This lovely little tuo was stored in the same warehouse and store as the 2005 CNNP 8582, 2001 Xiaguan JiaJi and the 1994 Zhongcha Raw Tuo. This dealer's style of traditional warehousing left a tiny trace of mold on this tuo, but all of his teas are aired out beautifully and after several weeks at TeaLife, there is no detectable humid storage aroma from the tuo at all! There is light camphor in the cup, but no storage flavor at all. This tea is traditional storage done right for easy drinking and this is some of the smoothest pu erh I've ever had. While not quite as smooth as the 1993 7572, it is a great tea for everyday drinking and reasonably priced, too.
There is a yellow string in the tuo. Many of Yunnan's big factories add string or ribbon to their tuos. This is traditional with pu erh tea and signifies quality. Many pu erh aficionados feel the quality of leaf in the early 2000s (and earlier) was of much higher quality than the tea that came later. This is definitely a lovely shu pu erh and it's quite a pleasure to drink something that's been stored both traditionally and in dry storage for 14 years. This tea just goes down so smoothly! While there is little origin character and none of the sweetness you'd get with good dry storage in this part of the world, this tea has great body and slips down easy without any kind of sensation in the throat or tummy.
The leaves are rather small and chopped, as you'd expect with a factory tuo, but the base material used for this tuo seems lovely. I'm very happy to drink this tea and I prefer it to the traditional storage 7581 I also offer here. Fenghuang ripes often turn out smooth and light in flavor with traditional storage, and are really a great choice for relaxed everyday consumption.
Brewing suggestion: 5-8g per 100ml. Less or more depending on your taste. Place tea in a preheated pot or gaiwan. Rinse twice with boiling water, or water just off the boil, allowing 30 seconds to one minute between rinses to allow the leaves to expand. I like to use 10-20 second rinses, but some prefer to rinse for longer; this is a matter of personal preference. My first infusion is usually 10-20 seconds long, but you can vary your infusion lengths depending on the amount of leaf you use, and how strong you like your tea.
Please note: most traditional Hong Kong tea merchants do not offer discounts on volume until I am purchasing several kilograms at a time, and in some cases, no discounts are offered at all, even for ten kilos of a single tea or more. For this reason, I cannot offer a discount on larger purchases at this time.