What HeiCha are you drinking

Puerh and other heicha
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Maerskian
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Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:44 pm

wave_code wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 pm
huh, I didn't notice or detect any actual buds or flowers or oil aromas in this tea at all. I'll try and look specifically for it next time, but compared to say liu an where it has aglaia odorata buds specifically added I didn't see or notice anything. I had sort of assumed it was the tea grade, like how Chen Chun Lan apparently used to use the number of 'orchid's as their grading system. whether its ying kee or someone else if they insist something is added then I have to take them at their word, but at least in this one it was quite subtle then or I really have no idea what specific flavor notes to be looking for.
Can't say i'm as familiar with it as to detect and identify its particular traits but that's the information i have which seems to fit what i keep hearing from tea vendors and recent restrictions.

Also, my "orchid" Liu An teas all have very particular fragances. One of 'em ( not sure if stone orchid or jade orchid ) made my wife think i was brewing coffe... which was incredibly odd as we can't drink it ( love the smell... but it keeps me awake for 72 hours ) ... and certainly smells like it, maybe like it's mixed with some natural cocoa powder.
polezaivsani wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:13 pm
Previous century baskets are quite pricey at Chinese tea shop (north of $1/g), think i'll try my luck with YQH ($0.5/g) first.
Which century baskets are you talking about ? , for a minute thought you were talking about 2000 Shun Yi Sun like the one from GoodTea
polezaivsani
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Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:04 pm

@Maerskian, i was speaking about The Chinese Tea Shop. They claim to have couple baskets from 90s and one antique, without a time stamp to it. (along with 80s Ju LUn Zhu :roll:)
polezaivsani
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Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:52 pm

I tried a bit of 2005 Four Gold Coins liu bao from EoT, mostly to have a better point of reference and find it really good. Had tons of camphor - a good deal similar to the the 2003 Zhang Xiang CNNP cakes from the same folks. I'd could just stop describing it flavor wise really, there where couple stokes present there, a bit of radish and maybe a glimmer of tangerine rind, but a thick liu bao big on camphor sums it up nicely. The leaves are quite big making it a worry free session with a pot having a single hole spout.

Having had it right after a meal gave a warm, giddy and cuddly sensation. If it whas a rare liu an, i'd be rather upset about it being sold out before being able to stock some more up, but fortunately i find myself enjoying new liu bao quite often. Seem like all around well agreeable drink?

And now having some shared point of reference, @faj, can you or somebody else comment on how that one compares to LoT's offerings? Where they as rock solid? :D
faj
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Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:26 pm

polezaivsani wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:52 pm
And now having some shared point of reference, faj, can you or somebody else comment on how that one compares to LoT's offerings? Where they as rock solid? :D
It is always a bit risky going from memory, and it has been a while I have had the Four Gold Coin from @EoT. Also, keep in mind I am a Liu Bao beginner, so I am not intending my comments to be interpreted as any sort of "reference opinion".

I have tried LoT's 025 Bing Lang Xiang from 2006, 031 Chun Xiang from 2004, and their "late 90's" Jia Chang.

Among all Liu Baos I tried (not many), the 4GC is probably the one that is the most unique. I do not mean better, just different in profile. All three of LoT's teas I tried are closer in profile from one another, than any of the three is from the 4GC. Closer does not mean close though.

Out of the three, the 025 is probably the most similar to the 4GC I would say. Very sweet, beety, quite strong but very smooth, very long aftertaste persistence. The 025 has less stamina than the 4GC, but its initial steeps are better (my recollection is that the 4GC's first couple of infusions were not the most balanced, it took until at least the third for things to get interesting). I would really need to have both in stock at the same time to be sure which I prefer, but probably the 025.

The Jia Chiang is more expensive, and meaningfully weaker. It is the most subtle, delicate of the three, with excellent balance. Liquid smoothness. I should try it infused with more leaf to see what it would yield.

The 031 is a bit rougher, not as sweet. It probably improved a bit since I first opened the bag, or I adjusted, but I still prefer the 025. It is good, but does not feel like as smooth a treat the way the other two do. Someone with different preferences might have a different opinion.
polezaivsani
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Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:46 pm

I've treated myself to some EoT's farmer style liu bao yesterday and had to get back to my daily drinker, Duoteli landscape box from 2012 today, as with every session of fine LB i'm risking to lose the ability to glean at least some bits of pleasure from the austere factory produce. There is no pine resin, nor rich forest undergrowth, forget the buckwheat in the later steeps of farmer style LB. Enough ink the taste to write an essay, some summer house mustiness that's borderline pleasing. Quite dense of a broth and a scenic landscape on the box to kindle my imagination until i get to the bottom of it. Gotta suck my tuition teas up through the rest of winter as some sort of fasting or trying round :).
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wave_code
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Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:09 am

I still have yet to get to try and of EoT's liu bao... and it looks like now they are sold out of everything except for some of the very old teas. I hope they will be able to restock or get in some new interesting stuff soon. Or maybe they are shifting focus more to their puerh?

