Topic: Tong Qing Hao is Shu
What do we know about Tong Qing Hao?
The factory that has one of the longest history? The one sold at 200,000 rmb(appx. 30,000 USD)? A Bing Wen Jia Bao gave British prime minister Gordon Brown as a precious gift?
Below is an article translated from Korean, wrote by Bak Yong Mo (famous Puerh book interpreter)
According to tea megazine, december's article wrote by Bak Yong Mo (famous interpreter of Chinese tea), one of the most famous 號級-Hao Ji Puerh Tong Qing Hao (同慶號) could be Shu Bing. Bak Yong Mo visited Zhang Shun Gao (張順高 : worked at Menghai Tea Leaf Research for 30 years and headed for the last 10 years, retired as a researcher at China Science Research Xishuang Banna tropical plant in 97) to hear opinions about making post-fermented tea by leaves grown in Korea and wrote down as followed.
Zhang Shun Gao showed him Tong Qing Hao Nei Piao <This factory has 100 years of history in Yunnan, picked spring thin and weak Bai Hao of Yiwu Zhengshan. Leaf is golden and thick, brewed color is red, strong flavor and great aroma. Nei Piao is inserted to distinguish from fake. Noticed by Tong Qing Hao> and explained "Color of leaf golden and taste of water 紅農-Hong Nong is no matter how to understand, doesn't fit the idea of Qing Bing and made leaf red, strong taste means tea after fermentation. To have red brewed color for Qing Bing requires at least 20 years, then it must hadn't made Nei Piap overseeing a change of few decades later. So this must mean fermented Shu.
Qing dynasty's Guangxi 21 year(1895), protocol with France "contructs commercial office in Yunnan Simao" and, 2 years later the same protocol was made with Britain. After researching and analyzed the facts during 1912 and 1923, exported Hong Cha via Simao was 白銀-Bao Yin 110,210 Liang(兩). Those teas were bought from Yiwu by Siping's sellers and exported. But in 1910, Yunnan didn't produce so-called Hong Cha yet, and produced few decades later. At this point, exported Hong Cha means fermented Puerh, Shu.
At that time, Tong Qing Hao when it is made, used Shu inside and Sheng outside actually to mix Sheng and Shu is easy but to mold by putting Mao Cha in a pocket so makes inside Shu/outside Sheng requires experienced skill. In 1930, Tong Shun Xiang's annual production was 500 Dan(1Dan is 75kg), Tong Chang was 400 Dan but Tong Qing Hao was 700 Dan so it was relatively big company."
Said by Zhang Shun Gao to insist that Tong Qing Hao was Shu.
If it is true, then it's a shocking news for tea enthusiasts because Qing Bing after 20 years..no after 30 years if it's perfectly dry-stored that coud be enjoyed without rejection. Then history of Puerh should be re-seen, and more ways of studies and analysis should be processed. But this is up to expert researchers', we consumers without asking Sheng or Shu, how old it is stored, how much it costs, Sheng is always good etc..should choose tea with no sanitizational problem and consider economic part that fits each one's taste. Many people have a fantasy about 80's Puerh but actually some wet-stored 90's Qing Bing has various taste, Hui Gan, camphor aroma etc..legendary flavor what Puerh is supposed to have so could offer a good experience. Aged Puerh doesn't price up because of its quality but quantity. To generalize 5~10 year aged Shu as well seems good decision from a point of consumer's view. (without having certain and objective data, so from personal and subjective view it's true that Qing Bing has stronger Cha Qi than Shu Bing. But only for well-made and stored and aged tea..)