2014-15 Biyun Hao Lishan Gongcha

// Published September 23, 2017 by mgualt

Biyun Hao produced the Lishan gongcha tribute cake in 2013, 2014, and 2015. This is a comparison between 2014 and 2015.  The tea is a Yiwu from Mahei.

2014 is on the LEFT and 2015 is on the RIGHT

2014

Large leaves, clearly a blend, nice material. Dry, it is pungent and did not smell like a fresh tea, it had a bit of age on it.

The wash has a bit of floral incense, reminds me a lot of storage notes from Malaysia.

  1. Not green at all. Excellent Huigan (+++). Emergent resinous aroma on the throat. Perfume is quite impressive. ECA is very good (++). Intense huigan, more sweet and juicy than the ’15.
  2. Thick, more greenness now. Lighter, more floral
  3. Emergent pungency after swallow is quite strong (+++)
  4. Sweet honey, florals, sweet, light. Full flavour but an overall lighter profile. Qi is downward, calming, relaxing. Heavy feeling.
  5. Reminds me somewhat of the 801-8582. Lighter, more floral, with pungent emergent aroma.
  6. Uplifting qi. Mild taste.
  7. Mild, slightly bitter, sweet, and more heat. Quite a lot of heat.
  8. Mild, a bit green. Coating the mouth.
  9. Starting to get a bit vegetal but emergent aroma is still good. Some incense coming through
  10. Good thickness, still has some taste but getting darker, losing the high aromas.

 

2015

Amazing looking material, some of the best I’ve seen from BYH. Loose compression,. Very pungent dry material. Warmed, the material gives slight smoke and a deep aroma.  This smoke note is very mild, very enjoyable, and not present in any of the other BYH samples from 2017 for example.  The wash has a super juicy arrival, sweet with tartness.

  1. Excellent aroma. Juiciness, and Excellent ECA (+++) strength coating of tongue and even some numbness on tongue
  2. Slight smoke, bitter edge like roasted rapini. Thick (+++) Full mouthcoat. Very good. Thick perfume. Opening of the throat. Deep breathing. Warmth, calm. Very pleasant.
  3. Full arrival taste, more bitter than the Yibi, but much stronger. Very oily.  ECA is excellent (+++).  Activates the centerline and rear of tongue, as well as juiciness on the outer edge.
  4. Strong uplift. Very strong base flavour. Increasing juicy aftertaste. Excitement qi. Legs, back, neck.  Numb feeling in the cheeks.
  5. Excellent full taste (+++). Juicy. Uplift.
  6. There is a green gyokuro familiar background, showing some youth, and then on top there is juiciness, strength, sweetness. Very strong uplift and body effect
  7. Surprisingly dark yellow
  8. Thick base of flavour. Incense. Some high florals but very broad taste.
  9. Dark colour continues. Heat.
  10. Oiliness is maintained even now.  Responds very well to long steeps. Keeps giving
  11. Uplift persists. Very strong.
  12. Long steeps are quite good indeed. Bitter but thick and concentrated.

Conclusion

Although I enjoyed the 2014 Lishan, there is no question that I preferred the 2015 in every area. The overall strength of the flavour, the aroma, the huigan, the qi, and the remarkable longevity put it far beyond the 2014. Even the spent leaves of the 2015 are remarkably hearty and thick in comparison to the 2014. The 2015 is noticeably less green than the 2017 samples I reviewed earlier, but if I had to compare it to one of the teas from that batch, it would be the 2017 Mahei-LSD.  They share a certain depth of flavour.

The 2015 Lishan is a perfect example of how a blend, when done well, can outstrip single origins.  The tea has the impressive pungency of Yibi as well as the depth and oiliness of the LSD, and an incredible longevity which may come from yet other material.  Very interesting tea.

 

 

 

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