Thursday, May 26, 2022

2003 Chen Yuan Hao Manzhuan vs Teas We Like

I got this 2003 Chen Yuan Hao Manzhuan free sample in my last order and intended to compare to the Teas We Like stored cake.  The Teas We Like storage wasfavorable to this Manzhuan and its really a great example of Manzhuan… it passed the wife test easily… I wonder how this storage compares…

Dry leaves were a muted woody faint herbal sweet.

First infusion has a woody sweet herby onset that has a thick oily feel with a soft oily mouhfeeling.  The sweet taste expands in the mouth.  There is a creaminess to the sweetness as well as a melon fruity taste.  The tastes are really clear in this first infusion.

The second infusion has a woody oak dry woody with creamy oily sweetness onset.  There are layers of tastes there.  The mouthfeeling is a bit sandy full sticky with a creamy milky chocolate taste left in the aftertaste.  There is a vegetal base taste in there as well that lots of Manzhuang area puerh will have and I have a hard time explaining it.  Nice warming chest feeling with relaxing laid back vibes.

The third infusion has a woody vegetal taste with evolving and expanding oily sweetness.  There is a pop of melon fruity taste then vegetal base with woody then it snowballs into a chocolate nuance then fruity melon pops of sweetness.  Milky creamy sweet fruity evolutions.  The oily thick liquor with layered sweetness and levels of taste combine to a complicated and pointedly sweet deep and thick experience.  This is a particularly tasty experience with a nice relaxing calming feeling- slight dreamy.

4th has a woody creamy sweet almost coco but then pops into a melon sweetness.  There is an undercurrent of choclatlely coco throughout the whole profile from onset to late aftertaste.  The oily texture and subtle sandy tongue coating underneath is a very enjoyable feeling.  Relaxing easy going vibes.  Cooled down it presents with a more vegetal woodiness subtle cooling menthol initially with a fade into creamy almost bready sweetness.

5th has an oily sweet creamy woody expanding bready and evolving melon taste.  The flavours are intertwined with a vegetal base taste and over a soft sandy mouthfeeling.  There is an oliy thick evolution of sweet tastes.  There is less coco chocolate in this infusion and more creamy expanding sweet tastes.  Nice relaxing vibe.  Time sort of disappears under the Qi of this puerh.  Nice sweet oily tastes stick around a while.

6th has a woody vegetal almost bitter edge to it with a more gripping mouthfeeling that is a bit drying and gripping.  There is a bit of sour and bitter and vegetal taste and bread and creamy sweetness.  A bit more biting that other infusions so far. 

7th is left to cool and gives off a woody vegetal onset with some juicier fruity tastes under a bland wood veil with distant coco lingering on the breath.  The mouthfeeling is a bit dry and gripping.

8th has a watery woody coco bland-vegital onset with not really any obvious sweetness there.  More of a lingering fruity sweetness on the breath.  Nice super laid back lazy feeling to this Qi.  There is a bit more sort of fruity coco taste in the cooled down cup.  Chalky dry mouthfeeling.

9th infusion is more bland vegetal woody taste with little sweetness left.  Drier woody tastes with distant harder to grasp at fruity sweetness.

Mug steepings are a bitter woody bland vegetal sort of taste with not much sweet left in there.  There are edges of fruity tastes but not really… mainly just this bland bitter woody taste.

Vs Teas We Like storage- The Teas We Like storage is much thicker and fuller without the bitter-bland takeover at the end of the session.  I like it quite a bit more than the storage which feels more complex in flavor for a few earlier infusions but too bland and thin in the later infusions, still obviously, not bad at all.  I would say that this cake has the biggest difference in preference between the two storage comparison tastings that I have done so far in favour of Teas We Like.  The other strong difference was the 2003 Chenyuan Hao Tong Qing Hao Commemmorative in favour of Teas We Like.  On the other hand the 2005 Chenyuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi is much preferred with the storage.  Thank you to Paolo for the gift of this comparison (and the others as well).



Peter said...


Isn't it highly likely that this tea and others you have compared have originated from the same source (ie same storage)? Especially considering that they are listed almost simultaneously.
If we look for differences we are likely to find them and a matter of a few months in different environments is unlikely to change a tea significantly.

Matt said...


It’s a really good question. I’ve wondered the same as well. However, The two storage options do taste noticeably different and share two different fairly consistent characteristics. I even tried blinding myself to the samples and I can still clearly tell which is which but the difference is not considerable because they are both Taiwanese stored. I’m left wondering if the differences are due to short term storage- I’m not sure. I’m also not sure how much more alike they will get in my storage over time.

It’s a good idea for a post in a year or so :)


Matt said...


Your question is also interesting because, I think, one of these vendors believes they may be from the same source where the other vendor, I think, believes that they are not. I believe that neither has tried each other’s storage.

For me it is rare the get samples from the same puerh production from the same area but with different storage that is one of the reasons I find the comparisons so interesting to me.


Anonymous said...

Ok, just tried SZCQ via Paolo (he sent me a free 7g sample). I still don't like this tea. It does seem slightly drier stored/more vivid than the TWL version. That said, it still has a very similar flavor profile, much of which IMO comes from storage and not from the original material so I could easily see them being from same storage or at least the majority of same storage. I too prefer Paolo's version. Both versions start out rather mild flavorwise with good mouth presence and some jaw & roof of mouth numbing. Both have an acidic sourness that grows later in session and gets a little cardboardy/plasticky and makes me lose all enjoyment. I didn't get the massive qi from this tea EVER. I do generally get qi so I'm still scratching my head over this one. I got more qi from the CYH SPH which is probably my favorite, TQH a close second. Caveat is that none of the CYH I've tried I've loved & don't feel they justify the crazy prices & hype. A couple years ago, TWL told me the SZCQ was a standout in terms of mouthfeel amongst all there offerings but I feel while it has some good mouthfeels, it's no standout.

TLDR: I agree with your notes on the differences between Paolos & TWL's SZCQ but yeah, who knows, could easily be same.

Matt said...


Yes!!!! I agree with many of your points as well!

Especially the controversial one about not liking the 2005 ChenYuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi. I am going to post a ranking and more comments on the comparison of storages soon here and although the Shanzhong Chuanqi gives me the big Qi I enjoy it much less than many others especially for its price- even though I had purchased the most of this one!

The 2004 ChenYuan Hao Song Pin Hao Commemorative Cake is also my favourite and is probably the only real good deal out of the bunch.




Ignoramous said...

I only bought that 25g sample of CYH SPH because you recommended it, thanks for that! and to be fair, I do get a decent amount of qi from the SZCQ but if I was qi-hunting at that price there are many way better options (e.g YQH Dinji or XZH 05 YouLe).

W/R/T other CYH, I do like the QJZ '11 jincha (mine came form LP a few years ago) but it's much too caffeine-y for my heart/stomach.

Excited for your CYH write up!

That was my post above, accidentally anonymous'd.


Anonymous said...

yqh dingji and xzh youle over cyh szcq says a lot, good to know where you're coming from. sph is a stronger tea than szcq, i agree with that. but good 6ftm blends are not easy to come by.