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2006 Jay's HK Storage Nan Jian Feng Huang Raw Pu Erh Tuo (100g)

2006 Jay's HK Storage Nan Jian Feng Huang Raw Pu Erh Tuo (100g)

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July 10th, 2021

These tuos have been aging in my warehouse since November, 2016. They were originally in Kunming cryostorage (very cool and dry storage that slows pu erh aging down to a crawl), but of course they kicked into high gear once they arrived in Hong Kong. My particular storage environment is very active, but never gets too humid and I never get any visible mold on my tea. This style of dry storage started the dry storage boom of the 2000s, and my storage situation is very similar to the environment the legendary 88 Qingbing was stored in. I believe the 88 QB was stored only five miles or so away from my warehouse!

I expected this to be a good session before I tried the tuo, since Nan Jian shengs are quite robust. While Xiaguan's plantations are located in the same prefecture, there are definitely clear differences between this tuo and Xiaguan's tuos. I would say this tea is much better than a lot of recent Xiaguan tuos as far as ageability.

The tuo has loosened up some with age, but you are definitely going to need a pick to pry some off of these tuos. I was able to pry some off with no generated dust due to the high moisture content in this tea in peak summer conditions. 

In the cup, this tea tastes almost sarsaparilla-like, which I quite enjoy in a dry storage sheng. Please note dry storage is a huge spectrum, and doesn't at all mean tea was stored bone dry: HK is where the term dry storage started, and HK is far from dry for much of the year! Dry storage in this context means the tea isn't stored in very humid conditions to massively speed up aging. Shou pu erh replicates traditional or wet storage pu erh, Hong Kong style, but this tuo is definitely very different from traditional storage pu erh. There are absolutely no humid storage flavors in this tea at all, but it is cleanly aged and nicely far along as well (with plenty of distinctive character from the material remaining in the tea). This is a great example of how the right environment can age a tea to excellent drinkability while maintaining the true character of the material, without any undesirable flavors developing. 

This tea is full-tasting in the cup and very clean. There is a surprising amount of bitterness in this tea in the first infusion, considering these tuos have had almost five years in Hong Kong, but the bitterness never gets intolerable (at least for me)! I leafed hard for this test session: approximately 12 grams / 150ml.

I get some raisin-like flavor in the aftertaste in the liquor, and some light astringency. The flavor gets sweeter as the tea cools some, and I get hints of barley and cantaloupe/date that remind me of Xiaguan tea, but this tea is much sweeter tasting in the cup. I believe Fenghuang teas can definitely hold a candle to Xiaguan teas, and in some cases, are superior to Xiaguan teas as well. 

Later in the session, I get clear chenpi flavor, as well as a hint of what tastes like sweet, aged out smoke (without any actual smokiness). 

This tea has a strong caffeine effect without the calming I get from many teas, so if I need something to get me moving, this would be a good option. Of course, we all react differently to different teas, so this tea might actually be very relaxing for someone else!

This is a good tea, and I can't wait to see how it changes now that the sample tuo is bagged up! I expect the intensity of the aroma and flavor to increase significantly over the next several months.

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