Saturday, February 27, 2021

2005 Shuangjiang Mengku Mu Shu Cha (15 years later)

I remember actually trying this one fresh off the press in 2006 or 2007.  At that time it was very bitter astringent yet quite fruity, perfume, floral and vegetal- very Qi laden.  It was a pretty good Mu Shu Cha puerh and likely the first Mu Shu Cha I have ever tried and I considered purchasing some back then but never did.  It was obvious to me even back then that this is good tea but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it because of the unusual profile that I had never really encountered before.  I have said before here on ths blog that Mu Shu Cha is really a sort of different thing than puerh that shouldbe evaluated on its own merits, sort of like yesheng.  I don’t really believe these tastes too much like puerh and actually more resemble Yesheng.  I ended up trying some other Mu Shu Cha productions (including other Shuangjiang Mengku) throughout the years but this one, I think, is a very good benchmark Mu Shu Cha. 

I have kind of been following this tea for quite some time, watching it slowly increase in price over the years.  I debated purchase again a few years ago I remember seeing this one at King Tea Mall for a few hundred dollars.  I’m not sure of the storage but I think it might have been Guangdong stored?  It was on my long list of tea to purchase again but I now couldn’t justify the price especially when there were other Shuangjiang Mengku that I liked better that were cheaper.  I had also just purchased loads of Shuangjiang Mengku and figured I had enough.  I was surprised to see this 100% Houde Huston stored version available for $425.00 for 500g cake ($0.85/g) pop up this year.  In 2017 it was selling at Houde for $70.00 for 500g cake but this was before the 2018 price correction .

Guang wrote a blog post on this one hyping it as a first generation cake which is a collector’s item and also it being Bing Dao.  Often early Shuangjiang Mengku cakes are hyped as “Bingdao” or “containing Bingdao” however this is only speculative at best.  This marketing is often applied to all early Shuangjiang Mengku from this era inappropriately.  I agree that you are paying for the first generation collector premium on this one but having tried other Shuangjiang Mu Shu Cha this one is also considered the one of the best of them although I only tired the 2005 and 2006 I believe.

This sample was really the motivation to pay the heavy shipping and try some of these Houde samples after all these years.  I’m really excited to try this one that I sort of still remember from 15 years ago…

Dry leaves smell of light sweet candy.

First infusion has a watery onset with a creamy sweet expanding finish.  There is a candy like full expanding taste over a creamy cottony mouthfeeling on the tongue.  Subtle bitter vegetal that can barely be accessed here and has a bit of coco taste.

The second infusion has a strong mouth astringency first which is balanced nicely with creamy sweet candy like strawberry tastes and woody under nuances.  The throat kind of feels vacuous but deep and a nice strawberry aftertaste with faint pungency and a woody coco mild bitter finish.  The Qi has a strong mind-slowing and ultra focusing feeling.  I start to hear things far away my senses and honed.

The third infusion has an astringent and sweet candy like onset.  The astringency amplifies the sweet candy strawberry tastes and the taste expands over the tight pucker tongue.  The finish is first bitter wood coco then an almost cool pungency and strawberry candy sweetness.  The Qi is warming in the body and focusing.  The throat feels vacuous but deep.  The tongue transforms into a cottony feeling where tastes still seem to linger.

The fourth infusion has a stronger bitter pucker with some sour taste building and less sweetness here.  There is a creamy sweet strawberry taste under the more intense full bitter astringency.  This infusion has a dominating coco woody bitter astringency.  The Qi is a powerful warming, smooth in the body, and very focusing on the mind Qi.  Very very nice Mu Shu Cha typical Qi.

The fifth infusion has a creamy sweet with bitter coco onset over a slightly puckering mouthfeeling.  There is an almost unrecognizable faint coolness in the throat with candy strawberry finish.  The cooled down cup is bitter sweet coco.  Nice strong warming harmonious in the body and focusing strength in the mind Qi.  The Qi is typically good Mu Shu Cha.

The sixth infusion has a bitter sweet coco astringency to it.  There is a rolling creamy coco sweetness with a sweet fruitiness that attempts to push through the bitter profile.  The mouthfeeling is still a puckering but turns more into a flat coat on the tongue rather than the cottony fullness on the early infusions.  Big Qi.

The seventh has cooled down in the cup and gives off a bitter sweet caramel coco taste with still some flat pucker on the tongue and a faint open deep throat.  There is a pungent almost minty taste that is common with Mu Shu Cha in there as well.

