12 August, 2010

2009 Shouyixuan "Ziyawang"

As you may remember, I set very little store in novelty cakes - where my definition of "novelty" is particularly conservative. Thus, purple-leaf cakes would usually be classified as such by me, and consequently afforded little interest. You may have noticed that I tend to write mostly about orthodox shengpu, which reflects the types of tea that Lei and I drink.

Having received this cake as a generous "review cake" from Jerry at China Chadao, I kept my hopes at an appropriate level.

2009 Shouyixuan Ziya
Gelugpa is as Gelugpa does

You can't deny that its presentation is excellent!  It reminds me of Gelugpa garments.

2009 Shouyixuan Ziya
Shouyixuan is also termed "SOYI" on various sites around the Internet

I'm never very good with opening paper seals (pictured above), because they tend to destroy the wrapper to which they have been glued.  While I appreciate the gesture towards "security", I must admit that I wouldn't miss such labels if companies stopped using them (especially Dayi).

2009 Shouyixuan Ziya
Though perhaps not clearly shown here, the leaves are a definite dark purple

"Only a fool cannot change his mind."  This is a phrase that I have heard several academics use to illustrate the fact that one must keep an open mind.  Part of the inquisitive process is to be open to the fact that your assumptions may be incorrect, and it is the sign of a healthy mind to be able to question itself and adapt to new evidence accordingly.

While I can't claim to be the world's greatest scientist, I try to be willing to be proven wrong.  This "ziyawang" [purple-bud king] cake has gone a long way to changing my prior assumption about purple-bud productions.  It looks, smells, and tastes highly pleasant indeed.

2009 Shouyixuan Ziya
The leaves remind me of the shape of good Zhuyeqing lucha

I tried this tea on the most complementary day possible: the hottest we've experienced in this already rather hot summer.  The clear, refreshing sweetness of this charming cake was the perfect tipple for such a day.  furthermore, I took the afternoon off work especially to enjoy this tea, and hence I provided it with a most advantageous environment.

Appropriately enough, purple leaves come about as a protective mechanism against the presence of strong UV.  That it proves to be such a deliciously appropriate summer-time tea is a charming coincidence.

2009 Shouyixuan Ziya

I wouldn't buy this tea to age, but for immediate consumption, it is good fun.  At $30, it's priced about right, I would say.  As you might expect, it is particularly fruity and sweet.  Unlike most purple-bud teas, it has some complexity, providing a lovely base of sweet leather and a tangy, long finish.  It isn't immensely challenging, but it is perfect for a Friday afternoon away from my lab...


Sir William of the Leaf said...

Strange, I was just today considering ordering that very cake!
Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Makes me want to make the purchase! =]

Kort said...

Looks inviting - glad to hear it was a pleasant experience. How much to send a sample to the US? ;)

Hobbes said...

Dear William,

It's an easy-going cake - the freshest purple-bud cake I've had in ages. Buy it only for immediate drinking, would be my advice.

Dear Kort,

I don't ever charge people for sending out samples of tea from my own collection - but I'm afraid I cannot offer any, as I'm so far behind on my "to-do" list as it is. There are people to whom I have been meaning to send tea for absolutely ages, but I can never seem to find the long continous chunk of time that is required to get everything packaged up. So, I must refer you to the vendor - I don't know if they sell samples, but it's worth a look. That said, this is a simple cake, and probably not worth sampling - the sample would cost a large portion of the cake's price. :)



Kort said...

Belated thanks for the response Hobbes, I just came across it now, hah. Your advice is well noted.