28 June, 2010

2005 Changtai - Yichanghao "Jipin"

I wondered what other treats remain in vendors' back-pages, in an article on the 2004 Changtai "Jifengyuan". How about I answer my own question? 

2005 Changtai Yichanghao Jipin
Good ol' YCH

This is good ol' Yichanghao, my stalwart favourite from Changtai.  "Jipin" [gee-pin] is the fairly uninformative phrase denoting "superior product", although it does mark it as a second-division quality cake in the Changtai hierarchy.

2005 Changtai Yichanghao Jipin
A pretty little thing it is, too

This little chap is highly appealing.  Big leaves, loose compression, and a jaunty aroma make for a happy drinker.

The dark leaves shouldn't be this orange!  Clearly it has been helped on its way.  I counteract the potential neutering effect by using plenty of leaves.

2005 Changtai Yichanghao Jipin
Pile them high!

Highly energetic and punchy, this is a Yiwu of the sweet-straw variety, and which is already showing touches of age.  Not the world's most eclectic mix of characteristics, but it dwells nicely and doesn't die early, nor crack into roughness.

2005 Changtai Yichanghao Jipin
The fourth infusion and onwards required some lengthy brewing, given its processing

What can you get for $35 these days?  What can you get for $35 these days at Houde?!  Not much.

This is a nicely-priced treat that doesn't reach exalted heights, but hangs around to give you plenty of enjoyment.


flo said...

if I may,

the grades used seem to be:
极品 (Ji2 Pin3) = top grade product (or: 極品)
珍品 (Zhen1 Pin3) = Precious Commodity
精品 (Jing1 Pin3) = superb product
正品 = authentic (I didn't find the pin yin for this one, sorry)

you can refer to changtai's site on this page:

flo said...

meanwhile a reader of mine kindly drew my attention to a chinese/french dictionary and provided the pin yin for
正品 = zhèng pǐn (product of required quality ; changtai's page says "authentic" if I remember well).

anyway as long as we don't know the detail of criteria for this classification in quality, I guess it is the kind of "info" that is nice to know as a curious amateur... but maybe not 100% useful.

Hobbes said...

Splendid - thanks, Flo. I've come back to this page often, to remind myself of your comment.

Evan said...

From "Superior Old-Growth Tea: A Case Study of 99 Yichang Hao" by Shiu Fei Peng in Art of Tea #5:

"99 Yichang Hao can be categorized into 'Supreme', 'Exquisite', and 'Genuine', each category is subdivided into two versions, namely the Song Ti [Ming typeface] and Zhuan Ti [seal script], hence a total of six versions. Following is a detailed explanation:

Supreme: one-bud-one-leaf to one-bud-two-leaves, without any yellowed or broken leaves.
Exquisite: one-bud-one-leaf to one-bud-three-leaves, yellowed or broken leaves are barely present.
Genuine: Buds left behind after the screening for "Supreme" and "Exquisite" categories, with a small amount of yellowed or broken leaves.

In effect the differences are minimal as seen by the naked eys, with Supreme, Exquisite, and Genuine 99 Yichang Hao looking pretty much the same:, almost no yellow leaves and just a trace of broken ones."

Sic erat scriptum....