Early 1990s raw puerh cake Lu Yin

Little green mark

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7 items in stock

Price: $ 40.00

Cultivar: Plantation and old arbor puerh
Harvested by hand : Spring in early 1990s
Origin: CNNP/Menghai Tea Factory, China. (The neifei mentions CNNP)
Process: raw, sun dried, blended and pressed as cake.

Weight of a cake: 357 gram approximately.

 

During the 1950s, private tea companies disappeared as the Chinese Communist party set up its food monopoly, the CNNP (China National Native Produce). This led to a standardization and reduction of the variety of puerh cakes produced. They all had the same wrapping, with only the color of the character 'tea' in the middle changing: green, red or orange. Many tea masters consider the green mark (= Lu Yin) cakes as the finest cakes made in that period. 

 

This cake is about 25 to 30 years of age (according the color of its buds). Its neifei mentions CNNP, but it was made by the Menghai Tea Factory, because it's the only factory that could make such cakes at that time. The appearance of the dry leaves on the cake closely resembles the leaves of a 7542 cake and early green mark cakes. That's why we can call this cake a green mark, Lu Yin cake from the early 90s. 

1. View

The packaging is very clean. This is a sign that this puerh has been stored in a very clean environment and hasn't been artificially wetted. The dry leaves are not too tightly pressed anymore. They appear clearly with different colors and a light hue due to their natural fermentation. The open leaves are not too broken and unfurl completely, a sign that the leaves are indeed raw. But their dark brown color indicates that they have aged. The brew also has a nice dark brown hue and very good transparency.

2. Scents

Camphor and storage smells are powerful and refined. These scents point to 40+ years of age, not 25-30! These smells translate also in the brew. This old puerh smell is addictive!

3. Taste

Powerful, very sweet/less bitter, pure, salivation inducing. Very long aftertaste. This is a very structured, rich tea.

Conclusion: This cake is, indeed, very similar to this 1997 cake. A longer storage has simply further refined and deepened the flavors of this famous puerh cake. The pleasure of tasting a very nicely aged is even greater. But what about it's hefty price tag?

First we need some perspective. In 2017, the price for a 1950s green mark cake was about USD 80,000. At the same time, a 1988 green mark '7542' cake cost about USD 10,000 at auctions in China. This early 1990s raw Lu Yin puerh is just a few years older and costs just 15% of that price. Its price is therefore very competitive and likely to continue to increase rapidly in the coming years. 

Brewing advice: flake the leaves carefully and air them a few hours (in a clean environment) before brewing. This is a very powerful, very concentrated tea, so it's best to use a low leaves to water ratio. Choose a small Yixing zisha teapot to soften the taste. Brew with boiling water to unleash the extra long aftertaste.  

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