What Pu'er Are You Drinking

Puerh and other heicha
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mbanu
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Mon May 03, 2021 5:05 pm

mbanu wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 3:17 pm
Also it says something under the tea character besides "Zhongcha Brand".
That something being "勐海普洱茶" or "Menghai Pu'er Tea". This wouldn't seem like it would be useful, except for the fact that this phrase isn't normally printed on the front wrapper. So a tea with a yellow tea-character on the front with "Menghai Pu'er Tea" printed underneath, in Traditional Chinese characters using the old-style 80s English font, no QS or SC code, and an embedded ticket with a yellow mark that says 勐海出品 or "Product of (maybe produced by) Menghai". I don't know what that tea is, but I'm sure that there are enough things it isn't that someone out there could help you narrow it down. :D
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belewfripp
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Wed May 05, 2021 6:40 am

mbanu wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 5:05 pm
mbanu wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 3:17 pm
Also it says something under the tea character besides "Zhongcha Brand".
That something being "勐海普洱茶" or "Menghai Pu'er Tea". This wouldn't seem like it would be useful, except for the fact that this phrase isn't normally printed on the front wrapper. So a tea with a yellow tea-character on the front with "Menghai Pu'er Tea" printed underneath, in Traditional Chinese characters using the old-style 80s English font, no QS or SC code, and an embedded ticket with a yellow mark that says 勐海出品 or "Product of (maybe produced by) Menghai". I don't know what that tea is, but I'm sure that there are enough things it isn't that someone out there could help you narrow it down. :D
To my somewhat-ignorant eyes it would appear to be a replication/commemoration of the "Big Yellow Mark" teas originally produced in the 90's (also 80's? I don't know the timeline for this production). The actual thing doesn't, to my knowledge, have any of the pinyin or English writing on it and the Chinese characters are in a larger font (see here for a putative specimen). I'm not sure when Menghai Tea Factory (aka Dayi/Taetea) began producing this specific homage but I believe that is the general intent.

I'll leave it to someone more knowledgeable than I to fill in the rest of the blanks.

EDIT:

Text from the link i posted indicates the original original for the "Big Yellow Mark" is actually from the 1970's:
This Da Huang Yin (Grand Yellow Mark) Iron Mold tea cake has been stored in Guangdong province in natural storage warehouse since mid-1990's. This is a special edition of the famous Da Huang Yin cake from the 1970s by China Native Products Imp. Exp. (CNNP) in Yunnan Province.

The tea cake mainly uses medium/big arbor tree leaves in its recipe, which gives it a strong "Qi". It provides a clear, dark reddish-brown liquor when brewed. The woody, sweet taste of the tea gives one a very comfortable, yet stimulating mouth-feel.
Andrew S
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Wed May 05, 2021 11:39 pm

@debunix: it looks (and sounds) like a dry-stored cooked cake, but that can be hard to tell just from photos.

The extra characters on the wrapper and the lack of big factory insignia do seem to suggest something made at some point in the 2000s, as well as something other than a standard big factory production, but it could really be anything. A quick search of Taobao reveals some cakes with extra information on the wrapper, but nothing quite the same.

I'd only guess that it was made at some point during the 2000s, but that really doesn't help you...

I wouldn't draw any general comparisons between this cake and any other yellow label cakes. One of them could be nothing like another with a vaguely similar wrapper. Except where the wrapper is famous (and not fake), I don't think you can tell much from it.

Perhaps you could break up a decent chunk into a jar and let it breath for a few weeks or so out a bit before trying it again, though it sounds like it's drinking nicely already.

Andrew
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Bok
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Tue May 11, 2021 8:42 am

Mangzhi 2007, via Anmo Artcha. Nice, clean and refreshing!
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Balthazar
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Tue May 11, 2021 11:33 am

2003 Changtai Jinzhushan "Yesheng" - Been drinking a lot of this recently. Packs a punch, good body, endures plenty of steeps. Not very complex, but a really realiable pick-me-up at the home office, and another example of the winning combination of "HK followed by Taiwan" storage.

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mbanu
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Tue May 11, 2021 8:36 pm

Today it is some "Tin Find Brand Nor Sun Pu-erh Tea" from the Ten Fine Trading Company Hong Kong, as featured in the 1990 Kit Chow and Ione Kramer book, All the Tea in China. The tin is pristine, though, so I think this is just an active blend with old-time packaging. As I doubt I can do any better than MarshalN's 2008 review, I will just say that I enjoy it. :D

The English side of the tin, for folks who appreciate that sort of thing:
DIRECTIONS

Pu-erh Tea is a special product of Nan Nor mountain, in Yunnan Province, China. Having the advantage of the local weather and rich soil, the tea when infused gives a rich redish colour fragrance. Its mild and natufral sweet taste serves so well as a thirst quencher; it is also a good asperetif and a relief to hang-over with digestive and carminative properties. Recently it has been discussed by medical experts that the Pu-erh Tea may be used as a dissinfectant for internal use, and effective cure for dysentery.

