2004-6 BYH Yiwu and Manzhuan, first assay

// Published March 13, 2017 by mgualt

A vertical tasting of Bi Yun Hao (Ziye Hao/Biyun Zhen) organized by Pedro

In descending order of preference

  1. 05 Yiwu
  2. 06 MZ
  3. 04 Yiwu
  4. 06 Yiwu
  5. 05 MZ
  6. 04 MZ

2004 Yiwu 20 Feb 2017, 3.6g/65ml gaiwan

Dry: tobacco, savoury. Damp: grain, soft, more tobacco. Wet: Rich sweet woody mushroom, no geosmin.

Wash: tiny wisp of smoke and fatty soap. Savoury, pungent aroma. Salivation begins with a briny aspect. Thick, slight white tea / Yabao texture and taste.

  1. Yellow tinged with orange. Thick, cohesive. Pure, blank initial taste, very nice empty cup aroma. Eye qi, waves on neck and back. Savoury, briny, not sweet.
  2. Some astringency, fine tannins on tongue. Excellent empty cup aroma of dark savoury resins. Medium-High thickness and very pure flavour, with big pungent savoury aroma.
  3. Minty feeling after sip, nice residual taste in mouth. Aroma is really blooming after finishing the cup, remarkably so.  Open air qi sensation, open chest, and frisson surrounding upper body
  4. Posture qi, uplift, not too heating, not sleepy. Thick, herbal and medicinal, with quite some apparent tannins. Extra good empty cup aroma
  5. Silky texture, quite thick yellow-brown-orange. Minty sensation continues. Striking uplifting frisson waves moving upwards and out of the top of head.
  6. Very good feeling, centered, good posture and balance, lower chin numbness, frisson surrounding rib cage. Gaiwan lid aroma is that of a black tea.
  7. 25s steep, much weaker aroma now, flavour still full and coating.
  8. High thickness
  9. Longer 1:30 steep, more strength, tobacco, mintiness, perhaps this tea would perform better at a higher concentration.  Excellent qi feeling great soothing centering etc.
  10. very mild flavour, not interesting, more astringency, but lots of colour on later longer steeps.

I had a good but not great impression from this session.  The main experience for me was in the early aroma (empty cup aroma especially and the tobacco aspects) and texture, as well as the narrow taste, followed by very pleasant centering and uplifting qi sensation.

2004 Manzhuan, 4.8g/85ml glazed pot, 24 Feb 2017

Dry: sweet strength aged, warehouse, no geosmin.  Damp: Quite sweet ferment, more than Yiwu, Wet: quite a lot of raw strength, sweet but clean.

Wash: Sweet, with good aftertaste. Juicy and moreish. Balling in throat, very clean, juicy and thick.

  1. Sweet and juicy aftertaste with noticeable huigan. Clean and clear. Strength, balling. Pungent perfume and medium cup aroma.  Quite remarkable huigan and a blast of face + chest heat.
  2. Dark orange, good liquor aroma. Growing empty cup aroma. Grounding, relaxing heat radiating along neck and back. Some savoury with sweet in the long aftertaste. Slight woody incense. Lots of strength on the upper mouth.
  3. A bitter slight off-taste occurs, but there are complex honey florals in aftertaste. Major warming
  4. Quite fermenty. Clear but darker orange. Sweet.
  5. Perhaps tetsubin makes this tea too fermenty and dank — try stainless next time. Sweet fermenty strength.

Heating, but no frisson came to me at this session. Overall sweet and with noticeable fermentation funk in the taste. Best aspect was the early huigan.

2005 Yiwu, 4.7g/85ml glazed pot, 26 Feb 2017

Dry: Aged, savoury, clean strength, spice.
Damp: Chinese medicine shop, slight fishy, fermentation funk, no geosmin.
Wet: Sweet damp wood, clean and crisp.

Wash: Slight sour fruit arrival, sweet development, nice aroma. Has a bit of the yabao white tea thickness effect, like wild varietal.

  1. Herbal sweet resin aroma, immediate small wave to lower ribs towards the back. Creamy texture and sweet aftertaste.
  2. Ropy silky texture, thick, sweet herbal aroma on the liquor.Deep taste, some astringency and a penetrating oil-gas strength on the mouth surfaces. Very good ECA.  Can feel frisson beginning, major frisson on inhalation, cheeks and neck become numb minutes afterwards, whole left side tingling. Quite remarkable
  3. Thickness increases and ECA even better. Very good perfumy aroma, qi effect is really intense now. Intense frisson involving goosebumps along arms.
  4. Bittersweet herbals rising up the cheeks far towards the ears and upper throat. Honey florals on ECA. Wet cotton grippy texture with increased astringency.
  5. Full mouthwatering taste, sweet development briny and sweet aftertaste, major beautiful combo of full mouthfeel and aroma.  During the tasting it does have a background of something oolong.  Heating and frisson continue. Cascading waves.
  6. The qi experience is truly remarkable now, fountain going up to the head and  spreading to the back of head, ears, temples, pins+needles style, with full flavour in mouth even giving sweet highlights on the tip of tongue.  Remarkable long lasting sweet and complex flavours.  Tingling about the whole face.
  7. Continued bold taste. Super heating with inspiration and uplift, super intense qi effect, not euphoria but complete excess and abandon.
  8. Still flavourful after long rest,
  9. Bitter after a long steep but with later sweetness.
  10. Astringency but not uninteresting
  11. More bitterness but still giving energy
  12. Long steep, not really enjoying.

By far my favourite of the BYH, a really intense qi experience with big, bold flavour, excellent aroma and lots of strength built in.  I would hope that the residual strength at the 10th steep would indicate that it might provide more excellent steeps after some more age.

