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1980 HK Traditional Storage Loose Ripe / Shou Pu Erh (16g)

1980 HK Traditional Storage Loose Ripe / Shou Pu Erh (16g)

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November 4th, 2019

I originally made a mistake with the math on the pricing of this tea: there is now very little left, since someone bought 300g immediately! I only have a very limited amount left and then it's all gone!

At the beginning of October, I asked one of my local suppliers here in HK about his early 2000s Dayi 7572: I wanted to know if they had been traditionally stored. The 7572s were dry stored (and I definitely need to try them)! He said his family were done with traditionally storing tea, and had moved on to solely dry storage. I told him I still really liked drinking traditional storage tea, so he offered to give me something to try. Well, what he gave me was 1980 loose shou! I initially thought he'd given me sheng, but when I opened up the bag, it was obvious it wasn't sheng at all.

The sample size was generous (11-12g), and I put the whole sample into a 185ml Factory 1 Green Label zini shuiping (HK market exclusive teapot). I reserved the sample for my birthday, since I was born in 1980, and had never had birth year tea before (knowingly). 

I drank the tea with my girlfriend. She was very impressed, and found the tea extremely smooth and not at all bitter in the first infusion. At the high ratio (and with a long steep), I found the tea to be smooth, but with balanced bitterness. In the second infusion, we both found the liquor to be much thicker, but still very smooth. The liquor was bittersweet (bitter, with some sweetness after the swallow, aka ku wei). She said she felt the bitterness on the sides and back of her tongue. My girlfriend is a natural at tea tasting, but doesn't know much about pu erh at all at this stage: she doesn't know the difference between sheng and shou yet, which makes drinking tea with her very interesting since she always has good input on everything we try that isn't colored by previous pu erh she's tried (she hasn't had all that many)!

This tea has excellent longevity. The pleasant (and balanced) bitterness gave way to mild sweetness on the palate. There is some storage character present in the liquor (aroma), but it is mild and has aged out almost entirely. This is a very special tea that is both calming (and simultaneously energizing). This tea left us sated, and still had plenty to give! 

If you'd like to try some really old shou (perhaps not at the ratio I used!), this is a great candidate that won't break the bank, since it is loose ripe shou. Cakes and bricks from 1980 cost quite a bit more! 

Only a very limited amount of this tea is available: just under 300g now!

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