2003 Spring raw puerh cake from small private factory
Puerh far West
Harvested by hand : Spring 2003
Origin: Menghai region, small private factory, but packaged as Menghai Tea Factory.
Process: raw, sun dried, blended and pressed as cake.
Weight of a cake: 357 gram
In 2003, the puerh market was just starting to be liberalized. Due to a lack of marketing knowledge, small tea factories didn't yet establish their own new brands, but simply used existing wrappers to sell their tea. In a time when the tea market was very loosely controlled, this was the easiest way to sell tea for these new players. In 2003, the quality of such fake cakes wasn't necessarily bad. Here, for instance, the leaves are of quite decent quality as they were purchased by a Taiwanese tea merchant who stored them well in a warm and humid region of China (in what is considered a 'dry and clean storage'). The result of this long storage are wonderful aged raw puerh scents. The fresh fragrances have been completely replaced with camphor, wood and earth notes. It's quite amazing how quickly these aged notes have appeared. The taste has smoothened and is good if you make sure not to overbrew it. There are a few tricks I recommend to obtain a good brew: air the leaves a couple of hours before brewing, use more leaves than usual, shorter brewing times and an Yixing zisha teapot. The brew has a light brown color. The open leaves are between dark green and dark brown. This puerh is of excellent value for daily drinkers and those who want to discover the aromas of aged raw puerh.