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2014 HK Home Storage China Tea 7581 RIpe Pu Erh Brick (100g)

2014 HK Home Storage China Tea 7581 RIpe Pu Erh Brick (100g)

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These 2014 bricks were purchased directly from an authorized China Tea / Zhongcha dealer at the end of February 2016, and have been aged in my home and warehouse since March 2016 (when they arrived). The changes in this tea over the last two years and two months have been phenomenal, and the storage has transformed this tea in exactly the manner I hoped for! I have three consecutively numbered bricks: the first is for samples, and the other two are for purchase whole.

7581 is a classic ripe pu erh recipes and one of the first ripe pu erhs ever produced to meet Hong Kong demand. Up until the 2000s, these bricks were always stored in Hong Kong basements for a few years to speed up aging before sale (even ripe pu erh goes into basements here)! The 2000s changed storage for all kinds of pu erh, but down here in Hong Kong, 7581 still goes in the basement as it always did, since Hongkongers are used to the flavor profile of HK traditional storage pu erh.

Clean dry storage 7581 was something I first encountered in Taiwan, and I fell in love! I found a 90s brick in a tea store and the aroma from the brick was so enticing, I just had to buy some. I purchased dozens of 7581 bricks in the years after that experience. 

This 7581 has turned out the best of any 7581 I've ever aged or purchased. The dry brick smells sweet and like jujube, a Chinese fruit. The bricks have loosened up enough that breaking them up without generating dust is now easy. The liquor is thick and smooth with pleasant bitterness and huigan (sweetness after the swallow). The first infusion tasted of date and jujube, with just a little camphor, but the camphor wasn't present in the later infusions. With more aging here, camphor would become more prominent, so in my opinion these bricks are exactly where I want them for drinking now!

The liquor has extremely calming energy, which I found very interesting and didn't expect. The base material for these bricks seems to have improved significantly in the 2010s and these bricks are very clean! Zhongcha productions now meet ISO standards and there is no foreign material in modern pu erh (like there once was). 

I noticed a mouth cooling effect in the third infusion, which I have never encountered from shu pu erh before (just sheng). There is sheng blended with the shou in these bricks, and it has aged wonderfully. The residual bitterness from the sheng is lovely and the sheng has calmed down enough to be smooth, pleasant and complementary to the ripe pu erh.

These are lovely bricks and I only have a very limited amount of this tea for sale! While you might be able to find these 2014 bricks cheaper elsewhere, good storage for pu erh is crucial to get the most out of the material, and Hong Kong dry storage is the benchmark for dry storage pu erh worldwide. Natural HK storage 2014 7581 bricks are not something you are going to encounter anywhere else!

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