A Tea Addict's Journal

The retaste project 3: 2002 Mengku Rongshi Qizibing

July 24, 2011 · 8 Comments

This cake is something I first obtained with BBB in Beijing back when he visited me.  I eventually ended up with about a tong of this, and he took a few cakes, I believe.  I don’t remember how much exactly we paid for this tea — I am sure it was below 100 RMB a cake, probably more like 80-90.  Taobao now quotes about 220 for a cake of this, and considering the appreciation of the RMB in the past few years, the price increase in the tea has been probably about threefold.


The wrapper, as you can see, has taken quite a bit of beating in the years since I got this cake.  You can see though that this is the same cake that I took a picture of five years ago by the arrangement of the leaves (on the neifei, for the most obvious point)



I’d say the leaves have gotten a bit darker, but by and large the change isn’t particularly obvious.

As I drink it, I think the tea is nice – nicer than when I first got it in the sense that it is now mellower and also a little cooler in the back in ways that I didn’t really notice before when I tasted it soon after my purchase.  The colour of the liquor looks a bit darker, but that could easily be a product of lighting, depth of cup, and other uncontrolled factors.


I do like it though, and I think at the price when I got it, it was a great deal.  Would I pay 220 for it now?  A few cakes, perhaps, if I happen to like it.  If I have to drink this tea everyday, I won’t mind it one bit.  I guess that’s a good endorsement.

Categories: Teas
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8 responses so far ↓

  • Hobbes // July 25, 2011 at 2:23 am | Reply

    I can almost taste the heady delights of humid Hong Kong while drinking up that last photograph with my eyes – a beautiful, dense red/orange.

    Given my secret love for Mengku-area cakes, I intend to scour Taobaowang for this one – thanks for the pointer.



  • Hobbes // July 25, 2011 at 3:27 am | Reply

    P.s. 190 CNY @ http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4864454936

    What can you get in the way of 9-year-old tea for US$30 these days? 🙂

    • MarshalN // July 25, 2011 at 3:38 am | Reply

      Hobbes: Please note that what you linked to is not the same thing as what I posted about. Notice the different neifei. Notice the top of the wrapper that you linked to says “Daxueshan yesheng”. Also, if you read the description carefully, it says 2005 production — the 2002 is a reference to the gold award they won in 2002, which the seller misleadingly put in the item title.

  • Ben // July 25, 2011 at 8:02 am | Reply

    looks great! I am jealous. I have been eyeing what I think is the 2003 version of this cake available at the Best Teahouse, Vancouver branch. They want A LOT more than 220 rmb.

    Ben, from Maine….

    • MarshalN // July 25, 2011 at 9:35 am | Reply

      I’ve tried that one you’re talking about from the Best Tea House. In fact, I tried it the same year I bought this one when I saw it there. It’s supposedly wild, etc, but to me it only tastes marginally different from this version, and definitely not worth the additional cost.

  • The retaste project 4: 2001 Mengku Yuanyexiang | A Tea Addict's Journal // August 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Reply

    […] is a tea that I bought along with the last tea I had, the 2002 Mengku.  Back in the day this was a hot cake, and although the market is now calmer, the tea’s […]

  • Seven years in Portland | A Tea Addict's Journal // January 18, 2015 at 11:47 am | Reply

    […] years ago, I gave my cousin living in Portland, Oregon this cake. I bought about a dozen of these when I was in Beijing, and I sent them one. I think it was 2007 […]

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