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2010 HK Natural Storage Xiaguan JiaJi Raw Tuocha (100g)

2010 HK Natural Storage Xiaguan JiaJi Raw Tuocha (100g)

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January 26th, 2021

These tuos have come a long way in almost four years. The dry tuos now smell almost herbal, and brew up much darker and smoother (in a few years they might well brew up shou dark). I was able to easily snap my test tuo in half yesterday, so the material is definitely loosening up with time as well. There are sweet aromatics that weren't present when I last tried this tea, and the wildflower note has mellowed into something floral, but much more subdued. I noted citrus, oak and barley in the liquor at different points, but these notes were light. There is a hint of aged out smoke in the aftertaste. 

Both the astringency and bitterness are also less prominent now, but you'll definitely be able to detect astringency if brewed strong and the liquor is then allowed to cool down! The last two pictures on this listing are of today's session.

October 27th, 2019

I bought 70 of these tuos in February 2017, and I've had them aging in my warehouse in Hong Kong ever since! My storage style is natural dry storage without the use of dehumidifiers as is common in Guangdong: I do run air conditioning when I'm around, but other than that, I let nature run its course. This allows the tea to proceed much quicker at eleven floors up, but without any humid storage notes or visible mold or fungi!

This tea has transformed remarkably. Interestingly there is some variation between tuos, which surprised me since these are mass produced from large-scale plantation material. While I have Guangdong dry storage JiaJi tuos from 2004, I actually find these to taste more aged and complex! I've discovered the continual use of dehumidifers in most warehouses in Guangdong means I need to further age most pu erh tea that is aged in Guangdong for several months (or years!) to get the tea where I want it.

My natural storage means my tea mellows out and is more complex than if I were to purchase these tuos from most Guangdong dealers. There is no smoke detectable from the tuos at all! Dark and intense wildflower dominates here, which is consistent in Xiaguan JiaJi tuos From year to year. There are some black tea notes from natural oxidation as well, which are pleasant, and there is also a hint of barnyard funk in the first few infusions, which I feel makes the tea more interesting! 

The legendary astringency and bitterness from this material is muted all the way down and this tea is very pleasant to drink. The tuos have loosened up to the point where it really doesn't take much effort with a pu erh pick to break some tea off (Xiaguan tuos from Kunming or even most Guangdong dry storage are renowned for their compression: rock hard).

This tea is still punchy and intense, and would further mellow out with time, but these tuos are definitely ready to drink now. I am only Offering up 50 at this time since I'd like to reserve 20 to see how they turn out with more time in the warehouse!

JiaJi tuos are also known for tobacco aromatics, and I do detect some of that here, but it isn't as intense as with other JiaJi tuos I've tried because of the storage. 

I was surprised this tuo had me both calm and sweating. There is more cha qi  to this material than I would've expected! JiaJi aren't very expensive, but with proper aging (crucial, more so than with many raw pu erh teas), can deliver some serious bang for your buck!

This tea has improved greatly with time. If you've purchased these classic tuos from dealers in Kunming or Guangdong, this might make for a very interesting comparison as my tuos will be much more mellowed than anything coming out of Kunming and most Guangdong-warehouse -stored JiaJi! I'm definitely very happy with how they've aged, and excited to see how they turn out with even more time!

Purchasing five tuos will get you a five-tuo pack (one tong).

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