Yang Qing HaoEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Gongfu Sipdown (1597)!
Thank you Togo for the sample!
Though I debated saving this aged sheng for a more special occasion, my fondness of Yiwu and curiosity clearly got the best of me! It’s no where close to brewed out yet, so I’ll have to come back to it later tonight. However these first few steeps were so sweet and captivating and the absence of astringency was notable! The rich syrupy notes of pomelo and lemon practically dominate these infusions but find balance with the slight green edge, woodier undertones and soft notes of spices and camphor in the finish. I’m excited to see what the rest of the session will hold, and also somewhat scared to see how much a full cake of this might cost – tempting as it is to check!
EDIT I did end up finishing the session during a live stream with The Rabbit of Tea on IG and it was incredible! Shifted a bit away from being more fruity and instead leaned more into the smoky/spiced and camphorous realm with that same woodiness. Still tasted somewhat of sweet pomelo throughout, though!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CY9310DOdLN/
2007 Yang Qing Hao Huangshan Lingya
6.1g, 80 mL shuiping, Poland spring bottled water
Dry leaf has classic sweet mushroomy smell of YQH
Wet leaf has sweet, almost incense-y smoky smell along with the sweet mushroomy note
8s: a mushroomy, slight medicinal sourness with a slight sweet aspect that fades almost immediately. Slight minty cooling on aftertaste that recedes back into a mushroomy note
9s: a lightly woody medicinal bitterness, similar sourness to before, but much less of the mushroom. Something citrus/tang like to it. Leaves tongue dry, but a shifting sour taste to slight sweet aftertaste slightly in throat. Definitely tastes like something my mom would make me drink when I was sick as a kid. Calming drowsiness, slight warmth
9s: crisp woody medicinal taste. Slight bitterness, much lightened from before. Sourness also lightened. Astringent again, leaves tongue and teeth feeling dry. Much lighter aftertaste.
10s: initially an oddly chalky candy like taste a la Smarties. Sweeter overall taste, but retaining general woodiness and slight sour medicinal taste from before. Still drying on the tongue, slight sweet aftertaste. Slight warming. Caffeine is kicking in.
12s: slight dark fruity aspect, generic slight medicinal clean aged sheng taste otherwise. Still astringent
15s: lightly fruity, sort of generic YQH taste. Can’t really pick any notes out. Slight drying
17s: similar. Not really an aftertaste other than slightly dry tongue, but aroma in back of mouth and upper throat
23s: same generic mushroomy, clean crisp YQH taste
37s: a slightly plum note amidst the rest of the slightly bitter YQH slight mushroomy background. Slightly bitter aftertaste
37s: darker taste, slightly drying. Slight sweetness/floral aspect to aftertaste. Can’t quite find the words for it, but I’m enjoying it
40s: gentle sweetened profile. A little drying
1 min: light Chinese herbal medicine taste. Still drying
1 min. 30s: lightly plummy aftertaste, but taste not too interesting, though comforting. Slight warming settling in again
2 min: a medicinal, slightly plummy taste, though light. Slightly drying
3 min.: a light, very slightly plum note
5min.: much lightened. Will move to thermos.
overall: some burps, light warming, relaxing qi. Made me want to nap, but caffeine kept me unable to actually fall asleep. I expected to like this better based on other reviews/tasting notes, but the drying aftertaste of many teas really kept me ambivalent to this one overall, so if this were still for sale from YQH, wouldn’t be one I’d cake
2007 YQH Xishi Shenpin
7.0g, 100 mL gaiwan, boiling, complex syrup water
Dry leaf has a dark mushroomy smell
Wet leaf has taken on a minty herbal hint as well
7s: soft and minty, with a brothy aspect. Slight sweet aftertaste.
9s: wet leaf has a slight incense like aspect. Muted bitter taste. Slight warming, relaxing
15s: still a muted woody base. Similar slight warming and relaxing. Slight sweet, crisp aftertaste
23s: slight medicinal bitter with a mushroom hint. Sweet aftertaste, slight numbing in mouth, slight warming mostly in back and back of neck. Slightly drowsy
32s: medicinal bitterness. Slight sweet aftertaste. Relaxation and warming
20s: soft and rounded woody taste, with a slight sour medicinal note. Slight sweet aftertaste.
