Puer Tea Blog

2010 Fujin Cangpin Qingbing

The last Fujin puer, for now…

After reviewing my last post, it was apparent that I am lacking enthusiasm for reviewing these Fujin teas. So, for the sake of sparing my own sanity, this is the last Fujin puer review i will be posting for awhile.

The 2010 Fujin Cangpin Qingbing claims to contain spring Banzhang material. It retails between USD 50-100, depending on your dealer, about half the price of the 2010 Diancang. I do not care to speculate on what the material is exactly, but at least they did not add a lao [old] in front of the Banzhang. This cake did at least bear some vague resemblance to Banzhang tea, so, who am i to judge?

Fujin Puer Tea
Dry Fujin puer

Again, tightly pressed, factory, yada yada yada.

Tea Gaiwan
Gaiwan full of tea

Early in the session this tea had some enjoyable vibrancy dancing around on the tongue and lips. The first few steeps had some wonderful floral smoothness that coated my throat and mouth. Unfortunately, midway through the session, these lovely traits vanished.

Puer sessions are a bit like a 400m race. The unsuccessful runner blows their energy in the first 50 meters and can not make it to the finish line. This particular Fujin puer is a great sprinter.

Tea cup
Soup in the cup

The tea yielded a lovely golden liquor. I was steeping into the several minute range fairly early in the session in order to coax out some more of the character that was lurking in the leaves. I have had this similar experience with other Fujin puer.

The qi [energy] that was around in the early brews disappeared later on, along with the huigan [sweet aftertaste] and throat feel. It became harsh in the throat, despite having a coated mouth feel throughout the session.

Spent Puer Tea
A look at the spent Fujin Qingbing leaves

In an perfect world, the sprint speed of the early session would have carried on until the end, but sprinters and marathoners are different beasts.

Note: To those readers who saw my mourning of Cel A’ Don (2008-2012), you will notice the photos above show him as a younger, more viral lid. The next few posts are teas from a few weeks ago, before he met his untimely demise. I mean no disrespect to his family and appreciate his service. Let these next few posts honor his memory
Fujin Puer

2010 Fujin Diancang Raw Puer

Fujin Raw Puer Extravaganza

More Fujin raw puer, in a continuation of samples from the 2006 Fujin Bulang. This tea is younger than the Bulang, but commands a higher price. As I noted in my earlier article, Fujin is quite well known for having ambitious pricing. This particular cake, the dian cang [典藏] is translated to mean; a repository of items of cultural significance. Well, alright then…

Raw puer Fujin
Dry 2012 Fujin Puer tea

The dry leaves were again tightly compressed, and looked typical of a sizeable factory production. There was a smell of raw tobacco, and a bit of stank. The chunk that I brewed off of this cake was also quite tippy.

Puer tea
A look at the youngish liquor

 

The first few steeps were dormant and the tea took awhile to open up. The young raw puer taste of tobacco and bitterness arrived soon after, along with a bit of harshness in the throat, presumably due to its age. In my notebook I drew a big arrow from steeps 5-9 and wrote:

No change, monotonous

I did note that when I pushed hard and oversteeped late in the session, there was some maltyness that came out, but that was not enough to bring to the tea into my good graces.  The spent leaves looked fairly healthy, and the cake did have enough strength to have potential for aging.

puer tea leaf
A leaf with a bug bite

I probably won’t revisit this tea in the near future. In the meantime, hopefully the guardians of cultural relics will tend to its aging and be kind enough to break me off a chunk in a decade. As noted above, Fujin prices are steep – this cake retails on taobao for 1200 RMB- 2000 RMB (~USD 190- USD315), depending on the vendor. It is not on my shopping list.

Raw puer
A look at the whole and healthy spent leaves

2007 Dahei Shan Wild Purple

I came across this 250g  Dahei Shan [big black mountain] wild purple puer cake at a vendor recently and thought I would write about it, not because the tea was interesting, but because it served as an interesting price vs. tea quality comparison.

Dehong Wild Puer Tea
Dahei Shan Wild Puer Tea

This puer tastes remarkably similar to Yunnan Sourcing Dehong purple. Smokey and savory, but unfortunately, with very little of the character that was so expressive in the YS Dehong. (It’s not a direct 1:1  comparison, there was some difference in the huigan [sweet aftertaste] and astringency as well) The cake has been stored in Beijing, leaving it noticeably dry on the surface, as pictured above. The leaves border on an inky purple,  lovely how they produce the unexpected golden liquor pictured below.

Puer Tea Soup
The bright gold soup, showing what 5 years of Beijing aging can (or can’t) do

As is typical of Beijing aging (see: bone-dry), maturity is earned slowly. The soup is gold, reflecting what I guess is very little change from its young state. For a 5 year old tea, this tea has remarkably little maturity. It is a bratty five year old with no manners. Somewhere in the world I suspect this tea has a cousin who grew up in Guangzhou and is well behaved at the dinner table. I’d like to meet him. Whether the lack of character in this tea was due to its storage, or the material itself, is difficult to say. In either case, what struck me was the price tag.

Cup of puer tea
A look at the soup in a glass cup

As I noted above, this pretty little cake is 250 grams, but it carried a price tag of 400 RMB (~ USD 63 ) , which is a bit high for my taste. The tea was quite pleasant, but when you consider the YS Dehong is 400g and less than 1/2 of the price (not to mention better tea, in this writer’s humble opinion), it is not worth it. I am not sure where this price tag comes from, but it seems to be related to the labels wild and purple. I have seen some other cakes floating around that are 100g of wild purple this and that for absurdly high prices. The only time something wild and purple should realistically hit this price range is if the cake shows interesting age or if you are at a Phish concert.

In some alternate universe where I had no other purple teas to compare this to, and the price was more towards USD 45, I might consider buying a cake out of curiosity to how it would develop.