Hou De Tea Blog

Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 01:52 PM

<- May contain adult material; click at your own discretion.

Who would think the shy and conservative Chinese people would print a Chun-Gong (Erotic) picture on the wrapper of their wedding gifts in 18th century! The Song-Ping Hao tribute brick of GuangXu period of the Qing dynasty proves the very unexpected. The brick is owned by San Ho Tang’s owner, Mr. Chen Zhen-Wei, an amateur Chinese calligrapher. The big Xi (double-happiness) character on the silk wrapper of the brick looks just like a regular blessing to the newlywed in any Chinese wedding ceremony. However, if you look closely into the Xi, you will be surprised to see the drawings of several sexual positions inside the character.

In the very conservative sovereignty of the 18th century Qing dynasty, the princes and princesses of the royal family could receive little sexual education. The education was usually done through paintings by several royal artists. This Song-Ping Hao brick is a very good and valuable example: it was a royal wedding gift to a princess on her wedding day, “now there are something you need to know quickly...”

A Taiwanese news of Mr. Chen and Xi Zhi Hao.

Inspired by the rich history behind this brick, Mr. Chen of San Ho Tang decided several years ago to re-live this old tradition. He did extensive researches based on collections of antique-grade pu-erhs and many visits to the remote mountains in Yunnan. In 2005, he was confident that he finally grasped every secret of a true Royal Tribute Pu-erh. And that led to the introduction of 2005 series of Xi-Zhi (Double-Happiness) Hao.

We are very proud to be the first to introduce this premium Collector-oriented series outside the Asian Market. The 2005 Xi-Zhi (Double-Happiness) series have five different kinds:
1. Lao Ban Zhan, 500g
2. Yu Le Remote Mountain Wild Arbors, 500g
3. Nan Nuo Remote Mountain Purple Tips, 500g
4. Lao Ban Zhan Brick, 400g
5. Lao Ban Zhan, 3000g
And there are two different versions of wrappers: the Xi-Shi version and the Calligraphy version.

Xi-Zhi version

Calligraphy version

Click here to see the selections of 2005 Xi-Zhi Hao!

Guang@ Hou De

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 05:51 PM
Aside from teawares like yixing, gaiwan, gaibei and brewing styles like gong-fu, chao-shan, there is a very simple, minimalism yet functional way of tea making... the Farmer's Style!

You can see Mr. Wu demonstrated the style in photo here.

Very simple:
(1) prepare a clean bowl, a spoon, and several cups,
(2) put a pinch of dry teas into the bowl,
(3) pour in boiling water,
(4) watch the tea leaves slowly unfurl in the bowl and the liquid gradually become more "tea-y",
(5) use the spoon to gently stir the liquid,
(6) now you can smell the aroma emitted from the spoon,
(7) use the spoon to pour tea into each cup.., and Voila !

This method not only requires the minimal number of teawares, but it can be easily extended to do a tea tasting.

For example, you want to compare three teas. Just prepare three bowls, three spoons, and several three cups. Repeat the above steps to make tea out of each one. Pay attention to put into the same weight of tea in each bowl so as to do a fair comparison.

Using this method, you can conveniently inspect the quality of the tea (leaves, liuquor clarity, color, etc). The spoon smartly acts as an "aroma cup". Simple as it may seem, this method is used by those tea professionals, like - tea farmers themselves!

Friday, May 19, 2006, 11:55 PM ( 2 views )
We just returned from our vacation in Taiwan. We visited several tea plantations in Nan Tou county, including Ming Jian, Zhu Shan, Lu Gu and Shan Lin Shi. Below we would like to share our photo album with you ^__^

2006 Visit to Nan Tou, Taiwan

Sunday, April 9, 2006, 01:25 AM ( 37 views )
San Ho Tang, the owner of the highly acclaimed "Xi" Double-Happiness Pu-erh cakes, kindly sent us the photos from their 2006 Yunnan harvest trip. Please click the picture below to see the album.

The owner, Mr. Chen Zhen-Wei, visits Yunnan every year to overlook the whole process himself, from harvesting, raw leaves selection, sun-drying, hand kneading, to the very final indoor drying. This year, he visited 10 remote regions. The photos here show some of his trips in Nan-Nuo mountain and Loa BanZhan region.

We will soon introduce his complete line of 2005 "Xi" Double-Happiness Hao to you. The 2006 line, including cakes/bricks and premium quality mao cha, will arrive in late May/June.

Enjoy : )
Guang @ Hou De

Friday, March 31, 2006, 12:11 AM ( 92 views ) -
This article is from No.15 issue of Pu-erh Teapot Magazine. I am glad to have their generous permission to translate their articles and share with you.

The title is "Yunnan Big-Leaf Tree Shai-Chin Mao Cha - the difference between the traditional method and the modern method". This is the first article in a series; the next one will discuss the modern machine process.

Please click the following links to enjoy the article. I will keep updating the translation of it. If you find any typo/grammar error, please feel free to let me know. I sincerely appreciate your help : )

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

The article points out at least two very important things:
(1) The kill-green is the most important step during the whole process. A properly done kill-green step should result in a clean and high clarity liquor. The aroma should be without grassy, sour, or any unpleasant smell.
(2) In the traditional shai-chin method, the highest temperature the leaves are ever exposed to is during the stir-frying kill-green step. The wok is first preheated to 100 degC. The kill-green step is done in 70~80 degC. The mild processing temperature of the traditional method preserves most of the leaves' bio-activity, hence the potential for aging.

Page 4 has several interesting pictures showing mao cha from 4 different regions.

Enjoy the article! I look forward to your comment/discussion.

Gaung @ Hou De

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