06 September, 2011

2001 Xiaguan 8653

I did say that it was not all bad news with my four samples from Tearoma.  After two oddly empty / strangely stored 8582s, and a Zhongcha tuocha that turned out to be shupu, it is beholden on the Mighty Xiaguan to redress the balance, and make everything right once again. 

Someone has to clean up this mess, so let it be Xiaguan.

2001 Xiaguan 8653

8653 is a good, reliable recipe from a good, reliable factory.  Not yet dreamt of, the various blackened modern Xiaguan incarnations.  No, this old recipe is raw, uncompromising, and about as similar to modern "Big G" productions as heaven is to earth.

2001 Xiaguan 8653

Would it surprise you to learn that this is a "tiebing" [iron cake], fused together in the core of a dying star?  I thought not.

As ever, my trusty, rusty, 30cm-long crowbar comes to the rescue.  The three chunks from Tearoma are pictured above - using the powers of Greyskull, I managed little more than to remove some fannings from one of them.  I gave up, and resolved to let the Universal Solvent do its work.

2001 Xiaguan 8653

Choirs of cherubim and seraphim continually do cry: tasty, tasty, tasty.  Aroma-cup and tasting-cup are full of its woodiness.  Blessed is that tea that cometh in the name of such sharp, pine-like deliciousness.

It cools the breath, it has plenty of energy.  It reminds us that some things in the world are worth waiting for.  This still has a long way to go, but its interim appearance is thick in the mouth, and very encouraging for its future prospects, given its density and overall level of activity and contents.

At $48, this is a very safe purchase, for what we receive.  Amen.

Addendum: it is likely that this cake is not from 2001, and it may or may not be Xiaguan (although its compression, leaf appearance, and flavour indicate that it probably is).  Please see the comments for details.


Philippe de Bordeaux filipek said...

Thank You for this good Xiaguan Sheng orientation.

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

On Taobao, this tea usually sells for ~$135. If this is actually a 2001 Xiaguan 8653, then peeps need to buy that until Tearoma doesn't have anymore...

Bulangs survive diddling pretty well. The new Half Dipper notes on the Ban'E are fairly interesting.

On the other hand, if you were going to pay for diddled Bulang from YS, there are far better alternatives, like the 2 200g 2009 cakes that Scott sourced himself, rather than that Shan Yun. More expensive, but...

In any event, there are undiddled Bulangs that one can buy. Not for cheap, of course, but one can buy them...


Hobbes said...

Indeed! I have had a few e-mails on this subject (thanks again to my correspondents) - I was lazy with this cake, and didn't do a "background check". It is highly likely that this cake either isn't from 2001 and/or is a fake.

That said, the notes from the article still stand: it does taste very good for $48, and packs a clean, potent sharpness that is appropriate for a decent cake with a good number of years on the clock. It may or may not be from 2001, and may or may not be Xiaguan (although it does look and taste like XG), but it is decent.

This causes me to revise my statement about Tearoma: four out of four of the teas that I had from them were not as advertised. I will therefore probably not be buying from them again, unless something changes at their end. Caveat emptor indeed...