The eighth has more of that minty vegetal taste its almost a flat bland taste that is common with Mu Shu Cha.  This profile is mixed into the milder bitter-astringent coco and less sweet creamy.  The mouthfeeling becomes stickier now.  Big Qi Mu Shu Cha continues.

9th is more watery with coco bitter sweet and bland vegetal with a puckering but never dry tongue coating.  There is a minty vegetal almost floral taste.  There is also fruity taste.  The mouthfeeling is more puckering almost dry.  It even is felt in the upper throat.  The sensation leaves less aftertaste but what is there is an interesting cinnamon taste.

The 10th is more watery now and less bitter but more vegetal bland now.  The Mu Shu Cha bland vegetal taste allows for some simple faint strawberry to bleed through.  The mouthfeeling is less strong and the bitterness is almost gone with more of a astringent pucker on the lips.  The Qi is losing strength too.

The 11th infusion is watery bland vegetal.  With not much sweetness left, a faint bitter-astringency.  Not much flavours.

I long steep ( 10 min) out the 12th infusion… it kicks up the power once more… bitter coco with astringent vegetal woody almost fruity sweet syrup.  Strong warming and Qi.  Gripping tongue and faint cooling open throat.

I go at it again at a 40 minute steeping… it is a stronger almost syrupy vegetal sweet slight bitter astringency.  It feels like a slight pucker in the mouth.  The Qi has dropped off and is mainly relaxing now.

I put the leaves into a mug and grandpa it out…

Fruity, slight tart, faint coco dirt, almost floral, not super strong but satisfying.

Overall, this is a nice early, example of Mu Shu Cha that has optimal storage for such a thing.  I’m not sure if I would spend that kind of money on this kind of thing now- remember that 4 years ago this exact cake was selling for 70$!  Really you are paying the premium for both good storage and due to it being a collector puerh.  Not for the relative experience.  To me this tastes less like Bing Dao and has much more in common with other Mu Shu Cha.  With that being said, if I blind purchased this one I would likely be satisfied enough with it.  For me it was most interesting to see how this one bitter astringent and vegetal sweet young puerh has transformed into something that still really retains its original essence but is now ready to drink and enjoy despite its stronger qualities.  I really enjoyed this.

Steepster Tasting Notes

Shah8’s Tasting Notes (also see here)



2018 Lincang/Mengku Price Correction

In 2017 I was really surprised how inexpensive semi-aged Lincang and Mengku was.  It was really terribly cheap for the actual quality of puerh.  You could easily find prices which were frozen close to the prices when they were first released.  Most factory cakes from Xishuangbanna had continued to rise year after year but poor Mengku had prices that were frozen in time.  People who were knowledgeable enough figured this out and stocked up on cakes at this time.

I think part of the reason they were selling for so little was because of the general obsession with Xishuangbanna.  I think the other reason was doubts as to whether they will age well.  As it became apparent that they are in fact aging well coupled with new maocha prices from Lincang and Mengku that continued to rise year after year, it was inevitable that prices would correct at least for cakes which were known to be good and were popular.

For me personally, I really hit it hard that year purchasing many many kilograms especially from Shuangjiang Mengku of which I had significant experience with from the mid 00s.

Then quite quickly prices seem to correct in 2018.  Prices tripled, quadrupled, even went up more than that within months.  Even cakes that simply had “Lincang Character” had gone up steeply.  Some sleepy vendors who we’re accustomed to Mengku and Lincang prices being frozen were caught off guard and great deals could be found.  There was one really obscure online vendor that was selling Mengku cakes at about 1/5th the market value who simply refused to ship my order out when I attempted to clean out his stock!  I’m not making this stuff up.  I tired all I could for them to ship it but they simply refunded my money.

2017-2018 was an interesting year for semi aged Mengku and Lincang.  Some places, I’m sure, you can still find some deals... but not like pre 2018 prices.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

You Will Never See This On a Puerh Wrapper


Although more and more foods are being lot tested for aflatoxins these days, I can’t imagine puerh will ever have a label like this on it.


Friday, February 12, 2021

2003 Xiaguan “Special Grade Ching Bing”: Classic Xiaguan, Nice Storage

Dry leaves are a strong piercing grassy, straw odour.

First infusion has a straw grassy metallic onset with a smoky almost gamey BBQ meat finish. There is a slight soapiness to the taste. It is not really sweet but more of a stronger savory presentation over a flat slight fine sandy mouthfeeling. The second infusion has a hay and straw/dried grassy onset with a metallic BBQ gamey meat slight nuance in there. There is a very faint coolness in the throat and mouth with a nice thin but full chalky sandy feeling.

