I’ve got and love the 2006 version of this. So I’m comparing the age really at this point. I purchased these from King Tea Mall and they appear to be fairly ‘dry stored’.
Still pretty raw and bitter, this doesn’t have the ‘baked goods’ flavours present in the older cakes. I haven’t let this ‘air out’ either. I just couldn’t resist chipping off a chunk to brew up.
The compression isn’t rock hard, but it’s tight and you can see some nice silver haired buds present throughout the cake. No green remains.
I’m steeping it today in a little 90ml porcelain gaiwan and I used 4.5g of leaves. Boiling spring water with a quick 5-sec rinse.
The initial steepings are mild grassy and floral. The scent from the lid is strongly one of honey or honeysuckle flowers. The leaf smell is musty and sweet but without any fermentation whiff. Very clean.
Somewhat typical XG flavours are exhibited, but it is initially mildly sweet, hay-grassy and floral. After steep 4 it starts turning more sour and leathery and is very reminiscent of stuffed vine leaves with the mild and pleasant astringency of olive stones.
These later leaf smells remind me of stables and a wet spring day.
The vine-leaf and olives would lend themselves well to a good Mediterranean meal.
The body on this isn’t thick at all but is smooth and the broth is clear and a glowing orange/amber.
I’ll stick to drinking my way through my 2006 stack (for a few years). But this is a favourite ‘daily drinker’ class from XiaGuan and I’m happy that I have a stack ageing. If you like the more savoury and bitter notes this would be a winner.
4 out of 5 for me.
Flavors: Hay, Honeysuckle, Leather, Olives, Vineyards