Maliandao it was today. When I was walking to Chayuan, I saw this
Which means “demolition”. Apparently, the Jingdinglong Tea Market is scheduled for demolition, no doubt to make way for a newer, shinier, better tea market. It is sort of odd to see all the stores being open one week, and when I came back you see storefronts like this
I thought it will be good to do a thorough walkthrough of Chayuan, instead of just hitting random stores like I used to, so I walked around methodically. Basically, Chayuan is a grid, and most of the hallways look like this
Which makes it rather difficult to find any particular store in there, unless you already know where it is.
I stopped at one store today, selling a cake called “Gold Yiwu”. It was an interesting store — very large premises with very few cakes on offer. This was the only thing that remotely looked interested. I sat down, tasted it… and thought it tastes like something like the 0622 with a bit of age, as it is aged 3 years. Nothing interesting, although the taste was proper puerh….. except it sells for $100 USD. I balked, and just left. They must’ve been joking.
I then walked around….. until I hit the Pu Chazhaung. This is a store that sells mostly Changtai stuff. I’ve been here a few times, but never sat down to taste anything, mostly because they were always busy with something…. shipping stuff, or organizing stuff, or whatever. This time, nobody was in the store, so in I went.
I sat down, and ended up tasting four cakes and buying two. These two were the best in terms of quality vs price. While there was one that was better (and more aged), it was also more expensive and I wasn’t quite willing to dole out that much. I might go back to get something like that that’s a bit more aged, but I also can probably find something in that quality bracket minus a few years age and for a lot less money.
Interestingly, everybody today thought I’m a tea merchant of some sort, and kept telling me which ones they have a whole jian of and how many jians they have left. I don’t know why I seem to be giving that impression today… but the quoted prices at Pu Chazhuang were very reasonable to start off with, so I didn’t need to bargain down very hard (nor was there a whole lot of room to do so, I think…)
What I got were:
An 2005 Yichang Hao Mangzhi, and…
Two 2005 Yichang Hao Mengsa.
Neither are the greatest things ever, but they weren’t very pricey. The Mengsa is obviously a little more punchy than the Mangzhi, which is a little more fruity and mellow. They were decent tasting puerh that seemed to have been made with proper craftsmanship, and should have aging potential, I think.
I think the girl was disappointed I only got three cakes, and seemed a little disinterested at the end. I wonder if she was just hungry for food, or if I was annoying her for my small purchase. Whatever. I might go back again and see if there are other things worth considering. Then again, I really should slow down my purchases. I have too many cakes.