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2013 Chen Xi Hao Gao Shan Zhai Tea Tasting (Tea Encounter)

2013 Chen Xi Hao Gao Shan Zhai Tea Encounter Tea Adventures

Brewing some tea is the perfect way to relax after an exhausting day at work. I still have quite a few samples from Tea Encounter so I knew it would be another sheng Puer today. The one chose for today’s session is the 2013 Chen Xi Hao Gao Shan Zhai. The description on the website looked promising so I was curious to experience what it had to offer.

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2013 Chen Xi Hao Gao Shan Zhai

The 2013 Chen Xi Hao Gao Shan Zhai is a Spring gushu tea from 2013. It is the result of a collaboration between two different producers: Chen Xi Hao and Zheng Xi Long. It has been aged for six years in Xishuangbanna in Menghai, Yunnan Province. I only have a small sample but if you want to buy this tea, you can choose to buy a full cake (250g).

The dry leaves have a dark brown colour with some white tints as well. The aroma is sweet and mainly consists of golden raisins and light hay. I see medium-sized leaves so nothing extraordinary; not too small or too big.

The aroma of the wet leaves is a really fresh sweetness with notes of red fruits and golden raisins. I’m intrigued by the smell as the red fruits are quite different from the dry leaves. The colour is a brownish green. No whole leaves, but rather broken and smaller pieces and some stalks as well.

Tea Tasting

  • Water 90°C – 95°C
  • 6.8g for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
  • 1 rinse
  • 9 infusions

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Infusions 1-3

The first three infusions were 20, 20 and 25 seconds. After brewing the first infusion, a warm smell of raisins filled the room. I got a fresh but subtle taste of sweet golden raisins. It wasn’t an in-your-face-sweetness but it was pleasant nonetheless. The raisins became more prominent and I also got a minty undertone during the second infusion. I have never experienced this kind of mintiness before while drinking a sheng puer tea. The third infusion was still minty but I also felt that it had more of a bite to it.

Infusions 4-6

The next three infusions were 25, 35 and 40 seconds each. I did not increase the length of the fourth one because I was afraid that it would become too intense. The colour is less orange now and I feel that I made the wrong decision. It’s too subtle because the flavours are barely noticeable. It’s still sweet raisins but the flavours are too subtle for me. The other (and slightly longer) infusions were more of the same flavours: golden raisins and a minty aftertaste.

Infusions 7-9

The final three infusions were more of the same. The 7th infusion was 50 seconds and infusions 8 and 9 were several minutes. I didn’t experience major changes in flavours, although the mintiness in the aftertaste disappeared. It was just subtle raisins.

Conclusion

The taste of this tea was decent but not extraordinary. It was just pleasant and subtle flavours of golden raisins. Throughout the session, I did not really experience any major changes in flavours. It was a decent tea as the flavours were more than OK, but not if you have to celebrate something special. It’s perfect as an everyday sheng puer, but not for special occasions, in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong! This tea is definitely better than most the other puers out there but in comparison to the other ones from Tea Encounter, it’s not quite at the same level. The other ones (that I have tried) are fantastic and this one is just above average. The thing I really liked about this tea was the effect it had. It was perfect to relax after a busy and stressful day at work. During the session, I felt very relaxed and completely in the moment.

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