2020 Tea Progress Report

2020 Tea Progress Report

Present Notes: The tea is sweet, floral, brown sugary. Despite a profile that leans towards the elegant end it has a moderate body and can acquire astringent. The astringency was one of the facets of the tea five years ago and I really do think it has mellowed. Lingering sweetness and decent depth. I continue to enjoy this tea.

2020 Teas Revisited Ratings
Present Notes: Smoked, perfumey wood, together with barnyard aspects. Quite dense. It has a nutrient, resinous, textural quality that I find to be one of the facets of the tea. Fantastic longevity. The drawback is that the tea is still unpleasant with no rewarding factors, i.e. huigan for me to appreciate.

Verdict: Decent, thick Northern tea showing a few semi-aged notes. Likely better than sessions.
Present Notes: Really soft, sweet, fruit-forward. The aftertaste isn’t poor, but this needs pushing to become interesting. I find my opinion of the tea has been reduced. This may be the situation in which the storage notes actually made this tea taste better for me. Not certain when I’ll manage to drink by means of this cake.
My Memory: This really is the only repeat from last year’s report. When I first had this, I enjoyed it. . Last year it was a session that was far and I was curious if I could get more of the appeal.

Verdict: Not pleasurable.
Verdict: Still very yummy. Probably improved with lesser astringency.

Worth of Replacement Teas

My Memory: I obtained this four years ago. It’s out of a region I do not drink much from and notes from a few years a moderate floral, woody profile that warms mid-session up.

TeaMakerRating
2013 Sample Tea Pudi6.1
2012 Yunnan Sourcing WujiazhaiYunnan Sourcing5.9
2012 Giant StepsW2T3.9
2009 Yongde Daxueshan6.5
2006 Heshihua JingmaiHeshihua6.0
2006 Haiwan PashaHaiwan6.3
2006 FT4 PinkXiaguan5.3
2005 YQH Yiwu ChawangYangqing Hao5.8
2003 Baichatang 4th GenerationBaichatang6.6

How is my Storage?

Storage: Guangdong (2 years), Wisconsin (1 year), Bins (4 years), Eurocave (1 year).

TeaMaker$/gram (obtained at)VORT
2013 Sample Tea Pudi$0.250.5
2012 Yunnan Sourcing WujiazhaiYunnan Sourcing$0.121.7
2012 Giant StepsW2T$0.15-1.5
2009 Yongde Daxueshan$0.122.5
2006 Heshihua JingmaiHeshihuaN/AN/A
2006 Haiwan PashaHaiwan$0.280.8
2006 FT4 PinkXiaguan$0.111.2
2005 YQH Yiwu ChawangYangqing Hao$0.350
2003 Baichatang 4th GenerationBaichatang$0.301.1
My Memory: I enjoyed this tea quite a bit for a standout in the January 2015 Lincang report and purchased a few cakes. It’s been a bit of an oddity in my group and an on and off brew since then. It’s always needed a profile that is different . And it is more elegant but different from boutique teas I drink. While this tea shipped out of Malaysia and has had some storage that is Malaysian, it has ever been about the dry end of that spectrum.

Verdict: Weakish and not terribly interesting Yiwu tea. Looks worse in comparison to other, exceptional YQH teas. I’m not positive if it has gotten worst in my storage, but my opinion of it has. It’s not awful, but I’m excited’s reverse.
2009 Yongde Daxueshan (6.5)
My Memory: This really is one of the first pu’erh teas I obtained. And I have enjoyed it quite much from when I first obtained it. I have had the tea since 2014. It is labeled by my notes from 2015 as a strong tea great aftertaste and depth but although with bitterness and astringency.

Worth of Average Tea Owned

My Memory: I have always believed this was one of those poorer YQH teas, both in quality and effectiveness. Still, I overall liked it as a sort of herbal Yiwu tea. The last time I drank that the 2005 YQH Chawang the storage sheen was strong in it.
Present Notes: This cake is still dominated by green notes. There is while I could acquire small hints of the appeal here. It’s possible there Since this is a varied blend. In any event, this reinforces my sessions from last year.
Verdict: Great tea, slight improvements in the previous four years.

