I picked this sample up from Berylleb Tea on Ebay when I ordered a backup gaiwan. I’ve wanted to try some more Xiaguan stuff to see how it is, as I’ve enjoyed what I have had from this factory before. The leaf smelled quite smokey – I was a little worried.
Thankfully, the smokey notes did not translate into the flavor of the tea…at all! I was pretty shocked, because they were quite prominent in the nose. The flavors of this tea were decently simple and consistent. I got notes of dates with an appreciable thickness in the early steeps and a little bit of throat feel as I swallowed. A couple steeps in, the tea developed a slight floral flavor as well, maintaining a decently thick texture. In some of the later steeps, the sweetness became more honey than fruity, but the date/raisin notes returned in the last few steeps. Wasn’t a whole lot going on, but that which was there was pretty tasty. It would probably be better with age, but I find myself able to enjoy these younger factory sheng so long as they aren’t too smokey.
Flavors: Dates, Floral, Honey, Leather, Smoke