Sunday, March 11, 2012

1980's Yunnan Jincha tuocha

    The 80's bamboo wrapped tuocha aquired from Essence of Tea is my stand by aged sheng from my stand by tea vendor. I go to this tea when I want a good tea that I do not feel that I have to be completly present with. With other Teas of this age or maturity they are, number one very expensive. So anything less than your full attention and you are throwing away money. Also the level of complexity is such that price aside you need to pay attention to pick up on all the different levels of tastes and qi. While this tea is most certainly neither cheap or monotone. It is both at a level price and depth that I can drink it  without dedicateing  100% of my attention to it and not feel like I am commitiing a  unforgivable sin. This being  very helpful  to someone with a two year old son who is presently occupying a spica cast ,and a bad aged sheng addiction.
This deadly looking instrument was in it's former life used in my studio to poke holes in molten glass.
          I give this tea one quick 7 second rinse. There is a definite aroma from the storage in the rinse. The next infusion the storage aroma has become to me very faint being replaced by a blackbery honey sweetness. The flavor has a little Toki's granny face powder and allot of  wood while not really desending into the realm of being woody. There is still some activity in the mouth and a bit of astringency letting you know that this tea still has not reached its full maturity. The cha qi comes on slow in this tea rising up from your core and warming  your body while calming your mind.
      By the third infusion there  the flavor profile has shifted away from the wood and leaning more toward the face powder.  The huigan and cha qi both become more pronounced as the sesion develops.As it evolves it continues to become sweeter and develop a mintiness as well.
This tea has a decent life span not dropping out at any point but slowly fading down to sweet water over fifteen to twenty some infusion depending on how you brew it and  how long you feel it stays interesting.

        I have tried three versions of this tea. The Eot version, The one caried at Houde and a early nineties version procured from Henry Trading co. in Hong Kong. I feel the Eot verson is the best. Although one could argue for Houdes version having less wet storage causing the mintyness to become much more prominent and having a stronger huigan.  The Henrry trading version still needed a few more years. Although they all have the same basic base taste. With the  high level of compression in these tuochas they really do require some time in a Hong Kong basement, to mature in a reasonable amount of time (under a century).

   One thing about this Tuocha has me interested.   I was originally under the impession that this was a Xiaguan Tuocha. But recently I noticed on Essence of Tea's site that its now claimed to be the product of  Yunnan Sheng Cha Ye Fen Gong Si . I'm seem to remember it being advertised there originally as Xiaguan made. It is still advertised as Xiaguan at Houde. So are they two different manufacturers, has EOT gotten a different Tuocha with the same wrapper, is that a different tuocha at Houde (they taste to be of similar origin) or is someone mistaken? Either way it does not change the experience of this delicious affordable (for an 80's sheng) tea.


  1. The Yunnan fen gong is Yunnan branch of CNNP. Xiaguan used to belong to it as a production factory, so were almost all other puerh factories of formal sizes.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Ginko thanks for info. Your input is always welcome. These tuochas all tasted similar enough that I thought that they must be from the same factory. But that is just my nerdiness getting in the way of my tea session