Saturday, November 12, 2005

Over 80% of Pu-erh on (Guangdong) Market Are Less Than 5 Year Old

Recent news from Guangzhou said that although lots of tea houses in Guangzhou sell Pu-erh that claimed to be 10, 20, even 50 years old, experts pointed out that over 80% of Pu-erh are less than 5 years old.

Mr. Zhang spent 650RMB and bought 250g 10 year old Pu-erh at a tea house in Guangzhou that specializes in aged Pu-erh this October. After tasting, experts believe that the tea he bought was only around 3 year old.

Mr. Weizhen He, vice secretary general of Guangzhou Tea Industry Association said that most Pu-erh teas on (Guangdong) market were produced after year 2000, and the supply of 10, 20 or 30 year Pu-erh is very scarce. For a real taste of vintage Pu-erh, please check out our
Vintage Pu-erh Samples.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

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Monday, November 07, 2005

This Years’ High Grade Tie Guan Yin Prices Have Raised 20%

Recent news from Xia Men Evening News said that due to this summer’s weather condition, overall quality of this year’s autumn (Tie Guan Yin) tea degraded. High precipitation in this summer resulted in a 10% increase in this year’s fall harvest. On the other hand, plenty of rain falls also diluted taste and aroma of this year’s fall production. The lack of supply of high grade (Tie Guan Yin) teas has driven up their prices while prices of medium grade (Tie Guan Yin) teas have dropped. The good news is that qualities of late October productions have improved due to recent cooling offs.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Autumn Oolong

Leaves are changing colors and Autumn Oolongs are coming out. Fall is an exciting season for Oolong lovers. Autumn Oolongs are known for their pleasant high aromas. Weather conditions in fall are especially good for the formation and accumulation of those aroma particles. On the other hand, leaves of Autumn Oolongs lack the particles, such as amino acid, that contribute to the pleasant, while sophiscated, long lasting tastes of Spring Oolongs.

Generally speaking, Spring Oolongs are considered the best followed by Autumn Oolongs. If the high aromas of Autumn Oolongs are what you are seeking for, it is the season for a wonderful cup of Autumn Oolong.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Over 20 km Tea and Horse Ancient Road Has Been Found in Yi Wu

Recent news reported that over 20 km Tea and Horse Ancient Road has been found in Yi Wu Ancient Tea Mountain. Among them, the most well kept section is the 5 km road from Man Gong village in Xiang Ming county to Luo Suo River. According to Mr. Yi Zhang, this Tea and Horse Ancient Road was 2 m wide and 240 km long in Qing Dynasty. It was the road that connected the six Ancient Tea Mountain with Si Mao and Pu-erh in the old days.

Yi Wu was not only a famous tea production region, but also a very important distribution place in the ancient days. During its peak era, 70% of teas produced in six Ancient Tea Mountains were sent to Yi Wu and got redistributed from there.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Sunday, September 11, 2005

News: Guang Zhou Tea Market is full of faked Pu-erh

According to recent news, a recent investigation by Yunnan Tea Business Association and Pu-erh County reveals that Guang Zhou Tea Market is full of faked Pu-erh. Yuntong Ding, vice president of Yunnan Tea Business Association, even believes that most of Pu-erh that local consumers bought in Guang Zhou is faked. According to Yuntong Ding, most Pu-erh sold in Guang Zhou is from Meng Hai and Pu-erh areas. Annual Pu-erh production of these two areas is only 3,000 tons. Given that the Southern Market sells 30,000 -40,000 tons of Pu-erh per year, it is obvious that most of Pu-erh sold there is faked. Weizhen He, vice president of Guang Zhou Tea Industry Association, admitted that there are faked Pu-erh in Guang Zhou, but disagreed with the numbers. Yunnan is applying for “Pu-erh Tea” mark similar to what Zhe Jiang did to protect Long Jing tea.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Pu-erh Collection

With Pu-erh gaining mainstream attention outside of Chinese community, many western tea drinkers start to love this mysterious tea. The high prices that some well aged Pu-erh demand and the hyper about collecting Pu-erh as an investment have pumped many western Pu-erh drinkers into collecting Pu-erh. However, before you spend your hard earned money on this investment, you need to know more about Pu-erh. Simply put, not all Pu-erh that produced nowadays are worth collecting.

First of all, those famous Pu-erh factories are no longer your quality assurance. A good example is Meng Hai Tea Factory’s 2004 production. The company was struggled with funding problem and could not afford good raw materials. As a result of that, most of the company’s 2004 productions were of poor quality. Many Pu-erh collectors shunned away from those products.

