28 March 2008

2000 Haiwan Gu Hua Beeng

The Haiwan tea factory was founded in 1999, so this beeng was produced by relatively new tea factory. This may be good, because the workers and owners may be still enthusiastic - good example is the 2005 year for San Ho Tang tea factory. And this may be bad, if the workers aren't skilled enough.

Producing good pu-erh is more art than just labour.

I got few of these beengs from Scott at Yunnan Sourcing LLC. They were relatively cheap and nowadays 7 years old pu-erh is “the aged” tea. I never tried them before by myself, because of some not-so-good reviews of these beengs. Unfortunately, I read those reviews only after the purchase.

But since yesterday I moved some of my pu-erh stash to basement, I decided to try two of those beengs. The first one is the 2000 Haiwan Gu Hua (Fall Harvest) beengs. The leaves were small and dark brown with very few stems. So I threw them into teapot and prepared the tea. The brew had ok color, dark orange, not very clear but neither too muddy.

What warned me immediately was the smell of tea. I like the cellar-like smell of aged pu-erh, but this beeng had very aggressive and wet smell. It was like wet stucco. Very wet stucco. It immediately warned me of bad tea.

The smell was ok – sweet with touch of honey. But the taste was something I did not like at all – it was very sour, very mineral, and unpleasant. I stopped drinking the tea after second infusion.

I’m not sure what caused those problems – maybe very bad storage conditions. Well, it’s moved now into basement and I will let it sit here and rest and, maybe, age. I do not believe that this tea will ever be good, but maybe it will at least age into something OK.

See also: Phyllshengs review, Steven Dodd's review, Hobbes review.
Please nottice, that some of those reviews are based on tea from Jing Teashop.


Hobbes said...

Hmm, I remember this one! Not bad. I wouldn't mind grabbing one from YS actually, if only for a bit of fun.

The storage sounds a bit heavy!



Tuo Cha Tea said...

Dear Hobbes,

I will include a small sample of this. Worst pu-erh I ever had. Really. I read somewhere, that after third infusions the tea turns to be acceptable, if not good, but I decided to let it rest for few years... maybe decades :-)


Salsero said...

After reading your review I dug out and brewed a pot using the remains of a bing I bought from Jing Tea Shop about a year ago and which was a Second Best Teahouse selection. I didn't use much tea, about 4 gr in a 120 ml pot. The first two infusions were rather bland and presented a sweet taste that I have often found in aging sheng. I brewed another 4 infusions and found a pleasant taste, but not one that I would have expected from a sheng puerh. In fact, more than anything, it reminded me of a Glendale Handmade Nilgiri that my brother claims has the aroma of potato dumplings.

Also, I noticed a year ago and again today that the second infusion made me feel flushed and quite warm. Throughout there was a tendancy to dry the mouth a bit, and the aftertaste is pretty good. Overall, I found this version of the tea to be unusual but not unpleasant. I probably would have continued brewing but the hour got late.

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Dear Salsero,

Thank you for sharing your experience with this tea.

I'm absolutely not sure, if the 2000 Haiwan Gu Hua sold by Scott is the same as 2000 Haiwan Gu Hua sold by Jing Teashop. I'm just wondering what could cause the problems...


Salsero said...

Amazingly, Chemistea just posted another review of this tea. You can read it at


Salsero said...


Would you like a bit of my Jing version of this tea? If so, send me your address. I think you can find my email in my profile here, no?

I find the tea quirky but not as bad as what you describe and am curious to get your impression of how my Jing version compares to what you have.