The third infusion has a full almost sweet cherry taste that is under grassy and straw and metallic tastes. With a more woody BBQ smoke faint finish. The smoke is moderate-mild but intertwines nicely with the more classic Xiaguan like profile. The taste present full with a faint touch of bitterness. The full initial taste holds into the aftertaste. There is a nice smooth alerting Qi in here with some Heart racing.

The fourth infusion has a deep coppery almost metallic caramel taste initially with woody hay underneath in the mid layer and smoke BBQ faintly in the back. There is metallic and cool pungency and almost bitterness upfront. The flavours are pretty dense and full and present over a fine but full chalky fine sand. The Qi is noteable smooth but strong and alerting some Heart beats.

The fifth infusion has a coppery woody hay deeper caramel and metallic complex taste up front. The mouthfeeling is thin full fine sandy chalky and Qi is big. There is a vague caramel with smoke finish. Nice strong euphoria is building in the head. The initial taste really holds its complex density nicely with a faint open cool throat. This is a tasty classic tasting Xiaguan with some nice dry storage on it.

The sixth becomes a silky smooth scotch whiskey kind of taste with a nice aged woody kind of oak barrel smokiness to it. The mouthfeeling is a nice soft full thin chalk and mouthfeeling has some opening to it with some cooling but faint. The initial tastes have a long presence in the profile.

The 7th is smooth tobacco taste with background smoke. There is some hay and woods but mainly this the initial taste throughout. The complexity has dropped from here but the stable Xiaguan tastes push through nicely. The 8th seems like a thicker stronger malty oaky smokey. The initial tastes stay in the mouth for a long time and fade slowly. 9th is much the same deep, thick, malty woody smokey oak with long full taste slight smoke thin soft full mouthcoating. 10th is much the same condensed smokey, woody not really sweet but almost caramel and sort of cooling full taste. Chalky thin mouthfeel is satisfying as is the stead tastes that come out here.

11th has a brassy coppery wood smoke caramel taste. The taste and feel of this is classic Xiaguan but nice storage and strength without bitterness or harshness. 12th, 13th, ect it really just goes on and on with this really solid, condensed, typical and good xiaguan taste….

Overall, this is a bit better than average Xiaguan with a nice dry storage but still is very much a typical classic Xiaguan in taste and feel. The stamina is good with nice condensed tastes. But not sure if something like this is worth the $350.00 price tag? For me I can’t do it. But I really do love its classic taste and feel.

Vs 2001 Xiaguan 8653 Huang Yin 450g Special Order- This 2001 is equally brilliantly dry stored but this special order is unlike most Xiaguan in that it is more bitter, stronger Qi, stronger sweetness, and is even still quite aggressive. I like this one better of the two but it is not really representative of classic xiaguan. This 2003 Xiaguan is really more typical Xiaguan but is a bit better than average. Both nice xiaguan.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Lawrence Zhang: The Grandfather of Puerh in the West

Let’s just say it like it is… Lawrence Zhang (aka MarshalN of A Tea Addict’s Journal) is the Grandfather of Puerh in the English speaking world.  There is no one person who is or probably ever will be as important and relevant to those who drink puerh in the West than Marshal’N.  Period. 

Part of why he is so influential has to do with him simply arriving at the right place(s) at the right time(s).  He started his blog, A Tea Addict’s Journal, in 2006 which would have been both at a time when very few blogs (tea or any other topic) existed and/or when they just started to become popular and when very few people in the West were drinking puerh and/or just when they started to share their passion for this tea online in forums.  He was ahead of his time and a pioneer to blog about puerh and he did so in English.

The other reason why he is so influential is because he is Chinese, living in Beijing, and Hongkong but also fluent in English and familiar with the culture having lived in Vancouver and in the USA as a student.  He chose to write his blog in English and tether himself to the English online puerh community but yet he had the ability to inform us what was going on in China.  The combination proved a powerful, informative, and influential vehicle in the very early days of puerh.

However, the real reason why Lawrence Zhang is so influential in English puerh circles is because he is very intelligent, kind, practical, and easily portrays an argument or topic in simple terms.  He usually makes his point in very few words and he has made many such statements on his blog.  Did I mention he now teaches tea history at Hongkong University? Most importantly, Marshal’N, more than any other English speaking puerh tea blogger, embodies the “Old School” of puerh.

