1980s Xiaguan Zhubao

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Pu'erh Tea
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  • “Dry – cooking herbal blend, Chinese medicine blend. Wet – Woody, Chinese medicinal herbs blend(dry), books, slightly sweet and camphor. Liquor – Orange to red Bronze. 1st 5secs – Slightly sweet,...” Read full tasting note

From Hou De Asian Art & Fine Teas

Production Year: mid 80’s

Manufacturer: Xia Guan Factory

Type: aged uncooked tou

Leaf grade: similar to 7532, with leaf-buds enhanced on the surfaced

Weight: 250g (real weight 230 +/- 5 g)

Description: A famous and well-pursuit 80’s Xia Guan 250g uncooked tou cha. The original pack was wrapped by bamboo with 5 tous in a pack, hence the nickname “Zhu Bao(Bamboo Wrapped) Ching Tou”. We are excited to receive it and share with you.

The surface looks clean and semi-glossy. A sniff of the tou reveals the aged woody aroma. Though such kind of 80’ aged pu-erh hardly can be totally dry-stored, the appearance and the smell indicate it has mostly been stored in a good condition.

The tou is still very tight, and I have to use a little bread knife to take a sample of it. The aroma, to my surprise, has a hint of minty coolness at first and quickly replaced by the woody and floral fragrance. The liquor has a clean amber color, good clarity. I am happy to see the nice transparency of the liquor, which also hints the good storage condition it has been through. The aged feeling is somewhat like late 80’s or early 90’s with more humid storage. But considering how tight the tou is, and the cleanness of its liquor/aroma, I am confident of its mid-80’s vintage.

The taste is soft and vivid, with a healthy fruity acid feeling, and quite lingering and easy aftertaste. The unfurled leaves are soft and lively, which is a happy sign for aging potential.

I’ve found myself enjoy sniffing at it as much as drinking it – just cannot have enough of the beautiful minty coolness from beneath the woody/fruity aroma!

About Hou De Asian Art & Fine Teas View company

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1 Tasting Note

187 tasting notes

Dry – cooking herbal blend, Chinese medicine blend.
Wet – Woody, Chinese medicinal herbs blend(dry), books, slightly sweet and camphor.
Liquor – Orange to red Bronze.

1st 5secs – Slightly sweet, Chinese herbal medicine hints with faint woody notes up front. As it goes down, it slightly resembles a Shou woodiness but not quite like Shou, rather it is herbaceous woody instead of the earthy woody of a shou (licorice root?). The aftertaste is cleaner with a slight sweetness with faint woody notes and some camphor.

2nd 5secs – More Woody/Chinese medicinal/Licorice root and slight brothiness up front. As it washes down, it has a woody-herbal medicinal taste with a slight peppery hint that also wears the slightest hint of sweetness. The aftertaste is cleaner, slightly sweeter with woody notes that resemble Licorice and has camphor (slight spiciness as well), gets a bit sweeter with time.

3rd 7secs – Woody, medicinal herbs blend, herbaceous earthiness and hint of sweet up front. As is washes down, it slightly feels brothy/savory then resembles Licorice root and has a spiciness hint. The taste is more apparent in the throat at this point. The after taste is slightly sweeter with stronger herbaceous-earthy notes and some camphor. There’s more sweetness after a while passes but the medicine taste remains and is stronger.

4th 12secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, herbal-earthiness up front. As it washes down, it has a slight camphor spiciness before the brothy woody character sets in again. The woodiness turns slightly sweeter and has some spiciness. The aftertaste is woody, herbaceous-earthy and slightly sweet; there’s some spiciness in the camphor.

5th 15secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, slight herbal-earthiness and licorice notes up front. As it washes down, it is herbal-earthy with medicinal herbs taste and strong Licorice and slight sweetness. the aftertaste is slightly sweet, herbal-earthiness and camphor.

6th 35secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, herbal-earthiness slightly savory up front. As it washes down, it has a stronger presence in the throat and lingers there; in the mouth the herbal-earthiness and woody medicinal taste lingers through the aftertaste. The aftertaste is slightly sweet and medicinal tasting and very strong and present in the throat.

Final Notes
This tea has very strong cumulative camphor and throat presence. The taste becomes more apparent in the initial sipping of the second steep but the throat presence becomes more obvious at the end of the second steep and grows more apparent from then on. It is very important to allow time between steeps, the taste is great but the real reward becomes after the tea has gone down.

I’m glad I bought this. I’m also glad I bought the sample. I think it’s a really enjoyable experience and learning experience, but I don’t see myself drinking this over and over. It’s great, it just isn’t what I pursue in a Puerh.

I was doing a blend at home with herbs and roots(people coughing around are starting to gain on me). And I stumbled across Licorice root and then Ginseng root (both dry of course). So if you’d like to have a better idea of what I mean when I say ‘Chinese Medicinal herb scent/taste’, think Licorice and Ginseng somehow fused.


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