06 May, 2008

2007 Yiwu Yongpinhao "Qiaomu" Maocha

A maocha from Puerh Shop, in its upper price range ($8.39/50g, or $63/bing equivalent), this tea was apparently obtained from the "Yiwu Yongpinhao Tea Company".

It is claimed to be another qiaomu [arbor, big-tree] tea; if only there were some method of verifying these claims to add with consumer confidence (in the style of European wine and cheese, for example). How big is this big tree?

This has a more solid, obvious aroma than the 2007 Bingdao maocha from the same vendor; it is sweet, but bass. The leaves are sizeable, as can be seen below, with more tips than the Bingdao.

Interestingly enough (for maocha), the soup comes out slightly orange, as hinted at in the photograph below. Curious processing is suggested. Have "Yiwu Songpinhao" been monkeying with my maocha?

The flavour is a bit of a giveaway, being rich tobacco - not a lot of maocha tastes like this. It has a silky body, good acidity, and a long huigan. It might be a shade thin on flavour, feeling much like a "daily" tea.

Can it be coincidence that adding a middle-man into the vendor-maocha relationship (the "Yiwu Yongpinhao" factory) comes with the addition of some bingcha-style processing? This processing is not necessarily a bad thing, as I rather enjoy this style of tea, but... it's not really what one might come to expect from maocha.

The price would be appealing if this were qiaomu tea, packed with flavour and excitement. While being pleasant and a sincere treat as a daily tea, I don't think it could be any more than that (for my tastes), and so the price becomes unappealing.

As with many teas processed in this way, I found that the longevity of the leaves is affected - the tea manages fewer infusions than I would expect, as if it becomes exhausted too easily.

Fun to try, not one to buy.


小 約翰 said...

how big is big? this past post might be of help.
I would not hold my breath waiting for regulation,in China, for such attributes .. john

Hobbes said...

Dear John,

Thanks for the link! I remember that article well, it was very informative.

I'm not holding my breath for regulation, but maybe in our lifetimes it will happen. There's always hope. :)