If you are an Yiwu fanatic chances are you will eventually encounter the teas sourced by Philip Lee. He provides amazing products at a reasonable cost. His Chawangshu gushu was easily the best 2019 tea I drank. Regarding this tea, it’s a Guangzhou stored Yiwu blend and at $.60g is among his more affordable semi aged teas. When I first sampled this tea back in the spring it didn’t make an impression one way or another. It tasted generically like a clean dry stored adolescent sheng of no particular distinction…a few months in the crock has made a world of difference. Yesterday I needed a quick afternoon steep and this was the first thing I grabbed. Less than excited I smelled the wet leaves and was greeted by notes of basswood honey, dried porcinis and decaying leaves and wood. Just the thing for a dismal November day right? The flavors almost perfectly mimic the aromas in early steeps while in later steeps sweet oily thickness takes over. This stuff really coats the throat and has a lingering sweetness. The dry storage has allowed some floral top notes to remain while allowing some earthy aged flavors to emerge. Sadly I’m not getting much in the way of plums but perhaps this is a few years off. The qi is of the gentle tingling relaxing variety and starts in the chest and oddly spread next to my kneecaps. This tea definitely punches above it’s weight. I’m considering caking this but already have a fair amount of semi aged and fully Yiwu. I have little doubt that in 10 years this stuff will rival most 20 year Yiwu available today. If you want some solid semi aged old arbor Yiwu that won’t require a second mortgage this tea is definitely one to try… and his 2005 huang pian runs rings around any other hp I’ve tried so you should sample it too.

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I’ve been a huge fan of all manner of black tea since the early 90s particularly second flush Darjeeling, Fujian, Yunnan and Assam teas but last winter fell headfirst into the sheng world and the rest is history…


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