The date of manufacture seems to vary depending on your source of information. Puerh Shop claims it to be from the 90"s. Others claim it to be from 2001. I don't think it matters all that much. What matters is the content. So, lets dig in and see what we have here.
The wrapper has turned yellow with age and dotted with oil spots, that's a good sign.
What a chubby cake! I don't know why but it always pleases me to unwrap a new cake and find a nice, thick, chunky, slab of tea. Ummm......yeah I do, because it usually means that the cake has been stoned pressed and consequently will be easier to break apart without breaking the leaves.
Thick and chunky leaves with a generous portion of twigs, I love rustic teas. There is the faintest of woodsy aromas wafting from the cake as well as the smell of wet storage. But as the wet storage smell is not all that strong I,m not too alarmed, I,ll give it a couple of good rinses and see whats left of it.
Whats in the cup is a pretty tasty tea. Woodsy and earthy with just a trace of astringency and some vegetal flavors from it's youth are still in the tea. Plenty of sweetness in both the soup and the aroma. Here and there I detect florals and sometimes spice. But the predominant thing is wood and earth. The wet storage aspects fade fairly quickly as I hoped they would. By the third to fourth infusion the tea has really opened up and it's origins become evident. I bet this tea was kinda fruity when freshly processed, I can barely taste something that reminds me of pears.
This is a decent tea (in my opinion) I can see how it could benefit from further storage but I,m liking it now. A hearty tea with a robust and sweet aftertaste. Very durable, I,m up to ten infusions and it's still going strong but just starting to wane. Brews up a nicely orange"d heading towards amber cup with good clarity. At Puerh Shops prices this is a decent tea. If I were to have bought this from EOT at his prices, I would have been kinda disappointed.
As you can see the tea is comprised of lots of chopped leaf, some rather large whole leaves, and plenty of twigs. Some burnished red and brown, and some still clinging to the greenness of youth. Not bad really, not bad at all. I couldn't see myself stockpiling this tea, but a couple of cakes for future consumption sounds like a good idea.