This rare and valuable beverage will serve both as a tasty drink and a medicinal curative, refreshing and invigorating.

PACKING BY: TEN FINE TRADING CO. LTD.
1/F., FLAT B, 227 - 233 DES VOEUX RD., W., HONG KONG

PRODUCT OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
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debunix
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Tue May 11, 2021 8:52 pm

Hui Run of Bulang 2011 shu from yunnan Sourcing. Earthy, plummy, sweet, undemanding and soothing thermos brew.
Andrew S
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Tue May 11, 2021 9:05 pm

Looks like it's pu er time for lots of people out there.

I'm playing with some aged chunks of unknown origin...

Andrew
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mbanu
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Tue May 11, 2021 9:19 pm

mbanu wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 8:36 pm
Today it is some "Tin Find Brand Nor Sun Pu-erh Tea" from the Ten Fine Trading Company Hong Kong, as featured in the 1990 Kit Chow and Ione Kramer book, All the Tea in China. The tin is pristine, though, so I think this is just an active blend with old-time packaging. As I doubt I can do any better than MarshalN's 2008 review, I will just say that I enjoy it. :D
I realized there are two things I can add that might be interesting. First, the tin is lined in paper, which I am not used to seeing. Not just a paper liner underneath the double lid, but paper liner along the sides of the tin. (Is this supposed to be helpful for loose pu'er, or is this something that was originally done with all Hong Kong tinned teas?) *Edit: To clarify, not a paper package in a tin, but rather slips of paper.

Also a photograph of Ten Fine Trading, courtesy of Google Street View. In this case, first floor means the floor above the ground floor.
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mbanu
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Tue May 11, 2021 9:20 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:05 pm
Looks like it's pu er time for lots of people out there.

I'm playing with some aged chunks of unknown origin...

Andrew
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Mystery tea, eh? Part of a tea-trade?
Andrew S
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Tue May 11, 2021 9:43 pm

No, just broken chunks of cakes whose identities have been lost to time.

A bit of harshness in the first two infusions, but then sweet aged flavours that last a long time, with a contemplative feeling to the tea.

Andrew
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debunix
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Tue May 11, 2021 11:14 pm

mbanu wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:19 pm
First, the tin is lined in paper, which I am not used to seeing. Not just a paper liner underneath the double lid, but paper liner along the sides of the tin. (Is this supposed to be helpful for loose pu'er, or is this something that was originally done with all Hong Kong tinned teas?) *Edit: To clarify, not a paper package in a tin, but rather slips of paper.
My standard SeaDyke Ti Kuan Yin red-label tin has come lined like this since I first started buying my own supply in the 1980s. Not sure why, but clearly not a tradition limited only to Hong Kong.
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Victoria
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Tue May 11, 2021 11:19 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:43 pm
No, just broken chunks of cakes whose identities have been lost to time.

A bit of harshness in the first two infusions, but then sweet aged flavours that last a long time, with a contemplative feeling to the tea.

Andrew
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A reminder of why I love tea so much. Thank you.
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mbanu
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Tue May 11, 2021 11:33 pm

debunix wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 11:14 pm
mbanu wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:19 pm
First, the tin is lined in paper, which I am not used to seeing. Not just a paper liner underneath the double lid, but paper liner along the sides of the tin. (Is this supposed to be helpful for loose pu'er, or is this something that was originally done with all Hong Kong tinned teas?) *Edit: To clarify, not a paper package in a tin, but rather slips of paper.
My standard SeaDyke Ti Kuan Yin red-label tin has come lined like this since I first started buying my own supply in the 1980s. Not sure why, but clearly not a tradition limited only to Hong Kong.
That's really interesting! My local stores usually only had gunpowder and jasmine tea in tins, so the paper packet yellow-label Sea Dyke was my version. What could the purpose be, I wonder? I would have figured the paper would be more of a risk for taints than the tin... Maybe they were worried about condensation? Maybe a "tin design quirks" thread might be fun. :)
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debunix
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Tue May 11, 2021 11:42 pm

mbanu wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 11:33 pm
...
mbanu wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:19 pm
First, the tin is lined in paper, which I am not used to seeing. Not just a paper liner underneath the double lid, but paper liner along the sides of the tin. (Is this supposed to be helpful for loose pu'er, or is this something that was originally done with all Hong Kong tinned teas?) *Edit: To clarify, not a paper package in a tin, but rather slips of paper.
....
Maybe they were worried about condensation?
That is my best guess
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