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2004 Classic HK Dry Storage CNNP 7542 Raw Pu Erh Cake (15g)

2004 Classic HK Dry Storage CNNP 7542 Raw Pu Erh Cake (15g)

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April 26th, 2020

These classic HK dry storage 7542 cakes are from the same dealer as the  2004 Xiaguan 8653 I carry here at TeaLife. While from the same period as my other 2003-2005 7542 offerings, the difference between each dealer's storage method means each dealers' respective cakes have developed in their own way. Comparing this 7542 to any of my other 7542s would make for a very interesting session as while the teas ar somewhat similar, they are also very much unlike each other. Many of these teas were stored only a few miles apart, but each have distinctive character from each respective dealer's style of warehousing!

While some Guangdong dealer's definitions of dry storage now involve the use of air conditioning or dehumidifiers, this dealer's warehouse style is a lot like my own: tea is stored in just the right natural environment so it doesn't get too dry or humid. Air conditioning and dehumidifiers were not used in the early years. In many cases, good natural storage is still how dealers in Hong Kong store their dry storage teas.

The cake has no visible mold on its surface. For those who are mold averse, this cake might well be more to your liking than the '03-'05. The cake shows considerable browning, but the wrappers are in better shape than the '03-'05.

Interestingly, in the cup, this tea feels more aged than the '03-'05 with less astringency and bitterness. This could be solely due to variations in batches between years, or even within a year, or since leaves from different parts of a plantation (or different plantations) were used. A number of factories produced 2003-2005 CNNP wrapped cakes for HK dealers, who are capable of purchasing some serious volume for long-term storage. This tea has thick mouthfeel and even a hint of aged date/plum flavor to it. I prefer this 7542 to the '03-'05, and perhaps you will too! If you like the 8653, you owe it to yourself to try another tea from the same warehouse to see how it compares!

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