11 June 2008

2006 Tongxing Hao Yiwu Gu Cha (Best of Puerhshop)

This is an offering included in the "Best of Puerhshop" tasting kit. Just an FYI, the tasting kit promotion ends June 30. Luckily, though, this and many other tea samples are still available separately.

2006 Tongxing Hao Yiwu Gu Cha - dry leaf

The dry leaves come apart easily; it was loosely compressed or has become so with 2 years of age. I notice this is the case with stemmy cakes like this one. They tend to fall apart with little pressure.

After a quick initial wash, poured over my pot as a thank you, I commenced a second tasting of this tea. I already tried it twice at work, and wanted to give it more attention.The wet leaves smell like dried out fallen leaves with some back notes of fruitiness.

2006 Tongxing Hao Yiwu Gu Cha - brewThis Tongxing Hao has a few characteristics worth mentioning. First, it has a wonderful smooth, round, silky texture, similar to great soy milk. Second, aside from its light fruitiness (which borders on oolongishness in middle infusions), it has a distinct creamy/milky flavor that reminds me of Vietnamese leaf after wet storage. Third, like the "truly wild" cakes, this tea also tasted sour at the finish, mostly as the tea cooled.

There is some old tree material in here, though I don't know how much; the wet leaves are uniform, showing no visual evidence of blending. The brew never became bitter, and like good old Yiwu tea, it caused a lot of saliva production and could be felt in the throat. A fleeting mintiness appeared at the tip of the tongue and disappeared as quickly.

All in all, at its current price of $17.50/cake, it could be a good buy. It's sweet enough to drink now, but has the "feel" of a tea that could possibly age well, assuming things like throatiness, salivary activation, mintiness, and aftertaste are markers of such things.

2006 Tongxing Hao Yiwu Gu Cha - spent leaf

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