2017 Biyun Hao samples
A sampling of 2017 BYH:
- Jingmai Danzhu (Single trees)
- Yiwu organic small trees (50 year old trees)
- Yibi gushu
- Mahei Manxiu gushu
- Mahei-Luoshuidong gushu
By far my favourites are the Yibi and the Mahei-Luoshuidong gushu. So much so that I can easily ignore the other three. Among these two, there is a big difference in style. I think the Mahei-Luoshuidong is probably the most gushu-like gushu I’ve ever had, if that makes sense, and the Yibi is really strong in resinous content.
In preference I would say
Mahei-Luoshuidong = Yibi > > Jingmai > Mahei Manxiu > > Yiwu organic
1. Jingmai Danzhu
Distinctive citrus-floral-vinegar-juicy white wine flavour profile, oaky Chardonnay maybe. Deep flavour with depression of center and rear tongue.
Thick texture, seaweed, marine algae, some roasted nuts. By steep five a very nice full flavour, bittersweet, gripping whole mouth, extremely thick.
Radiating heat, strong relaxing body effect. Midback radiating heat, powerful uplift. Lots of energy circulating around the back of the head.
By steep 3 start noticing increasing astringency, getting much more harsh in steep 7. By Steep 8 still interesting, fresh mushrooms, thick savoury-briny liquor.
Strong similarity to 2010 Jingmai, this one seems deeper in mouthfeel and impact. I am pretty sure that Jingmai is not my preferred style.
2. Yiwu organic 50yr trees
Damp leaf is very vinegary pungent – more than the other ’17 samples. Wash has sweet green arrival. Grassy, bitter, with sweet aftertaste.
Barnyard on the gaiwan lid. Roast nuts on wet leaf. More green, pure mineral with a gentle empty cup aroma. Quite alerting with some dissociative effect on arms.
Nutty arrival, leading to bitter green development and a sweet briny salivating finish after 30 seconds. Quite a lot of back frisson.
Very clear huigan effect over the first 40 seconds. The huigan is more about salivation than overt sweetness. Strong tannins come in during the development.
Loses my interest by steep 6 or so. Still has quite some strength and sweetness. Some relaxation.
3. Yibi gushu
Dry leaf is very pungent, with a very nice aroma. Damp it is even better, rich sweet perfume. Wash gives sweet fruity aroma on liquor, excellent aroma, not oolong-like but pungent sweet honey. Medium thickness. Very good green arrival, sweet honey salivating finish.
Superb empty cup aroma and huigan, as well as liquor aroma. waves of qi, some green and growing tannins but the aroma and sweet aftertaste are excellent. Wet leaf continues to smell good.
Remarkable long lasting aroma. continuing excellent resinous ECA. Taste becomes more savoury and green but not vegetal or oolong like.
Depth on the middle rear of tongue and throat. Savoury taste in throat.
Interesting incense traces on the empty cup aroma in steeps after 7. Aroma decreases and taste thins by steep 9.
Uplifting mobile qi, my favourite profile, very enjoyable.
4. Mahei Manxiu gushu
Dry leaf has mild pungent sweet honey. Wet leaf has mild bitter vegetal aroma. Wash has mild sweet arrival. Very light, greenish yellow.
Initially taste is quite good and thick, though very light. Mild ssalivation. Straightforward sweetness. Long huigan, numbing sweetness on sides of tongue.
Good ECA of fine perfume, powdery. Gentle but very clear sweetness and late huigan which grows in intensity. By steep 3, the aroma is excellent, ECA excellent. and feeling frisson in the neck and head. Long lived cup residue, particularly pungent.
Steep 3-4 is when we get full yellow colour. Base is not as thick as Yibi, but good. Bitterness is quite strong in this tea. Slow and very long conversion to sweetness.
I can see the resemblance to the 2012 Mahei. Sleepy qi. Relaxation. Very long-lived emergent aroma in nose and throat.
By steep 5, bitter and simple taste, less thick body. Light colour, light body. Strength at this point is the aroma and the huigan. This continues for many steeps, seems to have good longevity in this respect. Harsh on the stomach. Strong lingering sweet-bitterness on the tongue.
5. Mahei-Luoshuidong gushu
Dry leaf is pungent but has a deeper, more interesting aroma of skunkiness and slight smoke. Very light wash. Initially the taste is savoury with very good empty cup aroma. Good sweet activation and the most noticeable thing at start is the strength penetration effect on the upper mouth and center tongue. The pungency is softer and sweeter, not the harsh uric kind.
Very floral pungent. Wet leaf has barnyard. Leaves are darker in appearance than other Mahei. Liquor remains quite pale in steep 3. Definite incense notes and minerality. Very interesting complex taste and a strong coating effect on the mouth surfaces.
Complex taste, very enjoyable and less bitter than the Manxiu. More yellow in steep 5. Very enjoyable overall experience. Nice aroma, bittersweet arrival, late juiciness and huigan. Later on we feel astringency on the sides of the mouth. But the main impact is really in the centerline and deep center tongue, and down throat, and then also on the upper mouth with the gasoline strength effect.
Mid steeps have very good tartness after swallow and a good long sweet aftertaste with more incense notes.
By steep 7 we have slight reduction of ECA but continued excellent taste. Afterwards notice extremely long lasting resin content hours after the session remaining in the mouth and throat, and seemingly throughout the body.