08 April, 2013

Nobody Messes with Apache

I'm not saying that Apache is a violent man, but if you sell him fake cakes, you may not be long for this world.


2003 Fake Dayi Qiaomu Laoshu

 
This wrapper is, at least, familiar, being the mighty Qiaomu Laoshu [arbor old-tree] from Dayi.
 
You can tell that Apache was not impressed with this one, because he gave me the entire cake.  I'm not one to judge a fake to be immediately bad, and it could be worth drinking on its own merits.  Let's give it a test-drive.


2003 Fake Dayi Qiaomu Laoshu


The leaves, pictured above and below, and short and dark, and look not unreasonably like Dayi on a good day.
 
The neifei and neipiao, pictured below, look authentic enough, too.  Of course, it is not particularly difficult to acquire bits of paper if you wish to do so.


2003 Fake Dayi Qiaomu Laoshu


Dayi is a firm favourite for Chinese counterfeits, perhaps because the older cakes from that label have both a recognisably "safe" brand-name and hold a good price.  Apache seemingly paid a serious amount of money for this cake, not unadjacent to one hundred quid.
 
The scent gives nothing away, being generically sweet.


2003 Fake Dayi Qiaomu Laoshu


The game's afoot, Watson!  The orange soup is immediately, unusually cloudy, with a malty, deep-red flavour that is not very much like Dayi.
 
It is simple, it is strong, but is too generic and bland to be anything Dayi.  The famous Menghai brand has a very distinct characteristic from its regional leaves that is quite straightforward to distinguish when present.  A Dayi cake labelled "Qiaomu Laoshu" should be very interesting: this cake, sadly, is not.


2003 Fake Dayi Qiaomu Laoshu


By the third infusion, there is a very unwelcome note of something heavy and industrial that makes the tongue feel strange.  I have no great desire to retain this cake, and will shortly divert it to that rarest of fates: the compost bin.
 
Yikes indeed.

I can say that I have tried something very similar to this cake before (in its claims to being the 2003 Dayi "Qiaomu Laoshu") but which was entirely different: that other cake was humid and definitely stored in a damp environment, and was actually quite nice.  This cake from Apache has none of it.  I suspect that the poor vendor in question may have been sold a mixed stack.

Edit: a re-taste of the real thing may be found here.

6 comments:

apache said...

Regarding the wrapper and neipiao etc, some members of HK Tea Forum think there's problem. The neipiao is post 2005 and how come it is in a cake claim to be 2003?
http://www.hkteaforum.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=6764

If I bought this from TB, I wouldn't feel that angry, as I know I would be taking a chance, but this is from a vendor who claims to be reputable in pu ... Moral of the story is you have to take each purchase on its own merit. Buying from TB is no more riskier than any online tea traders.

I got some real sample of this cake and we could try this if you have time for a tea session.

apache

Hobbes said...

Dear Apache,

I admire the bravery of a man who buys expensive cakes from Taobaowang! As you say, we know that we are rolling the dice when we buy such cakes - surely that is what makes victory all the more sweet? :)

It'd be good to try the "proper" version of this cake; I enjoyed the Pu'ershop version.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Hektor Konomi said...

Apache, can we know who this supposedly reputable vendor is?

apache said...

PM me on Teachat or B&B.

apache

piscicida said...

Hello Hobbes!

I've been following your blog posts with great interest for quite awhile now. I really like your writing style and tasting notes.....and the awesome handwriting!

If it's possible, do you mind if I send some samples of sheng pu and yancha for your tasting pleasures? I have bravely plumbed the depths of Taobao for these supposedly "aged" sheng and I would love to get your input. I'm a pu newbie btw, so I did not exactly do a lot of research on these purchases :P

Hobbes said...

Dear Piscicida,

Thanks very much for the comment, and for reading.

I'd be delighted to give your teas a whirl - thanks for the offer. Perhaps you'd like to e-mail me at hobbesoxon@gmail.com?


Toodlepip,

Hobbes