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2017 HK Natural Storage Dayi 7542 Raw Pu Erh (100g)

2017 HK Natural Storage Dayi 7542 Raw Pu Erh (100g)

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August 6th, 2020

I purchased 15 of these 1701 (2017, batch 1) Dayi 7542 cakes directly from Dayi in November 2017, and I have aged them in my own warehouse here in Hong Kong ever since! For those who aren't aware, the 2020 7542 (batch 1) now retails for around US$700 in China, and the price may continue to rise from this point. This 2017 7542 has also greatly increased in value this year, and I knew it was time to see if the hype was justified by finally trying this tea.

This tea was stored in the paper tong wrappers, and not in plastic bags. I expect the aroma to come bursting forth once this tea is stored in thick plastic bags for a while. It's likely you will find this tea to be much more aromatic and complex than it already is if you give it some time in a closed plastic bag, but it's definitely no slouch straight from storage. I call my storage natural storage, but storing my tea eleven floors above ground in a well-ventilated room means my pu erh ages very differently than tea stored at ground level in Guangdong! 

My first impression of this tea was that the material looked to be higher grade than usual, and with a large number of fine spring tips, which is quite the departure from the early-to-mid 2000s 7542s I tend to drink. The dry cake smelled of sweet wildflower with a hint of cantaloupe. This recipe has definitely evolved over time, and is now much easier to drink young than it ever was in the past.

The first infusion was smooth and sweetly aromatic, with fruity notes that reminded me of grape. I immediately noticed that the flavor crept up after the swallow, rather than hitting my tastebuds immediately, which is a hallmark of good pu erh, and something good Dayi 7542 is well known for. I'd say the aftertaste was classic Dayi wildflower, but sweeter and fruitier than their material from the mid 2000s. The sweet aromas were almost like fruit candy: blueberry and grape. The liquor had light umami, and there was no astringency or bitterness in the first infusion. The energy from this tea had me awake and cheerful, as well as talkative: I remarked that it reminded me of drinking good Laobanzhang material. The aftertaste eventually left me with a sweet date-like flavor on the palate, but different from the date I'd find in shou.

The second infusion did bring some bitterness and astringency to the forefront, but it is definitely tolerable. The aftertaste had plenty of intensity, and was date and fruit dominant. I found the qi in the second infusion to be almost dissociative, which was a surprise, since it was so different from the effects of the first infusion, and toward the end of the infusion, I started feeling calm and sleepy. I definitely did not expect to experience such a range of effects from a single 7542 session, but perhaps there is a reason why this cake has dramatically risen in price this year: it is very solid tea, and surprisingly dynamic from infusion to infusion. This definitely isn't CNNP 7542, that's for sure!

The ride with the qi continued, and I felt like I'd had a couple of drinks, then slightly dissociated, then calm and relaxed. I noticed my blood sugar was dropping (even after a solid breakfast), and had to have lunch to counteract the effects of this tea!

My next infusions were progressively less sweetly aromatic, but still fruity with a lovely date aftertaste.

This is now a highly desirable factory cake, and I've stored mine for almost three years under my own control. No humid storage notes or funk here: just well aged and lovely to drink, in the city that put 7542 on the map!

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