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2006 Hong Kong Dry Storage Changtai 65th Anniversary Raw Pu Erh Cake (50g)

2006 Hong Kong Dry Storage Changtai 65th Anniversary Raw Pu Erh Cake (50g)

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Description

Updated June 2019

I now offer a dry storage version of this cake from Guangdong. The Guangdong-stored version is quite a bit more economical. The dry stored version is clean and smooth with excellent wild tea character. I get hongcha notes and sweet aromatics from the rinsed leaf. The sweet aromatics carry over into the first infusion. Astringency and bitterness are both mild and balanced. The wildflower note is deep and rises back up through the throat and nose after the swallow. This tea also has great cha qi. This would be an ideal daily drinker for me since it is smooth and clean, with good cha qi and that lovely exotic wildflower note. There is also a hint of jujube in the finish.

A friend (and customer) in Finland says this tea has a birch sap flavor to it! Unfortunately I have no idea what birch sap tastes like! :)

This is a commemorative cake for the Hong Kong Tong An Tea Company. Made with wild Simao material, this tea was dry stored in Hong Kong by one of Hong Kong's oldest pu erh merchants. This HK-based merchant is a personal friend of the owner of the Tong An Tea Company. This recipe was created specifically for storage in Hong Kong, and it has aged beautifully!

The surface of the cake looks rustic. The leaves are larger and of approximately the same size. This cake is a blend of different medium-to-high-grade leaves, including lots of one-bud-one-leaf stalks. The wild leaves are larger than in something like a 7542, and I believe the larger leaves have helped this tea hold onto its origin character better than a smaller-leaved cake would have under the same conditions.

The first infusion (after two rinses) presents me with a little more bitterness than I'd expect from a Hong Kong dry storage cake of this age. The bitterness is, however, relatively mild due to the aging. This tea has held onto its wild character. The liquor and aromatics are very pleasant and I was initially surprised at the depth of flavor this tea has. It is very different from Menghai and Yiwu tea for sure. The balance between the terroir and the aging here is wonderful and I really like where this specific tea is right now!

I pushed the second infusion harder when initially trying this cake, and managed to elicit some astringency. The bitterness had already faded by infusion two, which was surprising. The exotic character from the leaves persists and is really very enticing. This cake is unlike any other pu erh I've had, and it definitely stands out among the other HK and Guangdong stored teas I've tried due to the unique and longlasting flavor the leaves have to give.

I feel these leaves really benefited from the heat and humidity in HK, since I believe the bitterness must've been quite intense when this tea was new. The strong leaves have really held up well over the years. Please note the leaves appear browner in real life than they do in the shot of the wet leaves above.

This is a great tea I think everyone should try, and I am considering picking up more to age since the leaves have already proven they can handle the conditions here and age into something wonderful! This was a 400g cake when pressed. After water loss over the years, you are still getting well over 300g with one of these cakes, which makes it quite a good deal.

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