Posts Tagged ‘Hou De Fine Asian Art’

I woke up Sunday morning with an overwhelming desire to have a nice, hot, robust cup of tea. My taste-buds sought something pure, no added flavors just tea. When rummaging through the tea stash, I came across my puerhs. Purchased three months ago, I have not enjoyed a cup since sometime in May. I could not remember the taste of the 2005 MengHai “Meng Song Gu Cha Shan Peacock” tea. Yet I knew I was in for any adventure!

Composition: According to Hou De Fine Asian Art’s website, this tea is one of Meng Hai’s 2005 highest grade green cake offerings.  This 2005 MengHai “Meng Song Gu Cha Shan Peacock”, leads by featuring 100% (no blending) traditional sun-dried spring-harvested arbor leaves from the highest peak in XiShuangBanna, “Hwa Zhu Lian Tse” mountain.

Dry Visual: Dark brown – reminiscent of mulch.

Dry Aroma: Woody with very smoky undertones.

Flavor: A very robust, full-bodied tea. I found 2005 MengHai “Meng Song Gu Cha Shan Peacock” to be both woody and smoky. During the first infusion, the smokiness was a bit overwhelming even after the first washing. I used a little honey to round out the flavor. While drinking, I experienced a mild numbing sensation in the top of the mouth and back of the throat. The puerh experts have a word for it – when I find out I’ll post. The second infusion was not as smoky, but still required honey. 

Liquor: A rich amber color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 1 minute for the first infusion after the wash – longer for subsequent infusions. I made the mistake of brewing 3 minutes during the first infusion, but made up for it by brewing for only 3 minutes during the second. I could have easily gotten several more infusions – unfortunately it was too late for me to drink more tea.

Manufacturer: Meng Hai Tea Factory sold by Hou De Fine Asian Art

Caffeine: Yes.

I am looking forward to enjoying more 2005 MengHai “Meng Song Gu Cha Shan Peacock” this evening. If I start early enough, I can probably enjoy four or five infusions. I have read that this tea has a sweetness to it – I did not experience that during my initial infusions. Perhaps later infusions will lead to the discovery of flavors previously undiscovered. Looking forward to my next cup!  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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After spending an inordinate amount of time  on Hou De Fine Asian Art website, I finally decided upon the following three tea samplers.  Each come in a 1 oz sample – I cannot wait to brew and taste.

Take a look at my choices below and tell me what you think:


2007 “5th Intern’l Aged Puerh Appreciation” Memorial cake






2005 MengHai “Meng Song Gu Cha Shan Peacock”





2003 Yi-Chan-Hao Yi-Ban Wild Arbor Cake, Uncooked





The one thing I struggled with when ordering my tea was the cooked vs. uncooked designation. Yes, I know this lack of tea lingo knowledge screams novice. What can I say, over the years I enjoyed drinking tea, but that was about it. Okay, back to my delimma – cooked vs. uncooked…

The Hou De Fine Asian Art site does a great job of explaining the difference between the two in “laymans” terms. Here is an excerpt from the website:

Cooked? Uncooked?
     Uncooked pu-erh is the original form of pu-erh teas. Following traditional method, new uncooked pu-erh teas are little or no fermented. The taste of those new teas, especially those made of wild arbor-type tea trees, has a strong astringency. People gradually found that by storing them in a dry condition for several more years, the teas become more mellow and lingering in the taste. In fact, the longer you store those uncooked pu-erhs, the better and more mellow the taste. Again, this especially applies to those made of wild arbor-type tea trees.

     It is commonly accepted that the “cooke” method was invented in Kumming Tea Factory around 1972. However, a recent report identified that the cooked method was already started in Jin-Gu Tea Factory as early as 1950.

     Cooked pu-erhs are made of the same raw tea leaves as uncooked ones. However, to speed up the fermentation process and improve the mellowness in taste, the tea factory added a Wuo Duei step – Wuo means “wetted by spreading water”, and Duei means “stored as many layers”. Basically, it is an auto-thermal and enhanced oxidation process that quickly increases the fermentation degree of pu-erh teas. Because of the auto-thermal nature and the heat generated during the step, people call this kind of pu-erh “cooked”.

It is simply amazing the things I have learned about tea! My fascination increases as I continue my tea research.

Happy Tea Drinking!

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