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2003 Guangdong Dry Storage Che Shen Hao Yiwu Ruigong Cake (100g)

2003 Guangdong Dry Storage Che Shen Hao Yiwu Ruigong Cake (100g)

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I've been buying and selling these cakes for several years now, both for my own consumption and a select circle of long-term friends and buyers. The previous batch of these cakes was stored in much more humid conditions, and my buyers couldn't get enough of it! These 400g cakes are excellent value for stone pressed Yiwu material, and many of my regulars, who have access to all of my tea, love this tea in particular for the incomparable value these cakes deliver!

This new batch has been stored in dryer conditions: in my opinion, the storage on this batch is perfect. It's not too dry or wet, so you don't get the harshness of youth or any of the unpleasantness that can arise with excess humidity. 

This cake smells nice and clean compared to the previous batches I've purchased. This material, when young, was considered rather intense and harsh. The material has mellowed perfectly here. It is smooth and pleasant, but with lots of origin character remaining, which is truly my sweet spot for dry storage pu erh. There is light bitterness and nice huigan, but the liquor is easy to drink. There are both aged and clean and clear wildflower notes, but this tea is so clean I'm still in awe of how perfectly this material was stored (for my own tastes)! There is the very slightest whisper of smoke in the first infusion. A bit more smoke was detectable in the rinses, but virtually none remained in the liquor in the first infusion, and none at all in the later infusions.

I was asked if I'd be able to tell if the previous version of this cake was the same as this one, and I don't believe I'd be able to tell! Storage makes such a massive difference to pu erh, and the Western market is really only beginning to understand how much storage matters to both short-term and long-term drinkability. The last picture above shows you how the previous cake compares to the current one (dryer cake on top and more humid on the bottom).

Astringency is light as well. This cake was known to be quite rough and unruly when young, from reading early reports, so I feel very fortunate to be able to see how far along it's come, and how lovely it is today. 

I currently have six cakes of this tea on hand, and I expect it to move quickly! Please don't hesitate on this cake as many of my regulars are going to pounce on this cake as soon as it goes live!

The second infusion brought out just a hint of aged notes, but more bitterness. The bitterness is still very tolerable, however, and we know this tea ages into something very smooth and easy to drink with appropriate storage (and sufficient time)! 

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