Storage: Malaysia? (6 years), Mini-Fridge (five years).
Why not simply bucket 1? It’s more fair towards just evaluating how my storage is performing. That is correct, but many of the candidates that fit the criteria I in the two reports. I strongly suspect I do not have that much new to add. A lot of my buying in the previous five years has also focused on semi-aged pu’erh from a place such as Taiwan, so picking in the 2nd bucket makes sense since it represents an aging trajectory that is more representative of what I actually own. Additionally, I tried to pick teas that up until recently I had not been drinking regularly.
The VOATO (Value Over Average Tea Owned) is a useful measurement for me personally to see if a tea makes the cut to beverage. Something such as the 2006 Xiaguan FT4 Pink does poorly (I do not wish to drink it!) As well as the scale as it’s irregardless to price is generally harsher to teas that are cheap. This pops up, as I expect to drink a couple of these teas regularly.
(10 years), Bin (4 years).

My Memory: I got this tea back in 2016 after having a sample out of MX Tea. Originally compared with a whole lot of Xiaguan teas it more interesting than the remainder and popped out slightly softer. It was interesting and mostly woody. A bit changed, when I got my cakes of this. I suspect part of it’s sample variance and a part of it’s the natural contrast in comparison to other Xiaguan vs. being compared together with my usual drinking. My opinion shifted towards seeing this as a brew that was rougher, harsher.

2003 Baichatang 4th Generation (6.6)

Verdict: Much like previous sessions.

Present Notes:  The 2012 Wujiazhai is currently nutty, creamy savory. It can become punchy when pushed and has a good body. There is also a slight depth to it that is a nice surprise. I’m not known as a prolific drinker of Lincang/Northern teas but this tea is much far better than expected. In general, I would say Scott’s teas I have tried have proceeded in the ideal direction. Given the small price, I can not complain about it.

Verdict: Nice, basic, hardly semi-aged Yiwu with great structure for this. Awkward.
Verdict: Slightly improved. Not ready for me to drink and revel in. Maybe in five years.
(8 years), Mini-Fridge (2 years), Bin (3 years), Eurocave (1 year).
Present Notes: Still relatively green, but the bitterness is mild and the returning sweetness comes quickly. No smoke, floral, sugarcane , herbal notes. The aftertaste is your highlight. I could see enjoying this tea.
1 additional aspect I looked at was that the VORT and VOATO of these teas. The VORT (Value Over Replacement Tea) is essentially how the tea measures up with the average pu’erh I could buy in precisely the same cost range in the current pu’erh sector. A positive number indicates that I would pick it over the normal tea in its own category on the marketplace. A negative number indicates that it is worse than the normal tea available in its own category on the marketplace. I used the cost the tea was got by me for.
The great majority of my pu’erh is currently shifting into one storage, the Eurocave. This isn’t a strategic decision so much as a desire and a one to get the majority of my tea at 1 area. The tea has been in there for a year, so if it imparted anything that I would consider a negative one of my goals was to see. I’m happy to note that I haven’t noticed off anything and I could not say that I’ve actually noticed a gap between the containers I have used bin, wine cooler, and wine cooler.
My Memory: I consumed this tea at a Yiwu drinking record in May 2015. I recall it being decent for a moderate cost ($0.25/gram ), but not exceptional. Since then, I had had it a few more times and most recently remember it being awkward and less attractive as when I first had it. The tea had been saved in Malaysia storage before.

Notes

Storage: Malaysia (2 years), Mini-Fridge (5 years)
My Memory: The 2003 Baichatang 4th Gen tea was smooth since I have owned it. That is despite brewing up a light shade for some of its era and being fairly dry-stored. It has good depth and some notes I associate woodiness, with Geraldo’s storage drier.

  1. Teas that have primarily been dated in my storage.
  2. Teas that have primarily been dated elsewhere but have spent a few years in my storage.

