A Tea Addict's Journal

Xizihao fall 2007 Nu’ercha

January 14, 2008 · 8 Comments

I got these in the mail the other day

I haven’t really tried anything new for quite a while, and definitely haven’t tried anything from Xizihao for a long time — since April, I think. Some of these cakes, especially the higher priced ones, have been selling like the world’s about to run out of puerh. I’m not sure who’s buying these things sight unseen, but it seems like a lot of money to spend on cakes that one hasn’t tasted at all. Now I’m curious to find out what they’re actually like.

I get the sense that the nu’ercha (daughter’s tea, literally) is the lowest grade of the three, so I figured it’s a good place to start.

The leaves are big and good looking. They’re quite green, which I’ve found to be pretty typical for 2007 teas. At any rate, looks deceive.

The tea brews yellowish green. It also tastes that way. There’s an interesting floral quality to it somewhere during the second or third infusion, which I tend not to associate with young puerhs. I found the tea to be generally a little meek, and the bitterness somewhat lingering. The tea hits the throat quite well, but in a way that some green tea puerhs have also done before. I’m not saying this is definitely problematically processed, but it does seem to raise some questions. Having tried some 2004 or 2005 stuff before, I have to say this tea, on the whole, behaves differently. The floral like quality to the tea especially makes me wonder if something is going on there.

The leaves are big, long stems, but largely in keeping with what an autumn tea might look like. Some leaves have some redness or what not to it, which is normal, but others are so uniformly green, it worries me. I hope puerh isn’t going through a change in process that tieguanyin went through in the past decade. If it is…. it’ll be a sad day.

When I went and met with the guy from Taipei whom I contacted through the internet, he mentioned how the Taipei tea drinkers don’t view the Tainan tea makers who have their hands in puerh very favourably. There’s a certainly difference in philosophy. He didn’t elaborate, but I get the sense that it’s about materials and processing. There’ve been a few times when I thought certainly Xizihao products are designed more for better current consumption than long term storage. Not all their stuff give me that sense, but this nu’ercha is one of them.

Categories: Old Xanga posts

8 responses so far ↓

  • iwii // January 14, 2008 at 8:07 am | Reply

    > He didn’t elaborate, but I get the sense that it’s about materials and processing.

    “Processing” I understand, as it seems one has to come though the tasting of many cake like that these days. But what’s wrong with the material in particular?
    A bit aside from this, I often wondered whether in the old times, these so-called virgin/untouched areas were actually not harvested because the ancients preferred to harvest tea from the same areas all the time, or if there was another reason we are not aware of.
    The “very remote and inaccessible area” argument sometimes makes me feel like it is a bit too simple, but I think it is difficult to judge without having seen the spot in question.

  • MANDARINstea // January 14, 2008 at 10:23 am | Reply

    Does this carry any smoky character at all? Maybe they are skipping the frying process to make it towards “I hope puerh isn’t going through a change in process that tieguanyin went through in the past decade….”? Looks very green in your pic : ( -Tok

  • MarshalN // January 14, 2008 at 10:36 am | Reply

    Not much smoke, just a little.  There’s frying, but I wonder if they’re using machines to fry it instead of the regular wok.  The temperature used seems high and the leaves are…. as you said, very green.

  • MANDARINstea // January 14, 2008 at 10:53 am | Reply

    M- What is Xizihao? A New Taiwan investment in Yunnan? Or a Tea Master in Taiwan? All the labels seems very Wedding”ish” : )

  • jashnew1 // January 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Reply

    Marshal- Big fan. You helped me with a Pu-erh question I had months ago. I was hoping you could help me with this one. I’m a fan of Yunnan Hao Bin Ren. I found it at Upton Tea. I Googled Hao Bin Ren to possibly find a cheaper place that sold Hoa Bin Ren. I found absolutely nothing. Is it possible Hao Bin Ren goes by another name? Did Upton create the name of  this tea? I know it’s simliar to Yunnan Gold but I like it a little better. I’m wondering your thoughts. Thanks.

  • MarshalN // January 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Reply

    Toki: Xizihao is some brand set up by some Taiwanese gentleman making puerh.  He’s based in Tainan.

    Jashnew: Never heard of it, and no immediate characters come to mind for this tea.  It looks like stuff I’ve seen before — basically a good grade of Yunnan gold made with larger leaves.  I don’t know who made that name up… I’d suggest though if the Upton one works for you… you might as well stick with it.

  • MANDARINstea // January 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Reply

    hey M- just read the Guang’s blog regarding this sample. Big White Leave puerh… Sounds familiar? Remember your translated on a tea box long time ago : P – Thanks again for the info. -Tok

  • jashnew1 // January 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Reply

    Marshal- Thanks for the thoughts. I was leaning your way. It makes the most sense. Maybe its a garden in the Yunnan region that decided to call it Hao Bin Ren instead of Yunnan Gold. Upton Tea ,which I like calls it rare. Maybe so. Maybe not. I have to admit that is why I bought it. But it turned out because I actually love it. Thanks again. I’ll keep reading.

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