16 October, 2008

2000 CNNP "Green Mark"

At the same time as buying the 2000 CNNP "Orange Mark" from Malaysian vendor Skip4tea, I took the opportunity to acquire some of its cousin. I have no idea of the formal differences between the green and yellow marks, and so this was quite an education.

This is darker and more tightly compressed than its sister, and is much more tippy. It could be that this is simple difference between the two blends.

No obvious signs of shicang [wet storage] abound this time, and the brew is a crystal clear orange. Unlike the high Menghai maltiness of its sister, this is low and dark in its sweet aroma.

Holy smoke, this tea is soporific. I am almost face down on my tea-tray after two cups. Zonk.

A smooth texture and simple cedarwood flavour make this all about the chaqi, rather than its character in the mouth - though there is a pleasant vanilla ending in the yunxiang [aroma after the swallow].

Weak in nature, probably due to its tippiness, I have to bully this tea with long infusions and large quantities of leaves.

This is a chaqi delivery vehicle and I would love to try it late at night to see if it knocks me out cold. Zzzzz...

Autumn in ABC

(Notes added to 2006 Xizihao "Cha Huang".)


Cecil Hill said...

When do I get to learn how to write like you? I am having trouble just trying to figure out the green teas cultivated in my area of China.

Geez, how long have you been doing this? I hope it has been several years. That would make me feel a whole lot better. Is there a book available to explain all these wonderful and mysterious terms such as "yunxiang" and "chaqi." I feel like a first grader!

I wait breathlessly for your inputs.



Hobbes said...

Dear Cecil,

Too kind by far. For a first-rate (on-line) tea glossary and translator of all things tea-related, I thoroughly recommend Babelcarp.

Whereabouts are you in China?



Cecil Hill said...

Wesley Crosswhite of the Green Tea Review pointed me to Babelcarp and it helped with the translation of Hong Xiang Fei tea we picked up a couple of weeks ago. I also finally figured out the Crab Eyes Fragrant Jewel green tea we picked up along with the Hong Xiang Fei tea. I could find no reference to the Xiang Fei tea and only found a picture of the Fragrant Jewel tea in a blog talking about a tea house in Chengdu.

I found this quote someplace on the internet:

One an be involved in the tea industry all one's life and never know all the names of tea.

This was supposed to have been a Fujian saying and my wife, a native Min Nan speaker from Thailand, knew it and told me how to say it in the Min language.

We currently live at the foot of Emei Mountain about three hours south of Chengdu, Sichuan Province. I teach at Southwest Jiaotong University - Emei Branch.

The big name tea here is the Zhu Ye Qing which was developed on the mountain around 1964. It is the tea of choice in this area. But along the tourist avenue leading up to the mountain are several tea sellers that have lots and lots of different kinds of tea.

Matter of fact, we will walk over there (ten minutes away) to pick up some Teh Guan Yin for my wife to take back to Thailand in a week or so. A couple of weeks ago, the Zhu Ye Qing Company of Sichuan opened a huge tea house along the route. It is absolutely gorgeous. Fun to go in and browse around and visit with the cute sales girls about tea.

Tea names are frustrating. My wife speaks Mandarin fluently but we have to take notes whenever we buy tea to make sure we understand the name. We are learning how to do that. Our adventures in China from here on out will always involve teas.

Thanks for the help.


Hobbes said...

Dear Cecil,

What a lovely place to live. My wife and I were there two years ago, and the local zhuyeqing certainly was delicious. I understand that there was a national advertising campaign for the tea, too.