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2009 HK Home Storage Dayi Lao Cha Tou Brick (50g)

2009 HK Home Storage Dayi Lao Cha Tou Brick (50g)

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Please note the pictures of the brick (and the liquor) are my personal brick, which I have been sampling from for two years! I didn't want to unwrap a Dayi sealed brick for the pictures.

This is the second shu pu erh I'm offering from my home storage! This tea has been stored 37 floors above sea level in my apartment in Hong Kong for over two years. 

These 250g mini bricks were produced in 2009, stored in Kunming warehouses (with a Chinese government connection, but I won't get into that here), and then shipped directly to me in 2016. I bought up the last of this tea! 

I have long been a fan of Dayi's lao cha tou productions because of their incredible flavor and the pleasant experience they provide in the cup! Lao cha tou, aka 'old tea heads,' are the nuggets that form at the bottom of a pile of ripe pu erh during the fermentation process. These little nuggets are packed with flavor since lots of tea fluid drips down to the bottom of the pile, and the greater heat and pressure at the bottom of the pile causes these hard little chunks of tea to form. These lao cha tou can go for many more infusions than the shu pu erh higher up in the pile! 

Due to the nature of lao cha tou, it took two rinses with water off the boil and two infusions for the tea to really get going. When this tea came in, it was sweetly aromatic, but with a little roughness on the tummy. The aroma is now more subtle, but still present, and the tea is much, much easier to drink with smoother mouthfeel and less discomfort in the tummy, which is what Cantonese drinkers (the largest group of pu erh drinkers in the world) hope to achieve with pu erh storage!

I get notes of fresh bread (which I often find in my home storage) as well as milk chocolate notes, and a lovely light sweetness has developed in this tea over the last two years. With a longer, stronger infusion, date and raisin notes arise, as well as some residual bitterness, but this tea has mellowed so much in only two years! There are absolutely no unpleasant fermentation or humid storage notes in this tea whatsoever. The number of infusions you can get from good lao cha tou are incredible. This is really lovely lao cha tou and Hong Kong home-stored versions aren't really something you can find on the market anywhere!

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. 

I only have three bricks up for sale from my home storage. If you want one, please don't hesitate to pick one up!

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