The one tea that I've been drinking quite often lately is the 2001 Shuangjiang Mengku Yuanyexiang (YYX), thin paper version. It is now 7 years of age, which supposedly marks the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd stage of its fermentation process. At least that's what they say, although I haven't really grasped the theory behind this concept.
The more I drink the YYX, the more I feel how promising this tea has become as it ages a bit more. The redness of the liquor and its clarity is great. The taste is complex, lively and "active". It may not be as smooth as an older sheng, but I think given enough time it will acquire that characteristic eventually. One can only hope. What I like best about this tea, though, is the way it makes me feel after drinking it -- it rejunevates and focuses my mind, and it soothes the stomach, too.
The cake / beeng that I've been breaking from has been stored in a closed book cabinet at home with an un-capped bottle of water to help with the moisture level. Generally, however, the storage environment at home is much drier than the off-site cellar where I keep most of my wines and teas. This makes me wonder if the several cakes of YYX (thin and thick paper versions) that I keep off-site have progressed differently than the ones I have at home. I should like to fetch some and do a taste comparison soon.