Monday, March 5, 2012

The "King" of Tea

Blue stamp ="Chi Shian", "a wondrous fragrance"

          The Yan Qing Hao 2006 Gu-shu Cha Wang (Ancient-Tree Tea King) is sort of a drama queen (or king I guess). It ‘creates a stir with questions of its regal origin wild, plantation, old plantation, Wild old plantation. If its 30% "wildly grown arbor trees" What kind of material went into the other 70%? People fuss and fight over its kingly price. It is definitely dramatic in the cup it starts off strong packed full of a plethora of different tastes aroma’s and sensations, which can also sometimes disappear just as dramatically. This cake can even hold mysterious and sometimes disturbing surprises in its leafy center.
Mysterious tooth which appears like a cracker jack prize in the center of my cake  
Given the confusion and controversy surrounding this tea I figured I would provide you with some additional sources of information regarding this contentious cake. For possibly bias biography see what Mr. Guang has to say in his blog. For a less invested but more opinionated discussion drop by the  dipper. Maybe you want to skip all the fuss and find out for your self. My man Richard can hook you up with a cake for the seemingly reasonable price of $100 U.S. (houde charges $175) drop him a line @ wuyi06 at gmail dot com .
a true heavy weight @ 500 grams

There is a pleasant smoky aroma to the first infusion. The mouth feel is the first thing that I notice about this tea it smoothly glides through your mouth. Leaving your mouth feeling lubricated. There is a slight woodiness starting to show in this tea. With an aftertaste filled with dried fruits. The second infusion the lubricating mouth feel resides a little along with any smokiness giving way to more dried fruit less wood hints of mushroom and aloe with a eucalyptus huigan. There is more of a feeling than a flavor that resides in my throat after drinking this infusion. I am sure that the Chinese have a word for this yet I am ignorant to it. The qi to this to is strong and comfortable making my face tingle and warming my body. The Flavors keep evolving over a number of infusions gaining sweetness and ku at the same time. This tea is keeps you interested the blend of different grades of leaf and different mountains makes this cake more interesting than allot of single mountain cakes. With the contrasting tastes of trees from individual mountains weaving in and out of your cup, making for a tea session that forces you to pay attention. The tea does loose its initial shine some where around the ninth or tenth infusion and tends to become a little astringent. Yet still stays more interesting than the initial infusions of most generic pu-erh.

a lil bit of everything stems, monstrous buds, little leaves and the occasional tooth
I originally was  not a very big fan of this tea given its price. But after spending some time with it I definitely have flipped my view on that. Also on its supposed leaf origins I have a hard time believing that this is 70% Taidi cha. While there may be some straight plantation I would bet that the remainder is mostly old plantation. It also appears from previous reviews that this tea has become more durable in its six years. I have only spent a year with this tea yet I feel like it has improved in the year. Maybe it is the storage environment, maybe it is maturing or maybe I am just getting to know the tea better. But I have definitely noticed that the tea seems better every time I try it. Me thinks that this is probably the best young cake available at Houde right now(that I have tried). Is it worth the 175 their charging? Hmmm with today’s prices unfortunatly  it might be. I would choose this over a new LBZ which would be more expensive. Throw in that it presently can be had for a Benjamin and it seals the deal. If all my spare funds weren't going to buying aged Pu-erh, while it can still be had at prices that don't give you a nose bleed, I would buy a second cake. Plus you never know you might win a prize.
My poor abused and reused young sheng pot


  1. Some old Chinese dudes tooth sticking into my overpriced Puer is not a cracker jack prize I would want. Maybe they should advertise that on the wrapper: Other prizes may include! Teeth! Pubic Hairs! and Old Hermits finger nail clippings!

  2. I think its just general knowledge that you'll get pubic hairs, fingernails, string, and if your lucky a cigarette butt with almost every modern CNNP cake. But if you want the really good prizes like a rodent teeth you gotta spring for the premium stuff.