Tea Pet

2012 Xiaguan Tea Emperor

5 Blades.

One of my all-time favorite Onion articles is “Fuck Everything, We’re doing 5 Blades.” It seems directly related to tea companies¬† naming their teas with ever loftier names like the Tea King of this or that region.

Tea King? Fuck you, Tea Emperor. I imagine a scene with a coked out Tea CEO yelling angrily at a boardroom full of underlings, “Oh, no, what will people say?! Grow the fuck up. When you’re on top, people talk. That’s the price you pay for being on top. Which [Xiaguan] is, always has been, and forever shall be… Tea Emperor? Tea God.”

If anyone from Xiaguan reads this, and the boardroom meetings are anything like my fantasy, please send video.

Xiaguan Tea Emperor
Some Dry Emperor

The Tea Emperor has an atypical smell for Xiaguan. None of the smoke or the burly lumberjack manliness. It smells soft and sweet.

8.8 grams of tea, how lucky. Heavily fragmented, lots of crumbs pouring out on every steep, the 8.8 grams is probably down to 7 now. The fragments are a product of the dust I chose to steep, the cake is just typical small varietal leaves and some chop.

Cloudy Puerh
Cloudy Soup

The first rinse is very cloudy. Subsequent steeps follow suit and taper off.

Early steeps taste a bit like a sweet egg cream cake on entry. Lots of astringency in this young cake. Soup is gold colored.

Thick on the finish with a subtle huigan [sweet aftertaste] that is mostly overshadowed by the astringency of the puer tea.

Prices online seem to vary, roughly about $30-$50 per cake, which seems fine to me. There is a nice finish to the cake that a lot of teas which cost more lack. I have no idea how this tea will age though. The flavor of the cake is somewhat foreign to me. What I labeled as egg cream cake is a sickly kind of white sweetness. I don’t know what that is or how it will age. Would be fun to try in 5 years, if only for the sake of research.

Chop Puer
Chopped up and green

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Cheng Guang He Tang

2010 Yiwu Tea King (CGHT)

All Hail ye Yiwu Tea King

Ah, yet another king of tea, this time, an Yiwu tea king [cha wang]. The warring states in the Puer tea kingdoms have yet to decide on their one true ruler. With more claims to the monarchy than Game of Thrones, it is always interesting to see which teas can hold their own on the battlefield… Winter is coming.

CGHT Yiwu
Dry chunk of his majesty

This cake has a much better claim to the throne than most “tea kings”. The cake is beautiful to look at. Some large leaves and medium compression. Its smell is lightly smokey, probably some leftovers from extra heat during processing. After a rinse, the gaiwan lid has aromas of vanilla, while the leaves have a scent of prunes.¬† This cake is heavy on aromas, which continued evolving throughout.

Chengguanghetang
Early brews of m’Lord

The first steep was mildly sour on the tongue. Early in the session, a persistent huigan [sweet aftertaste] came into the mouth. Some calming qi, and a bit of energy in the caffeine realm. (Perhaps I went overboard when filling my gaiwan – I noted I was listening to Kanye, which is a rare tea session accompaniment and says a lot about the strength of my brew) The Yiwu tea king apparently has a penchant for American hip hop.

Yiwu Puerh Tea
More soup

This Yiwu feels like it has strength enough to age, and even being two years old, has a slight aged taste to it already -or at least, it does not taste young. With a strong presence and pleasant malty sweetness, this session was very much enjoyable. Chenguanghe Tang (CGHT) Yiwu Tea King cakes are always welcome in my gaiwan – if someone else is paying.

This was a post from an old session, cleaning out some backlogs of notes.

Spent Puer Tea
Spent Puer Tea

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