Secondly, vast amount of faked brand name products can even deceive professionals’ eyes. In a recent online discussion on Xia Guan Te Ji Tuo Cha, many people voted the faked one as the real one! That is a very disturbing fact! Without carefully examing, can you tell the differences between the real and faked ones from pictures from two Xia Guan Te Ji Tuo Cha wraps?

Thirdly, with many new tea factories evolving now, factories are introducing many untraditional Pu-erh to the market as an answer to the severe competitions. Unfortunately, some of those newly introduced Pu-erh have started to show that they can not stand the test of time. One good example is the young green Pu-erh that is made of only tea buds. This type of Pu-erh can not last long time aging. Therefore, is not suitable for collection.

When making Pu-erh collection decisions, tea leave quality should be your first consideration, followed by recipe and production techniques.


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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Talks about Zi Sha Teapot3

All of our Zi Sha teapots are 100% hand made. Unlike those mass production teapots, every hand made teapot is unique. No two hand made teapots are identical. This definitely adds the attractiveness to a teapot. How do you tell if your teapots are 100% hand made? A quick exam of the inside of a teapot can answer this question. A 100% hand made teapot only has one unobvious connection line at the joint spot of handle and body. A mold made teapot on the other hand has two connection lines. One is at the joint spot of mouth and body, the other one is at the joint spot of handle and body.

There are plenty of articles discussing things like lid tightness, water flow, etc. We will not repeat those discussions here. Enjoy your tea and teapots!

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Monday, June 13, 2005

Talks about Zi Sha Teapot 2

We now know that high quality clay is very important to the final quality of a Zi Sha teapot. But how do you as a final consumer know that your teapot is made of high quality clay? In general, a Zi Sha teapot made of good quality clay has soft and elegant color that catches your eyes. If a teapot looks either dull or abnormally shiny, which generally suggests that the teapot may be polished, then this teapot is very likely made of low quality clays.

When you lightly knock your teapot body or handle with your teapot cap, the sound that the hit can also reveal the quality of the clay. If it is a crispy sound, the teapot is made of ordinary quality clay with right firing temperature. If it is a metallic sound, the teapot is made of good quality clay. On the other hand, A dull sound suggests either low quality clay or low firing temperature – neither of them is desirable. A teapot with pleasant steel sound that echoes is made of high quality clay and has been used for many years – highly desirable.

So, do you know how to judge your clay quality now? Next time, we will discuss how to judge if a teapot is hand-crafted.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Talks about Zi Sha Teapot

We received many emails from customers who purchased Zi Sha teapots from us expressing their excitements about their orders. Unlike many other shops, we focus on functionality instead of fancy style of our teapots. Most of our teapots are in basic traditional styles. So what about those teapots that impressed our happy customers? It is their fine craftsmanship and high quality clay.

Seasoned tea drinkers and Zi Sha teapot collectors know that high quality clay is very important to the overall quality of a teapot. Other than the quality of raw clay, skill level of a craftsman also affects final teapot clay quality. How are the two associated?

As many of us may already know, Zi Sha teapot is a general name for all teapots that made of Zi Sha clay. Zi Sha clay can be further divided into Zi (purple) clay, Zhu (red) clay and Ben Shan Lu (green) clay. Zi Sha clay is a hard mineral. Mined Zi Sha clay will change into tiny soy bean size sands after being exposed to sun light and rain. After further processing, those sands turn into wet clay, or what known as raw clay. Raw clay will need to be aged before it can be used for making teapots. Well aged clay demands high prices.

The time that a craftsman starts to make a teapot from raw clay is when craftsmanship comes into play in the final quality of teapot clay. An experienced craftsman has good clay processing skills and is good at controlling firing temperature.

We will talk about how to judge Zi Sha teapot clay quality next time….

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Making Oolong Ice Tea

We mentioned this special Oolong cold brewing method in our Hello Li Jiang blog. Here is the detailed brewing method:

Add 10-15g Oolong tea into a 1L teapot, and then add small amount of lukewarm boiled water to warm up the tea leaves. Throw away the warm water, and then quickly pour cold water into the teapot to full. Store the teapot in refrigerator for 4 hours then serve. One beauty of this brewing method is that you can still brew the tea leaves with hot water after brewing them for 3 times using cold water!

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Saturday, April 02, 2005

2005 Long Jing arrived in BeiJing with minimum price of RMB2800 per 500g

Star Daily March 31 news said that first batch of 2005 Long Jing arrived in Beijing by flight in the morning. This batch of Long Jing was produced on March 30th. Due to limited supplies, only 2.5kg of high price Long Jing (RMB5800 per 500g), and 10kg of moderate price Long Jing (RMB2800 per 500g) are available.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Friday, April 01, 2005

Updates on 2005 West Lake Long Jing

According to news from ZJSR on March 28, local farmer and business man have confirmed that harvest of this year’s Shi (Shi Feng) Long Jing has not started. The scheduled harvest time for Shi Feng Long Jing is after April 3rd. The tea business man also said that Long Long Jing had not been available on market yet.

