2012 Xiaguan T8653

// Published June 9, 2018 by mgualt

5.6g in a Novak pot.

The damp leaves initially have a very rich smoke, more of a ringing smokiness than the 2003/2005 Changtai, which have a sweeter smoke. This is more of a drier woodsmoke.

  1. Not very sweet, has quite some stiffness. Very strong flavour however.  From the beginning extremely concentrated.
  2. A large amount of plummy acidity now shows and a very complex progression to a powdery resinous huigan. Overwhelming the senses with a lot of concentrated taste and aroma.  Very pleasant incense resin aroma on the empty cup.
  3. Accumulating plumminess and sweetness now. Quite intense astringency on the sides and back of cheeks. Smokiness is somewhat reduced now but still very prominent. Very old fashioned kind of profile, seems very traditional taste indeed. Well-integrated smoke, plumminess, bitterness. But this is more forward on bitterness.
  4. Superheated now. Intense heat, sweat on forehead. Big aroma afterwards, emerging into nose and throat. Big and brawny, definitely not ready for drinking now in a relaxed way.
  5. Good continuation but losing a lot of depth.
  6. Long steep now gives quite intense bitterness. The puckering and acidity is gone or much reduced
  7. Thinner, more bitter, not much tannins or any astringency at all.

Undeniably rich with resinous, bitter and astringent content, this Xiaguan provides a traditional wollop of an experience.  The astringency and acidity is strong in the initial steeps but reduces quickly, as often happens with such chopped material.  The tea is significantly bitter, I would be interested to see what happens to this bitterness in the coming years.

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