30s: comforting medicinal profile. Slight sweet aftertaste but fades almost immediately
45s: a sour, slightly bitter medicinal
30s: a bittersweet mushroom
1 min: slight bitter, herbal, medicinal
2 min: much stronger bitter than before. A coating bitterness lingers in aftertaste. Slight warming.
2 min.: bitter mostly receded. A sort of hollowed mushroomy taste. Slight warming.
3 min: slightly bittersweet.
5 min: not too much taste
20 min.: a tart, almost bitter and bright fruity. Will thermos the remainder.
Overall: burping throughout. This particular qi made me feel too tired to complete work but also too caffeinated to fall asleep. Thus, this was probably the wrong tea to have when I was supposed to be diligently preparing for exams, leading to overall none too pleasant connotations when I struggled on my primary midterm this morning. Shh, let me scapegoat this tea in peace. Was interesting to try, but didn’t quite command the current $/g ($2/g) for me. The cake price is especially hard to argue for when you can get similarly interesting offerings from Yang for half the price or lower (though apparently YQH has had erratic price shifts somewhat recently). I’m not sure if I would’ve caked prior to price increase, but I certainly would not with the current pricing.
2006 YQH Tianpin
7.1g, 100 mL gaiwan, 212f, complex syrup water
Dry leaf has a dark aged herbal mushroomy smell
Wet leaf smells of slight mint and dark fruity notes
8s: tart, fruity aspect, and a slight brothy aspect with slight medicinal bitterness. Heating and relaxing. Sweet light fruity juicy (almost pineapple like) aftertaste.
10s: more medicinal bitter with sweet aftertaste. Slight cooling in mouth.
12s: a spiced medicinal. Slight drying. Sweet aftertaste that moves slightly to throat.
18s: lighter than before, with a slight mint edged sweet aftertaste
45s: darker and stronger. Astringent. But overall nice. Seems like this might need to be pushed on steep timing either from the tea or the water (TDS was 75 when measured)
1 min.: general herbal medicinal profile. Complex syrup water probably at play, but light sweet aftertaste is lasting and pleasant.
1 min.: general aged mushroomy herbal taste
2 min.: stronger bitterness, slight astringency and itchy throat
3 min.: something like a stray cherry skin note amidst water. Not much taste otherwise.
5 min.: soft woody base. Will thermos remainder
Overall: seemed to be lacking in much qi for me. Not the most exciting tea to begin with, and a rather poor value proposition when $/g ($1.60 at time of writing) is taken into consideration.
2007 YQH Jin cha
7.1g, Brita filtered tap, 212f, 100 mL gaiwan
dry leaf: dark herbal, slight mustiness
1x 10s rinse
wet leaf: barest hint of smoke, aged sheng dried fruits
5s: stronger smoke and woody aroma in wet leaf. bitter initially with hint of mushroom. Bitter in that medicinal sort of way. Aftertaste is crisp and floral immediately, almost perfumey, before shifting to something seemingly like either mint or kale (in that dry leafy green sort of way)
7s: very strong bitterness vs. previous cup, leaving tongue slightly dry before floral aspect moves in and quickly shifts to an arugula/kale like edge. the floral edge is really quite pleasant. I can’t stand the later steeps of oolongs that start to obtain the soapy florals, but this is that intense floral without the soapiness. aftertaste is concentrated in the front of mouth, but slight in throat/back of mouth. If you’ve smelled Diptyque’s Do Son before, this floral reminds me of that in some way lol.
9s: more subdued bitterness. upfront taste is lighter. Aftertaste is lacking. Not much in the way of florals, only a light mint/vegetal edge that quickly disappears. Nothing lingers like before.
12s: Bitterness w/ just a slight sweet edge, almost a honeyed floral. Slight floral reappears, and disappears almost as quick in aftertaste. mouth drying is rather disappointing and unpleasant when not accompanied by the previous burst of florals.
