Not much has been said about this tea and the few reviews I’ve read have been rather lukewarm. These are my thoughts on this tea after consuming about half a cake and I’m having a session whilst writing this. Perhaps I’m off base here but to me this is one of the best performing moderate priced semi aged Yiwuish blends readily available on the western focused market. Many boutique teas from this era like YQH are showing that the light processing that makes them approachable when young can lead to a dull tea when aged. Conversely more heavily processed boutique teas like the BYH from this era may have a huge backbone and resinous quality that enables them to age well but with their dry storage still have another decade or so before they’d be something I’d reach for on a regular basis. I wish some of these teas would be available with traditional HK storage as I think they’d be perfect for consumption now.
Back to this tea. The processing and storage both strike me as moderate resulting in a tea that is great for drinking now. The body and bitterness are medium and there is a good balance of aged bottom notes (incense, tobacco, leather, dates) and original top notes (herbs, floral, tropical fruit in later steeps). These top notes remind me of some YQH I’ve had from the era that were sealed storage for most of their existence. There is also a whiff of cedar and some smaller leaves that make me suspect some Yibang in the blend. The tropical fruit notes remind me of Manzhuan while I’d guess the more herbal notes are indicative of Mansa. Just my speculation.
The stamina, huigan and price are moderate. The qi is a wild card. Sometimes I get very little from the session. Sometimes it knocks my socks off but it is always balanced. One of the interesting things about it is it often qualifies as creeper qi. During many sessions there was a building mild qi throughout the session followed by a huge wave of relaxing qi 20 minutes after the session was over. My dad, who is much less sensitive to qi than I confirmed this after leaving my house and having a huge burst of qi hit him while driving.
This tea is not as amazing as CYH teas from the era but it’s 1/3 the price and to me represents a solid tea of moderate age and price that is ready to drink now.