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It there's puerh (Pu Er tea) in the history of a number of famous teas who have to stand out, sometimes by their rarity but also often by a singular taste remarkable. The last 50 years will be remembered for example blue marks the qing 88 or the Shi Lan Yin 1997 . More recently, it may be noted, for example, the Da Bai Cai who popularized the terroir Banzhang in 2004 or Mu Shu Cha to put the light on the land Bing Dao 2006.

If there's good and large slabs as there's great wines in the wine, there's virtually since the 50s largest producers , as the world knows wine Producers of modest size (facing large industries such as puerh (Pu Er tea) DaYi or Xiaguan) but would build on uncompromising quality and are primarily known for the excellence of their products.

With the opening of the tea market in the late 90s, is emerging today a multitude of producers fir-cone. If ganda majority of these tend to focus on the application and follow the market, a few names stand out and aspire to become major producers of tomorrows. Among them may be noted Chen Sheng He, to whom I dedicated a complete picture . Arrived on the market in 2007 with an unconcealed ambition: to produce a tea of ​​unequaled excellence and to register for the following producers Front 1950 as one of the great names in the history of puerh, Chen Sheng He n ' hesitate to put large resources.

In 2007 Chen Sheng He rachette and in the old village of Wu Yi remains Workshop Fu Yuan Chang, one of the producers of the legendary history of tea puerh, and to engage in the construction of a modern and spacious in Menghai. The following year he did not hesitate to buy the entire Lao Banzhang leaves, the soil the most sought after and most expensive in Yunnan which he spent years negotiating the purchase contract leaves for decades to come, or build a workshop in 2010 within the village to increase further the quality of its tea Banzhang, yet already recognized as a tea high excellence.

Thus, with remarkable teas whose quality has continued to grow over time as Chen Sheng He was a few years built a solid reputation. Among the most presigieux teas Sheng Chen, he of course there's the Lao Banzhang, which are undoubtedly among the best puerh (Pu Er tea) that Yunnan has seen in recent years, but also blends upscale area Bulang and more recently Wu Yi So here you reviewed productions of renowned producers in 2012.

Banzhang, the pride of Chen Sheng Hao

Start with THE flagship tea producer, famous Banzhang Lao Chen Sheng Hao in his vintage 2012. This tea, which made it famous producer was pressed for the first time in 2008 and major efforts have been undertaken by summers Chen Sheng He to constantly improve the quality of this great tea Banzhang, including through a wider selection of leaves increased from 2009 and construction in 2010 of a workshop in the village for better work fresh leaves under the control of Chen Sheng He.

The year 2012 marks first return to the wafer, the wafer size since abandoned in favor original 2008 packaging smaller brick 250g and 200g square, presumably to make it more acessible tea per kilogram despite very high. Total change of strategy so this year with only two packages: a slab of 500g and crone collector de1 kg.

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Here's how this tea is expressed in parallel to his older brother, the 2011 vintage.


Chen Sheng Hao Lao Banzhang vs 2012. Chen Sheng Hao Lao Banzhang 2011

The 2012 edition of the famous Lao Chen Sheng Hao Banzhang mark above all by its packaging. The cake 400g which marked the birth of the tea in 2008 was indeed abandoned the following year a brick 250g. Continuing the trend of reducing the weight (to offset the steady increase in the price of tea?) The 2010 and 2011 vintages were pressed square 200g. Radical change of course for the Lao Banzhang 2012, produced exclusively in 1kg bricks, and large cakes 500g.

In addition to being more consistent is also a return to manually compressed slab of stone, so that slightly more compressed square bricks above.

The leaves of the vintage 2012 stand more easily and appear more graceful than the previous edition.

Visually leaves the surface of the wafer and square are however very similar, either by their shape, varieties or colors.

Scent escaping wet leaves are immediately and without a doubt face the same character, the same chemistry that characterizes this tea. But we're also facing the evolution of the well-marked leaves after only a year of natural aging, with a 2011 vintage more serious, heavy and dull face his little brother who is much more fresh and spicy.

This is reflected perfectly through the liquor of these two teas, firmly in the same tones but with a noticeable darkening of tea in 2012.

On the palate it is in the same statement, with a new vintage in the same tone and the same ilk as the previous one, and maturation although this tea last year. As hinted perfume leaves the 2011 vintage is deaf, masculine, or the 2012 model year there seems fresher and flowers.

This is primarily attributed to the maturation, particularly fast, this tea, especially visible by the color of the liquor, which comes from the quality of the trees and the land of Banzhang. But that's not all and the more feminine of the latest vintage of Lao Banzhang also comes from the tea itself and its intrinsic character and reflects the uniqueness of the vintage 2012. The more pronounced bitterness in the 2011 edition is indeed difficult due to time and is attributed to the tea itself.

