2008 Yeeon Taste of Hong Kong
An inexpensive cake from the Yeeon tea company in Hong Kong and made by the 永年茶廠 factory, this tea gives a very clear idea of the traditionally stored sheng puerh profile. I generally find that traditional HK storage taste/aroma falls into two broad categories: the first is geosmin/beetroot and the second is cellar/concrete with a possible mothball (napthalene) note. Of course these can occur in many shades and combinations, but my personal preference is for the second over the first. The 2008 ToHK has a strong presence of both styles as well as the mothball taste. At first the geosmin and cellar are equally strong, and the geosmin thankfully declines quite a bit as steeps progress. When brewed in a pot, the geosmin profile is significantly reduced. As advertised, this tea is quite tippy, strong in caffeine, bitter, and stiff, especially in the first five or six steeps.
- Trad hk cellar with geosmin beet top notes and a sweet baked good background, even some of that naphtalene mothball note
- A strange passionfruit note, a small rush of alerting energy, eye focusing
- The huigan really accumulates over the first few steeps until it is quite intense, sweet and a bit juicy aftertaste, lasting for a while until geosmin background remains.
- Concrete aroma on liquor. medium thick arrival, rock taste, astringency, spreading in mouth, down throat, bitterness, some slight roughness in aftertaste, probably astringency in the throat
- By steep 5 it comes together as a unified experience: storage, astringency, bitterness, sweet aftertaste and a jolt of alerting energy. Dry mouth final state, quite bitter.
- Low longevity, dies down quickly. It reminds me of inexpensive loose HK stored puerh I’ve had in shops in the past, but more intense in terms of storage.
- In the more stable later steeps, aroma is mostly concrete. The concrete translates perfectly to arrival taste. you get some faint sweetness and mouthfeel, concrete. Warming feeling and mild astringency. Alerting, warming.
- Late steeps are mostly storage and medium thickness, with mild aftertaste, growing astringency and slow melting to some sweetness
- Even later it becomes more mothball cellar style, with less apparent beet notes. Quite mild after 8 steeps.
The 2008 ToHK gives a clear idea of the storage profile of hong kong traditional cellared tea, with strong geosmin and concrete basement notes as well as a mothball background. It is also a good demonstration of the heightened huigan you can get with this storage. It is also very tippy and bitter, with a strong but short-lived caffeine punch in the early steeps. After 6 or 7 steeps the tea becomes very mild, with less of the geosmin and more of the concrete and mothball notes. It is quite cooling in its energy. I think the tea is well-described and well-priced: as a demonstration of traditional warehouse profile it does a good job, and it will wake you up, and it does have a decent huigan. But in terms of its qualities on the spectrum of puerh tea, it is quite limited (in terms of, say, mouthfeel, sweetness, oiliness, aroma, energy). 5.2