What HeiCha are you drinking

Puerh and other heicha
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debunix
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:34 pm

I've got that brick, and a bit of similar 'basket tian jian' from 2012.

This was what I wrote about the brick April 2019 in the Puerh topic:

"It is full of coarse stems, as advertised--not a pretty tea at all--but after a quick rinse, it proved mellow, with indeed sweet malty notes, not the least harsh or bitter. "
gregcss
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:43 pm
Location: Virginia, US

Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:55 am

debunix wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:34 pm
I've got that brick, and a bit of similar 'basket tian jian' from 2012.

This was what I wrote about the brick April 2019 in the Puerh topic:

"It is full of coarse stems, as advertised--not a pretty tea at all--but after a quick rinse, it proved mellow, with indeed sweet malty notes, not the least harsh or bitter. "
Thanks
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debunix
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:22 pm

This prompted me to take a thermos of the brick tea to the satellite office today, and there is a mellow earthiness with a hint of plum or prune, a bit of malt, and nothing sharp, an easy drinker as I remembered. I need to be working on this one more often if I want to ever finish the giant brick!
Janice
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Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:57 pm

I joined the EOT tea club as of January to widen my experience of the types of tea they sell. The small bag of Liu Bao inspired me to dig out some Liu Pao that I bought on Tea Chat. Somebody, online name Auhckw, did a group buy of 2005 Liu Pa0 85122 in 2011. I was sort of careless with it. I drank it a few times and then put it away in a paper lunch bag for a few years, and then at some point moved it to a tightly sealed metal canister. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of brewing it and after a discussion of Czech potters I dig out this Andrez Bero pot that works very nicely with this tea. Disclaimer: Bero may not actually be Czech but that’s where I was reminded that this pot was in the back of my tea ware cabinet.

1B19897E-6A90-4049-BE24-0664BDE49963.jpeg
1B19897E-6A90-4049-BE24-0664BDE49963.jpeg (274.69 KiB) Viewed 1711 times

The cup is actually a hand painted espresso cup from a celadon kiln in Chiang Mai. The flash washed out the paint - the motif is quite beautiful in person.
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wave_code
Posts: 144
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Location: Germany

Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:16 am

some of my recent liu bao drinkings...

I got some more of the 90s Vive to give it another try, and this time around its leaving more of an impression on me, maybe because lately I've been enjoying a bit more lighter fermentation than wanting everything to be like pitch. So for something that isn't necessarily incredibly strong but aged its really nice. The aging comes across in the flavor without it being unpleasant. The taste to me is kinda similar to Four Gold Coins but not quite, the Vive being more stemmy and sweet. I'm glad I gave this one another shot and am looking forward to drinking more of it. I also recently tried a 90s Wuzhou and in comparison I found the Vive more enjoyable. Having moved since I first tried this tea I'm wondering how much the water could have dulled the tea before since it was very hard where I was living compared to now. I boiled the leaves that evening, and while I had gotten most of the goods out of it already I found the boiled leaves had a very menthol like feeling/flavor that I didn't get anything of in the gong fu session which was interesting.

A couple different years of Four Gold Coins and not noticing such a significant age difference but also was not looking for that so closely. More just that I really like the flavor of their style.

Three Cranes Ye Yun Gu Shu brick. I actually really didn't like this at all the first time or two I tried it, and now I find myself thinking I should get a whole brick. Very light fermentation and very floral and sweet, and after a couple of brews has more and more black tea honey/floral notes coming through. I'm starting to really like these types of liu bao where after a couple of rounds you can really taste more of the black tea and less of the post-fermented tea character. Also has some characteristics I find I really like in some sheng without some of the things I don't. Perfect with the warmer weather starting up.

Worker's Stadium both green and silver box. The green is very new and tastes like it. Didn't really do much for me but I imagine with a few years on it there will probably be a lot of change from where it is now. The silver box was significantly better and much more enjoyable for drinking now but of course putting more time on it certainly wouldn't hurt either.

2006 Duoteli landscape box. I really enjoyed this, but it didn't seem to last for very long. While the good rounds I got out of it I thought were excellent given the prices the landscape boxes go for it doesn't really seem worth it. I have a few more sessions with it left though to see if my opinion changes.

