After the crazy price surging in 06/07 and the collapse in late 07/08, we have felt the market’s interest in pu-erhs has waned considerably but a positive and conscious attitude towards the real quality and value has also emerged.
We loved the 2001 MengKu Yuan Yieh Xian, especially the dry-stored thin-papered version. But there are probably thousands collectors all show interest in this cake, and the price of it has never seen any downside, and the availability is quickly dwindling. Irene had this goal as to locate this cake with a more reasonable price when visited Taiwan this summer. But the scarcity of this cake was quite surprising, and those who still have volume of it are not blind to the market price and pursuit of it.
Seeing the disappointment of Irene in her Yuan Yieh Xian hunting, a Taichung vendor suggested to her the slightly overlooked treasure – the 2000 Zhogn Cha Kumming “Lan Tie”. It quickly reminded me that I was very interested in this cake last year, but was distracted by the turbulent market situation. But the other fact was I had tried this cake in 2003 or 2004 in Taiwan, and was a bit discouraged by the smokiness it showed.
Re-visiting the sample Irene sent to me from Taiwan, this time I was impressed by the strength and intensity of its aroma/taste, and the smokiness has diminished quite a bit. In fact, this re-visit and the memory of its smokiness quickly reminded me of another cake – the “2007 5th Intern’l Aged Puerh Appreciation Memorial cake”. I guess I can understand better the original purpose Mr. Huang Chuang-Fan’s blending to make this 07 memorial cake.
Jou Yu – well-known for his sharp, precise and almost fastidious attitude in tea tasting – picked this cake as #1 in a blind tasting of 11 cakes of 2000 (p. 173. #1 The Art of Tea Magazine). While it was not the sweetest dear in other taster’s eyes, they all agreed on the strength, complexity and durability of it.
This is the cake we like to pursue – already has several years’ storaging history and shown promising aging signs, enough strength to guarantee aging potential, well-known and unique, and with an acceptable price. We have acquired some and expect to receive them by the end of this month.