16 April, 2008

2007 Xizihao "Xi Shang Meishao"

Following the 2007 Xizihao "Pu Zhen", this is another autumnal tea. The name refers to happiness going "up to the eyebrows". Do ducks have eyebrows?

A Chinese friend recently showed me a photograph of his new daughter, who looked particularly joyful. "Xishang meishao", I bluffed (having just learned the phrase from this tea). "Ahh, a fabulous phrase! Thank you!", he replied.

Tea is a great teacher.

The leaves (above) are very attractive. Xizihao always looks lovely in photographs, because the producers take great pains over the handling of their maocha. Some of the tips are extraordinarily large; they must have really let the autumnal growth do its thing.

Sweet aroma lingers about the dry leaves, like woodsap.

The soup (above) is a dusky yellow, slightly cloudy - perhaps with all the silver leaf-fur. An opening of buttery sweetness takes me by surprise - have the leaves been allowed to oxidise before being heated, wulong style?

The finish has some nice acidity, but the overall feeling is that it's a bit thin. The huigan follows the buttery theme.

I look for character in my tea - this one is a touch ordinary, but tasty enough. It certainly kept my happy for the duration of the session.

(When the issue of price is addressed, this tea represents poor value to me - it is currently over $80, which I believe could be better spent on other cakes, given the perceived quality of what's in the cup here. This feels more like a $40-50 cake, based on consensus Internet prices.)


Anonymous said...

Hi Hobbes!

Really nice series of article. I was curious about these 3 puers, so I bought the tasting set from houde to experiment them first.

However, after reading this second article, I was wondering: you keep referring to lower price cakes of between 35$ to 50$ that have the same quality: would you have a list of some of them, in that price range, always available on the Web?

This would be helpful :)


Take care,


Hobbes said...

Dear Fred,

You must be psychic. I have an article queued up for publication tomorrow that addresses precisely that question. It's uncanny.

In the article, I said "We often say 'you can get better for less', but which cakes do we mean?"

I'm very glad you asked - stay tuned for your answer. :)



Anonymous said...

Hi Hobbes,

Don't think I am psychic... just curious :)

In this case, I will patiently wait until tomorrow morning to get the answer to my question :)

Thanks for the quick answer!

Take care,