I too prescribe mainly to the “old school” of puerh tea. In fact, if you go back to the posts when I came back to blogging in 2017, the main philosophical idea of those posts back then and even today is to present an alternative or at least competing view to the “new school”.  This direction was in response to a virtual void of information and options representing the “old school” when I came back into blogging which really shocked me.  At that time, Hobbes and Marshal’N were almost not posting anymore and James of TeaDB and Marco of Late Steeps were starting to lean a bit more towards the old school at the time (they are puerh bloggers that although not growing up in the old school have learned it well by now and I consider them old school Marco is probably more old school than me these days and Wilson of Travelling Teapot is also much more old school).  However, Lawrence Zhang, more than any other English authority, epitomizes what the old school of puerh is in the Western puerh drinking scene.

That is why it was so striking to watch Glen of Crimson Lotus Tea, who admittedly started drinking puerh 8 years ago and by nature of his puerh tea company is quite “new school”, interview Laurence Zhang.  Glen did it here a few days ago on his YouTube interview series Between Two Teapots.  If you haven’t watched it, I implore you to do so.  Its pure brilliance and Marshal’N at his finest.    I was also really impressed by Glen’s interviewing skill which would have been quite difficult considering he is basically interviewing the one person in the English speaking world that has the best combination of experience and knowledge of puerh.  But what I thought was very classy is how Glen navigated an interview with someone who holds such different philosophy of puerh than himself.  Glen did such a good job that in the end I was left wanting to sample his brand.  The interview taken as a whole comes off as a bullet point presentation of most of the relevant themes and posts of his blog.  It is a purist and condensed lesson in the “Old School” of puerh tea by the tea professor himself.

Let me now summarize, link, and discuss some of the points Marshal’N makes during his interview which include references to his old blog posts and other lesson in the “Old School”.  Many of his discussion points mirror what I have been posting on my blog over the last 4 years and I will sometimes provide links from my own posts… my own thoughts will be italicized…

4:00 “I don’t measure my pots”- lots of old schoolers, me included, don’t know the volume of the pots they use.  Often they also never measure the amount of grams used either- I never do.  I believe this is more to do with honing ones gongfu skill without the reliance on measurement.  None of my teamasters ever measured out their tea either.

6:54 “With kids running around you don’t want to have teawear lying around and it gets challenging” (see my post here) lots of old schoolers now have a bunch of kids hampering their style… hahahah... we are not only old school but we are just simply old...

9:29 “What is you rough brewing ratio?- I can’t tell you because I’m one of these guys who don’t measure anything and I just look around and it seems about right.”

 11:35 “The one thing I’m sort of proud of is popularizing the term Grandpa Style”- (see his post here)

13:00 “It’s not like there is any science behind it (Grandpa Style), it’s not measured or anything

17:55-30:35 You obviously have a lot of local Hongkong experience (see this tag on his blog on Traditional Hongkong storage)

33:35 “What young sheng puerh characteristics and qualities characteristics are best for aging?”  “Most of the good stuff gets made into single origin puerh which is mostly a function of cost.  It’s very hard to find anyone who wants to put some Laobanzhang material in a some regular old blend… because you can’t sell it for that much because no one will pay for that much  (see my post on Extinct Blends)… after 10 plus years of experience with some of these teas, I’m not convinced that single estate puerh will age that well… or not that interesting…. Old cakes are all blends.”  Old schoolers generally prefer factory teas and blends over single estate.  80% of what I buy and consume are blends.

35:40 “the location (of classifying puerh areas) has gotten so small” (link his blog)

42:30 “You generally want to buy Spring tea if you can … because they tend to age better.”  Old Schoolers believe that Spring tea is generally always superior to Autumn.  In the factory era they did not create Autumn tea cakes as it wasn’t worth the cost of production to quality.  As a result, many old schoolers won’t seek out Autumnal productions.  (see my post here)

43:25 “If you don’t want bitter tea, drink some Oolong.” Generally oldschoolers believe that bitter teas will age better this is also because a lot time ago all puerh was bitter young.  Generally, oldschoolers enjoy the bitter taste in puerh and see it as a positive of long term aging.

45:55 “I guess if you are buying it to drink now… but I can’t speak to that really.”  Old school puerh drinkers rarely drink young puerh.  I rarely drink young puerh beyond sampling myself.  I’m buying young puerh, I’m buying it to age.  This is mainly due to the fact that puerh from the 90s and earlier were too harsh young and neverwere intended to drink young.  It also has to do with TCM theory that bitter fresh tea is damaging for ones health for many individual constitutional types. 

