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2012 Jay's HK Storage Xiaguan Jingmai Gushu Raw Pu Erh Tuo (100g)

2012 Jay's HK Storage Xiaguan Jingmai Gushu Raw Pu Erh Tuo (100g)

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April 6th, 2020

These tuos were purchased directly from one of the largest Xiaguan dealers in China in July 2017, and aged here in my warehouse in Hong Kong ever since. I paid a slight premium to purchase these from a highly reputable (and very large volume) dealer. I didn't know what to expect when I bought these, but I bought eleven to test after suitable aging. 

While these are sold as Jingmai Gushu tuos by Xiaguan, I believe the gushu material is blended with plantation material to achieve this price point, and I get strong aroma and character that I very much associate with Xiaguan's Dali plantation material. I also get some cantaloupe from the dry leaf and in the cup, which is not typical for a Xiaguan factory tuo, so I suspect the cantaloupe is from the Jingmai gushu material.

The dry tuo smells like a classic aged Xiaguan sheng tuo: sweet, but intense, and something almost camphorous. After a good rinse, the leaf still smells like a classic Xiaguan tuo with some age on it. While you can get these cheaper elsewhere, you might find the experience in the cup to be very different! These tuos were aged by me in my own eleventh-floor warehouse here in Hong Kong and have only passed through one wholesaler's hands before they got to me from Xiaguan! I'd suspect you'd get a lot more smoke in the flavor profile from more conservative storage.

Please note the white balance in the picture is a little off due to the intense fluorescent lighting in the warehouse, despite my best efforts to get the white balance right.

I found this tuo to be significantly more tightly compressed than the 2017 versions I put up recently, for whatever reason. I think Xiaguan is pressing their tuos and cakes more lightly than in the past. 

In the cup, this tea is smooth with pleasant umami and surprisingly intense huigan.  There is intensity here that I associate with their Jiaji or Teji tuos. The liquor is not at all astringent, only lightly bitter. This is a very smooth tea, easy on the tummy and very economical. I think these will be amazing with more time on them, and I am ready to buy more of these up to age for sure! The cha qi from these is incredibly intense, even after aging, and I needed to lie down after a few infusions, even after a full meal! I also detected a note that reminded me of tobacco, which is fairly common in Xiaguan raw tuos. 

If you're looking for a good daily drinker with pleasant classic Xiaguan flavor, smoothness, powerful huigan and a lot of calming cha qi, this is it!

While Xiaguan certainly produces much fancier tea, these are a very interesting departure from their classic Teji, Jiaji and 'Casual' tuos that I would be very happy to purchase more of to age for the long term!

I only have ten tuos from this batch in total for sale (I sacrificed one to testing)!

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