03 July, 2010

2004 Changtai - Jifengyuan "Banna"

I'm currently stuck at a conference in the sweltering heat of the south of France.  Though the UK is, apparently, the biggest nation of tea-drinkers after the Chinese, the average quality of tea in France really leaves the average quality of British tea in the dust (or fannings).  I've enjoyed some lovely Darjeelings while here; while they are served in teabags, the bags have been muslin or silk, and contain long, whole leaves.  The flavours are fresh, floral, and very smooth.  Hats/berets off to the French.

Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France, which is bad news for the waistline

Mining the back-pages of Houde has turned into a hobby all of its own.  I love the fact that Dr. Lee doesn't seem to put up the prices on his old cakes, which means that the older cakes can be a real steal.

This is one of those steals.

2004 Changtai Jifengyuan
A whole new brand, again

Along with Qianjianfeng [chee-an jee-ah fung], this Jifengyuan [gee fung yoo-an] brand is entirely new to me.  I tend to love all things non-numbered-recipes from Changtai.

2004 Changtai Jifengyuan
You'd love the aroma of this one

I also really adore shicang [sher-tsang, wet stored] pu'er, and don't have very much of it.  Houde noted that this has had "Hong Kong" storage (i.e., shicang) until 2005, then Texan storage.  Does that mean dipped in barbecue sauce*?

Either way, it is still heftily shicang in aroma, but that's fine by me.  I'm rather glad that the aroma hasn't dissipated.

2004 Changtai Jifengyuan
Medium compression makes leaf extraction a doddle

My tetsubin loves shicang pu'er, too.  It emphasises the flinty, vanilla woodiness and really puts on a good show.

The soup comes out a big, fat orange-red colour.  While not immensely complex, it is a very decent shicang tea.  The woody flavours pile into the cup for a good number of infusions.

2004 Changtai Jifengyuan
Good colour for one so young

This was $50 well-spent.  What other treats can be found in the dusty nether-regions of vendors' web-pages?

*Since writing this article, I notice that this joke has surfaced independently on Badger and Blade - evidence that great minds think alike, and that fools seldom differ...


sp1key said...

Dear Hobbes,

Hope this year has been going well for your family, a blessing so far I guess. Caught up with the generous GV the other day and had a nice tea session.

The past year just blew past and your post rang a bell (http://puerhcollection.blogspot.com/2009/09/2004-chang-tai-ji-feng-yuan-sheng.html) I guess its time to try this cake out again and see if its time to store some of em.


Hobbes said...

Hello, sir!

I'm very glad to read that you met the professor again. I am similarly looking forward to meeting you when Lei and I come to HK, whenever that may be!

The last year has indeed flown by, I agree.

Do please update your post with your new impressions of the tea - it'd be good to read them.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

It seems that someone is mentioning my name... I am currently packing my tea and teaware for the n-th move! I look forward to meeting you both in the near future and have a nice tea session with a similarly nice company. Enjoy your conference and your stay in France Hobbes!