Like most pu-erh collectors, I nurse a great many tea delusions- some I am too acutely aware of and others I have yet to notice. One of my favorite and most enduring delusion is that most of the stuff I bought for cheap back in 2006 is actually something wonderful to drink (or will become something amazing given enough time). The flame is kept alive by the few instances this delusion has proved reality. I have a wild tree brick I bought for cheaper than a cup of hot bagged tea at Starbucks and at that price, it's really fabulous.I bought the above "Ye Sheng Bao De Hong" from YS for ~$8. Despite the fact that I got acutely sick drinking it back in 2006, I'm hopeful that this beeng is still something to be treasured. The wrapper proclaims Ye Sheng Gong Pin (野生贡品). Ye sheng means totally wild unlike most of the tall tree and wild arbor labels which would indicate older plantation trees. But the inside ticket also lathers on qiao mu for good measure.
The ever useful babelcarp tells me Gong Pin means "Tribute Goods, i.e. (good enough) for presentation to the Emperor." Since the very last Emperor of China lived under very shabby conditions at the end of his life, one plausibly could take such liberties. However when I contemplate the sketch of the kneeling subjects before an emperor being served tea, I wonder what in this tea could have possibly merited an imperial association. Is it a case of those grubby tiny Indian buffets called Bombay Palace which can serve amazing food? (I truly hope the illustrator behind such economical line drawing hasn't given up on his or her art. )
If we break down the english clues "yunnan sheng lu xi shi wan tong cha chang chu pin" we get,
- Luxi Shi(潞西市)- is a city in Dehong is now called Mang City at the wild western edge of China near the Burmese Border.
- Luxi Wan Tong Tea Factory - yet another little known factory that may or may not be in business. YS still sells their 2005 Golden Melon which someone has dubbed "flat ginger ale".