.
very densely compressed cake, reminds me of xiaguan iron cakes
multiple sessions in a gaiwan, jian shui, hongni…nothing affected this tea.
Dried leaves had the classic aroma of young sheng, but not necessarily fresh…but its a 2011. strong clean ripe apricot smell.
Liquor was fairly lighter than I expected a 2011 tea to be. It was also fairly cloudy, but mostly from the tiny hairs. I got goosebumps from the first taste, but then this tea kind of faded on me. Liquor is smokey, almost cigarette-like. The ashy/umami smoke was prominent at the beginning, then faded into background mid-session (or was overpowered by the bitter and huigans), then smokiness became present again at end of session. cooling huigan was nice, but no sweetness really, just ash and bitterness.
Mild bitterness, pleasant, not dominating. This tea is not 1-dimensional, its just not complex in a way I enjoy. I’m really confused if this will ever develop sweetness, the smokiness and bitterness overwhelm the flavors and chi seems to be very weak if even existent. I think this sample needs some time, like decades. But given the lack of ‘activity’, even though its cheap ($35/200g), I don’t think I want to sit on it for half my life.
I’ve been sitting on this sample for nearly two years…pulling out from the depths of my stash
-wodui aroma, no wodui in flavor
-clean, no fishy
-chocolate, rich, full flavor, creamy cocoa
-no bitter, very smooth
-enjoyable, but not earth shattering
-chaqi is negligible but this was a relaxing session
-lingering smooth aftertaste, more feeling than taste
-decently priced at $46/357g, if I remember I’ll get a cake next order, if I forget, its not something I’ll miss. its worth getting a sample if you like shu