The Yong Pin Hao tea factory is not one of the better known. More people, especially those who love pu-erh, have heard of the Menghai and Xiaguan tea factories. But, despite their relative obscurity, they manage to produce some teas that I have found to be outstanding. So knowing a bit more about them seems a good idea.
|2000 “Yi Wu Zheng Shan” Stone-Pressed Raw|
First, there seems to be some confusion over the name. There is the “Yong Pin Hao” tea factory. And there is a “Yang Pin Hao” or even “Yangpinhao” tea shop. They do not seem to be the same places, though. Often there is disagreement over how to “Anglicize” a Chinese name, that is, convert it from the Chinese characters to our own alphabet. But from the descriptions seen online, that is not the case here. So, we wanted to clarify:
- Yong Pin Hao – a tea factory that turns out some marvelous teas, adhering to the traditional process. They were founded in 1999 and have stayed true to those processes ever since – pure, sun-dried materials that are stone-pressed and packaged in bamboo with split strapping made of bamboo. Their storage area is clean and well set up for the proper storing of pu-erhs where the moisture level has to be controlled closely to prevent mold growth.
- Yang Pin Hao (or Yangpinhao) – A tea shop established in 1912 at Yi Bang, north of Xishuangbanna. They produce and sell tea under their own brand or trademark (“hao”). “Tong Qing Hao” and “Song Pin Hao” are two of them. There are many more and are known collectively as “Hao’s grade tea”.
Since the founding dates are different, I have to conclude they are separate companies. Our teas are all labeled from Yong Pin Hao and of superior quality.
Some Teas from Yong Pin Hao
The best leaves are chosen. Many are entirely first flush Spring (end of March). The kill-green process (sha qing) is done in small batches in woks, the leaves pressed with a heavy stone press, and dried naturally (not baked) to preserve their natural atate.
- 2000 “Yi Wu Zheng Shan” Stone-Pressed Raw – Leaves are from wild arbor tea trees 100 to 200 years old. Liquid is thick/sweet, deep gold color. (Available separately and as part of the Yong Pin Hao Raw Pu-erh Tea Sampler and the Super Pu-erh Sampler – Yong Pin Hao & JK Tea Factory.)
- 2003 “Stone-Pressed Man Zhuan Mountain Wild Arbor” – From Man Zhuan Mountain, neighbor to Yi Wu mountain in Mengla county, Xishuangbanna Prefecture. Different in appearance and taste. Lighter color, more prominent fat white shoots. Liquid has subtle flowery aromatic quality. Leaves are mostly whole leaf/bud sets. (Available separately and as part of the Yong Pin Hao Raw Pu-erh Tea Sampler and the Super Pu-erh Sampler – Yong Pin Hao & JK Tea Factory.)
- 2003 “Yi Wu Zheng Shan” Stone-Pressed Raw – Leaves are from wild arbor trees 100 to 200 years of age. The brewed tea is thick and sweet, the liquor color is a deep gold color. The aroma is incredibly complex and aromatic. (Available separately and as part of the Super Pu-erh Sampler – Yong Pin Hao & JK Tea Factory.)
- 2005 “Stone-Pressed Yi Wu Mountain” – The brewed tea is thick and sweet, the liquor color is a deep yellow. Thick deep golden colored liquor and a nutty rich taste. (Available separately and as part of the Yong Pin Hao Raw Pu-erh Tea Sampler.)
A final note: We came across this great blog article from about three years ago comparing some Yong Pin Hao teas from the sampler we offered then at the JAS-eTea store site (this is their blog site). We’d certainly encourage the author to try our new sampler pack this time around. It has not only the 2000 Yi Wu Zheng Shan but the 2003 Stone-Pressed Man Zhuan Mountain Wild Arbor and the 2005 Stone-Pressed Yi Wu Mountain.