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2016 HK Dry Storage Xiaguan FT Holy Flame Raw Pu Erh Cake (125g)

2016 HK Dry Storage Xiaguan FT Holy Flame Raw Pu Erh Cake (125g)

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These cakes are known as FT14456-16.

December 2018:

These Xiaguan Fei Tai cakes were produced for export to Taiwan. Holy Flame products were originally produced for export to Tibet, where they are used for Yak butter tea, but they are also popular throughout the Chinese diaspora for the excellent price/quality ratio these products provide. I must say I'm impressed by what you get for your money with this product range!

These cakes have been dry stored in my warehouse in HK since 2016. When purchased, I had never handled smokier pu erh in my life, and I was a little apprehensive about these cakes. Two years on, there is still a hint of smoke to the dry cakes, but it is evident this tea has mellowed significantly. While ready to drink, more time will definitely take this tea further along and truly let it shine: the tight compression here means this tea ages more slowly than other cakes from Xiaguan that aren't pressed between iron plates like these cakes were!

In the liquor, aged out smoke notes, which are sweet and pleasant, are detectable. This tea is still quite bitter, but not unbearable by any means: 4/10 for bitterness on my scale, which I consider tolerable. The liquor is smooth and thick, and this tea is powerfully calming. When I tried it, a single infusion was all it took for me to go back to bed to get more sleep!

While this material lacks the wildflower notes present in higher grade material, this is an excellent, and clean, daily-drinker grade tea from one of China's most reputable pu erh factories. Dali origin is evident in the flavor profile of this tea, as well, and the aged notes common to dry storage pu erh in this part of the world are just starting to come to the forefront. This is a great tea to try if you'd like to see what HK dry storage does for these cakes.

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