úterý 15. května 2012

2009 Xiaguan Golden ribbon tuocha

A friend has recently asked me on my opinion on Xiaguan's Gold ribbon tuocha. Remembering I had one, but was not too impressed, I said that... I was not really impressed by it. Still, I thought it over and could not remember the taste and feeling. That's why I came back to it...

Only a small chunk and the ribbon itself are left - I must have given a part of the tuocha to someone, I can not imagine myself drinking so much of young Xiaguan product. The degree of compression is, as you might expect, high. If I ever start a hard rock band (I doubt it), it will be called "the Xiaguan press" - rock hard playing hard rock. 

Approaching the tea with zero expectations, I was actually rather pleasantly surprised by the aroma of wet leaves - not nasty, a lot of wood smoke and dark grassiness, some fruitish sourness; although it probably does not sound too pleasant, I found it all right at the time of tasting.

The taste is not bad either. The smokiness is not too noticeable, the tea  is quite grassy (very light color too), woody, with a bit juniper and citrus fruit (grapefruit); hints of wood smoke remain in the aftertaste. Some sugarcane sweetness is present. It is overall rather similar to some Bada teas I've tasted recently. It brings back the memories of early Lincang teas I've had (this tuocha is mostly of Lincang material) - when I started with puerh, I sampled teas from Lincang that were smoky, hard and generally not-too pleasant. For some time, I held the opinion that Lincang is not for me. In time, however, I found that very gentle and enjoyable tea is to be found in Lincang too.

Although the mouth-tingling feeling was not too noticeable in several first brews, it developed nicely after a while and surprised me pleasantly.

Although this tea was a pleasant surprise, it was mostly due to my extremely low expectations. I do not think this is a bad tea and it may age into something quite enjoyable... however, at the same price level, you may have, e.g., some of Scott's blends, some of which are roughly similar to this tuocha, except being better in pretty much everything... 

I am still not impressed by the tuocha, but in my memory, I relabel it to "fine". It  would do as an everyday drink, if I drank such a young puerh every day...

4 komentáře:

  1. Jakub,

    Your posts are very enjoyable to read. Thanks for the energy that you put into regular posting.

    "I must have given a part of the tuocha to someone, I can not imagine myself drinking so much of young Xiaguan product."

    It is funny how tea does this!?! hahahah...


  2. Thank you Matt!
    Actually, the posting gives me energy (all the more if someone enjoys reading the posts). It is one of few ways how I relax.

    Some say that writing about tea kills it, but I think it all depends on what one wants to achieve by writing. I do not aspire to bring all my feelings over to the reader. And if I write about a tea, some of its aspects stay in my memory for a longer time. Of course, some enjoyment may get lost in the process. Simply put, when I write about tea, some enjoyment is lost, but the rest stays longer with me. When I concentrate on a tea purely, the enjoyment is maybe more concentrated, but passes away rather shortly.

    Some schools of thinking emphasize the importance of concentration on momentary feelings and events, but I see positives of thinking of future and past too. That's why I sometimes write about the tea I drink and sometimes not :)

  3. I really like this tuocha, in my opinion just a little expensive when I compare with some another Xiaguan tuo, but this one have something noble in taste.

    Thanks for your post! I really like your writing.

    Tomáš Klouda

  4. Hello Tomáš,
    hmmm, but is ordinary Xiaguan production any good? I can't say I'd enjoy it too much. Also, ordinary Xiaguan stuff is cheap, but it weighs the same as other tea, therefore one pays more for the shipping.

    Actually, I bought it for $5.50 and 2008 Happy Tuo costs $5.50 too now. Where I thought this Gold ribbon to be allright, I think the Happy tuo to be actually a rather good tea and I would readily prefer it over this tuo.