Mei (Mei Jia Wu) Long Jing started harvest earlier. A local business man confirmed that only a total of 4.6kg was produced after the first 3 days of the harvest. And all of them have been counted for. People paid RMB2,800 per 500g for these Mei Long Jing.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun Started 2005 Spring Harvest

According to XHBY, farmers in East Mountain and West Mountain of Dong Ting started to pluck 2005 Spring Bi Luo Chun last week. Due to this year’s cold weather, this year’s Bi Luo Chun harvest was delayed for more than a week. As a result of that, availability of large quantities of authentic Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun would be delayed for another 7 to 8 days. People expect this year’s Bi Luo Chun production will be lower than that of last year.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

West Lake Long Jing Will Be Available in Next few Days

According to Hang Zhou Daily, due to this Spring’s cold weather, West Lake Long Jing harvest was delayed this year. Farmer Zhu said that based on his experience, small quantity of authentic West Lake Long Jing would be available by March 28. However, people would have to wait for 2 more days for larger quantities of 5kg or more. Low production of high quality tea leaves will cause this year’s authentic West Lake Long Jing price to be much higher than that of last year.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Dai Nationality Bamboo Tea

bamboo tea
Bamboo tea is a Dai Nationality ethnic tea. There are two ways to make the bamboo tea. One way is to fill processed (killing out and kneading and rolling) young tea leaves (one bud and two and three leaves) into a bamboo tube, and bake it on fire. The other way is to steam sun-dried tea leaves on top of sticky rice for 15 minutes, then fill tea leaves into a bamboo tube. Bake the tube while filling and compressing leaves into it. After the tube is full, seal the tube with bamboo leaves and bake it on fire. Turn the tube every 5 minutes till the tube turns into yellowish color and the leaves inside it are dry. Cut open the tube, and the bamboo tea is done.

When drink bamboo tea, add small amount tea leaves into a bowl, brew them with boiling water for 5 minutes, and the tea is ready for drinking. Bamboo tea has yellowish green tea liquor, pleasant aroma, and refreshing taste. Dai people use bamboo tea to serve guests.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Talks about Black (Shou/Ripe) Pu-erh (2)

This may be one of the most interesting topics to many Pu-erh Lovers – How is Wo Dui conducted?

In massive Wo Dui production, loose Mao Cha are first piled up into 1-1.5m high piles, then spilled on water and covered with wet cloths. This is called Wo Dui. The tea piles need to be turned over (Fan Dui) on the second day, and then piled up again. After that, the tea piles still need to be turned over a few more times. Humidity and temperature are keys to the success during this Fan Dui process. Fan Dui process decides quality of Wo Dui processed Pu-erh. This process may take 30-40 days. When tea leaves turn into brownish red color, it is time to set the leaves naturally dried with good air flow. After leave water content reduces to below 14%, the leaves are ready for further process.

Tastes of Wo Dui processed Pu-erh will improve with aging. They can be later compressed into different shapes. Producers sometimes also mix up Wo Dui processed Pu-erh and new Mao Cha to create mixed compress Pu-erh.

As you can see, Wo Dui is a highly scientific process. Those cheap wet storage tricks are no way close to it.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Talks about Black (Shou/Ripe) Pu-erh (1)

There are many black Pu-erh in the market. Some are Wo Dui processed and some are wet stored (we do not recommend drinking this type of Pu-erh). Wet stored Pu-erh tastes horrible and makes some first time Pu-erh drinkers believe that Pu-erh is a terrible tea. Although we have discussed the difference between Wo Dui Pu-erh and Wet Storage Pu-erh in our We Reveal the Mystery of Pu-erh page, we feel the need to discuss this topic even further.

When Wo Dui technique was first introduced?
The general consensus is that Kunming Tea Factory first started Pu-erh speedy aging technique research in 1973. According to Qiying Wu, former president of Kunming Tea Factory, 1975 was the first year that Wo Dui technique was used in massive production.

What is Wo Dui technique?
Wo Dui technique only applies to loose black Pu-erh production. Compressed Pu-erh are later processed using Wo Dui processed loose black Pu-erh. Afer a pu-erh is compressed, the only way to speed up its aging is through wet storage. Ways like cave storage are types of wet storage.

We will discuss how Wo Dui is conducted next time.

Tea Lovers from JinYuXuan Tea House