Drinking some of the 1999 four gold coins today. I really like this tea - the other instances I've had are also really good but the extra few years seems to move a bit of the beet/mineral/petrichor to the background a bit and it gets a lot sweeter, almost chocolate like for the first few rounds. nice and relaxing without feeling like my head is flying off.

was also please to have found some enjoyable CNNP liu bao tea bags lately for outdoor days/travel or when I'm busy. I'm guessing they were made specifically for the HK market because they have a pretty distinct storage character and brew up super dark and strong which has been perfect for the recent dark and snowy weather. they are pretty broken up/fannings as one would expect for a bag, but having seen some liu bao bricks that are intentionally highly broken up I'm curious to pour two bags out into a pot with a good filter and see how the tea does for a proper session.
TheEssenceofTea
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Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:10 pm

wave_code wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:09 am
I still have yet to get to try and of EoT's liu bao... and it looks like now they are sold out of everything except for some of the very old teas. I hope they will be able to restock or get in some new interesting stuff soon. Or maybe they are shifting focus more to their puerh?
Covid has kind of screwed us up with Liubao - we have a lot in our warehouse in Malaysia, but haven't been able to get back there in over a year, and our usual ways of getting the tea into China have all been blocked up along with the borders. Most of our stocks that we had in China are sold out. We've been looking around in China for new Liubao's we can stock but finding teas of the price and quality that we know we can find in Malaysia is tough! We'll keep looking.
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wave_code
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Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:44 am

Oh no- sorry to hear you covid has thrown such a big wrench in the gears for you @TheEssenceofTea! I hope the situation will improve soon. While I'm sure its not good for trying to keep a business moving along, I suppose on the plus side once you and we the customers can get that tea again, its just had more time to age...
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Balthazar
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Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:09 am

That's what I keep telling myself. Waiting for a big heicha order to ship from Malaysia. At least it will have been spared from one Norwegian winter when it finally arrives :)
TheEssenceofTea
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Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:20 pm

Thanks @wave_code. It's ok... on the plus side, it has meant we've had more time this year to explore in more depth the wuyi, yixing and the semi-aged puerh worlds here in China rather than travelling back and forth to Malaysia so regularly. We feel very fortunate to be here, where life goes on almost as normal. Yunnan has been spared most of the tough times that the rest of the world has been going through in this past year. Of course having stock of tea ageing in Malaysia isn't so bad too :) ... all in good time.
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wave_code
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Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:02 pm

decided to use the lunar new year as an excuse to break out some new tea - chanting pine's traditionally processed liu bao. its been resting for a few weeks here so seemed like time to see what its got going on - although I do think at this point in the year most of my tea is sort of in hibernation mode, so anything that has shown up after November probably won't fully show its true colors until sometime in the spring. the material is very nice looking though - a lot of the stem is in larger pieces and very thick, nice bigger leaves, things coming out of the bag in tangled chunks but not overly compacted, nothing overly dry or brittle. the storage is evident but its pleasing and I hope it sticks around for the long run since it has nice character- nothing off or funky and most of it dissipates very quickly or is just in the nose, the liquor is very clean. the liquor isn't so dark, at least how I brewed it this first go, and its got pretty good longevity but not amazing - I'll go for fewer and longer steeps next time. that said the liquor has nice body for being lighter fermentation. the pine flavor is much more pronounced here which is nice- strong woody character but more like resin or curing cut pine rather than forest floor or old wood. theres a noted absence of things I taste more in factory productions like the sort of green/starchy character a lot of younger liu bao still have. the hand processing starting from good material I think really shows here. I can see though that its probably still at the point of beginning to really turn into something more and is prime material for good aging- given another 10 years in good storage I think this should be really great nice tea. for now though its also a really nice drink too. looking forward to trying the Yuan Bao too.
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Balthazar
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Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:56 pm

Couple years ago my wife picked up a bunch of bricks and samples from a TB store focused on Anhua heicha. I remember at the time we were quite disappointed by the bricks we tried (which was 2-3 years old at the time, tops); they mostly produced a flat cup of tea. Didn't try a single of the samples, but held onto them and recently dug them out again.

The samples have been ... surprisingly good, for the most part. Still have 2-3 teas left to try.

Today I had a go with a fuzhuan sample from 2012. It's a "Yunye fu" (云野茯) production, from the first year of this brand which is owned by the guy running the TB store.

The golden flowers must have died a slow death of dehumidification years ago, and I'd mistaken this for a heizhuan were it not for the writing on the sample bag. But the leaves are nice and whole, producing a sweet brew that endures a number of steepings and comforts the whole body.

Image

The store still exists, with very reasonably priced teas. I think I will buy a new bunch of samples next time I make a TB order, and not wait six years before I try any this time around.
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Balthazar
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:13 am

I noticed teadb has a recent episode featuring a fucha brand I haven't tried before: Mojun Fucha (from Shaanxi). Don't know what they're basing the "one of the better Fuzhuan producers" on, but it certainly has me interested in trying some.

As usual I did a price check, with YS faring well in the comparison. At USD 44 per 500 gram brick it's more than three times cheaper than West China Tea. Taobao is cheaper still (not always the case with heichas!) at around USD 30, but probably not after agent fees and shipping have been taken into account.
Chris
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:30 am

I was also intrigued by the Mojun Fucha teas and have samples of the two YS carries arriving sometime next week (well, hopefully :D ). I'll report back once I have a chance to try them.
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Balthazar
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:53 am

Please do :)
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