Wednesday, December 06, 2006

YIBEIDING (宜北町) Black Tea House

Google 宜北町(YIBEIDING), I got over thousand hits. Quickly read through the first 20 or so search results, it is clear to me that YIBEIDING has successfully embedded in local people’s life. People blog about their life, their memories at YIBEIDING.

Walking into any YIBEIDING branch, you will be very impressed by its tasteful interior design - welcoming with a sense of harmony. No wonder some customers visit there every day! Either you want a quite corner for a good hour long reading or a cozy place for group gathering, YIBEIDING has all to offer.

Although its top-notch store design creates natural attraction, what really set YIBEIDING aside from all competitors are its unique products, specially flavored house black tea drinks, and high quality service. “We only use top quality products. From ingredients to even tea cups, you can expect the best at YIBEIDING. That is our promise to our customers.” said Wang, CEO

“Let’s meet at YIBEIDING.
We are passionate about every cup of tea we made.
Welcome to YIBEIDING.
Cool Drink or hot treat,
Strong taste or light flavor,
Our colorful selections will always satisfy you the most.”

Linda in GuiYang

Saturday, September 16, 2006

2006 BanZhang Pu-erh

There is no doubt that BanZhang Mountain is this year's new Pu-erh favorite. However, the vast amount of so-called BanZhang Pu-erh on the market raised a question about their authenticity. According to local people, annual productions of BanZhang tea leaves are only 6,000 to 8,000 kg. This means that at 400g each, only 15,000 to 20,000 cakes can be made of real BanZhang leaves. The major characteristic of BanZhang Pu-erh is its strength. BanZhang Pu-erh is the strongest among those popular tea mountains. Unless you know what you are doing, maybe this is not a year to ride the BanZhang heat wave?


Monday, August 14, 2006

Findings on A.niger’s role in ripe Pu-erh post fermentation process

Researches on Aspergillus flora during ripe Pu-erh post fermentation process can be dated back to 1998, when Zongdao Chen and team reported around 80% of all Aspergillus found in ripe Pu-erh Wo-Dui process was A.niger. Hongjie Zhou and team echoed Chen and team’s finding on A.niger in ripe Pu-erh Wo-Dui process in 2004. Zhou and team’s found that A.niger was a dominant Aspergillus in ripe Pu-erh Wo-Dui process. A research conducted by Keke Chen and team in 2005, however, had a different finding.

K. Chen and team analyzed four ripe Pu-erh Wo-Dui samples from four different Pu-erh manufactures in four areas of Yunnan, and found no A.niger in either of the samples. Their research showed significant regional differences among the types of Aspergillus found in the four samples. The two samples from similar high heat and high humidity areas shared the most similarity. They also had the most Aspergillus varieties.


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Monday, August 07, 2006

Pu-erh Mao Cha Price Heading Higher

According to National Statistic Bureau, Pu-erh Mao Cha price jumped up 19.37% in the first half year of 2006 in comparison to the same period last year. Ancient tea tree Mao Cha price experienced even higher increase. These translate into higher prices of this year’s Pu-erh productions. With the current Pu-erh heat wiping out the nation, there is no sign of slowing down in Pu-erh price increases.


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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pu-erh Iced Tea

Summer is here! A glass of iced tea sure sounds tempting in a hot summer day. Have you ever tried Pu-erh iced tea? Making Pu-erh iced tea is very easy. Here is how:

Tea: Black Pu-erh or aged green Pu-erh. Aged green Pu-erh is very expensive. Given that aged green Pu-erh lasts many infusions, you may use leftover tea leaves from your formal brewing to make Pu-erh ice tea.

Step1: Add 1L water to a clean pot, preferably ceramic pot, boil water to boiling.
Step2: Rinse 5 to 10g Pu-erh leaves with boiling water.
Step3: Add the rinsed Pu-erh leaves to above boiling water and let it boil for 15 to 30 seconds or till the water turns into chestnut reddish color.
Step4: Pour tea liquor into a container and chill it in the refrigerator.
Step5: Enjoy! - Pu-erh is known for quenching thirst.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WuYi City has stopped plucking Da Hong Pao parent tea tree leaves

According to recent news from FuJian, WuYi city government announced that starting from this year, the city would stop plucking Da Hong Pao parent tea tree leaves in order to protect the six original tea trees.

In the past, only authorized personals were allowed to pluck very limited amount of Da Hong Pao parent tea tree leaves to produce highly sought after Parent Tree Da Hong Pao. Only less than 1kg Parent Tree Da Hong Pao was produced each year. In last year’s 7th WuYi Mountain Da Hong Pao Culture Festival, 20g of Parenet Tree Da Hong Pao was auctioned for 208,000 RMB!

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Da Hong Pao

As the most famous one of all WuYi Rock Teas, Da Hong Pao is a no stranger to Oolong lovers. Many people have heard of the fantasy of the original Da Hong Pao tea trees growing on the Jiu Long (Nine Dragon) Cave. However, barely anybody have the opportunity to taste Da Hong Pao made of leaves from the original Da Hong Pao trees. So what are those available on the market now?

Mr. Chen Dehua is a name that associates with Da Hong Pao teas available on today’s market. Mr. Chen successfully cultivated modern Da Hong Pao trees from five cuttings from the original Da Hong Pao trees in 80s. He then went ahead test produced Da Hong Pao tea using leaves from cultivated Da Hong Pao trees. When he gave his new tea to famous tea expert, Mr. Zhang Tianfu, to taste, Mr. Zhang thought highly of this new product. WuYi Mountain Tea Research Institute hence produced their first Da Hong Pao tea under the supervision of Mr. Chen, who was head of the institute at that time.

