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2009 Guangdong Dry Storage Dayi 99 Gold Square Ripe Pu Erh Tea (81g)

2009 Guangdong Dry Storage Dayi 99 Gold Square Ripe Pu Erh Tea (81g)

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These pu erh squares were purchased in person just north of Hong Kong in Guangdong Province. I had never encountered these special edition squares before, and they appear to be impossible to find online! A Hong Kong collector told me these squares are very collectible now. They are made with outstanding (and very well blended) material from Dayi's high quality-grade plantation in Menghai. They were pressed in 2009, feature the number 99 in the name, are composed of 9 squares, and each cake is 81 grams (which adds up to 9, and '81' in Chinese numerology means 'prosperity certain). The Chinese are very big on numerology, and the number 9 stands for longevity, which I believe drove the price of this tea up considerably.

Aside from the lovely experience this tea provides, these collectible squares would make an excellent gift because of the Chinese numerology behind them (if that's your thing, or the recipient of your gift's thing), and would be particularly appreciated at a wedding since the 9s would indicate permanence. This would also make an excellent choice of tea for tea to be used at a tea ceremony at a Chinese wedding: especially a Cantonese wedding, since we love our pu erh down here in Guangdong and Hong Kong!

If you're a collector with a good storage environment, it might be worthwhile to buy some of this tea to drink now, and some to put away for the long term. This is the first shu pu I've tried in a while that made me say WOW with the first mouthful. It is that pleasant and flavorful!

The dry leaf smells of vanilla (marshmallow) and of yeast. After two rinses and one infusion, the tea begins to open up. I would go for 40 seconds with the first infusion when you brew this tea (I brewed at 9g/200ml in Jianshui clay, but a ratio of 9g/150ml would be more suitable).

This is a very smooth tea with lovely vanilla and date notes, and it is very smooth with excellent body. There is sweetness that coats the lips and palate in every infusion. There are no humid notes or fermentation notes in this tea at all. It has excellent longevity and the flavor lingers on the palate. This tea is remarkably consistent from infusion to infusion as well. While this is an expensive tea for a daily drinker for most people, it is a lovely treat!

Brewing suggestion: Full boil, with water of low hardness (15-35 mg/L, with 1-3mg/L of magnesium). Rinse twice, and start with 30-to-40-second 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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