Xiaguan (from finepuer.com)

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Recent Tasting Notes

This feels like drinking a relaxing old carpet. No interesting flavor notes whatsoever – if anything, a bit more camphorous and slightly drying than I’d prefer – but I’m fuzzy-cheeked and sleepy and pretty happy even after just the first few steeps.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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…in pre-Cambrian times, teas like this were know to crawl out of the muck and attempt to form new species. This particular specimen had, to its advantage, a rock-hard carapace that could deflect teeth, claws, picks, knives, and in a truly remarkable feat of evolutionary foresight, small arms fire as well.

It hung on to its bitter disposition once making it to dry land, and intruders upon its space were dealt with harshly. Regardless, due to its delicious flesh, it was preyed upon by many and was believed to have gone extinct by January, 2014. (See Emmett et. al.)

Should you find yourself encountering something you believe to be an early to mid 2000s Traditional Characters, you should also keep in mind that various reports have indicated that “this sucker never dies,” thereby rendering a frontal assault generally effective in producing many, many tasty liquors.

Rumors have indicated that there is a reasonably large reward out for specimens of this, should any still exist, but it’s fundamentally unclear who is expected to provide them.

Should our grant come through, we intend to further our knowledge in this field by studying in some detail its evolutionary predecessor, the 2001 Xiaguan recently discovered by one Mr. Wilson of Yunnan Sourcing, in the hopes that a comparison may prove enlightening.

Thank you for attending today’s panel. Were there any questions?




Thank you, I needed some whimsy today.


Nice! I have an 03 Xiaguan, starting to sweeten up. A little.


I love your reviews!

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Xia Guan has extensive experience blending teas over many years. Many know them for their Cranes, Iron Cakes, FTs and Tibet Mushrooms but this Blue Mark is not part of these more familiar series. Although we often think of younger Xia Guan products as carrying too much smoke in their aroma and taste, the mature teas have had time to work through this. Twelve years of aging has allowed this cake to mature into a softer, smoother tea with only the slightest hint of smoke in the scent of the dry leaf and not any to be found in the taste. Built from high grade maocha, there is more than enough in this tea to hold your interest. Good sized leaves with a deep brown color. A proper orange soup that is bright and clear. No sourness or bitterness. Rich, low fruitiness in the first infusion. Over successive infusions, the tea works through a heavy, robust sweetness. There is a nice coating in the back of the throat and a slight honey-like aftertaste. This tea is smooth yet it has depth and a good energy. I’ve spent the weekend with this one and I find it to be a comfortable and comforting tea to enjoy now or later.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

I have a 2003 dry stored Xiaguan iron and this one still has some of the smokiness, but not as bitter as I expected. However, I think the production overall is more of a one-time thing for my cake rather than a recipe. I noticed the Blue Mark on finepuer last week and the price is amazingly low.


I agree your assessment that most if not all the smokiness is gone by that age, Cwyn makes a point that the more drier stored versions hold on a bit to them, I feel like ripes loose it a bit faster over the other notes. W2T’s tea club Xiaguan Tuo also has some aroma of smoke but I have to admit the taste wasn’t smoky, rather it had progressed into other more woody-medicinal notes.

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review based on 10 gram sample divided intow sessions. one yixing, one gaiwan.
Flash infusions for first 6-7 brews.
I enjoyed it more in the gaiwan. strong aroma, somehow coffe like.
Thich, powerfull, impresive leaves.
strong qi/caffeine. Thick tea liquid. clear pectin-type thickness, not the soymilk particlate-matter type thickness.
Excellent tea, simillar to red mark from same order.
Seems like a solid deal at $45 per cake.

Nicely aged at 10 years. Malasia storage rocks.
Toataly clean no storage aroma.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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