10 June, 2013

Chawangpu Times Two

I am totally ready to wang my chawangpu.


2012 Chawangpu Jingmai Xiaobing


First up, the 2012 "Jingmai Gushu" xiaobing, currently selling for $30/200g, which is not a lot.  Can we really hope for gushu [old tree] leaves from such?


2012 Chawangpu Jingmai Xiaobing


Honza, the owner of Chawangshop, stayed with the two families from Jingmai that harvested the leaves.  I admire that level of commitment.  "If a job's worth doing, do it yourself", I always say.
 
Honza writes that the local administration (for Lancang county of Simao diqu, which contains Jingmaishan) actually numbers old trees, and that one of the two families mentioned above owns more of such enumerated trees than any other.  I begin to take the "gushu" claim more seriously.


2012 Chawangpu Jingmai Xiaobing


The pretty, small leaves pictured above are typical for Jingmaishan.  The whole chunk has a sweet, husky scent that is most appealing.


2012 Chawangpu Jingmai Xiaobing


The colour of the soup is a giveaway: it is a yellow, tinted with the gentle brown that I have found in Simao tea sufficiently often for it to exceed (in my estimation) chance.  The sensitivity of this predictor is high; its specificity may be less so, on my data...


2012 Chawangpu Jingmai Xiaobing


The lanxiang [orchid scent] of Jingmai sits in the background, mixed with a sweet, low, and almost savoury base.  Its endurance is remarkable, and it seems to be able to continue as long as I brew.  As Honza writes, the huigan [return sweetness] is immediate.  Nutty, chunky, very sweet - this is actually very nice indeed, and really fills the mouth.  I like it very much, which is quite unusual for me and Jingmai cakes.




The 2012 "Yiwu Zhangjiawan" comes next.


2012 Chawangpu Zhangjiawan


This cake has a relationship with the 2012 "Yiwu Qiaomu", in that it is a nominally better grade than the latter.  At $35, it is Chawangshop's most expensive own-brand cake (where the Yiwu Qiaomu was just $17).


2012 Chawangpu Zhangjiawan


I have been sent the middle of the cake!  The little indentation is always fun to drink; I cannot recall ever having got that far with one of my own cakes...


2012 Chawangpu Zhangjiawan


Zhangjiawan laozhai [old village], from where this maocha derives, is in Mengla county, quite close to Yiwushan area, within Xishuangbanna.  the big, well-preserved leaves (pictured above and below) give off a fresh, clean sweetness in the morning air.


2012 Chawangpu Zhangjiawan


This is a great little tea for $35 (although, we must remember that we are discussing a half-sized cake).  The wenxiangbei [aroma cup] has a solid, buttery sweetness that holds my attention.
 
Its body is smooth, cooling, and a touch mouth-watering.  The "gushu" claims are suddenly more believable.  "The proof of the pudding is in the tasting", they say.


2012 Chawangpu Zhangjiawan


I like its penetration in the mouth, and its long huigan.  If one were looking for negatives, perhaps the body is not as thick as it might be, but much is forgiven at $35.  It has the strength-of-leaf to put in a good showing over the years, I suspect.


2012 Chawangpu Zhangjiawan


My journal has "The dense, yellow character makes me pause, to give it my full attention."  I don't appear to have bought any of this, and I cannot recall why on earth that might be.  It all looks rather appealing, in retrospect.

9 comments:

Charles T. Draper said...

Dear Hobbes,

I would love to give Chawangshop my business. I have noticed many nicely priced cakes and these two seem like they would be a good addition to any collection. As always thank you for sharing....

All the Best,
Charles

Hobbes said...

Dear Charles,

Do please try the samples first! I cannot remember these two, re-reading my notes, but it seems that I enjoyed them very much at the time.

Chawang Shop is very good at making reliable cakes for a non-crazy price, and I appreciate them greatly.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Petr Novák said...

This Jingmai gushu was my favorite from last year Chawangshop offer. Very nice tea. Thnaks for sharing your notes.

All the best
Petr

Hobbes said...

Perhaps I will go back and find the remainder of my sample of the Jingmai - you have reminded me of its qualities, Petr. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Hektor Konomi said...

Hobbes, you are a true market mover! Already Chawangshop is selling the Jingmai gushu for $40, and it's sold out!

Hobbes said...

Dear Hektor,

I see I have suffered from missing out on buying a cake I wanted, again. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Louis said...

If you are left wanting, I recommend trying out the 2012 Jingmai bricks from bana tea company. The price is a little higher, there are many broken leaf fragments, and it's only a 100g brick, but the quality of the base material is simply incredible. Seriously.

Jakub Tomek said...

Hektor: Actually, it is already some time sold out, costing $40. Certainly before this article was published... which is not to say that Hobbes is not a market mover.

Hobbes: Tea Urchin's Jingmai is basically the same sort of tea. It is a tiny little bit different, but I don't think I could tell these two in a blind tasting with confidence. It is the same sub-area of Jingmai, after all.

Hobbes said...

Surely you know by now that my reviews work backwards in time, changing history. :)

Thanks all for the pointers concerning the potential Jingmai gushu substitutes, which I will endeavor to pursue, time allowing!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes