March 21, 2010

2001 Ming Yuan Hao - Yiwu Zheng Shan

 All kinds of new stuff has found it's way to my doorstep over the past few weeks, puerhs, greens, oolongs and even a few new pieces of tea ware. But this tea I bought from The Steeping Room, a local tea shop. Without a doubt they had acquired this from Hou De's as they are the only source for this tea that I'm aware of anyways. I had been wanting to add some sheng with a little age to my collection. But not being a big lover of wet storage that presents me with a problem because the vast majority of aged teas out there have been stored in very humid environments. I don't mind a trace of that musty wet storage flavor but to me less is better. This tea was a god send as far as I'm concerned. From what I remember of Guangs description it was stored in Taiwan for about three years but it's been at Hou De's ever since. I don't think Guang likes wet storage any more than I do.

This tea is the bee's knee's as far as I'm concerned. The flavors are intense. Woodsy with a bit of camphor, something similar to an anise like spice. I also noticed a touch of mintiness in the aroma as well as the aftertaste which lends a interesting counterpart to the teas woody notes. Without a doubt this tea will continue to age very well. It's still young enough that it has some astringency in the cup as well as a good bit of bitterness but a couple more years of storage should knock those aspects back a notch or two. Brews up clean and clear as a bell with a deep amber color. Exceptional durability. The pic of the brewed tea is a little on the light side (7th infusion) but still going strong. Compression is moderate, it's leaf is easily wrangled from the cake without breaking.

I bought a couple of these cakes but may decide to add even more to my cabinet. I love it! Such intensity yet still approachable. A far better value than many of the Menghai cakes out there with the same amount of age on them, much more complexity in the cup. You gotta give Guang credit, he knows how to pick em. An excellent value!


  1. I've been tossing back the idea of ordering a sample of this from Hou De to see if the cake is worth buying, but since nobody (as of now) has bought a single cake since it was put up about a year ago I've had my doubts about it.

    Maybe I'll give this one a shot

  2. Hey Maitre, I know for a fact that The Steeping Room had bought a number of these cakes from Hou De's. Considering your love for wet storage this tea may not thrill you as much as it has me. Very clean! If you wanna send me your address again I can pop some in the mail to you sometime this week. I honestly think that this tea is an excellent value and it's aging potential is not in question, it has what it takes for the long haul if that's what your interested in.

  3. Finally found time for an attentive session with the sample you sent me and enjoyed it. It's been a while since I've directed my attention to pu-erh of this age, but it seems this one is aging nicely--nothing too far out of the scope of "standard" pu-erh, but a nice solid one. Great durability, well-balanced, and for me a noticeable spiciness. Thanks again Bret!

  4. Hey Zero, Glad you liked it. Yeah it is just a good, solid tea. With good aging potential (I think) nothing brilliant mind you, but a great value in semi-aged sheng.