Chen Guang He Tang

2005 Chen Guang He Tang Wild Menghai

Teas from the Origin

After a recent tea exchange with the generous proprietor of the Taiwan based Origin Tea , I have been whimsically drifting through a variety of aged teas. The slightly more mature teas are a pleasant break from drinking raw 2013 Spring/Fall samples. Nothing against the young and the raw, but fall and winter are a great time for darker teas.

CGHT Puerh
Isn’t this a beautiful tea?

The 2005 Chen Guang He Tang tea was apparently not made by Chen Zhi Tong, but it was purchased by him. Purchasing tea might not sound sexy, but having great taste and picking good tea is a skill unto itself. As Ira Glass once pointed out, killer taste is how every great artist begins their journey.

This tea is supposedly wild tea from the Menghai region, an expansive area that I expansively love. The tea has likely been stored in Taiwan for most of its life (never checked this fact). The taste is similar to Taiwan storage, and the color of the soup is on it’s way to a mature brown. The tea holds a tempered edge of sweetness.

On the way to aged soup
On the way to aged soup

The smells on the lid of the gaiwan are richer than any run of the mill menghai blend. Malty and thick with a smell of caramel and light cigar wrappers.

The soup continues to be smooth and sweet in the mouth. There is depth that most menghai cakes touch the edge of, but unfortunately most cakes rarely breech the boundary into depth and complexity. In the middle of the session, this tea dips into that trench. What awelcome companion for this cool afternoon, I should hope I try this tea again in the future. Many thanks to Origintea for the sample.

The spent leaves
The spent leaves
  • A good reminder, thank you.
    And I’ll have to check out Origin once I have more $$. Perhaps, I, too, would have started an export-tea business out of TW if I hadn’t found it so dull and stifling.

    • TwoDog2

      You didn’t like TW? Which part?

      • Largely bland, conformous population that thinks about things mostly the same way, doesn’t take risks, doesn’t have extensive hobbies, doesn’t engage in sophisticated conversation. Not to mention the horrible weather and overly oily and sugary cuisine. The tea and mountains are great, though.

        • TwoDog2

          “The tea and mountains are great”, sounds like a good enough reason to me. I really enjoy Taiwan stored teas. They have a unique character.

          • Tea and mountains ain’t gonna love you!

            Agree, the teas are great, but the value of any element, is, to me, largely in its contrast to others. I really value diversity, places without it feel so staid. One reason why Yunnan is my favorite area of China.

            Curious to have your thoughts on these:

          • TwoDog2

            I would love to try that S.Mengku cake. I recently started stocking the S.Mengku DXS cake that is more “entry level”. Lately, S.Mengku has been very interesting to me. For factory cakes, they are enjoyable

          • It is interesting.
            We could do some sort of trade, if you like. I could rustle up/list other things that might be of interest to you to add in.

          • TwoDog2

            Sounds good! Contact me via e-mail or on the contact on the White 2 Tea website. I’m always up for tea trading

          • shah8

            It should be the second cake that’d really bop your tongue. I am not usually impressed by S. Mengku, but some of those BTH blends are quite good.