I’ll avoid drinking tea at the 3-7 year range. Under the cooler and conditions of Seattle this allows the tea to acquire a little bit of age before trying. From both predecessors for this report (Historical Yunnan Sourcing Mini-Report, Tea Progress Report — Washington State Stored Tea), the selection was composed of mostly younger tea that had just reached 7 or 8 years old. The selection is a bit older. It is made up of two spoonful of tea.

Bonus Section: Advanced Metrics. VORT/VOATO

I have saved tea for around six years now in Seattle and while I have fussed a bit over a few small items, the methodology was complete constant. The pu’erh was stored within an enclosed container with Boveda packs to creep the humidity up . Airflow is reduced. Most people would call this a pumidor. Each year I look at my spreadsheet and decide on pulling a teas .

TeaMakerVOATO
2013 Sample Tea Pudi-0.5
2012 Yunnan Sourcing WujiazhaiYunnan Sourcing-0.7
2012 Giant StepsW2T-3.2
2009 Yongde Daxueshan0.5
2006 Heshihua JingmaiHeshihua-0.6
2006 Haiwan PashaHaiwan0.2
2006 FT4 PinkXiaguan-2.0
2005 YQH Yiwu ChawangYangqing Hao-0.8
2003 Baichatang 4th GenerationBaichatang0.8

My Memory: I have had this tea for a while and had a few sessions with it when I purchased it in 2015, however do not have any active notes for it. I recall it being sort of like a cross between a couple of Scott’s other northern teas, such as the Mangfei and Sanhezhai. Decently strong grassy.
Verdict: Strong, well-constructed tea with a good aftertaste. The bitterness is less extreme than six years ago, and I suspect that the tea is better.
Present Notes: Hints of smoke early on this quickly dissipate. The tea when I first got its first aroma is diminished. Wood, sugarcane, caramel. Fantastic aftertaste. It softer but thicker compared to the 2009 Yongde Daxueshan. It transforms into sweetness although pushed it can get a little sour. That is a good drinker that occupies a in my spinning.

I brewed with a kettle, using my ratio. 6-6.5 g per 95ml.

The brew color is amazingly dark. It becomes more easy to consume and softens out quickly in the mid-steeps. My notes here line up quite closely together with previous attempts in the tea. Decent longevity. It isn’t bad although the tea doesn’t necessarily fit easily into my spinning.

How I Brewed

Storage: Kunming (3 years), Bins (4 years), Eurocave (1 year).
I feel at ease. It’s apparently stable and has moved the tea in the ideal way gradually. But others have shifted more definitively teas that are certain resemble their former selves. Intuitively we would expect that younger teas mostly dated within my storage (i.e. 2013 SampleTea Pudi, 2012 YS Wujiazhai) to have shifted significantly more under my storage compared to older teas with more powerful storages to begin with (2006 Xiaguan Pink FT4, 2005 Yangqing Hao Yiwu Chawang). This lines up with my experience, particularly after those storage that is first flavors dissipate. Certain teas that have had storage, such as the 2006 Haiwan Pasha seem to fall somewhere in between. It may be somewhat darker when I got it if the tea was green but it is still green. If the tea started out with thicker storage, the change looks small and more difficult to parse out.
Present Notes: This tea is no longer awkward and is essentially a nice Yiwu that is showing the first signs to being semi-aged. It is sweet, soft, woody, still on the green end. Herbal, grainy, mineraly in the mid-late steeps. The huigan is good. Yiwu teas with a little bit of age are one of the frequent brews for me. While this tea is nothing too special and fairly simple, I could begin drinking it and enjoying it. The tea is complete different from the Purple Yiwu I drank last year, but would occupy a similar role/quality if I were to consume it.
Given that these teas have been obtained it inherently lurks towards a positive number. The only teas that didn’t score favorably here would be that the Giant Steps ($0.15/gram ), which I redeemed, and the 2005 Yangqing Hao Yiwu Chawang ($0.35/gram ), which I ranked as neutral. Even a tea I didn’t really like and was a mild disappointment, the 2006 Xiaguan FT4 Pink ($0.11/gram ) was obtained at this fair price it does well with this metric. It is hard to find a tea gram that I would pick it over! Unfortunately not a ton of them are available.