06 November, 2009

2008 Douji "Shangdou" Zhuancha

This brick is a tiny thing of beauty.

Dining Bee

Isn't it adorable? Pictured below (with dodgy white balancing), the "Shangdou" [SHANG DOH] reclines alongside its sibling, the delicious 2008 "Dadou". I loved the Dadou, and grabbed two boxes, each containing six zhuancha [DJUAN CHA, bricks]. Both varieties came from Puerh Shop for a very decent price.

2008 Douji Shengdou
Meet the twins

Like the Dadou, the aroma is quite faint - a gentle sweetness comes from the brick. You can see the small leaves and fragments that were used in the blend. When rinsed, the aroma comes to life, with lovely fruity, savoury scents coming out of the pot.

2008 Douji Shengdou
Creaminess emphasised by the tetsubin

This was the first tea that I tried with our then-new tetsubin, back in February of this year. The tetsubin lends a certain smooth creaminess to most young shengpu, but, by pure chance, this Shengdou is immensely creamy anyway. The flavour is a perfect mixture of milkiness, nuttiness, and tobacco. It sounds vile, but it works.

Lei grabs a cup on her way past: "Nice - it's like I've got milk in my mouth."

These interesting flavours dwell in the throat forever, following the swallow, and the huigan is also very pleasant. It's a good quality offering.

2008 Douji Shengdou
Say goodbye, Shangdou

Brewing this tea is a fine balance: you get the most out of it by using a lot of leaf, but it is possible to push this one too far. I was generally a little more free than usual, but don't go crazy.

It even performed well when I took it to my office, which is quite unusual - the water there is terrible, and makes virtually all teas taste flat.

It's similar to the 2009 Dadou, in that nutty and creamy character, but perhaps this is a bit sweeter. The Dadou was super-milky.

I continue to love the Douji brand, and look forward to seeing what's coming out this year. I see that Dragon Teahouse is stocking four new cakes for 2009, and hope they're back to the form of my beloved 2006 Dayeqingbing [DA YEAH CHING BING, big-leaf green-cake].

I've a cake of each of the Douji specials winging their way from Taobao, so fingers are crossed for some good performances...


tnchacha said...


I was glad to see a post about this item. I have been enjoying this tea brick, (but could not say the same about the 2008 Douji Bulangshanyun cake- blah!)... Gordon has posted more new Douji items on his Dragon Tea House site than I can possibly try at present, so I am quite interested to see what you think of those new cakes! Thanks for your wonderful and informative tasting notes! - Charlie

五行雲子 said...

I haven't given Taobao a shot yet as a source of tea. Would you recommend it?

Unknown said...

I've checked around and there are two versions of this - am I correct to assume that the red letters on the side makes this one the red (and not the blue)Shengdou?

Maitre_Tea said...

"Meet the twins"

The fact that I snickered a bit inside still means I'm really just a school boy at heart still. These bricks look absolutely delicious, like candy bars, but even better because it's puerh!

Anonymous said...

I was asked recently about what's called "Milk Oolong." My answer was that I don't think it's a flavored tea but just processed to be creamy like this one is.

TacoBell said...

The Shengdou was the first of the Douji brand that I tried. Good to see you approve! I enjoy this tea and it's packaging is delightful. I too look forward to more from Taobao. Fingers are crossed!


Hobbes said...

Dear Charlie,

Thanks for the encouragement! I see that DTH has certainly listed lots of Douji tea - I haven't seen many of the little bricks, but assume that they're baby versions of the cakes that I have on order (some of which DTH also lists - I notice that he hasn't listed the most expensive Banzhang and Yiwu cakes for this year!)

Dear Yunzi,

Taobao is fine. You can buy through handlers such as Taobaonow.com, and the prices are low while the selection is huge. Vendors are particularly competitive. Purchase from vendors with good 99% ratings and lots of sales (as you would with eBay), and there are no problems. Buying modern cakes from Taobao is really easy, and very safe. You probably wouldn't want to buy old cakes (pre 2000), given that you're investing a lot in a vendor you don't yet know - but that's no different to eBay. I love Taobao, it must be said.

Dear Terje,

I hadn't heard of the "red" and "blue" versions of the little bricks - given that they are so cheap, they usually don't bother with different coloured grades (given that such minutae usually differentiate the pressings or orderings of more expensive cakes. Given the basic nature of the little bricks, I can't imagine that there's much difference between the two. Think 7542-901 and 7542-902, perhaps?

Toodlepip all, and thanks for the comments,