Gong Fu Question

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

User avatar
Dec 6th, '13, 22:41
Posts: 493
Joined: May 11th, '13, 03:20
Location: Sacramento, California

Re: Gong Fu Question

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Dec 6th, '13, 22:41

Teaism wrote:Those production pots of 70s-90s found in these areas are still affordable at a few hundred dollars. It is much better than paying a hundred or two for questionable clay of the new pots. They are getting rare, it is late, but still not too late to find them. I just found and bought 2 dozens of 1 st and 2nd factory 70/80s pots yesterday. :) They are still in the original box.

Congratulations on the find. Pretty amazing to find them still in the boxes. Are going to take one for a tea test or just relegate them to the collection chest?
chrl42 wrote:
betta wrote:
chrl42 wrote: I do know Mao was tea drinker and loved drinking Longjing everyday and ate the leaf left-overs (Hunan custom)..but it doesn't mean he did all that help to a tea culture as a tea drinker. Most notoriously, they cut down those old trees in Yunnan...'specially Yiwu where was the most famous Puerh area once..invented Shu and started mass-producing Bings. Mass-produced those commercial pots using scarce Huanglongshan clay...which ended in clay depletion to this day..! :)
On Mao and gong fu tea:

I recently read an interesting and excellent article published on Mao and tea drinking during the Communist era on chinaheritagequarterly (http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/e ... ?issue=029). In the article the author shares some of the evolution and practice of tea during the Maoist period. In the article porcelain is said to be important for the period and Mao is said to have had a special porcelain set. From the article:

"Tea drinking was not merely the remnant pastime of retirees. It was an element of traditional culture that flourished throughout the Mao era. Large enamel tea mugs 搪瓷茶缸 featured prominently in the lives of workers and peasants, even when they might only have boiling water 白開水 to drink. Porcelain tea settings were a necessary stage prop at Party meetings be they held in far-flung provinces or at the Great Hall of the People. Such attention was paid to tea finery that one of the penultimate speciality products designed and made for the Party Chairman Mao Zedong was a tea set. Produced in January 1975, it was known simply as the 'January '75 porcelain tea set' 7501毛泽东用瓷茶具. This 'Mao porcelain' 毛瓷 (also known as '7501 porcelain' 7501瓷) is now a collector's item.[5] Porcelain was not the only aspect of Maoist tea culture that survives today. In 1968, the revolutionary masses of Dexing county in Jiangxi cleared land at the Chikou Tree Plantation 江西省德興縣池口林場 to plant some 10,000 tea trees in a pattern that read 'Long live Chairman Mao' 毛主席万岁. Each character occupies 660 square metres. The tea trees, and the slogan, are still flourishing.[Fig.3]"

Later the article goes on to talk about Mao and tea:

"The most commonly supplied tea was jasmine 茉莉花茶. Mao himself would drink jasmine tea, also provided by the Special Needs Supply Point. From the time of the Great Leap Forward in 1959, the grades of this popular drink were renamed to reflect better the revolutionary ethos of the day. Thus, the highest-quality tea was now called 'Red Flag' 紅旗, premium grade became 'Leap' 躍進, while second-grade tea was dubbed 'Vanguard' 先鋒. Only seven one-kilogram boxes of the high-quality tea was produced a year; four of these were supplied to Mao and his family while the other three were sold by weight to other party-state cadres and their dependants. The Great Leap nomenclature remained in use until the end of the Cultural Revolution."

The article then goes one to reference the Longjing tea Chrl42 wrote of:

"The Chairman also had a taste for Lion's Peak Longjing Dragon Well 獅峰龍井 green tea.[Fig.4] According to the account of Li Zhisui, one of Mao's doctors and author of The Private Life of Chairman Mao, he rarely brushed his teeth, preferring rather to rinse his mouth with tea after waking. He also had a habit of chewing tealeaves. Oral hygiene was not one of the leader's priorities. 'He resisted all attempts to get him to see a dentist', Li wrote. 'One aide said "the chairman's teeth looked as if they were painted with green paint".... Mao's teeth were indeed covered with a heavy greenish film. When I touched the gums, puss oozed out. An infection of that sort usually causes considerable pain. Mao hated doctors and illness so much that he often endured pain in silence.'
At 22.5 yuan for 500 grams in the 1960s, the Chairman's favourite Lion's Peak Longjing Dragon Well tea was the most expensive, and exclusive tea in China at the time. (Lion's Peak is one of five Longjing Dragon Well teas, the others being: plain Longjing 龍井, Yunqi 雲棲, Hupao 虎跑 and Meijia Wu 梅家塢.) By comparison, the finest jasmine tea was only 18.80 yuan for 500 grams, while premium grade was 9.5 yuan, second grade was 6.4 yuan. Teas of the third grade or lower were not available at the Special Needs Supply Point."

It's a very quality and long article for anyone interested!


User avatar
Dec 6th, '13, 23:54
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 5th, '13, 09:10

Re: Gong Fu Question

by Teaism » Dec 6th, '13, 23:54

Hi TeaArt08,

Usually I take one or two of different design out to use. I am more of a tea drinker rather than pot collector. But still, I have hundreds of old pots. Always succumb to buying the old pots when I found them. :D

Usually, I allocate about 30-50 pots for active use and put them in a few display shelves after they develop a nice patina. Those in the boxes would eventually be used in future. I drink a lot of tea every day so I think I can catch up with them. :D


User avatar
Dec 7th, '13, 05:29
Posts: 1899
Joined: Mar 22nd, '08, 22:26
Location: Shanghai

Re: Gong Fu Question

by chrl42 » Dec 7th, '13, 05:29

Thanks teaart...that was wonderful and very helpful :D

So Mao drank the best Long Jing...I've always thought Chairman Mao (or other communists in general) was sorta hypocritical.

Had he have loved Puerh..or even Yixing teapot...cutting down like 1000-yr-old Yiwu or LBZ trees wouldn't have happened, would it? :lol:

It's always fun to read tea history....thanks again for your devotion :)

Dec 7th, '13, 05:50
Posts: 226
Joined: Aug 26th, '13, 18:29

Re: Gong Fu Question

by wert » Dec 7th, '13, 05:50

Ahh.....so the common talk of Mao's favourite tea as 君山银针 is nothing more than sale talk.

User avatar
Dec 7th, '13, 22:56
Posts: 1899
Joined: Mar 22nd, '08, 22:26
Location: Shanghai

Re: Gong Fu Question

by chrl42 » Dec 7th, '13, 22:56

wert wrote:Ahh.....so the common talk of Mao's favourite tea as 君山银针 is nothing more than sale talk.
I heard that, too. But I didn't hear specific stories behind it though.

Junshan Yinzhen and Mao both are from Hunan province..is there a chance Hunanese elaborated into a sale talk or Mao supported hometown's tea from behind? (like Hu Jin-tao and Taiping Houkui) :mrgreen:

+ Post Reply