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2014 Jay's HK Natural Storage Xiaguan Special Grade / Teji Raw Pu Erh Tuo (100g)

2014 Jay's HK Natural Storage Xiaguan Special Grade / Teji Raw Pu Erh Tuo (100g)

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March 21st, 2021

I purchased these tuos from a large volume Xiaguan dealer in Kunming back in January 2019, and have aged them in my very own warehouse in Hong Kong since then. Some Xiaguan tuos hit well above their price point, so I was curious to see how this tea would brew up. The dry tuo smells warm and like aged out smoke. I was able to break the tuo up with a pick with ease: the material has loosened up with age and due to my storage environment. The tuo broke back down into chunk and loose leaf when a little pressure from a tea pick (no dust).

After the rinse, the wet leaf smelled smokey, but nowhere near as intensely smokey as fresh Xiaguan tea can sometimes be. In the cup, this tea has good, full mouthfeel and flavor with aged smoke. If you're smoke averse, this tuo isn't for you, but I expect the smoke to subside significantly over the year(s) to come. There is some bitterness in the first infusion, but it is mild, and I get surprising mouthcooling, which I don't usually get from Xiaguan's raw tuos. The flavor reminds me of the roasty mineral flavor of my Everyday High Roast Shuixian, which was a surprise. There is also some of the classic Dali wildflower note Xiaguan's raw plantation pu erh teas are known for. The flavor expands after the swallow, which is always a sign of good material to me.

This tuo brews up nothing at all like my older JiaJis, which was a surprise. I expect this tea to get much more aromatic if stored in a bag, so I will put my test tuo into a bag to see how it develops. This tea has an excellent calming (yet energizing) effect, which is right up my street and the kind of tea I like for getting my day started. I got up and lifted some weights between infusions because of the energy from this tea!

The second infusion is more astringent and bitter, with a sharper smoke note. The aftertaste is less intense as well, but the energy is excellent.

This is a great daily-drinker grade tea that is now aged far enough to be drinkable. I expect the smoke to dissipate and the material will mellow out further with time. Bagged storage in one of my cotton paper/plastic bags should help the tea become more aromatic; this tea has been stored in the cardboard box it came in since its arrival, sans plastic.

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