23s: a mellowed honey before a light bitterness appears and disappears almost immediately. I can’t remember ever having a tea that went from 100 to 0 so quickly
30s: same as before, but even lighter
40s: same as before, but less honey, more bitter
1 min: the same boring light sweet w/ barest hint of bitter. I’m sure there’s more interesting bagged tea out there. Capping this session for the thermos, and probably won’t update. I wouldn’t bet on this becoming anything interesting.
overall, a couple burps. No real qi to speak of, which I thought might’ve been due to water, but same as AllanK’s review below seems to confirm that. I had this on an empty stomach, and I’m shaking as I’m typing this, so the caffeine is definitely there.
I know this is basically the cheapest tea in Yang’s lineup, but wow is this disappointing overall. I’ve never been so impressed by something as early as steep 2 (post-rinse) to being as disappointed by the remainder. AllanK’s review seems to suggest longevity, but I might as well have stopped by steep 3 from this session. This was a single session purchase for me, and I doubt I’ll order more. I suspect this might lend itself to grandpa style brewing better, so it’s more consistent overall. Steep 2 was incredibly impressive to me, which is what makes this overall so disappointing. Like the brilliance of fireworks, and then poof, gone. If JHCW felt like a musical composition, this is a magic trick, and then everything disappears. If this review sounds dramatic, I promise it’s because the tea was too. what in the world?
2006 YQH Blended Brick
212f, mix of Brita filtered tap and Poland Spring, 100 mL gaiwan, 6.0g
dry leaf smells lightly dark and mushroom earthy
1x 5s rinse, which smells almost like a shou. Very clean, but also musty and earthy in that sort of shou way. Something crisp and sweet on the edges. Leaf material is pretty choppy in my single session sample.
5s: aged sheng woody medicinal. Easy drinking and leaves a sweet, crisp aftertaste that fades.
10s: slight bitterness in additional notes from previous cup. some weird and very offputting element that I can’t really describe is present as well. A light sense of the tea lingers in throat and mouth
32s: very pretty burnt amber color. stronger bitter woody medicinals. bitterness slightly lingers.
1 min: dried woody medicinal w pill-like bitterness, same as before. not a strong aftertaste, but generally tea just feels lingering in mouth, which is interesting. slight warming in upper body (back, upper arms, and light sweat on forehead)
1 min 15s: less interesting. Continued woody sticks w tiniest hint of florals and sweet in ending, w the sugared floral like aftertaste that sits in throat.
1 min 30s: bitter woody medicinal again.
2 min: similar
2 min 30s: bitter and less complex than before. drying in throat
3 min: fading a bit. weakened bitterness, emphasizing the darker woodiness
4 min: boring, but if this taste profile with crisp wood and light sweetness in the edges was in a cheap daily drinker, I would tong immediately. easy easy drinking, all the way
5 min: bittersweet water lol
10 min: very light wood, w touch of water.
tossed into thermos, but not expecting anything much. I’ve also realized all my thermos’d teas are starting to taste the same (not in a bad way though… I don’t mind), so I can either figure out how to deep clean the darn thing or just go with it. will not update unless it blows me away for whatever reason
overall: some burps along w warming qi. Taste is nothing memorable, but when it was available for purchase, not too expensive (relative to YQH, that is). Doubt I’d reach for it often if i owned a brick due to taste profile. wish I hadn’t lost my notes for Jinhao Chawang, bc in some parts, this brick gave a similar aftertastes, but much less refined, less sweetness, and stronger bitterness than the JHCW.
This is probably the first aged tea I encountered that can match up against the best examples of young sheng I’ve had. It’s just a shame that it is so expensive. I like the taste, although it really only shines after swallowing with its neverending huigan and a unique, sort of expanding and numbing, mouthfeel. The liquor texture is likewise among the best – slick and full bodied. Cha qi is pretty heavy, but not extremely aggressive. The energy seems to be mostly focused around head and spine.
