Review of Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013

7 of 103 of 53 of 580 of 100
Very GoodFairReasonable

I'd rate this one pretty high, but most of the flavor is in the breath, not in the taste itself. I think it's a matter of personal preference as to whether one prefers one, the other, or both. I prefer both because it gives more of a rounded experience. This just doesn't have enough in the taste to appeal to me. There is a delectable mouthwatering sensation. It's one of the strongest of all the teas that I've had. There's some astringency, but it settles out very evenly when the mouthwatering quality sets in. The bitterness here is stronger than in other teas. I'd call it pointed because it's not a blanketed quality, but when it peaks in the mouth, it's quite strong. I actually don't enjoy it. I prefer something softer. There is something of a sugary note but it's not in the forefront. It may come out more prominently after aging, but I've had mixed results with that particular note when aging teas. It's not one that I find very reliable when it comes to sticking around. The fruity note in the breath is something that I think may develop more over time, and it is a delicious note. But, it's not a taste at this point, and even the sensation in the breath isn't very strong. Even though this is the more expensive of the two, I opted to purchase a cake of Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake (2012) instead. I just preferred the fact that there was more presence in the taste itself, as opposed to the breath. I don't think that the Xi Gui is a bad tea, but I think that it would benefit from more time, while the Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian is one that I find delicious right now. The Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian is one year older, but in my experience aging raw pu-erh, one year doesn't make enough of a difference to explain the divide here. I think the leaves used for the Xi Gui are just rougher to start. They may result in a more refined tea later on, but for the time being, I don't find it as enjoyable as the Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian.

(As a note, I've brewed all my samples of the Xi Gui (I had more than two that I purchased) using the Eastern method directions provided by TeaVivre.)

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