Another bag of the package from EoT is here, rejoice! I did, at least. I do not remember why I skipped this small yellow label in my first order, probably the not so keen reviews. Although I prefer quality in tea, I believe that quantity is also important and I thought that the tea is so cheap that even if it is no good, I won't be disappointed.
The aroma of dry leaves is quite clean. I was afraid of wet storage, given the price, but it is all right. It is probably not that obvious from the photo, but there is some green left in the leaves.
The liquor is darker than what I expected (this is the 2nd brew, still lighter than most). What I find to be a pleasant feature is its clarity - when I pour it, it throws sparks as a fiery opal.
The aroma of leaves is nice - already sort of aged, but clean. It is like nuts and the aroma of wet forest - not rotting though.
The taste starts quite thick, nicely sweet, a little less assertive than I would prefer. There is a slight fishiness for a while but it disappears before it gets really annoying.
In the second brew, the fishiness is almost gone (and completely gone later). There is surprisingly a lot of greener tastes and astringency, given the dark color of the liquor.
Since the third brew on, the assertivity improves. The little left astringency is a bit intrusive and disrupts the overal smooth feeling. Still, it is to be expected in a tea of this age I guess. Actually, I do not mind that much that it is not a gentle, sweet nectar only. And from around 6th brew, the bitterness gradually vanishes and a pleasant, aged taste and feeling stays for many more brews.
The mouthfeel is a realy joy, the tea would be worth its price to me for the mouthfeel enough. I enjoy keeping mid-aged and aged teas longer time in mouth, the feeling gets more intense.
Although I am yet not overly attuned to energy of tea (sometimes, I just can not feel it in a tea), I do feel it here, moving something inside me. I feel like if small blue sparks go down to my loin.
Wet leaves do not break easily when rubbed, but they do break more than dry stored leaves. I wonder how more knowledgeable people would describe the storage of this tea. Is this the famed traditional storage? I like it anyway.
The tea description and reviews on the EoT website mention, that the complexity is somewhat lacking. I sort of agree, but I wonder if this tea does not suffer from being this cheap (more about that in the article mentioned in this post of MarshalN). When Nada writes that the complexity is not that high, one expects the tea to be not that complex. On the other hand, if the tea was described as surprisingly complex, I believe there could be more reviews in such tone. I mean, I may be completely without taste or something, but I did not find this tea to be too low in complexity. One, of course, does not expect another Qing Bing for this price. But this tea is still quite young and will develop further. The price of this cake is, in my opinion, very good to say the least (speaking of complexity, I found it to be notably more complex than the 92 loose leaf for example).
Let me give you an alternate description:
This Small Yellow label tea is a famous 7532 recepture, produced by CNNP and is one of their best cakes of 90s era. It was stored in XYZ, in a premium warehouse specialized at high quality tea, to be exported to tea connoisseurs around the world. The taste is extremely rich and complex, classical taste of greatly stored 7532. Noble aftertaste with tones of plum treacle lasts extremely long and shows how this tea is going to age in the oncoming 20 years. The bitterness present in this tea and slightly unbalanced taste means this tea will develop into a marvellous tea one day, there is plenty of potential for further aging. Strong cooling feeling proves that the leaves come from gushu trees. Due to our good relationship with my tea master, we managed to secure five whole cakes of this rare tea purely for the local market. The supply is extremely limited, we suggest you place orders as soon as possible. Because of the growing demand for top quality aged puerh, we will not be able to keep the excellent price of $1.50 per gram for much longer.
See? That's how money is made. I am fairly sure that some people would rate the tea much higher after reading such a description, who would dare to say that the tea is not that complex - he'd look like a fool who does not know what is really top tea about.
Running into risk of annoying you, dear readers, I will once more say that there is at least one person who prefers to buy from a modest, nice person with genuinely nice tea, rather than from big mouthed wannabes.
I'll drink this tea a few more times, but now it seems to be the ideal candidate for my first whole semi-aged cake I will buy.
Further reading: Something smuggled in