Sales went through the roof and productions of those newly cultivated modern Da Hong Pao trees could not meet high demands for Da Hong Pao tea. Mr. Chen boldly drummed up another idea - why not create a Da Hong Pao alike tea by mixing up Da Hong Pao, and other WuYi Rock teas, such as Rou Gui, Shui Xian, etc.? - That becomes what is widely available as Da Hong Pao now.


How to prepare Tuo Cha for brewing?

Tuo Cha is normally tightly compressed and hard to break apart. Bai nationality people have their own way to enjoy Tuo Cha through the following steps:

Step1: Wrap a Tuo Cha with a cotton wrap then steam it using a clean bamboo steamer. Hot steam will soften the Tuo Cha in about 20 to 30 minutes.
Step2: With the cotton wrap on, slightly knead the Tuo Cha into loose shape.
Step3: Dry up the loosened Tuo Cha and store it in a ceramic container for near future consumption.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

2006 First Batch Xi Hu Long Jing Sold For RMB7200 per KG

Recent news from Hang Zhou reported that this year’s first batch of Xi Hu Long Jing was produced in Weng Jia Shan on March 12. Auction price for this year’s first batch Xi Hu Long Jing started from RMB1880 per 500g. It jumped to RMB3600 per 500g and sold in less than 3 minutes.

The first batch Xi Hu Long Jing is Long Jing #43, an early harvest variety. This year’s Xi Hu Long Jing may be available on market by March 20th.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Most pre-Ming Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun Are Fakes

According to recent news, this year’s Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun won’t be available till end of March. Those available on market now are fakes made of leaves from Sichuan or Zhejiang.

Industry insiders told reporter that even when mass productions are available after Qing Ming, consumers still need to be cautious. Some vendors will mix fake teas into real ones to maximize profits.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

This Year’s Xi Hu Long Jing Won’t Be Available Till End of March

According to recent news, this year’s Xi Hu Long Jing won’t be available till end of March. Therefore, those on market now are all fakes.

Experts in the industry told reporter that Long Jing tea buds just started to show up on tea trees. If weather permits, customers should be able to taste this year’s Xi Hu Long Jing by end of March.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Aged Pu-erh or Wine?

Sipping Pu-erh with Ms. Dong is always a pleasant experience. Last night, we brewed up a pot of 70s Huang Yin, and started another relaxing tea night. I have to admit that my taste buds have been spoiled by Ms. Dong’s vast selections of authentic vintage Pu-erh – 30 year old, 40 year old, 50 year old… As a matter of fact, she was invited to show a bundle of 70 to 75 year old Yi Wu Pu-erh on CCTV-2 this month.

Being artistic minded myself, I always enjoy looking at the thick and clear, sometimes oily looking, dark reddish tea liquor of aged Pu-erh. Only well aged Pu-erh have the oily looking tea liquor. The 70s Huang Yin is one of those good ones. I like to pour good Pu-erh tea liquor into a wine glass for observation. When observed through a wine glass, the oily looking liquor appears to be detached from the glass wall while surrounded itself by a beautiful golden ring – Bao Guang. Many people compare collecting Pu-erh to collecting wine. I am not a seasoned wine drinker, but I enjoy Pu-erh. Will it be a similar experience observing a nice glass of aged red wine?


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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Famous Tea Mountains in Yunnan

How many tea mountains are there in Yunnan? A lot! Many Pu-erh drinkers have heard of “Six Tea Mountains”. Then there are famous tea mountains like Nan Nuo, Jing Mai. How do these tea mountains relate to “Six Tea Mountains”?

Historically, there are six tea mountains: You Le, Ge Deng, Yi Bang, Mang Zhi, Man Zhuan, and Man Sa. You Le is located in now Jin Hong City. Gen Deng, Yi Bang, Mang Zhi, and Man Zhuan are located in now Xiang Ming County. Man Sa is located in now Yi Wu County. The historical “Six Tea Mountains” are all located at north of Lan Cang River.

There are also six tea mountains south of Lan Cang River. Nan Nuo and Jing Mai are one of them. The other four mountains are: Meng Hai, Ba Da, Nan Qiao, and Meng Song. Nan Nuo, Meng Hai, Ba Da and Nan Qiao are all located in Meng Hai Town. Jing Mai is located in Hui Min County.

One tea mountain that is not on either of the “Six Tea Mountains” list is Yi Wu. Yi Wu is located beside Man Sa. Yi Wu quickly became an up-star when the historical “Six Tea Mountains” were on the wane. Pu-erh made of leaves from Yi Wu tea tree leaves is famous for its high quality after long aging.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Feng Huang Dan Cong Oolong Tea

We mentioned Feng Huang Dan Cong in our blog “Tie Guan Yin is a type of Oolong tea”. Although less known to general Oolong drinkers, this Chinese historical famous tea really deserves a devoted discussion.

Feng Huang Dan Cong is produced in Feng Huang town, Guang Zhou. Feng Huang town produces Oolong tea from Shui Xian tea tree leaves. Feng Huang Oolong is further divided into three types based on quality. Feng Huang Shui Xian is the most common one. Higher grade one is called Feng Huang Lang Cai. The highest grade one is Feng Huang Dan Cong, which is plucked, processed, packed and sold by single bush. Feng Huang Dan Cong must be plucked in spring, and must be plucked between 1 to 4 pm in sunny but cool days. Otherwise, it will be lack of the Dang Cong aroma.

Unlike other teas, Feng Huang Dan Cong is a general name for teas made of leaves of individual premium bush. This gives Feng Huang Dan Cong different aromas, i.e. the Feng Huang Ten Aromas.

Among all the Dan Cong teas, those produced from Wu Dong Peak are considered the best. Song Zhong Dan Cong (Old Bush Dan Cong) is made from tea leaves of several hundred year old bushes, and is very rare.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House