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2016 HK Natural Storage Dayi 7542 Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

2016 HK Natural Storage Dayi 7542 Raw Pu Erh Cake (100g)

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Description

I purchased this tong of 1601 7542 from one of Dayi's largest authorized dealers in Yunnan in October 2016, and I've stored it in my warehouse in Hong Kong ever since! I finally got around to trying it on the 25th of August, 2019.


The first thing I noticed was that the dry cake smelled sweet and pleasant, which was a surprise. Older CNNP 7542 were brutal young, and needed years to age to respectable drinkability. I've tried many other recent versions of 7542, from 2007 onwards, so I shouldn't really have been surprised, but I couldn't detect any harsh notes whatsoever from the dry cake! The cake was easy to snap after almost three years of HK natural storage, which again, was a pleasant surprise.

I only rinsed this tea once, since 2016 Dayi productions (and my storage!) are clean enough that I didn't feel the need for a second rinse. From the aroma in a preheated gaiwan, I could pick out sweet apricot, and the sweeter portion of classic Dayi wildflower, along with honey and black tea notes.

I pushed this tea hard (10g/150ml, and a 40 second infusion to start with). The liquor was bitter when pushed this hard, but not unbearably so. I believe this tea is now very much ready to drink, but has plenty of potential for future aging, which is exactly what we hope for from a benchmark recipe like the Dayi 7542! Needless to say I am very impressed with the material selection and blending job on the 1601 7542.

This tea is extremely flavorful. I got surprising sugarcane flavor from the liquor, which is not something I've ever experienced from a 7542! I was very surprised by the depth of the aromatics after the swallow. The aroma filled my airways and throat, much like the best gushu. The sweeter portion of the wildflower profile I often find in the 7542 recipe was present, which I enjoyed greatly.

As the liquor cooled, black tea flavors came to the forefront. I also detected some medjool date in the finish, which is a common flavor note in well aged pu erh, but not something I expected in a cake that has only seen three years of HK natural storage.

This tea is extremely clean and surprisingly easy to drink, and didn't upset my tummy at all, even after almost 36 hours without food. 

In the third infusion, wildflower dominated, but black tea, date and sugarcane flavors were still very apparent! The aroma filled my mouth, nose and throat, and I expect this tea to continue to age beautifully. I like the 1601 so much that I would gladly purchase another tong to age!

I only have one tong of this tea that I've aged myself, so if you'd like to purchase a cake or sample, please do not hesitate to do so or you may miss your chance!

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