2009 Xiang Dou

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)
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  • “I taste a lot of samples day in and day out. Most of them I taste alone. I don’t like tasting a tea alone without other drinkers to discuss on it with. It’s nice to drink a tea, write a tasting...” Read full tasting note

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1 Tasting Note

I taste a lot of samples day in and day out. Most of them I taste alone. I don’t like tasting a tea alone without other drinkers to discuss on it with. It’s nice to drink a tea, write a tasting note, and read other people’s tasting notes on the same tea.

Earlier today I was thinking which tea to drink. Then I saw a nice and interesting tasting not on this Dou Ji sheng puerh.
Since I have a sample of this tea too, I immediately took it :D

I think I am ok with this tea but will not buy it unless I get another sample to taste again later. It is bitter to some degree, but then has quite prominent sweet aftertaste. The aroma after each sip seems very nice to me. But overall I feel this tea is quite harsh to stomach (I have a relatively weaker stomach).

I am somewhat puzzled by the tea liquor. It does have some smooth, soupy texture. But the tea liquor in my cup is not clear at all, even a little swampy. I don’t know if it’s because I got too many crushed leaves in the sample.

This tea is indeed bitter. I am borderline ok with this bitterness, but I am more tolerant to bitterness than many people. I suspect this bitterness will be too much to enjoy for many people. But considering leaf materials of this tea are from Meng Hai and it’s only 3-year-old, being bitter is not that strange.

This tea is an award-winning product. So far my impression is, its aftertaste is sweet, aromatic, complex and unique. But it’s not my favorite type. This tea serves as a confirmation that I don’t like Meng Hai tea that much, at least not Meng Hai tea that’s still young and bitter. If this tea is aged for several years, and if the bitterness turns into some honey aroma, I imagine the tea can be very nice. This kind of thing happens to puerh sometimes. But I don’t have a clue if it will happen to this tea.

I had a 7g sample, and used all of it in a 130ml teapot. I wish I had used the 150ml one with half-ball shape strainer. This is a strong tea, and when some crushed leaves slowing down the pouring, the tea sometimes got too strong.

The leaves look all very nice, just a lot of them are crushed. It seems that they should be nice whole leaves in the original tea brick and were just crushed in sampling and transportation. If I had had a 10g sample, I would have removed all the smaller bits and brew the relatively intact leaves only. Sometimes it makes a big difference.

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I recently ordered a bunch of Douji cakes and bricks from China Cha Dao and this was one of the few ones that I did NOT order. Based on what you and Hobbes have said about it, I don’t think I’m missing much. Although, the intensity of the bitterness makes me think there’s aging potential. Hopefully the other “dou” will be better.

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I have the impression that most sheng puerh of Douji are quite drinkable when young. This one is a little intense and doesn’t taste as pure as some other products. Oddly this one is the one that won an award, and I did see quite a few positive feedbacks on Chinese tea sites. Maybe its thick flavor is most appealing to some people. And what you said, aging potential, is very possible too. I don’t dislike this tea. I thought of buying 1 brick for observation :-D but then there are many other teas that I want to buy…

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