15 May, 2009

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

What a piece of work is a Woogie...

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty...

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

In form and moving, how express and admirable...

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

In action, how like an angel!

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

In apprehension, how like a GOD!

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

Copious thanks to dear Woogie for providing such a lovely gift.

Though I write here for no other reason than that I enjoy doing so, to collect my notes, and to compare thoughts with you, Dear Reader, I am always overwhelmed when I realise that (i) there are people out there reading and apparently tolerating this nonsense, and (ii) they are overwhelmingly generous, far out of proportion with the humble rhubarb that I serve up here.

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

What we're dealing with today is one of a bunch of 2003 tuocha, dry stored like no other in Canada. These are dry, dry, dry - so very clean and sharp. As shown above, the leaves are small, as you'd expect in this format, but of good integrity - this is not the mulch of standard Xiaguan offerings. The aroma is very gentle - distant sweetness. Shown further up, the "Big G" logo appears to be impressed in the tuocha, which I haven't seen before.

2003 Xiaguan Export Tuocha

It turns out to be a solid yellow soup, whose main character is heady sweetness, but which has plenty of unkempt bitterness in reserve (which is good). In six years, even given dry storage, and tight(ish) compression, there are notes of age about it. Certainly, it has a long road ahead of it, but there are signs of change already - more than I would expect, given the conditions.

By the seventh infusion, I am pushing it quite hard, and yet the sweetness never turns to roughness, which is admirable. These were, I gather, inexpensive, but they far exceed the expectations of their class. I look forward to enjoying more of them, and to seeing how the humid Oxford environment will affect them.

Thanks again to Woogie, paragon of animals.


Will H. said...

Thanks for another good review. As always, it is exciting to read a fellow tea drinker's review on the same tea.

The pleasure is mine as well to share and express the heart of gratitude.


tieguanyin said...

Hobbes - Thank you for the great post and sharing your journeys in tea!

Woogie - how can one access your blog now that it is an "invite required" spot? I enjoyed it much when it was public access! Do miss it.

Hobbes said...

Dear Woogie and Tieguanyin,

As always, a sincere pleasure.