If, however, this does not in bitterness or maturation, it has felt the influence of tea. The flavors and duller than male time gave the 2011 vintage will indeed highlight and cut depress the character, strength and the natural bitterness of tea, and that the size of flowers, round and pure vintage 2012 will on the contrary tend to blur significantly bitterness and draw attention to something softer.

Besides the 2011 the 2012 model year shows a dimension slightly thinner and feminine mask that somehow tyrannical character ephemerally typical Lao Banzhang 2011. We thus obtain something more soft and silky, slightly less bitter and astringent, but also as a result of rear sensations slightly less pronounced, particularly in the throat.

Apart from this aspect, perceptible today but will tend to fade with time, we will retain a vintage 2012 same flavor profile, very close to the previous level whatever the character of the highest quality production .

Size change in this year's catalog Chen Sheng Hao. Besides tea flagship Lao Banzhang, somehow showcase the excellence of this producer, now take up two other teas Banzhang appointed Jing Banzhang (Banzhang gold) and Yin Banzhang (Banzhang money), respectively pressed cake 400g and 250g brick.

These teas while still among the most expensive puerh (Pu Er tea) products in Yunnan in 2012, are more than twice cheaper than Lao Banzhang and are somehow a range of "lower" this exceptional tea. They are nevertheless much higher than what is sold as tea généralment Banzhang, whether or not leaves the village of Lao Banzhang.

You can see many things behind this new choice choice. Vonlonté the first of which was that Chen Sheng He from its beginning to make no compromise on quality and make every effort to push still farther away except that we can draw from this region. Increasing the quality of tea is indeed greatly in sorting and selection of the best leaves, which is particularly striking in a village like Lao Banzhang, with more than 100 distinct gardens and trees less than 100 years to over 800 years. Implementation of different output channels for leaves noble nature or quality different and probably gives Chen Sheng Hao possibility to further increase the selection of leaves and not choose for its flagship product the leaves that seem the most suitable.

It is also very likely the creation of this new range of teas Banzhang which made possible the return of Lao Banzhang format cake, more noble and respectful of leaves that were not brick or square. Sizes smaller and smaller as the brick 250g then 200g square had made it possible to give some access to this particularly expensive tea, which is now provided by Banzhang gold and silver, leaving and the cake Lao Banzhang more freedom in its niche tea exception.

Finally, the introduction of these two new teas Banzhang, but also the loss in the catalog of the cake Chen Sheng Qing Bing Bawang , refelette probably also a new approach to face the producer and terroir Banzhang Lao Banzhang status.

Rapellons the rapidly Banzhang Lao village, whose name means Elder (village) Banzhang is somehow become the symbol of this region, producing Annual power of less than 50 tonnes, almost bought intégrallement by Chen Sheng Hao (then found along every year hundreds of tons of teas labeled Lao Banzhang on the market). But other villages, sometimes very close to that of Lao Banzhang also belong to this region of reputation, including the most famous Xin Zhang Ban (new Banzhang) slightly south west with an altitude similar to Lao Lao or Banzhang ' Man E, to the south and less high altitude.

The leaves of these villages, some gardens are in all respects comparable to Lao Banzhang either at the ground or trees can be of comparable quality despite a slightly lower price (with a gap tend to fade over time). That while the majority of producers improperly sold these leaves from Commes Banzhang Lao Chen Sheng Hao has often used without reporting in house assemblies containing no indication of soils as patties Chensheng Yi Hao or Bawang Qing Bing marketed by the producer at prices well below Banzhang Lao tea.

This is probably the leaves of these villages belonging Banzhang well terroir, which now come to mingle with leaves Lao Banzhang these new teas Chen Sheng Hao, rapellon which are sold as tea and not Banzhang Lao Banzhang tea. Again we appreciate the distinction not only honèteté producer, but also precisely when its local approach is not without thinking about what we know in France wine.

The amateur will have this year's choice, elixir Lao Banzhang seen by Chen Sheng He, or two for assembly teas Banzhang derived in two quality gold and silver:

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assemblages beyond end with refinement region Banzhang

Now turn to a classic catalog of Chen Sheng Hao, a cake produced each year by the producer called and Chen Hao Yi Sheng, literally "Chen Sheng number one." It is a blend of terroirs of the region and in particular Menghai Bulang Shan, contennant including villages around Banzhang. If all teas are assembled Chen Sheng Hao and Chen Sheng He claimed as such, this cake unlike the three previously tasted teas Banzhang to allow a greater geographical range by mixing soils farther, although remaining in the same region.

