1980's 8582 "Thick Paper"

Puerh and other heicha
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Shine Magical
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Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:20 am

EoT is selling a 1980's sheng for $36 a gram. :|
https://essenceoftea.com/collections/pu ... paper-8582

I've had about 6 1980's sheng (supposedly), but they cost somewhere between 5 to 12$ a gram. Quite frankly I had never liked any of them very much because I always felt like they had a thinned out body and a somewhat simple flavor and they could have used some cleaner storage imo.

Have you ever had this tea before? I'm wondering what to expect. Part of me just wants to try it to see if the other 1980's teas I've had were simply bad examples, but I'm not confident I'll feel like my views will change after dropping $360 at EoT for 10 grams. I don't want it to just be a good example of a 1980's tea, but also to taste good. I think part of the reason of this high price is because of collectors rather than the taste of the tea, since this cake can be clearly identified.

For example, Tea Masters sells a 1960's maocha for about $18/gram, though it is unlabeled and you have to simply accept it for what it is. I've bought this before and it tasted extremely good and unique, much better than any of the 1980's sheng I bought so I'm inclined to say it's close to the stated age though of course I have no clue.

Curious to hear your thoughts about this 80's tea.
Last edited by Shine Magical on Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Balthazar
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Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:02 pm

Thanks for sharing this.

"I think part of the reason of this high price is because of collectors rather than the taste of the tea, since this cake can be clearly identified."

I think this is the biggest part of the reason. Collectable, famous recipe, 30+ years of age.

Of course I have no way of knowing, but I'm guessing it's about as good as any 90s version of 8582 in terms of the actual drinking experience. The description, "The taste is smooth and pure tasting, with a pronounced camphor flavour and with a very nice qi", is not flashy at all. I can appreciate that, but it also suggests that is not something that is going to rock your world.

Although I am way priced out of getting any, I do appreciate that they are selling it in 10g samples. Means that not only the billionaires, but also the millionaires, stand a chance of having a taste :)
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Shine Magical
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Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:49 pm

Yes, the not flashy description also caught my attention (in a bad way).
I have the ability to buy it, and although I'm always on the hunt for expensive teas this does not seem worth it to me from a drinking perspective but I am hoping to confirm with someone else. :D
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phyllsheng
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Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:30 am

Hello!

I hope I am able to infuse some perspective to this interesting discussion about the mid-1980's 8582 that EoT offers.

Firstly, to address Shine Magical’s initial comment:
I've had about 6 1980's sheng (supposedly), but they cost somewhere between 5 to 12$ a gram.
How old a sheng pu’er is has no correlation whatsoever with its price tag or its expected/actual quality.

What was said next, on the other hand, is rather true:
frankly I had never liked any of them very much because I always felt like they had a thinned out body.
Most old sheng pu’er are just that: old and underwhelming. The emphasis is on the word “most”, because there are few and rare 50, 75, 100+ yrs old teas out there that will blow anybody’s mind and alter one’s understanding about what a great old pu’er is all about and why they are valued in the six or seven figures USD per cake. The biggest caveat is, of course, storage and provenance. Storage makes or breaks a great tea; that is an undeniable truth.

Secondly, when we are talking about a genuine mid-1980’s Menghai Tea Factory 8582, there is absolutely no need for any flashy description whatsoever. To borrow a wine analogy, a 1982 Chateau Petrus neither needs an introduction nor a flashy description; those who know, know that the name and the vintage speak for itself, and very loudly so. I mean no offense, but if a flashy description is your deciding factor to buy or not to buy, then perhaps you shouldn’t waste your money until you understand why it never needed a flashy or romantic description.

Having said all the above, the mid-1980’s thick paper Menghai Tea Factory 8582 on EoT’s site looks genuine from all details and visual cues in the photos provided, and it has been stored impeccably clean considering its age. It has telltale signs of past humid storage (light to medium-light), but that was a long time ago. It seems that the cake being offered (and photographed by EoT) has been stored well in a natural dry environment for many, many years (natural dry ≠ cryogenic-bone dry). Overall, I would say it looks great. To be a bit more specific, among the 3 versions of mid-1980's 8582 ever produced, this is the thick papyrus paper version, and therefore, it was custom ordered by Hong Kong Nantian Trading Co. in the mid-1980’s (1985 – 1987) and produced by Menghai Tea Factory on Nantian Co.’s behalf.

Lastly, the million dollar question: does it taste great?

And the million dollar answer is: there is only one way to find out, BUT you’d be missing the point if you expect and demand that the tea must be great for you. After all, it's $36/gram, one would say.

The proper midset, however, should be about the experience and the learning you may (or may not) gain from tasting a genuine 8582 from the very era it was first produced. What you’ll obtain for your money is perspective and reference with which you can use to compare and contrast any 8582’s made in other years/decades/eras, as well as the various mind-numbing batch numbers.

You may not like this tea (so please don’t say you weren’t cautioned). Why? Well, maybe the tea had been stored poorly, despite all the terrific visual information provided on EoT's website. The likelier case, if you didn't enjoy the experience, is you don’t understand it yet for lack of mental reference and experience on what good old teas are like. And if that's the case, perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea to give it a try. After all, every learning experience has its starting point, so might as well start it. Oh, and the learning never stops.

Hope this helps. And I sincerely apologize if my candor offended anyone.

Kindest regards,

Phyll
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Shine Magical
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Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:43 am

Hi Phyll,

Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative comment.
What I’ve gathered from your post is that there doesn’t seem to be any initial reason to indicate why I wouldn’t like this tea. That perhaps I wouldn’t find the tea to be simply old and underwhelming, as it appears to have good storage and looks good to you from the pictures.

I can’t help but wonder what you would have posted if my OP were about these teas instead (which I’ve previously tried and didn’t care for very much):
https://store.thechineseteashop.com/Pu_ ... 80-dry.htm
https://store.thechineseteashop.com/Pu_ ... ugc-80.htm
http://www.tea-masters.com/en/puerh/49- ... ctory.html
http://www.tea-masters.com/en/puerh/48- ... puerh.html

Perhaps you will say if these are some the 80's teas I've experienced then it is no wonder why I'm not more excited to discover this EoT offering. :)
Or perhaps the teas look fine and it simply comes down to personal taste preference.
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phyllsheng
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Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:12 pm

Perhaps you will say if these are some the 80's teas I've experienced then it is no wonder why I'm not more excited to discover this EoT offering. :)
Or perhaps the teas look fine and it simply comes down to personal taste preference.
I know both vendors. Daniel Lui and M. Erler are knowledgeable and good people in my book. Respectfully, however, I think my first thoughts would be either “so what?” or “why are you extrapolating and forming conclusions based on drinking samples stored by one vendor in Canada? And loose 80’s sheng pu are plentiful out there, and they don’t offer any perspective about recipe factory cakes — they are just curious finds.”

That’d be my first thought.
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