2001 Xiaguan 8653 Iron Cake

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Astringent, Celery, Peppermint, Beany, Cocoa, Mineral, Oak, Red Fruits, Vanilla
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Edit tea info Last updated by mrmopar
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 oz / 80 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Xiaguan’s classic 8653 recipe was first developed in 1986 and produced for many years since then. Our offering is the 8653 blend pressed in 2001. The pressing was done with an iron press and the cake is tightly compressed and has a coin-like flat edge.

The 2001 version of this cake is a classic, and the cake which we are offering here has been aged in Kunming since 2001. 15 years of Kunming storage has given this cake an aged feeling but not compromising it’s character or powerful taste and cha qi.

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2 Tasting Notes

66 tasting notes
Today I sipped down my last 3 g of this middle-aged raw pu-erh “iron cake” from 2001, which I acquired last year from YS. Steeped in 80ml boiling alpine spring-water, starting at 30 seconds after a brief rinse, and stretching out to 10 minutes in the eighth infusion. All were a medium golden in color, not the deep orange depicted by YS. The tea had a mild and pleasant aroma, with no smell or taste of compost or fish, and was perfectly drinkable. There was some residual astringency, which complemented the vaguely minty flavor that lingered on the tongue for several minutes after each sip. Silky smooth, but although inoffensive, the tea did not excite or thrill me. It was like having a luncheon date with someone incapable of discourse beyond light pleasantries and talk of the weather, without ever getting deep or very interesting at all. I could share a table with this tea again, but would I pay $45 for a 25 g packet in order to do so? I don’t think so, and I certainly won’t be dropping $540 for an entire cake. I could recommend this tea for an experience or two, but I think that you, too, will tire of Gloria Upson after a few encounters, long before you get around to playing any ping-pong.

Flavors: Astringent, Celery, Peppermint

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

2005 T8653’s are about the same but much easier on the wallet. Aging conditions in a more humid area benefits this one too. Taiwan has been a good place for the ones I have.

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18 tasting notes

An amazing high quality semiaged sheng with still some bitterness and no earthiness. Clear, lively, and well-defined lingering taste, and a complex fragrance with notes of vanilla, oak, chocolate, beans, and dark fruit.

Flavors: Beany, Cocoa, Mineral, Oak, Red Fruits, Vanilla

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