Just a notice, YPH YWZS=Yong Pin Hao Yi Wu Zhen Shan;
Yong Pin Hao... I used to be keen on that brand. On the other hand, I was also keen on fantasy literature in general (after reading the good pieces). Sadly, in the age of 13-15, I learned that most fantasy books run according to the boring scheme "group of adventurers meets in a pub/are put together by unknowing force speaking in deep voice/... Then they go kill a dragon, an evil necromancer or some other poor fellow. They have sex with females on the way (mostly human) - if voluntary, it's normal fantasy, sometimes they rape and kill the female (or the other way around) (dark fantasy)". In other words, I found that starting with the best of the genre does not mean that the genre is good. I started with 2003 and 2001 YPH YWZSs which were among the finest teas I met back then; especially the 2001. Then I had about 5-10 2005-2009 YPH YWZSs which were all nice teas, distinctive to an extent, but not really interesting enough. I'd say "good for everyday drinking", but given how much samples I have to drink through, I do not do things like "everyday drink" very often.
I came to the conclusion that more recent YPH is not for me (though it's not like Mengyang Guoyan or 6FTM where I'm almost reluctant to pay even for small samples), but older ones may be very good (the 2003 tuo is not nearly as interesting as the YWZSs, I'm afraid, but not bad either). The question was - how good are 2004 YPHs going to be? 2004 Xiang Ming was not really an impressive tea in my opinion. And this 2004 YWZS is also closer to the more recent group of YPHs, I'm afraid. It's better, but not an excellent tea. Let's have a look at it:
When you take a chunk of this tea in your hand, two things become obvious - this tea is made of big leaves and it is lightly pressed. The good YPHs I had had a lot denser pressing.
The wet leaves do smell nice, of juicy forest fruit, maybe a bit livelier than most of the "dark forest fruit Yiwu". At the same time, there is a notable component of herbs (healing herbs I'd say). Also, there is a little of animality, leatheriness and very light earthy-aged tones.
The liquor is light, is it not? However, the tea does not taste like a new one to be sure. Maybe the light compression lends the ability to somehow age even in drier places.
The tea tastes good, but with a but. It starts with the fruity component (with a bit of sweet-sourness which, if it becomes sourness, could be bad). Then it takes an interesting turn into the herb component (with a bit of animality). This second wave of taste lasts very long and hui gan goes very strong along it.
The but... the tea feels a bit "eroded/hollow" if you know what I mean. It is thick, it is sweet, but some vital "soul" is missing. I think that it is a semi-common feature of this lightly pressed cakes. This bug hampers the first part of the taste and so one enters the second wave (which is good) in a bit "hrmpf" mood.
The liquor does well outside taste; as I said, the hui gan is good and there is a good activity (on the palate and tip of tongue).
Overall, I think that this YPH is a nice tea. It is somewhat better than the newer YPHs, but I do not think it would be as good as the earlier stuff.
And two random things I noticed when drinking the tea:
Does it seem to you as it does to me, that there is a spook at the front of the middle thing?
And then I thought, when looking into my cup:
If a hair fell
into my cup