Today’s tea is the last of the three samples of Xizihao that I acquired, the Puzhen Yuancha. Puzhen is actually a reference to the Chinese idiom, “Fan Pu Gui Zhen”, which means “return to innocence”. According to Hou De, this tea and the Daxueshan “Diangu Yuancha” are the two limited productions for this season, with, of course, a price tag to match. I haven’t had a chance to try the Daxueshan, and since the thing sold out in a flash when it came on the market, I didn’t see a reason why I should. I do, however, admire those with the courage to buy teas they’ve never tried before.
Looking at the poster from Xizihao, it seems like there were only 999 cakes of this tea produced, and so it’s even more limited in quantity than the Daxueshan cake. Hmmm
The dry leaves don’t look too remarkably different from the other teas, at least given the bits and pieces that a sample necessarily entail
The liquor also don’t look drastically different
How does it taste? Compared with the Xishangmeishao, it has better strength, more pleasant, less of the weirdness, thicker, and just overall a better tea. It does, however, remind me of some of the Mengku stuff from a few years ago, tasting like they did when they were very young. Back then, of course, those cakes were quite cheap.
The wet leaves also don’t look quite so mangled
If the Xishangmeishao was a 5 out of 10, then this is probably a 7.5 or maybe an 8, depending on my mood. It’s quite a bit of an improvement over the Xishangmeishao (the nu’ercha is quite different and I won’t really compare them). These days, it seems like one needs to pay big bucks for what is really just ok quality. I’d definitely pay the few dollars extra if I have to get one of these, but I really don’t know if either of them are that interesting. As I think I’ve said quite a few times already, I haven’t really found anything from 2007 terribly exciting, and this is, unfortunately, no exception. A return to innocence this definitely is not — if it were, it would be back to the prices that such cakes charged 2 or 3 years ago. Alas…