16 July, 2010

2004 Yangpinhao "Yibang Bainian Gushu"

Neither Yongpinhao nor Yangqinghao, but Yangpinhao - a producer from the capital of Xishuangbanna. Thanks to Keng for providing this cake.  The name is "Hundred-Year Ancient-Tree"  Is it ancient if it's a hundred years old?  Maybe that depends which area of the world you live in.  Snicker.

2004 Yangpinhao Gushu
Yangpinhao - new to me

The little characters to the right read "Yibang", one of the N famous tea mountains in Mengla County of Xishuangbanna.  I don't have a good feel for Yibangshan tea; single-mountain cakes from the famous mountains are fairly unusual: you don't see a lot of pu'ercha labelled "Gedeng" or "Mangzhi".  Maybe Youle and Manzhuan are less uncommon.  They don't seem to draw the crowds the way in the same way as "ZOMG BANZHANG" or "I Can't Believe It's Not Yiwu".  

More's the pity. 

2004 Yangpinhao Gushu
Do you come here often?

The game's afoot from the instant that the cake shrugs off its daywear, and slips into something a little more comfortable: strong scents of chunky sweetness abound.  Some red leaves can be seen in the cake (pictured above) and in the leaves (shown below), but the majority are good, honest raw leaves.  The strength of the aroma alone hints that this has plenty of potency remaining.

2004 Yangpinhao Gushu
Thanks in advance to all those who noted that I misspelled "bainian" and "mansai"

The soup turns out somewhere between orange and yellow, just as you'd hope for a cake that's six years old.  This continues into the flavour, which is a good, sharp woodiness with plenty of kuwei [bitterness].  It is surprisingly complex, containing buckets of floral notes over the top, and a bold tobacco-leather component that remains in the nose.  It's easy to imagine how this cake started out: forthright, complex, sweet, and floral.  Much of it has remained, yet somewhat mellowed in that sharp woodiness. 

2004 Yangpinhao Gushu
It deepens into this orange the longer it sits in the air, but starts out much lighter

It's a really nice example of good aging, and gives me plenty of hope for our own pu'ercha that is potent and yellow during its youth.  Thanks again to Keng for a sincere treat.


Unknown said...

I remember you making comments about how your mother in law thinks you have too much tea. It makes me wonder exactly how much you have considering I keep seeing you with these brand new whole cakes.

Though I get the impression that most of the tea you drink is Puerh, which means you can probably go through cakes much quicker than I can. (I have yet to finish off and entire cake of young sheng!)

Hobbes said...

Dear Adam,

I always think we have tons of tea, but I had to move it all recently (to allow the tea-room to be decorated again), and it doesn't seem like all that much. Qutie a few tong, but they stack nicely. It's nothing too crazy. :)

Though we mostly drink young pu'er, we seldom get through cakes! We seem to drink a new tea every day, more or less...