Shortly after I got this sample, there was a noticeable humid storage aroma reminiscent of dungeons / castles, more so than in the other YQH teas I got. Now, after almost a year in my storage, this note is basically gone though. The aroma is crisp, warming and nutty with notes of milk and incense instead.
The taste is very sweet, woody and tart initially. Texture wise, the liquor is bubbly and smooth. There is a mild camphor sensation as well as some astringency. In the second steep, the flavour profile gets quite heavy with notes cedar wood, celery root, and vegetable broth. Mild bitterness appears in the very thick and full-bodied third infusion. The aftertaste is sugary sweet with a hint of vanilla to it.
There is definitely more to uncover here, the flavours are basic yet unique in some way. For example, for 12th steep I wrote: “woody with a twist of coffee and soil”. If I get another order from YQH and it is still available, I may grab a cake.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Cedar, Celery, Coffee, Earth, Milk, Nutty, Sugar, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetable Broth, Wood
I drank through almost my entire 50g sample before I started to ‘get’ this tea. Maybe it just needed an extended period to acclimatize though. At this point in time, the tea no longer feels like it absolutely needs more aging before one could enjoy it, even though it could definitely benefit from further fermentation. It doesn’t seem to possess a hard-hitting qi, but I actually found it to be pretty defocusing at first and body-warming overall.
The first few times I tried this tea, I found it to have a boring, bitter taste profile with a relatively light body. The latter still holds, but it’s not as problematic given that the mouthfeel is not as one-dimensional as I thought. The liquor is very soft and slick, with a bubbly texture to it that makes it an engaging drink despite the light body.
Another point of note is that, yes, the profile is not very complex, but it’s actually quite pleasant. Vegetal and fruity notes dominate early on, while woody ones take the center of the stage in the second half. Clearly, the bitterness forms the foundation though, and medicinal notes are just about peeking through. Notable flavours include dried dates and orange. The finish is somewhat biting, and the aftertaste throat-cooling with a decent huigan as well.
Finally, let me speak to the aromas a little. In the gaiwan I can detect mushrooms, forest, cream and grilled red peppers. The empty cup scent is pretty interesting too with notes of spiced rum and raisins.
In conclusion, I must adjust my initial impression of the tea. Given the friendly price, this is actually a pretty good semi-aged offering from YQH, especially if it can continue to improve in the years to come.
Flavors: Bell Pepper, Biting, Bitter, Cream, Dates, Dried Fruit, Forest Floor, Grilled Food, Medicinal, Mushrooms, Orange, Raisins, Rum, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood
I bought a blended brick through Emmett, and he was kind enough to send me a free sample of this tea. I brewed the whole sample in my 120ml jianshui pot, and got a fantastic result. Some of the strongest qi I’ve ever felt along with mouthwatering aroma and a robust, thick body. I don’t have the budget for a whole cake of this, so this review is written based only on the experience I had with my sample, not bearing in mind the price.
Flavors: Overripe Cherries, Plum, Raspberry, Wood
This is my second review of a YQH production, the first one being the highly acclaimed Te Ji Pin. Compared to the other YQH teas I’ve seampled this one has the strongest bitterness which is definitely a plus. Other than that, the most notable aspect is the face-melting cha qi.
The aroma is not very strong, but there are hints of vanilla beans, fermented fruits, dry earth, and wood. The woodiness present in all YQH samples I tried is fairly similar, but I am not going to speculate why that is exactly.
First infusion starts with a tart, medicinal liquor that is a little drying and has a distinct buttery taste. Second steep bring more umami, woody, and fruity flavours. Peach and roasted barley are among the most prominent ones. The aftertaste is very sweet and displays a brown sugar flavour.
The texture is decently active and smooth from the get go, but around steep 4 is when it gets really thick and oily. The rest of the session is fairly consistent – this tea definitely brews out over a long period of time.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Earth, Fruity, Medicinal, Peach, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Umami, Vanilla, Wood
This is my second session with this tea. I wanted to give it at least two sessions and compare my notes before I wrote up a report. This tea is outside of my normal purchasing range. One thing I wanted to know was do I have the palate to distinguish between really good tea and OK tea. This one has a wide following as being very good to excellent, so I ordered a sample.
