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The weather is perfect for aged and darker teas and that is what I drank today. One of the samples I got from Lao Tea Shop is the 2004 Shi Kun Mu Yibang Gushu and the description on the website was pretty impressive. That’s why I picked this one today.
2004 Shi Kun Mu Yibang Gushu
This particular tea was made by the Taiwanese master Shi Kun Mu. He personally supervised the production process and chose tea leaves from old trees for this cake. The leaves come from Yibang mountain and were pressed in the Changtai Tea Factory.
It was stored in Kunming after production until 2013 when it was acquired by Lao Tea Shop. Kunming storage is usually seen as dry storage, so this will be an interesting experience.
- 99°C water
- 7g for a 140ml Qing dynasty Neiziwaihong teapot
The leaves have a dark brown colour with some bright tints. There are mostly medium-sized leaves and some big buds. It was a chunk, but it was easy to break. The aroma is slightly woody with hints of dark honey and a light fruitiness.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): it looks thick and oily and it has some of the woodsy notes I got when smelling the leaves. If I delve deeper, there are also some fruity notes hiding in there somewhere. This is a really welcoming first infusion.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the colour is dark orange now, which suits the autumn weather perfectly. The wood has disappeared and the fruity notes are getting on the forefront. There is also a slight hint of smokiness.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): it’s really starting to turn into something fruity. There is still a faint smokiness, but it’s not too intense. There are also some traces of honey towards the finish.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): the smokiness has disappeared and it is fruity and a little bit sweet. It’s a pleasant sensation, but there is a slight astringency noticeable. I’m also getting light honey in the aftertaste.
Infusion 5 (40 sec): it’s mainly fruity with a sour edge. It’s similar to eating a fresh apple. There is also some very dark honey that pops up towards the finish.
Infusion 6 (long): it’s still rather subtle, but the fruitiness has moved to the front now. I can’t name the exact fruits, but it’s definitely fruity. There is also a slight smokiness on the nose but not in the flavours.
Infusion 7 (long): more of the same flavours and the fruitiness is becoming more intense. I’m getting sour apples, which works quite well. This is the best infusion so far. Unfortunately, I did not have more time to continue the session because I’m pretty sure this tea could go on for a while.
This was another pleasant tea session. My overall impression was that it was rather subtle. The flavours were good, but might be more enjoyable if they were a bit more intense. I really need to look for them. It’s possible that this is because of the drier Kunming storage, but I’m not sure. Will have to do a bit more research.
The fruitiness and dark honey was a good combination. I got some sour apples and those were warming and refreshing at the same time. I did not do more than 7 infusions, which is a shame. This tea could go on for a very long time…
Interested in buying it? Click here.