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2015 Hong Kong Home Storage Dayi Nanzhao Raw Pu Erh (100g)

2015 Hong Kong Home Storage Dayi Nanzhao Raw Pu Erh (100g)

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This Dayi cake was purchased directly from a Dayi distributor back in 2016. After two years of dry storage at my home, 37 floors up near the waterfront on Lantau Island, this tea has mellowed out significantly and is now a pleasure to drink!

Nanzhao was the old name for a kingdom that once centered around, and encompassed, the town of Dali in Yunnan. This tea bears similarities to productions from Xiaguan (based near Dali) since the terroir is similar, but the material used for this cake is much milder and more complex than your standard Xiaguan plantation material cake or tuo!

This cake has also doubled in price since 2016, indicating the market are aware of the quality of the material used for this cake.

When I first picked up the cake and smelled it through the wrapper, it smelled sweet and appealing. I hadn't intended to break into this cake in 2018, but I recently read an article in which a Chinese pu erh aficionado felt two years of dry storage in Guangdong (just north of Hong Kong) was ideal for modern pu erh productions. I've found this to be quite true in many cases, and this tea is a pleasure to drink already!

After two rinses, a whisper of smoke was detectable, as well as active aged tea notes (the tea smells alive). There was barely any bitterness in the first infusion, and no astringency at all. The second infusion opened the tea up better, and some astringency and bitterness were apparent, but both were balanced and did not make for a difficult drinking experience. Recent Dayi productions are made with milder material that is much more approachable young. While I was initially put off by the change in material used, I feel this allows tea to be consumed before much of the character ages out. Two years does indeed seem to be a sweet spot, but I wonder how this tea will fare over another year!

The second infusion presented me with notes of an aromatic and pleasant chewing tobacco, or even a fragrant pipe tobacco, which was unexpected. This tea definitely has a lot more going on that your standard Xiaguan production, and is an outstanding example of Dali terroir!

Please note I am only offering three 100 gram samples of this tea at this time. This cake is from my personal stash!

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