When I smell the dry leaves, it smells nice. I like this scent profile in teas. It is rich and dark and has that dark dried fruit aroma that I find appealing in tea. There is also a little smokiness in the dry leaf aroma.
The wet leaves smell more of younger sheng camphor and the smoke comes forward more. The dark fruits retreat. Smelling the lid after the first rinse is interesting. The lid retains the dark dried fruits smell and a little smokiness, but there is also a very bright and light aroma. Some might call it citrus. It’s like a very sweet lemon/lime. OK, full disclosure, it smells a little like Sprite to me. I’ll never get to join the inner circle of tea aficionados, now. Should have said lemoncello ;-)
First infusion — flash steeped for seconds in a clay shui ping. Liquor is amber. Taste is very sweet with no bitterness. I also get no immediate astringency. There is a bit of a cooling menthol effect. Coats the mouth. My lips feel as if I have lip balm on them.
Second infusion – 6 seconds. Liquor darkens slightly. High pour produces bubbles that last for over 30 seconds. Lid of pot smells of camphor and smoke now with some leather. Wet leaves smell the same. A little bitterness in this infusion. Mouth watering effect. A little astringency. Back of throat feel – slight. In the mouth, tea feels soft and medium thickness. Mouth becomes thicker and stickier after swallowing. Aftertaste lingers slightly bitter.
Third infusion – 8 seconds. Lid smells again of dried dark fruit and light smoke and leather. Leaves less camphor and more smoke. Liquor remains a darker amber. Very slight bitterness this time compared to the second infusion; however, it is more astringent. Menthol cooling effect is pronounced. Sweet but tempered by that slight bitterness. There is a new flavor, but I can’t name it. It is kind of malty but that isn’t quite right. Mouthfeel is still thickening. First two infusions I felt a flush of warmth, but assumed that was simply from drinking the hot tea. Now I’m getting a small amount of feeling in my head like I’ve just awoken from a nap and I’m a little out of it and groggy.
Fourth infusion – flavors and aromas remain unchanged. I’m getting more head feelings.
We pause for a word from our taster — I am using a 70 ml clay pot. I’m drinking alone. That means, I’m drinking almost two shots of tea every infusion. The first one I drink hot, the second has obviously cooled. The second cooler cup often is more flavorful and intense than the first hot cup of each infusion. This also means I’m usually getting lit up faster with a strong tea. Now back to our program…
Fifth infusion (tenth cup - my God!) – smoke is almost gone from wet leaves. Lid has that bright note again. ‘Bout dropped the lid. My fingers are tingling now. Hands feel tight. For the doubters out there, cha qi is a real thing no doubt about it. I’m up to about 15 +/ seconds now. It takes me a couple of seconds to fill the clay pot with my gooseneck pot. The pour takes another 6 seconds. Tea is sweet and smooth and no bitterness present. No astringency on this infusion. Still a little bit of smokiness in this. I was given some samples of Xiaguan recently, and it reminds me of their flavor profile at this stage. This infusion is easy going tea…on the tastebuds, that is. Inside my body, it’s a party.
Sixth infusion — cups 11 and 12. I have to call it here. I’ll continue using these leaves later this evening and see how far I can take it. Taste is getting a little sweeter as one would expect with leather and smoke fading. A little of the young sheng camphor is present again, but it isn’t overpowering. I do not get any hui gan sweetness with this tea. The sweetness is all in the initial taste for me. I do get back of throat sensations and some mouth watering and a thickening coating inside the mouth. I am literally getting somewhat bleary-eyed. Menthol cooling remains strong. Lips feel slightly buzzy like I’ve taken up my trombone and played after not playing for years. You old brass players know what I’m talking about.
