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2011 Guangdong Dry Storage Xiaguan XY 8113 Bulang Early Spring Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

2011 Guangdong Dry Storage Xiaguan XY 8113 Bulang Early Spring Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

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May 25th, 2021

These cakes were stored in uncovered Guangdong dry storage up until October 2020. These cakes have changed profoundly in seven months. When these were first recommended to me as a good budget Bulang raw, I didn't understand the hype as these cakes were still 'asleep' directly from the warehouse in Guangdong. Today I very much understand the appeal of these cakes and I would quite happily buy more to age!

The dry cake is aromatic and smells lightly of barley and wildflower, along with some of the aged aromatics I often find in dry stored cakes that are stored uncovered for long periods of time in Guangdong. More humid storage wouldn't have given these cakes this character, and the aged aroma has receded over time. 

In the cup, this tea has lovely kuwei (sweetness that follows bitterness). The kuwei in this cake is rather outstanding and perhaps its best selling point to me, but there is also quite a bit of complexity here that makes this tea stand out from other Xiaguan offerings at this price point. There is an agarwood/incense note to this tea that is very interesting and to me is a classic Bulang flavor. The smoke this cake once had is gone and instead I get barley and tobacco notes that are lighter and inoffensive than in other recipes I've tried with these flavors, so this is a nicely balanced tea now. The aftertaste is longlasting, as is the flavor. There is no astringency in this material now, which is quite remarkable. There is some chenpi (aged citrus peel) and date in the aftertaste as well, which are flavors I often find in aged factory tea from both the Bulang region and Xiaguan's own Dali material. I beleive this cake is blended Bulang and Dayi material, and blended well. 

When I tried this tea last October, I didn't really notice the calming effect from this tea, but it was my second sheng session of the day and I often can't gauge body effects as well in the second tea of the day since I'm often still riding the wave from the first session. This tea is nicely calming and has a good caffeine buzz from the tippy spring material used. The polyphenols in this tea made me hungry and I had to eat some almonds and walnuts mid-session to bring my sugar back up. 

This is a great tea now and I have faith this will age well long-term! The price of this tea has risen some since last year and I definitely need more of this tea for long-term storage as it definitely has shown promise.

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