Went back to retry the Heng Xian liu bao just to check and confirmed my initial feelings that this stuff is awful and tastes like water boiled with dirty paper in it. Managed one cup and then had to have a piece of candy after.
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klepto
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Wed May 06, 2020 5:48 pm

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:23 pm
wave_code wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:04 am
How is the EoT club? Does it wind up being a lot of liu bao? On the one hand I like the idea of tea clubs and getting interesting surprises like this I wouldn't normally get, but I have very little interest in most oolongs, greens, and even sheng, so I haven't found one yet that seems worth it to me. Given how much of their offering is liu bao maybe its one I should finally try?
Chadrinkincat wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:30 pm


I’ve been enjoying my sampling of this LB too. I think I prefer this one over the last 90’s LB from EOT club.
I like EOT’s club because it offers some teas I don’t normally buy. Young sheng, red tea, LB, dancong. It’s probably not worth joining if you don’t enjoy these teas as that is their main focus along with the occasional yancha.
I signed up for the EoT tea club because it will be fun to expand my horizons and try new teas. I'm just getting into raw puerh so it should be interesting. I signed up recently so it will be next month before I get anything most likely.
Chadrinkincat
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Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 pm

@klepto

Welcome to the club!
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klepto
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Wed May 06, 2020 8:04 pm

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 pm
klepto

Welcome to the club!
:raised_hands: :thumbsup: I haven't yet to even try most of the teas on EoT though it was on my short wist list
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Balthazar
Posts: 286
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Location: Oslo, Norway

Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:11 am

Had a session with the 2006 Duoteli 3310 this morning after breakfast. This Malaysian stored medium-fermented liubao is as reliable as they come. It's a staple in my regular office rotation as it's affordable, delicious, and equally agreeable to my body in all four seasons. Not to mention very grandpa/thermos friendly. It's been neglected this year though (as have all hei cha), as there's been very little time spent at the office.

Not too much left of the cake, should probably pick up a couple more.

Image
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wave_code
Posts: 144
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Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:53 am

did you pick this up from Chawang, or have you found a EU/Scandi distributor that has it?
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Balthazar
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Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:12 pm

Bought it from TeaPals (Malaysia) last year at $45 per brick. Unfortunately there's no more. I've been considering picking up at brick from Chawangshop, but the price difference is big enough that I'll probably invest my "heicha funds" in something else.

By the way, if you're going to make an order from Chawangshop, I really recommend picking up a sample of the "2014 (2018) Three Cranes Brand “Ye Yun Gu Shu” Liubao Brick". I had some last year, and was really pleasantly surprised. Very light fermentation compared to "classical" (in lack of a better word) liubao though. A really well balanced product with just enough bitterness, interesting flavors and good energy, delivering plenty of solid steeps. I wish Chawang would have a size option between the 50g sample and 1kg brick. I'd pick up a 500g "sample" in a heartbeat.
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wave_code
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Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:24 pm

ah sounds like I missed the boat on the cheaper buy. I love the duoteli flavor but I have a feeling like you said theres better values for money elsewhere, or more interesting offerings for that price range from Chawang.

I got a sample of the Ye Yun Gu Shu last time and I've been slowly drinking it down. At first it didn't really do much for me, but now its actually one of my favorites and I'm really not looking forward to running out. Its not cheap for the whole brick, but I think I'll probably get one- I know I'll be happy having it around for a long time and I can see it aging really well.

My taste goes back and forth depending on the seasons/weather between wanting things extremely dark or favoring the lighter fermentation style that has a bit more of a black tea than shu character (my preference lately). The Ye Yun is one of my favorites I've had of any style though. I got a brick of the TF03 from Lao, its certainly not as premium in quality but has a similar flavor profile and is on the budget friendly side. I'm gonna try some more of the similar three cranes bricks soon since they seem like good options for just making a big morning mug.
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Dresden
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Location: Bayou Self, Louisiana

Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:05 pm

Have not broken into it yet, but I just received my 2017 Gao Jia Shan "Hui Gui" Fu Brick. Right now I am going through a sample of the 2016 Cha Yu Lin basket-aged wild tian jian.
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Balthazar
Posts: 286
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Location: Oslo, Norway

Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:00 pm

wave_code wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:24 pm
I got a sample of the Ye Yun Gu Shu last time and I've been slowly drinking it down. At first it didn't really do much for me, but now its actually one of my favorites and I'm really not looking forward to running out. Its not cheap for the whole brick, but I think I'll probably get one- I know I'll be happy having it around for a long time and I can see it aging really well.
I just noticed that you had written about the Ye Yun Gu Shu on this very page. My bad, haha. Interesting to see that we had a very similar experience with it. I too was not immediately won over, it took a couple of sessions.

As for the price... Personally, yes, $88 does feel on the pricey side for "a brick of heicha", when you consider the price tag in absolute terms. But when you recall that it's one kilo of tea, and break it down into the 100g ($8.8) and single gram ($0.088) price, I think it's fair to say that it's not not cheap :). I can't think of many other teas in that price range that I wold be interested in these days.

The "time commitment" however, is not to be underestimated. One kilo of heicha is more than I'm likely to consume in a normal year, and I don't have an optimal storage solution for my heicha, so it's likely to (slowly) fade a bit. Factor in the fact that I also want to drink other heichas. It'd probably take me a couple of years to get through it.. So yeah, the size is the main factor that I haven't pulled the trigger on it.

(Although I'm not sure about the storage part. I haven't been storing any heicha for more than 10-12 months, so I'm basically just assuming that it'll behave similar to puer, as they seem to age very well in similar climates. But maybe that's wrong, I would love for it to be.)
My taste goes back and forth depending on the seasons/weather between wanting things extremely dark or favoring the lighter fermentation style that has a bit more of a black tea than shu character (my preference lately). The Ye Yun is one of my favorites I've had of any style though. I got a brick of the TF03 from Lao, its certainly not as premium in quality but has a similar flavor profile and is on the budget friendly side. I'm gonna try some more of the similar three cranes bricks soon since they seem like good options for just making a big morning mug.
Ditto on the seasonal taste preferences! Do share your impression of the other three cranes bricks once you've tried them.

@Dresden Let us know what you think. I've really been getting into Fu Zhuan teas myself recently. Had my first taste of the 2009 Gao Jia Shan "Wild Fu Zhuan" (YS) this weekend, and was very impressed with the quality. Ditto with some other wild Fu Zhuan that I tried a while back (and will be ordering more of very soon). Surprised to find myself slowly shifting more of my attention from puer towards light fermentation heicha...
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wave_code
Posts: 144
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Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:04 am

No worries :) If you like the Duoteli character and the larger leaf/lighter fermentation I'd also recommend the 034006 that Lao tea shop has right now. They have been having a really nice mix of things lately for both good value younger teas and sourcing a lot of 90s and some 80s teas mostly from Malaysia. I've seen some of the younger ones for sale a bit cheaper online, but then you have to pay shipping from Malaysia if they will even ship, plus taxes, so on, and I'm happy to support a European shop that is getting good liu bao. Though I don't know if I was just lucky or if tea is on the exempt list for taxes in Norway? When I was in Oslo I don't think I ever got a tax on my tea.

Yeah the storage vs aging thing with hei cha I'm trying to figure out... all I know right now is I need to look into some sort of solution for it being so dry here. It seems to happen every summer and did in Vienna too that even my heaviest liu baos start to taste like nothing. I had some 90s tea that the cake had even had white frost on it and was very dark... almost no flavor. I tend to steer clear of liu bao that still taste too "green" or young, but that of course means paying more down the road, so doing some aging would be nice. That said some of the liu bao I have that have more of a sheng/aged sheng character like that three cranes cake and a few others are just perfect right now and I'm more interested in keeping them as is for as long as I can.

Opened one of the boxes of Zhong Cha 8130 this morning and am enjoying that. I feel it can be pushed a bit in either direction- more leaf and longer steeps for a few strong cups, or something nice and light. Just put a little over 3g in the 175ml stoneware pot for about a minute to start for couple lighter morning cups.
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