My opinion only, but this tea is an all-star in the cha qi category. I’ve been sitting here now for about 10 minutes, and I’m floaty, relaxed, and a wet noodle. If you’re looking for a tea drunk tea, this one will fit the bill. This one also tasted “good.” Most of the young green sheng taste is gone, but not completely. It’s getting there on the aging. But is it worth around $2 a gram? For me, no. I have experienced teas that are similar for far cheaper and that actually had more complexity in the taste. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this tea. It was a nice educational experience.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Dried Fruit, Leather, Smoke, Sweet
In order to learn more about aged sheng, which I know very little about, I joined one split order of YQH teas. One of them is Te Ji Pin, a tea that has had quite some reception in the community. I think I am still learning the best way to brew these teas, but now I might have settled on something that works. Today’s session was the best one I remember with this particular tea.
I find it to have quite a clean and woody taste that is definitely memorable. The qi is great and I also love the smooth, soft, and oily mouthfeel. Still, the price is probably a bit too high. I think I would be able to enjoy and appreciate it much more if I had more of a relation to the tea – which is the reason why I started aging pu’er early on in my tea exploration, even before I would know whether I even like aged tea.
The aroma is hay-like and nutty when dry. After the rinse, I can smell notes of cactus, smoke, pool, soil, fish, and garlic. It is a strong and complex aroma with a vegetal character.
The taste starts off light and creamy, but soon develops some refreshing bitterness and tartness. Second infusion has a strong herbal character like breckland thyme or lemon balm and a finish that reminds me of irn bru a little. Later steeps then show more smooth woodiness, honey sweetness, and a stronger, more rounded taste overall. I find the aftertaste to be really long and heavy throughout the session. It is sweet and spicy with notes such as nuts, cumin seeds, and cinnamon.
The body of the liquor is medium, but extremely soft and smooth. I get a numbing sensation in the mouth at times and the texture remains distinctively oily throughout. As for the qi, it is strong, but not over-powering. I get a warming feeling in the body and a defocusing effect on the mind.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Cream, Earth, Fishy, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Mint, Nuts, Nutty, Smoke, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Thyme, Tobacco, Vegetables, Vegetal, Wood
Full-bodied with an oily, heavy texture and the typical Yang storage character. In the beginning a lot of warm leather, wood and some tobacco (not smoky!) and if you tackle it a little harder also a good amount of bitterness. Compared to the 2007 Huangshan Qizhong a little more discreet in taste and character, but with more intense, relaxing Qi, although by far not as intense as the 2004 Tejipin.
Flavors: Bitter, Leather, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood
This tea is a rather wild blend: Youle, Yiwu, Gedeng, Yibang, Manzhuan, Mangzhi, both spring and autumn material. To the tea: Lots of leather and warm wood, accompanied by a discreet sweetness and with a nice soft heaviness. But the most striking is the typical Yang storage character, which is much more pronounced in this tea than in the 2007 Qizhong and has a slightly sour note at the beginning.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2005-cangliu-yqh
Flavors: Leather, Mint, Sweet, Wood
All in all a rather light tea, which shines through ts typical yang-storage note and a nice camphor note, despite the subsequent pressing fortunately not too “dry” and with a calm, warm character. However, as far as body and Qi are concerned, there is hardly anything that can be tickled out of the tea – with a proper dosage and a longer brewing time one only strengthens the astringency.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/1999-cangmi-yqh
Flavors: Camphor, Leather, Wood
Didn’t weigh this tea, just put in the “right amount” into the teapot. The teapot is ~110ml, yixing (modern, but well made from proper clay).
Used regular tap water (though the tap water is still fairly good here).
Rinsed once to wake up the tea.
My initial reaction to the first steeping was that the tea outshone the otherwise unworthy treatment of tapwater. (And i really should’ve gone get some more spring water instead of being lazy and just drinking it with tap water)
It’s an amazing teenage sheng, got that raw vitalty of a younger sheng but still a maturity to it and definitely the character of a really high quality tea.
Smooth, but with a pleasent astringency to it. Nicely smokey and woody with a camphory sort of character to it, in a way it sort of reminds me of holy wood. It has a bit of huigan
There is also a bit of sweetnes in it that is pleasant, it goes very well with the astringency and slight smokiness, making a very balanced and pleasant complexity. Yet the tea feels rather simple in the nicest of way, it’s just plain nice in a way.
