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2004 Guangdong Dry Storage Changtai Menghai Raw Pu Erh Blue Brick (100g)

2004 Guangdong Dry Storage Changtai Menghai Raw Pu Erh Blue Brick (100g)

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Update: April 4th, 2021

I was asked to retest this tea. I've now had these bricks for a year and a half and they've aged considerably. There is no active smoke note in the tea at all anymore, just light and pleasant aged out smoke. In the first infusion, I got sweet aromatics on the nose from the lid of the pot and in the cup itself. The liquor has some aged citrus and chenpi aromatics, and very light aged book notes. The liquor is very smooth and not at all bitter to me. What surprised me is the liquor was sour when pushed, but not astringent. I believe this tea is now in a transitional stage, and the sourness and residual astringency should age down considerably over the next two years. The sourness was actually quite enjoyable because it's not something I usually get from sheng, so it was certainly novel.

There's a hint of barnyard/meat in the aftertaste that I believe is from the smoke from processing, and I suspect this will also age out over the next few years. I also get a little date, which is a classic aged sheng note. I don't usually get this flavor in sheng, so it's quite interesting to find it in these bricks.

When consumed cold in the fourth infusion, I get characteristic Menghai wildflower. There are no humid storage notes here as with all of the teas I age in my own warehouse. This is a great tea now and I believe it will be even better a year or two from now. If I tried this blind, I would not be able to tell this was the same tea I tried in October 2019!

October 2019

These bricks were pressed by Changtai way back in 2004! This is the first Changtai brick I've tried, and I didn't know what to expect. I let this brick open up in my eleventh-floor warehouse here in Hong Kong for over two months so it would be at peak drinkability before I tested it.

I brewed this tea in one of the unglazed Dehua dragon teapots I sell here on the site. There wasn't much of an aroma to the brick before the water hit it, but there was plenty of aroma and flavor to be had when water hit leaf!

The liquor surprised me with sweet aged out smoke (it reminds me of my 2010 Xiaguan JiaJis from my own storage, or the Dayi "Smoke Aroma" brick). If you are averse to smoke, don't try this brick. While the smoke is now aged out to the stage where it reminds me of sweet camphor, some people can't tolerate smoke at all, so if you're one of those people, you might do well to stay away from this stuff!

The liquor is pleasant and smooth. I noted some bitterness in the first proper infusion that surprisingly disappeared as the tea cooled down some. This tea has intense cha qi, which I didn't expect at all. There is definitely sweet and pleasant Menghai aroma and character here, but it appears to be more pleasant and sweet (as far as aroma) than Dayi or Xiaguan's classic Menghai profile. If you like Menghai-area teas, this is definitely worth trying! I don't have specifics on the exact type of material used at this point, but I will update the description when I find out. There is depth to the complexity that I associate with wild material: as the sweet aged smoke note dissipates, the complexity and sweet aromatics of the Menghai material come to the forefront. Notes of medjool date, cantaloupe, wildflower and sugarcane juice were all present after the swallow.  Pushing the tea harder in the later infusions did cause some astringency to arise, so this 2004 brick could definitely use some time in my warehouse!

I only have eight of these bricks, so if you'd like one, please do not hesitate! I will not ship these bricks until completely woken up (December 2019) so your tea arrives in optimal condition.

Please note: the bricks are marked 250g with some variation to be expected. The wrapped brick I tested today weighed around 230g (including wrapper), so you may get a little less (or more!) tea depending on the brick you receive.

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