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2015 Jay's HK Storage Xiaguan Gold Ribbon Raw Tuo (100g)

2015 Jay's HK Storage Xiaguan Gold Ribbon Raw Tuo (100g)

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March 20th, 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 ten to test after suitable aging. 

These tuos were first produced for a large Guangdong dealer in 2004, and have been a favorite ever since!

The dry tuo smells like a classic aged Xiaguan sheng tuo: a whisper of smoke and something almost camphorous, but the aroma from the dry tuo isn't very intense. After a good rinse, the leaf still smells like a classic Xiaguan tuo with some age on it, but the light smoke and camphor do not make it into the cup because of my specific storage style. 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 warehouse and have only passed through one wholesaler's hands before they got to me from Xiaguan!

Please note the white balance in the picture is off due to the intense fluorescent lighting in the warehouse, despite my best efforts to get the white balance right. The wet leaves also appear significantly darker than they appear in the picture.

These tuos are known to be smokey and camphorous with age, but there is none of that here. I get light notes of malted barley in the liquor, as well as light cantaloupe and date in the finish. The real surprise with this tea is how intense the umami is! The liquor is not at all astringent and pleasantly bitter. While I would personally prefer to taste more origin character in the cup, 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 gold (really yellow) ribbon pressed in the tuo indicates these are a special high grade production. 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 nine tuos from this batch in total for sale (I sacrificed one to testing)!

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