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2006 Guangdong Dry Storage Changtai Tianxia Tong An Organic Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

2006 Guangdong Dry Storage Changtai Tianxia Tong An Organic Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

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October 9th, 2020

I've had a tong of these cakes since December last year, and the tea has transformed massively. The last four pictures above are of a cake I've been storing since December 2019. The liquor is dark and super smooth with almost no astringency or bitterness in the early infusions, and much of the original character (but definitely not all of it) has aged away. The tea is still lovely and calming with light sarsaparilla and wildflower notes in the aftertaste. I get some interesting sweet aromatics I associate with aged fu zhuan as well, which is very unexpected. I only have six cakes of this mellow aged (and still aging) version on hand, but can still get fresh cakes from the same source in Guangdong if you want the less-aged version. I will now offer samples and cakes from both my storage and directly from Guangdong dry storage since the difference in the cup after ten months is just astonishing. 

These raw pu erh cakes from Changtai were produced for the Hong Kong Tong An Tea Company, which started in 1947. These cakes were produced in collaboration with Changtai back in 2006. What makes these cakes special is they were produced with wild Menghai material and stone pressed, the old way. The loose compression is lovely and makes these cakes very easy to break up!

There are wetter-stored versions of this cake available on the market: this one has been through clean and conservative Guangdong dry storage. There is a sweet aged sheng pu erh note to this tea that is present in every infusion, as well as balanced bitterness. There is strong huigan in the first infusion. I found this tea to be quite easy on the tummy despite the more careful dry storage (the humidity was controlled to prevent wetter tastes from developing).

These Changtai cakes, regardless of storage, seem to have bug holes in the wrappers (possibly from silverfish). This dealer believes this is a good indicator of the organic nature of the material used for this cake, as the bugs have no issues getting close to the tea! The damage is merely to the wrapper and the tea itself is smooth and clean. My wetter-stored cake from another vendor also has holes in the wrapper. 

This tea is an outstanding value, considering it is organic and has been aged for twelve years! 

Brewing suggestion: Full boil, with water of low hardness (15-35 mg/L, with 1-3mg/L of magnesium). Rinse twice, and start with 10-15 second infusions for the first two or three infusions, then add 10-15 seconds to each successive infusion. If the liquor is too weak, add more time. 

Please note: Volume discounts on this tea may be available. Please contact me for details!

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