The retaste project 3: 2002 Mengku Rongshi Qizibing

This cake is something I first obtained with BBB in Beijing back when he visited me.  I eventually ended up with about a tong of this, and he took a few cakes, I believe.  I don’t remember how much exactly we paid for this tea — I am sure it was below 100 RMB a cake, probably more like 80-90.  Taobao now quotes about 220 for a cake of this, and considering the appreciation of the RMB in the past few years, the price increase in the tea has been probably about threefold.

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The wrapper, as you can see, has taken quite a bit of beating in the years since I got this cake.  You can see though that this is the same cake that I took a picture of five years ago by the arrangement of the leaves (on the neifei, for the most obvious point)

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I’d say the leaves have gotten a bit darker, but by and large the change isn’t particularly obvious.

As I drink it, I think the tea is nice – nicer than when I first got it in the sense that it is now mellower and also a little cooler in the back in ways that I didn’t really notice before when I tasted it soon after my purchase.  The colour of the liquor looks a bit darker, but that could easily be a product of lighting, depth of cup, and other uncontrolled factors.

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I do like it though, and I think at the price when I got it, it was a great deal.  Would I pay 220 for it now?  A few cakes, perhaps, if I happen to like it.  If I have to drink this tea everyday, I won’t mind it one bit.  I guess that’s a good endorsement.


Comments

The retaste project 3: 2002 Mengku Rongshi Qizibing — 8 Comments

  1. I can almost taste the heady delights of humid Hong Kong while drinking up that last photograph with my eyes – a beautiful, dense red/orange.

    Given my secret love for Mengku-area cakes, I intend to scour Taobaowang for this one – thanks for the pointer.

    Toodlepip,

    Hobbes

    • Hobbes: Please note that what you linked to is not the same thing as what I posted about. Notice the different neifei. Notice the top of the wrapper that you linked to says “Daxueshan yesheng”. Also, if you read the description carefully, it says 2005 production — the 2002 is a reference to the gold award they won in 2002, which the seller misleadingly put in the item title.

  2. looks great! I am jealous. I have been eyeing what I think is the 2003 version of this cake available at the Best Teahouse, Vancouver branch. They want A LOT more than 220 rmb.

    Ben, from Maine….

    • I’ve tried that one you’re talking about from the Best Tea House. In fact, I tried it the same year I bought this one when I saw it there. It’s supposedly wild, etc, but to me it only tastes marginally different from this version, and definitely not worth the additional cost.

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