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I propose now to put into perspective the tasting Chen Sheng Yi Hao 2012 by putting face to face 2010 vintage of the same name:


Chen Sheng Yi Hao vs 2012. Chen Hao Yi Sheng 2010

Behind a common general appearance, the cake 2012 appears more beautiful, more compressed where the 2012 had sometimes a bit excessive compression in the center. The cake in front of her in 2012 is thinner, with beautiful leaves.

The scent emerging from gaiwan are in the same line with the 2012 vintage cooler where the 2010 seems slightly spicy, that can probably be attributed to the maturation of this tea.

We feel the common characteristic shared by these two teas, especially in the throat and palate. The colors are close liquors, again with the passage of time which results in a slightly coppery liquor and dark for the 2010 edition. To taste the tea maturation of 2010 is present and particularly rapid for tea 2 years of age only, probably due to the quality and age of the tree from which the leaves.

Alongside these tasting tea is like a trip back in time: The accuracy of the assembly and the alchemy of these teas seems unchanged, and only two years of an excellent dry maturation seem to separate these teas. The 2012 looks good puerh (Pu Er tea) all youth and freshness that make the quality of young puerh, while the 2012 model year that radiates from his early maturing and has all the quality of teas few years.

It is clearly facing an assembly perfectly mastered by Chen Sheng He and unchanged. We found it at either the character or quality. It also gives a good idea of ​​excellent maturation of these teas.

Other Assembly 2012 Chen Sheng Hao, in very different character, the Qing Ming Zhen Bing

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Yi Wu, the new challenge of Chen Sheng He

If Chen Sheng Hao is best known for its teas and Banzhang Menghai region, it is not the only mountain on which the producer put his vest. Chen Sheng Hao product since 2009 and teas Wu Yi region little known in the early years, considered by Chen Sheng He as the first test (see maintains with the producer), the teas produced by Wu Yi Chen Sheng Hao knew arouse the interest of tea lovers in the region.

There or Yi Wu Chen Sheng Hao surprising addition to their quality, it is in their nature that are well assembled claw Chen Sheng He. Where Yi Wu trend is increasingly towards the isolation of the villages, and the consumer is now looking at all costs Mahei zhai tea or Gao Shan, Chen Sheng He does not hesitate to return to older practices, and assemble different terroirs of finely Wu Yi to assert his own vision of the mountain tea.

This is particularly the case of a tea named Fu Yuan Yuan Cha , that fans often simply apellent 400 grams in reference to weight of the slab, Chen Sheng Hao produced annually since 2009, and is offered at a very attractive price. Let's see what to say to the last of this first vintage tea Wu Yi Chen Sheng he, first of all made independently and deal with the 2009 edition.

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Chen Sheng Wu Yi 400g vs 2012. Chen Sheng Wu Yi 400g 2009

The difference in color between the leaves of these two discs is incredible! If the year 2012 is already very dark for a tea of ​​the year, the 2009 vintage leaves are much darker, which seems to indicate a particularly rapid maturation to a cake only 3 years older than version 2012.

Scent escaping leaves immediately recognizes the commonality of these two teas, including this high dimension characteristic fruity and spicy. It obviously has to do the same chemistry and the same look on Tea Yi Wu

We find exactly the same taste: two teas that have committed the same character and only 3 years of natural aging separate. We find this particularly beautiful fruity and spicy dimension that characterizes this tea, excellent intensity and depth, and a remarkable propensity to invade the palate and nasal cavity.

The year 2012 appears naturally as younger, fresh and sharp, but it also appears to be more intense and dense in the mouth. Tea and 2012 seems totally in line with the 2009 and has the same character created by Chen Sheng He. However, it appears to be substantially deeper, fine and complex than the 2009 tasted it there's 3 years old and probably has a great potential for maturation.

Besides this tea is now another cake Yi Wu, superior. Named Fu Yuan Cheng Bing , it is often simply referred to by the appellation 357 gram the weight of the slab, in order to differentiate from the other Wu Yi Sheng Chen Hao pressed cake 400 grams. Behind this distinction between these two cakes Yi Wu, there is a project mentioned by Chen Sheng He in the maintains we have them with him in 2009, namely the clear distinction in price between tea from relatively young trees, those trees aged from true (or Gu Shu Lao Shu) by nature expensive.

Again, and even more for a cup of tea at this price, it is now a bold stance, an outsider in some way to provide a quality tea from Wu Yi, dear, not based on a village vogue as Gao Shan or Mahei, but a blend of old gardens belonging to different villages. If you still assembles teas of lesser quality in order to correct the fault and produce generic Yi Wu tea at lower prices, which was against by the audacity of assembling ancient trees of the best villages Wu Yi, to produce a fine tea whose mission is to compete or surpass what is commonly viewed as the best grounds of this mountain?

Let's see what this new Wu Yi higher thought and assembled by Chen Sheng Hao has to say.

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