08 October, 2008

2000 CNNP "Orange Mark"

I met this little fellow in the park, a Songshu [pine rat!].

We were equally surprised...


Autumn in ABC


This 2000 CNNP comes from a Malaysian outfit, Skip4tea, where it cost 63 Malaysian Ringgits. Amazingly enough, this appears to be the only currency against which the British pound has not weakened, and so the cake still costs the 10 pounds for which I bought it in spring.

Comparing the pound against the US dollar, the British currency has slid such that exactly 1/7th has dropped off the currency: the amount of money for which I could previously buy 7 cakes (in Nov. 2007) now buys me just 6. These are unstable times...


2000 CNNP "Orange"


This cake looks old. The wrapper is entirely knackered, and the neipiao [big inner ticket] is darkened and crumbling like an old pirate map.

Here there be shicang [wet storage].


2000 CNNP "Orange"


The cake is quite ragged around the edges, and looks a lot older than its 8 years. As you can see from the photographs, it is made from small spring leaves, with a modest portion of tips. The aroma is gentle, but a trace of shicang is clear.


2000 CNNP "Orange"


The immense knackerednicity of the wrapper makes it quite difficult to rewrap, and there is a lot of damage to the cake itself. Then again, it has travelled a long way. I remember being similarly knackered and ragged after returning from the East.


2000 CNNP "Orange"


Clean and crisp - it is fresh and well-done. I suspect that it has been in drier storage for recent years, given this crispness and the distant nature of the shicang aroma about the dry leaves.

It's a friendly tea, and very hard to overbrew. In fact, it's very easy to underbrew and so requires a very strong hand: lots of leaf, longer infusions.

Using lots of leaves makes its energetic nature obvious - but it sedates me incredibly. Even after a long, deep sleep, after three cups of this I am ready to slumber once more.


2000 CNNP "Orange"


I remember Dr. MA commenting that he found some character of Old Tea about this cake. Though it has some bitterness left, I wonder if aging might just make it a bit tame, as it doesn't seem to have the brutal power or rich content I look for in long-term gambles. Having to brew this tea so hard in order to obtain real character doesn't fill me with hope - but I enjoy this as it is, to drink immediately.


2000 CNNP "Orange"


I like shicang, and this is a good example of a cake with only distant dampness - if you don't enjoy shicang too much, this might be a gentle introduction to the genre.

Now, if only I could rewrap it without damaging this torn, fragile wrapper or the pretty leaves...


University Parks

10 comments:

Kim said...

Hobbes,

How long did it take to arrive from skip4tea ?

I've ordered 5 weeks ago (from Germany) and haven't received anything, yet...

Thank you.

Hobbes said...

Dear Kim,

It's been many months since I've ordered from them, but I think it took under a week - I suggest you give them a call immediately to find out what's happened to your parcel! A similar thing happened to me with a big delivery from Yunnan Sourcing, and Scott was kind enough to send out a duplicate order, no questions asked.

Good luck!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

San Xi Tang said...

Hi Hobbes

I tried this tea from the same vendor a couple of months ago and my first impression was of a fairly dull tea which was heavily wet stored. I have not tried ever since. Perhaps with the benefit of a dry storage the result may be different. I remember that the tea was essentially inactive and with very little changes across different brews.

What brewing parameters have you used? (I am sorry to sound too academic, it must be some professional bias :))

I have also ordered from skip4tea and the delivery was pretty quick (less than 10 days).

GV

Hobbes said...

Dear GV,

Let's see now, I used a lot of leaf - it was a very quiet tea that needed some pushing. I found it very hard to overbrew, but so easy to underbrew. My infusions were much longer than usual - perhaps up to 10s to start. I used my favourite old "Zidu" pot, about 12cl, and limited the quantity of water to just about cover the leaves, so as to increase potency.

Regarding academic bias, at least you're qualified to discuss the current economical problems. That beats more than most of the people I talk with about it. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

San Xi Tang said...

Hi Hobbes

thanks for the academic credits. However I believe that the profession (including me) is trying to find some rationale to justifying what happened and have a reasonable clue of where we are going...

GV

Hobbes said...

Can't we just blame the Republican Party? It feels so right!

San Xi Tang said...

Too easy... There must be something else.

GV

Kim said...

Hobbes,

thanks for you reply.

I asked Patrick and he told me
that the german customs rejected
the package because tea is a forbidden item... this is kind of strange because I do often receive tea from China, Taiwan, Japan...
Well, I hope we will find a solution...

Hobbes said...

Dear Kim,

How very strange - I send tea to Germany, too.

Well, at least Skip4tea knew the reason, so that they can take some other action.


Best of luck,

Hobbes

Maitre_Tea said...

Don't know why this wasn't noticed before, but this article is labeled as "yellow mark" in your index, while in the article it's labeled as an orange mark.

Hope your time in Beijing is/was wonderful