2018 Winter, Wenshan Bao Zhong (Tillerman Teas) Victoria shared.
Qing Xin Wulong cultivar. Pinglin, New Taipei City
To cleans the palate and set the tone we started with a lighter greener oolong. Buttery floral notes in aroma and wet leaf. Good mouthfeel and minerality.
2006 Xizihao Puzhen, sheng (Taiwan auction) Atlas shared.
av360logic commented it has fruit aroma with a sweet date liquor. It seemed very feminine to me, in a lyrical way.
possibly 2003, 8582, sheng (Yunnan sourced directly) Purchased mid-2018. EarthMonkey shared.
Exact identifier not known. Phyllsheng thinks it has 7542 characteristics, more so than 8582. Members thought this might be a very good fake 1990 Water Blue Mark 7542, or maybe even the real deal. An easy drinker. We were all getting tea drunk, it was potent. Everyone wanted to buy it. It had strength, force, and nice huigan in throat. EarthMonkey only bought 2 cakes, and already sold one, so unfortunately no more. It was sleeping when he got it, so he put it in a humidity-controlled sealed container. There was an interesting conversation regarding new western facing puerh's quick turn around, those that are ready-to-drink, but that do not represent the real Yunnan puerh teas that require aging. With western facing ready-to-drink puerh often becoming flat with aging.
2002 Traditional storage 7532, sheng (Taiwan auction) Atlas shared.
Stored in HK, sold in Taiwan.
Dry cake aroma of goji berries and sasquatch. Wet leaf has sweet earth aroma. Sweet spring water, camphor cooling effect. Tastes like moldering wood on the forest floor, or damp bark.
2003 Purple Dayi FT 7542-301, sheng (direct buy in Taiwan) Purchased in mid-2017 (May). Phyllsheng shared.
Natural dry-storage, Taipei.
Wet leaf, incense aroma, with petrol notes in liquor. A very smooth liquor with nice HuiGan, sweet thickness in mouth and thick salivation in mouth. Others said bitter, but I didn't taste that. Cooling in mouth, opening in chest, with an upward movement from mouth out through the head. A lot of warming heat generated. I was laughing and sticking my tongue out. 70F RH stored at Phyllsheng’s. A question about “where this tea is tea going in future?”. The consensus was it’s very drinkable now, that it has backbone, substance and has a very strong character. Goes for 20 steeps. EarthMonkey commented in 5 years it will be...more medicinal.
2003 Purple Dayi FT 7542-301Side note about Fei Tai, shared by phyllsheng:
Fei Tai (飛臺號) is a prominent and influential tea distributor based in Taiwan. The company also produces its own FT line of tea products by outsourcing and through joint-venture contracts with Menghai Tea Factory (Dayi) and Xiaguan Tea Factory. Teas that are produced by Menghai Tea Factory / Dayi and Xiaguan Tea Factory on behalf of Fei Tai are indicated on the packaging in several different ways:
1. By conspicuous and clear presentation of the company’s name (飛臺號) on the product’s outer packaging
2. By ink stamping “FT” on the product’s exterior packaging, or
3. In some products, it is not easily identifiable to the end-consumers due to the Fei Tai mark being hidden or presented inconspicuously in the interior of the tea’s packaging (e.g. on the inner ticket/ neifei of the product.
The 2003 Purple Dayi FT 7542-301 mentioned above is one such tea which the Fei Tai mark “FT” is only found printed on the tea’s inner ticket.
In contrast, the 2013 Xiaguan Tea Factory-produced “Love Forever” makes it exceedingly clear for end-consumers to notice the collaboration between Xiaguan Tea Factory and Fei Tai. The latter company’s name is printed clearly on the exterior of the product’s packaging materials.
2013 Fei Tai - Xiaguan Tea Factory “Love Forever”
We rounded out the tasting with just two of us left (av360logic and myself) comparing a few RouGui;
2018 Spring, Gold Medal RouGui & Ma Tou Yan Rou Gui (Old Ways Tea) Victoria shared.
Side by side comparison. av360logic shared that these "were almost a study in opposites, one of them being very traditional high fired yancha (Ma Tou Yan) and the other being much more modern medium oxidation/roast style (Gold Medal). The modern one had much more identifiable RouGui characteristic fragrance with less depth (for me, Victoria actually preferred it) whereas the high fired RouGui had minimal fragrance and good mineral depth, but gave out quite quickly.” Phyllsheng commented later in a chat that the “high fired rg either needs resting time (if recently roasted) or it’s slightly over-roasted, which causes it to lose its rg character fragrance and taste. And I think that’s the reason Victoria prefers the less roasted one.” This makes a lot of sense to me, and since the Ma Tou Yan was roasted June 7th, 2018 maybe it is just over-roasted.
Wuyi RouGoi (via a friend visiting Wuyi) Phyllsheng shared.
Zhengyan, Wuyishan, China
Phyllsheng shared this is a medium-high to high fired RouGui, and that “it was fired skillfully enough so as to bring out (as opposed to nixing) its characteristic rg fragrance and smell.”
av360logic commented this one "combined the better aspects of the previous teas: more fragrance and mineral depth. It had average longevity for a yancha imo, but I enjoyed it the most.”
Phyllsheng replied in a chat later;
And yes, mine has short durability — I usually get 5 good steepings out of it before it goes downhill.
This all goes back to what I mentioned last night: with yanchas, the roasting is responsible for “bringing forth” the tea’s fragrance and taste, not destroy it. In high fired oolongs, especially yanchas, the line between “just right” and “too much” is very, very thin.
On the other hand, the inherent quality (or its lack thereof) of the raw material is determined by its aftertaste — including how long it lingers on after drinking it.
My rg raw material is of middle quality (not the best, but not “grand cru” material either). I brought it as an example of a quite-skillfully highly-fired yancha.