2005 Manzhuan, 4.4g/80ml shibo, 2 March 2017

Beautiful material.  Aged aroma, no geosmin, no sweet fermentation, very good damp aroma.

Wash: Quick alertness wave. Juicy, flavourful, quite good indeed, with frisson coming after a minute or so after the wash and a huigan as well.

  1. Very active huigan, juicy coating of mouth. High juiciness, oolong style, aroma of dark perfume
  2. Wonderful ECA. Pungent perfume. Feel relaxed and posture qi. Meditation. Heavy limbs.
  3. Superb emergent aroma in the mouth and nose. Long lasting penetrating strength and a more slowly building qi in the back.  Some pungent wet hay, some bitterness and greenness, but this is behind a great aroma and sweet flavour.
  4. Fantastic ECA of rich pungent perfume, floral and intoxicating. Reverberating sweetness in aftertastes.
  5. Not sweet on arrival. Very nice texture. Slightly astringent. Some tobacco fragrance and aged aroma, sweet later on.
  6. dying rapidly

Unusually juicy at the start with very active huigans and very good aroma. Qi experience not as good as the 2005 Yiwu.  Similar two-tone effect but with more emphasis on the luscious early aroma and flavour.

2006 Yiwu, 4.8g in 85ml glazed pot, 12 March 2017

Dry: Clear rich fresh tobacco aroma, perhaps the best aroma of the BYH. Similar scent to ZRYF 2013 and somewhat like CYH Ziwang 2007.  Damp: Sweet grain and cooked fruit. Wet: Sweet, no funk whatsoever, very good.

Wash: Clear, yellow-orange fresh scent of tobacco, active, subtle, excellent aroma.  High thickness and cohesion. Very mild taste. Strength effect apparent in aftertaste.

  1. Fantastic aroma in mouth and ECA. Complex flavour, briny deep huigan, tobacco honey smoke. A gentle building wave of frisson
  2. Faint but nice smoke. Very salivating, gripping the tongue and coating the mouth with fine astringency.  Frisson continues, mild but clear. Very pure and somewhat blank flavour initially, with high thickness. Taste becomes interesting in the finish.  Within a minute or two, marvelous wave of frisson, mouth->throat->down to feet. Excellent tobacco pungent aroma. Astringency.
  3. Herbal arrival, salivating finish. Aroma emerges later in the mouth. Darker florals, sweet fresh tobacco. More astringent than the other BYH.
  4. Very precise, narrow taste, similar to the 2004 Yiwu and to a lesser extent the 2005. Big texture though and there is an oolong flavour note in that very mild bittersweet aspect.  Aroma continues to excel.
  5. Astringent, somewhat rough on throat but very nice pungent aroma and even bigger huigan with reverberating sweetness.
  6. Sweet clean aroma on liquor
  7. Going over a cliff, mild shoulder qi, some vegetal sweetness becomes apparent, bizarre sudden death
  8. Longer steep, more vegetal, slightly bitter, good salivation and still energy comes.
  9. Long steep, astringent, mild qi continues but not enjoyable

The family resemblance between this tea and the 2004 and 2005 is striking, especially the 2004. Especially in the unusual narrow taste and the excellent early aroma with tobacco notes.  The qi experience hints at the excellent 2005 one but this tea can’t compare to it even in the early and mid steeps. In this session it died such a brutal death that I may have done something wrong, must retaste. This was not using Tetsubin and using usual filtered tap.

2006 Manzhuan, 4.8g in 85ml glazed pot, 7 March 2017

Dry: Aged, warehouse, clean spice. Damp: Clean, strength aroma. Wet: warehouse and pungent raw sheng aroma.

Wash: Savoury and thick profile with sweet aroma. Comforting. Some mild pungent ECA. Overall dark profile.

  1. Some initial bitterness with an overall savoury arrival. Big interesting pungent sweet aroma. Noticeable astringency with a later sweet huigan. Interesting complex bitter development.  Fantastic ECA.
  2. Strength, savoury and briny. Excellent ECA. Darker overall. Some tobacco but darker, less sweet and more savoury.  Some green notes, including oolong but not dominating the overall sheng profile.
  3. Relaxation, sleepiness, savoury lower tongue. Persistent high juiciness on tongue, and fine astringent coating of mouth.
  4. Penetrating taste, gasoline/oil coating. Heat. Sweating. Lingering interesting complex taste.
  5. Fantastic full flavour now without much astringency. Complex but dominant savoury with some sweet highlights. Sides of face are hot and sweating. Wonderful huigan on this steep. Also after a minute or two, waves beginning slowly moving down body. More heat and relaxation.  This is very enjoyable and while not as good as 05 Yiwu, coming second.
  6. Liquor aroma still good. Thick but not ultra thick. ECA still very good.
  7. Very clean pure taste. Complex with no unpleasant notes. Lots of penetrating fragrant oil, and waves of uplift.  Very enjoyable still.
  8. Gentle but thick and substantial, with frisson uplift hitting the body still.
  9. Very good mouthcoat and overall becoming sweeter for a few more steeps, maintaining strength for a few more steeps.

A clear second to the 2005 Yiwu, this has a very different profile, much more savoury, oily and thick, with a more powerful unified and darker flavour.  Maintains power and enjoyment for quite a bit longer.



  1. Diveo
    November 9, 2017 @ 9:22 am

    How long did you let the samples rest after receiving?

    • mgualt
      November 9, 2017 @ 10:35 am

      Why do you need this information? I prefer not giving “how to” advice, there are great sources already for this e.g. TeaDB.

    • mgualt
      January 28, 2019 @ 3:31 pm

      Hi Diveo, I think I was a bit paranoid in my first answer – I usually let tea rest 2 weeks, sealed, in a warmer environment about 32C, before tasting. I find that the jetlag effect is a huge problem for me.


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