The taste is faitly constant, though it also develops through the steepings, it becomes sweeter and the astringency fade off as expected but at a rather slow rate. The tea keeps on gicing for many steepings and even the sweet water taste lovely of honey with hints of the teas previous glory.
It reminds me of sitting with a friend in a cozy room enjoying the company of very relaxed and down to earth friends. The kind of friends that don’t care too much of the busy life of modern society, but just lives their life in peace and happiness.
I’m not a big fan of all the Sheng hype nor the more commonly available (young) Sheng out there nowdays. But this I can enjoy, it’s nice.
Flavors: Astringent, Camphor, Smoke, Smooth, Wood
Sample from Liquid Proust. Moderate composted leaf litter and dampness on a stone aroma. Initial sweetness and light thickness in the first few steeps, but it doesn’t seem very distinct, maybe a hint of distant smoke, a cursory lick of light acidity. Needs to be pushed and hollows out very quickly. It’s one of the first shengs that tastes a little bit like modern shu, with some of the zookplantoniferous “wo dui” in a few places. Woody is probably the only shining quality here. This is what I think happens when you store mediocre sheng for 13 years and what I fear will become of all my teas in a dry climate, plainly woody and hollow. I feel that perhaps this sample may not have been stored well for some chunk of its life.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Drying, Wood
I was excited to find a sample of this out of the Sheng TTB. I’ve only tried one YQH tea before, and I greatly enjoyed it. This one is quite tasty too! It’s yeasty/funky in a Belgian ale kind of way, pleasantly tart, reminding me of red apples and cranberries. It’s just lightly earthy with a bit of leather and old book smells.
Flavors: Apple, Leather, Red Fruits, Tangy, Yeasty
Deep forests, happily not too dank. A trace of chocolate for the first couple steeps, too. Huigan is fairly mild, but ohhhh I’ve felt dreamy since the second steep or so. Not much of a flavor journey here, but I’m finding the qi strong so who cares – it’s just floaty dreamy forests forever.
Light flavours, with some mint cool feeling in the mouth and some “aged” taste. A fruity reminiscence, but really light. Liquor is clean and not very thick. Maybe I’d have used more leaf, but wanted to split the sample in two sessions. 98ºC/10 sec and increasing till 30s.
I had a feeling that was going to be one of those teas that hits you hard when on the third steep, with some feeling in my sinus, but that sensation disappeared from next steep.
At this point I’m trying to get aquaintance with aged sheng, so my opinion might vary with time.
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 value-wise (bang for the buck $/g) 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+
My only criticism of this tea is that its not blended thoroughly and some sessions are more lively than others, or rather some sessions are more boring than others. I remedied this by breaking the entire cake down and mixing the dry leaves up and putting it into a clay jar.
To bring out the best in this tea I brew higher leaf/water ratio. Around 7.5g in a 95-110mL teapot.
Steaming Aroma: Very nice roasted smokiness but not overdoing plus an exquisite old library scent, cold chestnuts, mineral stony, baked pears and a subtle hint of pineapple & mango! Later stronger herbal medicinal old library woodsy flair which transforms into something more leathery.
Tasting Profile: A bit lighter at the start. Wet Cardboard paper, something slightly steamed milky to it with an echo in the aftertaste of a slightly chocolate hint, nutty tart note of chestnuts, walnuts and a mix of grape seeds and sunflower seeds plus a sugar crane sweetness. A nice fruity mix of pears and peach skin. There is a nice sourly astringency to it which tingles the tongue and animates every tasting buds it can reach. Quite furry mouth feel. Not a total massive puncher generally it really develops its strength within its light compositions and Qi. In many other reviews I read a lot about “many steepings” at least around 12-20. I can’t say I experienced the same! From the start this aged Sheng is quite on the lighter side. In my opinion it is quite a nice Sheng for around 5 to max. 7 steeps but after that there is not much going on anymore! But the aftertaste of chocolate bananas is really outstanding and an experience of its own