47:40 “What do you think about the different varietals or sub-varietals, wild varietals, or wild puerh.  Do they have any potential for aging? No… no don’t buy them.  Only buy them now if you drink them now, you don’t care, and you don’t get headaches, otherwise don’t touch them… Just don’t buy them to expect that they will age like puerh because they are not puerh..  I’m not happy when people call them puerh because they are not.  They are something else.  They are tisane, they are whatever...  It doesn’t age like that (puerh)  Old schoolers don’t believe that “wild varietals” are puerh.  I have wrote many articles about this very topic (here).

50:29 “Everything is aging” (see my post here)… I’ve had old black teas before. (link his post here).

51:25 “Areas that used to produce black tea are now producing puerh… If you buy a cake of Shuangjiang Mengku… and you leave their cakes to age for 20 years or so. Guess what? The tea tastes like black tea, or at least there is that black tea note.  And I think part of it is a varietal issue because for decades … they cultivated the tea to make black tea out of it.”  I never heard this theory before despite being a big fan of Shuangjiang Mengku… but it makes perfect sense too me.

56:00 “This whole idea of drinking gongfu cha is… in places that is not Chaozhou… is all very foreign to them (Chinese people)… I think foreigners see this … this is the Chinese tea ceremony is basically a lie... Foreigners think its exotic but it’s anything but exotic.” (see his post)

1:08:52 “Having some bugs that will chew through the paper means that you are doing pretty good storage wise.”  Old schoolers aren’t phased by bug bitten or damaged wrappers because back in the day most wrappers were like that.  They also generally enjoy more humid storage because the first cakes that were dry stored, the famous 88 Qingbing, were generally released for the fist time ever in the early-mid 2000s.  

1:11:10 “What is your favorite village/ region for puerh tea? ..Over the years, I think, (Yiwu) has gotten less interesting for me and I like things from Menghai area better these days.  Especially with age, I think they actually age better.”  Old schoolers generally think that Menghai area teas will actually age better.  This is at least partly because most of the aged teas they consumed early on were likely from the Menghai area from the 70s, 80s, 90s.

1:15:15 “There is no guarantee you are getting what you know… anything goes… nothing is stopping me from unwrapping your cakes and selling it as my own pressing.” (See his post hereI just commented on this last week when describing the 4 types of faked aged puerh (see here).

1:25:15 “Opinions on hunagpian?  Why waste your time?  What if you want to save your budget or is it not even worth it from that perspective? If you want to save your budget spent it on some regular cheap Dayi or something.  Why buy huangpain?  It’s basically someone’s trash and it’s not going to age that well, it’s going to be kind of bland… I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to buy it.”  Olderschoolers feel that hunagpian is not worth the money.  (See my post here)  Old schoolers also love cheap Dayi… we can’t resist cheap Dayi (see I his post here and mine here).

1:27:20 “So when you talk about village specific taste like that, at least as an end consumer I think we spend too much time worrying about these kind of names and labels and it doesn’t really mean that much at the end of the day.”   Oldschoolers generally put less emphasis on specific areas because they didn’t categorize by such specific villages long time ago.  They are generally more concerned about the end product of how it tastes and feels rather than where exactly it comes from.

1:33:25 “You spoke to the fact that there is mostly men in teashops… Why is puerh so male dominated?  (See my recent post here).

1:40:25 Taobao shutting down some second hand sellers.  (see his post)

1:42:30 Story about a very old New York stored puerh (see his blog)

1:45:10 Taobao Lottery is real (see his post)

1:46:00 “What is the strangest tea that you enjoy drinking?  There are some pretty funky aged Oolongs that are borderline straight moldy, they are really sharp, you can sort of taste the mold but they can be good... when you want that moldy tea experience even though it can be questionable.”  Oldschoolers generally don’t mind drinking tea with mold and are really not phased by moldy puerh.  This is also because puerh a long time ago was usually stored in more dank storage and they have developed a taste and tolerance for such things.

1:48:45 “You can now find 2006/2007 for less than a new cake would cost that are actually sometimes better than the new cake with 15years of age on it.”  Oldschoolers generally are fine with cheaper teas with age vs. spending the money on a new cake to age.  It is a commonly held belief among oldschoolers that you don’t really need to spend lots of money on puerh tea to get a solid drinking experience (see Dayi comment above).  This is partially a reaction to the increased price of fresh puerh over the years but also due to the fact they got used to spending so little on puerh a long time ago when things were less expensive and partly because there is simply a decent supply of solid cheaper puerh out there with a bit of aging on them which are simply better value than young puerh.

