pátek 28. září 2012

2009 Yong De Da Xue Shan

Shah has recommended this tea to me recently and I am glad he did (i.e., thanks Shah!) for two reasons - first, it made me discover finepuer and sampletea, second, it made me discover this particular tea.

Although I think that Yongde is a sort of darker brother to Mengku, dry leaves smell in such a way that I could hardly tell it is not Mengku. On the other hand, I'm quite miserable when it comes to telling things about tea based on the aroma of dry leaves.

And a detail... it looks like there are spider legs in the bottom left corner, does it not?

Wet leaves smell good, pleasant and very much "going together", nothing sticking out. There is a soft-ish mixture of wood barkk, leather, darker fruit (plums?) and a bit of incense. Here, I believe that the incense aroma is quite natural, it just appears in some teas.

The taste is quite alike to the aroma - the liquor is sweet, fruitish (ripe plums), woody-leathery and a hint of incense. This could sound like a light pleasant drink, but it is a bit "darker" - not in color (in that too) - rather in the dark/light side of Force. The taste is slightly muted (by the thickness of the liquor I guess), but not too badly.

The bitterness is low, but the small piece of bitterness does not transform too much (it's the kind of bitterness I associate with wild growing trees). On the other hand, astringency is quite high here. 

Although the taste is quite nice, the best in this tea comes, I believe, after the taste. The cooling feeling is quite good and lasts many steepings - it's like tiny crystalline spiders wove a cooling net all around the mouth cavity. Then, a pleasant and "friendly" energy embalms the mind. When I consciously awoke from the nice state of peace, I realized that the tiny bit of bitterness still does not transform, that the aftertaste is not particularly interesting and that the high astringency makes a slightly unpleasant feeling in mouth. But all these things are forgotten of one wants to "live" the tea, instead of mere analysis.

This tea is a bit different from what I usually drink, but it is not different enough for me not to enjoy it. I actually enjoyed it a lot. I like how the tea does not have significant weak spots (I guess that the high astringency should age away eventually) and it has certain components amply developed. It is a good contrast to the 2003 Bada which surprised me by its great taste and very nice feeling afterwards, while this tea had "only" nice taste, but performed great after the liquor is swallowed. 

The 500g cake costs $58, which is about $46 per 400g cake and that is a very good price for such a high quality tea. Good that it has not been made by anyone famous for I'm afraid it could be sold for a lot more money.

9 komentářů:

  1. Only adding to note that this is one of the cheapest pu you get gushu leaves with legit qi.

    Quite favorable compared to the YS Nanpozhai and Mushucha, isn't it?

    Lincang tea does not lose astringency quickly. The S. Mengku Yellow in Green is still notably astringent, more than this tea is, a Taiwan decade past its pressing.

  2. Yes, I quite agree that this is one of the cheapest qi-positive teas.

    I think that the Nanpozhai is rather different, it felt wilder to me (not from wilder trees) and something good could arise from such an untamed energy. Nevertheless, I'd choose the 2009 Daxueshan for drinking now right away.

    Interesting note on the astringency of Lincang tea... Well, I do not have a problem with astringency really, but it's good to know.

    1. Nanpozhai is Mengku tea, while this is Yongde yiehsheng. Fairly different Lincangs. Another point to make is that the sample I've, and you as well, have had was very fresh. It is going to be livelier than older tea, but when this one is 3 years old in humidity like the DaXueShan, that energy will be somewhat tamed too!

      My decision making would be rather different. When it really comes down to it, very few lincangs that aren't from either the ridge DaXueShan that goes from Yongde-Mengku-Fengqing-up to the NW tip of Wuliang, or the single peak DaXueShan that's in Mengku and Bangdong ages into especially exciting tea as far as depth is concerned. They age into calm, sweet, tea with aromatic wood, but not a whole lotta depth. The best early 2k tea from Lincang I've had all had to do with DaXueShan and a bigger propensity to develop firmer wood flavors while still retaining the better aspects of Lincang style. So while this particular YongdeXueShan is getting all chicory/licorice dark as some Lincangs do, there is a much better chance for a superb aged tea than with the Nanpozhai--which is absent a great deal of qi, and not with a great deal of firm flavor. I can expect it to get more pleasantly floral, but I expect it not to have great qi until it's old. So the Nanpozhai would have been calculated to be drink in 3 years, and the YongdeXueShan would be thought of as a true aging prospect.

    2. By "choose for drinking now", I did not mean I would take the Nanpozhai for aging - I'm actually not sure about that. I'd be interested to see how the Nanpozhai goes as there are so many things in it and some of them will have to leave/change.

      I, as you, think that the Da Xue Shan will age into calm, sweet tea, but I sometimes like a bit of extra kick. Nevertheless, in the rest of cases than that "sometimes", I'd enjoy the Da Xue Shan a lot, which is why I'll buy some.

  3. Hello jakub. I want to taste chi but I don't want buy outside ČR. What do you like here? Longfeng offered 1998 Fo Cha Ju Ai Lao now. Do you think it is good?

  4. I enjoyed this one as well, it sent me on a bit of a Da Xue Shan hunting bender. I ended up finding, amongst other things, a fantastic mao cha that I adore in ways I can't adequately express. :)

  5. Michal: I can't see it on LF site, isn't it sold out?

    discipleoftheleaf: Sounds good! Where is the maocha from?

  6. Michal: Oh, I see the offer now, it is in Aktuality. First to puerh with qi in CR - I checked websites of vendors I know and I do not think I see a reasonable offer. The 2003 Yi Wu sold by Longfeng is quite good, but too expensive. Why don't you want to buy from abroad? It is no problem really. My dealing with finepuer was effortless for example. I guess I'll buy some of this Da Xue Shan so if you're in Prague and manage to catch me somewhere, I can give you a piece.

    To that 98 ailao - that's a tough subject. I think that the actual post seems like an offer for a huge ripoff, but things could be better than that actually.
    Why it seems like a ripoff?
    -$275 is a lot, given the following:
    -it has not aged much: <2008 in bags in Kunming means very little aging and >2008 in "very dry" conditions seems like it could very well kill any tea
    -it was semi-wulongized. I'm not sure if it is a huge fault (it is, for some), but I think that such "experiments" should not really cost $275.
    -you either buy whole cake or nothing, based solely on LF's recommendation. I would not put too much weight on such a recommendation, given that the owner could not even tell whether the tea is Jingmai or Ailao.

    Now, the positive thing - if it really is the 98 Jingmai, it is a very good tea (can't remember the qi though) and the price would be probably sort of reasonable, albeit high.

    I guess that it is a risky venture, given the cloudy background of the cake and the possibility, that the 4 years of very dry storage have killed it. But, on the other hand, it might be worth the risk.

    Back to the qi - I think you'd be much safer with the Yong De Da Xue Shan.

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