|Sharing tea and a tetsubin|
The main challenge with aged puerh is to find the genuine ones. We started the lesson with a look at 2 raw cakes both claiming to be 1999 '7542' from Menghai Factory. (No pictures, sorry):
- One of them is from my selection, the one I tasted yesterday.
- The other one looked more greyish, as if it had spent more time in a humid storage. The brew was darker, but its taste and aromas were different and lacking. The mouthfeel was clean, but it didn't have the powerful aftertaste you expect from Menghai and the lighter scents of the more bud rich 7542.
Then, we also brewed the 1995 Yiwu brick. Despite being 4 years older, this puerh had even more strength and thickness than the 1999 '7542'! Brewed in gaiwan, my students were a little bit overwhelmed by this full bodied puerh that has only recently come out of storage. They found it more pleasant on the next brews, when it mellowed down.
|1989 Menghai Factory '8582'|
This tasting demonstrated why the 7542 and 8582 from the Menghai Tea Factory are the most appreciated by puerh collectors for teas from the 1980s and 1990s. Established in 1940 under the name Fo Hai Chang by the nationalist government, the Menghai factory started with red tea production.
mid 60s loose puerh. During these times of unrest and political persecution in China, the factories were at a standstill. That's why very few cakes (or bricks) were pressed in Yunnan's factories. This explains these loose leaves: