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2007 Guangdong Dry Storage China Tea / Zhongcha 6311 Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

2007 Guangdong Dry Storage China Tea / Zhongcha 6311 Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

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May 12th, 2021

This is a Guangdong-stored tea from China Tea, or Zhongcha, which is the Chinese government's pu erh tea arm. This tea went from Guangdong to a Kunming wholesaler and then on to me in Hong Kong. I have held this tea for a few months now, and these 380g (approximate weight) cakes will of course continue to age and develop in my storage over time: if you would like me to retest this tea at a later point in time, just let me know and I'll be happy to try this tea again!

All of the classic pu erh recipes from the mid 1940s up until the mid-90s were produced under CNNP (now known as China Tea or Zhongcha), and the government's pu erh production arm is very much still active today. This is an old school-style cake produced with classic Menghai material from higher altitude plantations. I really enjoy the old school character and processing of Zhongcha's classic recipes from this period as they can be very reminiscent of pu erh from CNNP's heyday. This is one of the recipes that I feel has the classic character and flavor that I enjoy and could drink happily anytime. 

The sample cake (uncovered storage in the original bamboo tong wrapper) smells nice and aged, without any humid storage notes whatsoever. The aroma is warm and pleasant with some floral character as well. This warm and inviting aroma carries right over into the cup, where I get warm aged flavors and sweet floral character. This tea is sweet on the palate right away, and the sweetness returns after the swallow as well. The flavor is classic Bulang, which is the profile CNNP was most known for in their heyday (and Dayi is still best known for this profile today, for that matter).

The energy from this tea is instantly calming for me. The cake and liquor are both darker in person than in the pictures due to the intensity of the daylight when these pictures were taken a few days ago. This tea is well aged and nicely balanced without any humid storage notes. This tea must have had some smoke from processing once because I get a barley-like note i associate with aged out smoke (but no smoke remains in this material now, after all the years in good Guangdong storage). As the liquor cools, I notice the liquor is both slippery and thick in the mouth, which is very pleasant.

This is a nice, sweet aged tea that is easy to drink and has a classic CNNP-style Bulang profile that is mellow and not in your face. While there is a little astringency when brewed hard, this tea has mellowed down over the years and is a great sheng for both the casual drinker and the aficionado who appreciates the classic Bulang profile with a little clean age to it.

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