May 18, 2014 · 2:00 PM
Bamboo and Loquat House
Ke Yi Xing 1999 (Ripe)
Part of the pleasure... or pain of pu'er is pervasive plagiarism. Be it the names of famous factories or popular villages, collectors covet that which may turn into a profitable return. Also, there are many amateurs (wink, wink) seeking to get into the game who may have passing awareness of a brand without performing the due diligence necessary for being a serious collector-- proverbial easy pickins for the counterfeiter and their collaborators. This brings us to Ke Yi Xing, a pu'er factory that has been around since the 1920s. I have little doubt that they produce some outstanding pu'er, and I look forward to sampling some in future, but I'm not given the impression that they make ANY ripe cakes. Fortunately, extensive research allows me to avoid many of the pricing pitfalls that the English reader encounters. So what about the tea itself? Well, the main matter of concern with ripe cakes is unrefined fermentation methods that give rise to an odious product. In just the short time since I've had this cake, it has mellowed out quite nicely and as one popular pu'er site notes, it possesses a noteworthy clarity, which would not cause you any embarrassment to serve to your more discriminating pu'er tea enthusiast.
How appropriate then for our casual and congenial group? I look forward to seeing you for our May gathering.