2005 Chenguanghe Tang Menghai wild tea

I haven’t had a young puerh for so long, I almost forgot how it tastes.

Today’s sample’s been sitting around for a month or two now. This is a cake from Chen Zhitong, owner of Chenguanghe Tang, author of the Profound World of Chi-tse (among others). The big chunk was given to me by the owner of Fuxing, when I expressed some interest in this tea. The tea’s supposedly Menghai area wild old trees, with a lot of Banzhang materials. For the price… it’s a steal, if that’s true.

I didn’t use much tea, as I haven’t had a young puerh for quite a while and I don’t know how my body will handle it. I also don’t think my body will like it much because it’s winter… and winter usually means I don’t drink as much young tea. Last year was sort of an exception. I think the heavy food in Beijing, plus the drying weather/heater made young puerhs more acceptable.

It brews a golden yellow colour, and the tea is actually somewhat aromatic. I almost wonder if there’s some leaves from sweeter-tasting regions mixed in. There’s a bit of that Banzhang taste to it, but it is a mild one. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I brew a young puerh lightly the throatiness is actually more noticeable, and today it was pretty clear that around the throat area there’s a feeling of minty coolness. I could feel the qi — it’s strong and obvious, and my body reacted strongly to it. Good thing I didn’t use too much leaves.

The tea got rough after a few infusions, and stayed that way for a while, receeding into a sort of sweet finish typical of young puerhs. It’s a pretty decent tea, especially given what it costs at the store and what it might actually cost on the street, so to speak. I’m no big fan of Banzhang teas, but perhaps I should pick one or two up just to see how it ages…. it could be a useful comparison with stuff that I like more, such as Yiwus.

Robust looking leaves…. don’t see these too often these days. They’re more likely to be paper thin now.


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