This is the only cake I offer (at this time) from one of Hong Kong's oldest vendors. While I have bought Wuyicha from the vendor for years, this is the first time I've tried any of the family's pu erh. The top shelf Dahongpao I currently offer is from the same dealer. I realize I've missed out as this cake is really great drinking! While not cheap, this is a genuine 2002 cake that has been stored very well right here in Hong Kong. This recipe is made with smaller leaves than the legendary 7542, so it was sold at a premium back in '02 and sells at a premium today as well. Factory tea from the early 2000s is considered by man to be of much higher quality than today's productions, since demand went through the roof only a few years later. Some of the factory cakes from before the boom supposedly even contained premium gushu material that would go for phenomenal prices today!
The tips on the surface of the cake have browned nicely. There is some light surface mold on the cake, but just a touch. Storing this cake at my office for several weeks was enough for all of the storage aromas to dissipate. The compression has loosened up from the traditional storage process, so you won't struggle to break this cake up as much as you would with a dry storage cake.
I rinsed twice. The first infusion was very clear and smooth with a touch of camphor when brewed in my trusty pin zini shuiping. This tea has lovely thick mouthfeel and balanced sweetness, sourness and bitterness; it reminded me of Chinese prunes. The tea was also reminiscent of a good quality ripe. This cake is really a great example of what a well aged old school HK storage sheng cake turns out like, and what the pile fermentation process attempts to replicate. This is my favorite CNNP cake of all my offerings at this time, and I highly recommend trying this tea.
After two rinses and one infusion, there was very little storage aroma detectable from the leaves in the teapot! This is traditional storage done right by one of Hong Kong's oldest tea merchants!