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07 August 2006 @ 10:45 pm
Xiaguan 2006 Baoyan Feitai (FT) Mini-Bing  
Sample courtesy of estif
Previous review (psychopuncture, here)


Year: 2006 (Spring)
Producer: Xiaguan Tea Factory, Special Order for Feitai Taiwan
Region: Wulianshan, Baoshan
Buy it at: Yunnan Sourcing LLC (eBay# 4465456792); Dragon Tea House (eBay # 280005587948)
Leaf: Leaves are dark emerald, broken, with many twigs, often large (as seen in pictures). Brew to an olive green with red edges. Appears to be higher quality (at least, bigger leaf) than non-FT baoyan. Tightly compressed (iron beeng).
Infusion Parameters 1 : 5g in 110ml gaiwan. 20s rinse, 60s+ rests, 20s, 15s, 20s, 20s, 20s, 20s, 30s, 30s, 50s, 75s, ...
Infusion Parameters 2: 6g in 120ml gaiwan. 20s rinse, 60s+ rests, 30s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 45s, 50s, 70s, ...

Flavor Notes:
1: The first time I brewed this infusion, it was initially very sweet, mild, and easy. The second time, with a slightly longer initial rest, this was heavier, bitter, floral, toasted, and medicinal. Texture was smooth and liquor clear in both.
2: Mild smoke, flavors milder. Still somewhat compressed, still faintly sweet. Toasted pine nuts?
3: Very strong, overpowering. Pinewood or sap, bitter, long aftertaste.
4: I'm feeling flushed, qi is higher. While this is overwhelming, it's softer in flavor--less sour and more rounded--than other young baoyan I've had. A bit metallic. Toasted, still, getting astringent. Pine sap...
5: Same, still v. powerful. Hints at what it may be like aged: heavily woody.
6 & on: Much the same. Didn't become "drinkable" until around infusion 7...

Too powerful to drink. Good complexity at times, but often too metallic. I like the raw power. I dislike the sharp edges. By no means a higher class tea, though it tastes and overpowers like a cousin of Haiwan's Lao Tongzhi beeng.

Not a tea to drink now. Definitely a longer-term tea, for its strength, lasting power, and compression. Given how i've enjoyed 2001 Baoyan mini-beengs, and these appear to be higher quality, with bigger leaves, I have hope for this becoming something nice.

Would I buy this tea?:
I already have, and I'm happy with my purchase. I tend to like minibeengs because they're nicely portioned for sharing, quicker aging, and thus quicker drinking. I've liked how Xiaguan's baoyan ages, which is what inspired my purchase.

Current Location: 90004
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
In My Cup:: 2006 Xiaguan Baoyan FT Minibeeng - 5th inf. (3rd attempt!)
houde on August 8th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
FT is a special order series of Mr. Kuo's "Fei Tai Co." to MengHai and Xia Guan. Yes usually they are of higher quality than regular productions. Those "FT" cakes/brick/jingcha/toucha was originally only for exporting to Taiwan (Mr. Kuo is a Taiwanese --- errr! Taiwanese businessman again!), but not anymore.

A little bit more story around Mr. Kuo. Listed as "WANTED" by Taiwan's law enforcement, he was (is?) a mafia leader and escaped to mainland many years ago. Now is a successful pu-erh businessman in China!

(the above message shall be self-destroyed in 5 seconds)

[satyriasis] - Jason: Bao Yanbearsbearsbears on August 8th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: FT
zOMG! Fascinating story! Time to add "tea mafia" to our list of neologisms...

Any recommendations of what pu i should be looking for when I visit China in October?
houde on August 8th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
Re: FT
Pu-erh Teapot Mag has a HK shopping guide for pu-erhs in No. 16 (or 17?) issue. I will scan it and send to you later when I get home.

And.. be nice to Kuo's there, he he he : ))