1:53:00 “Mine are all the same (Yixing).  I wouldn’t use sliver (teapot) for puerh.”  Oldschoolers when not drinking grandpa style mainly/ exclusively use yixing.  Why?  It does better with the older styles of puerh, more bitter puerh, and rougher old style processed puerh such as aged factory puerh which oldschoolers often enjoy.

2:04: “What an example of a tea you bought 15 years ago? … Back then it was the Wild West right? So.. lots of teas are mistakes either because they are weird in some ways: bad material, bad processing, too many to name really.  (see his post)

The last question from Microshrip is probably very fitting and brings the interview full circle when he asks…

2:09:32 “How has your approach to tea evolved since diving deep into it and what is it like now? I drink tea a lot more casually now than I used to… you start to learn what you like and start ignoring all the hype… and you settle into what you like and what you don’t like and you pay less tuition.

Sounds like a lot of grandpa style these days for the Grandfather of Puerh.


Monday, February 1, 2021

The Great Yang Qing Hao Price Drop/ Re-Release

While it looked like it might be time for a Yang Qing Haoorder through Emmett Guzman’s group buy thingy when I noticed something that really caught my eye on the pricing page…

Not sure whether it was a few too many Chinese bombers buzzing a bit too close or whether it was a Chinese New Year’s gift, but Yang was somehow motivated to really shake things up.  I asked Emmett what was up?  His reply:

“They dug up more stock they had although some may have bug bit wrappers, but most are not damaged at all from what I just ordered for myself… tea is all the same Yang storage.  The ones that are relisted are low stock and prices are temporary dropped (on these) to move the tea quickly.  Some prices will go up after Chinese new year”

It looks like Yang Qing Hao re-released a bunch of stuff that they have been holding for years now some of which was thought to be long sold out by many.  It is interesting because it shows that there are only really three Yang Qing Hao productions that are truly sold out- 2005 Yiwu Chawang (Special) 500g, 2006 Lao Banzhang Wang, and the 2007 Huangshan Lingya.  I had already knew that Emmett had bought out the last of the 2007 Huangshan Lingya- he now has the power to re-release and set the price if or when he wants to re-release it.  It was announced by Yang this year that all of his personal stash of the 2006 Lao Banzhang is sold- it’s all gone.  But it still surprised me a bit to see all those rare Yang Qing Hao cakes up on the site, specifically how much they are valued at by Yang.  This is not nessassarily now much they are worth but rather how much they are valued.  By looking at the prices, part of what you are paying for some of these might simply be the” limited supply”.  It is common for vendors to raise the prices of the last remaining inventory- this is standard practice with puerh vendors.  It’s actually also quite common for puerh vendors to hold on to stocks despite the site showing that it is “sold out” it should actually be indicated by  “not currently available” unless it is truly sold out.

It is also interesting to note that a lot of the price adjustments both up and down seem to follow my recent appraisals both good or bad of these Yang Qing Hao products here on the blog.  Although, this is less likely a blogger effect and more likely just adjusting the price to the actual quality of the cake.  I was inquiring about re-ordering 2006 Shenpin Chawang which I think is a brilliant blend and the other potential was 2010 Longtuan Fengmai which both significantly went up in this latest price increase.  I missed my window on these.  Others that people have been more recently critical of such as 2004 Dingji, 2006 Chawangshu, and, to some extent, the 2006Qixiang (which I like), have gone down to prices not seen since before 2015 when we started to pay attention to such things.  Overall, a fresh breath of air and positivity to combat the recent criticism.  

I think, Yang Qing Hao is one of the only brands who actually partly bases their prices somewhat on how that particular product is doing taste wise at that moment in time as the puerh ages.  This has led to some of the prices of things to go up and down (then up and down again) throughout the years.  I think he also bases the price adjustments partly on market demand.  Thirdly, he adjusts the price based on remaining stock as mentioned above.  I suppose these are all interrelated.

Buying Yang Qing Hao throughout the last 4 years is almost like playing the YQH stock market for me.  With me trying to buy low and forgoing some more favorable purchases for later because I feel that they might go down in price and buying others ones up quick thinking that this is the cheapest they are going to be.  Other considerations include leaving them in Yang storage longer or wanting to take them out to my very dry storage sooner. Anyways, so far it has pretty much worked out for me, I think.


This whole Yang Qing Hao price drop probably presents the best opportunity to buy Yang Qing Hao for those that are interested in this type of puerh and storage in a least a year or two or more.  The prices are private but all you have to do is contact Emmett through his site and he will send you the current price list.