1999 YQH Cangmi
Sep 23, 2016, 4.6g/70ml gaiwan. [7.1]
Dry leaf is a dry version of the YQH smell, slightly grainy on the damp leaf.
The wash and the first steep are sweet, active, but a bit funky or shu-ish. I’d do two rinses on this tea. You will be rewarded however.
Steeps 1-8: pungent florals, perfumed, coating the mouth and throat, salivating aftertastes. Some tongue numbness, and a couple of vegetal/blank arrivals before the aftertastes. Slight sweetness, some bitterness if pushed, dark orange to red in colour, deep colour into the late steeps. Quite salivating in steeps 6-8.
Steeps 9-12: very nice fruity high note in the juicy taste – quite striking in steep 9. Some nice bitterness and a slight effervescent effect. Clear huigans and very enjoyable. Medium-high viscosity. Consistent taste, not mild, but also not super strong. Very nice restrained huigan,
Steeps 13-17 are milder version of the above, good colour/thickness/flavour.
By steep 18, more than an hour in, I am surprised by the first sign of body/mind effect and it comes on slowly but becomes very clear, not overpowering but clear, very enjoyable, long-lasting and restrained. Waves up the back, uplifting/inspired feeling, frisson on inhalation. The qi sensation is neither mild nor strong.
Finally I must say that the material looks and feels good- thick stems, large fat leaves.
Considering the relatively low price of this 1kg brick, and considering the age and apparent quality of the material, one could argue that the Cangmi is the best value in the YQH catalog. It seems underrated to me, at least that is why I basically ignored it until I received a sample (Thanks, Emmett!). It provides a very full experience with pungent aroma, mouthfeel, throatiness, aftertaste salivation and huigan, and then a very enjoyable albeit delayed body/mind effect. Not to mention extremely durable, going for 20+ steeps!