Special-ordered by the father of 1999 Green Big Tree Mr. Yeh in 2001 from the Xia Guan Factory. It has all four main collection value factors as the Green Big Tree, so no wonder it has gained significant collection momentum and earns itself a nickname – “Xia Guan Cha Wang 下關茶王”.
There were two different batches – one 450g, and the other 357g. Our offering is the 450g cake.
My first encounter with this cake in 2005 when we acquired it was — Woow woow wwoww easy, easy easy … it was Xia Guan on steroid, it was Xia Guan on a loudspeaker, it was Xia Guan “in your face”. Honey-floral aroma? Make it big. Smokiness? Make it loud. Hard tannin? Pump it up. It was exciting, but imagine standing in front of Guns N Roses’ wall of Marshall speakers.
So after 15 years of aging in our Houston storage, it’s time to try it with a fire extinguisher in hand – what a transformation it has been through. The ferocious tannin and smokiness have been significantly tamed now and give this tea a strong grip and delineation. There is beautifully concentrated honey, sweet fruit, and rich organic mushroomy underbrush in the aromas and flavors. In the mouth, it is medium to full-bodied, with outstanding purity and lengthy after taste. Now I can start enjoying it without a fire extinguisher in hand, but I feel this tea’s exotic bouquet is just beginning to form and ripen. It fully deserves the name of Xia Guan Cha Wang – in another 5-year storage, it shall become truly invincible.
I tasted the 2001 Jing-Yeh Hao back-to-back after having this tea, although both from Mr. Yeh in 2001, you can tell two totally different goals he wanted to achieve: one to eventually inherit the crown of what 1999 Green Big Tree has achieved, and this one, to explore and conquer new territory.
2018 auction price for 8 pieces:
An early blog claiming this cake as (King of Xia Guan):