Monday, April 15, 2024

Another puerh comparison: Yiwu from 2003 vs. DaYi purple cake from 2003

Yiwu 2003 vs DaYi purple 2003
The vertical comparison of a 1999 Menhai vs a 2003 DaYi enabled us to observe the trend of quality over time for this factory. A horizontal comparison between 2 puerhs from 2003 is even more interesting, because it's comparing 2 puerhs that have been produced and that were available at the same time. And both cakes have been stored in Taiwan. It helps to answer the question, from a tea drinker's point of view, which tea was the best choice? 

This time, the lighter color of the dry leaves of the 2003 wild Yiwu sheng puerh cake (left) is consistent with the lighter color of the brew. This brew also has a higher transparency and better shine than the brew of the purple Da Yi (right).

The main differences between these two cakes is that the Yiwu is a single origin (100% gushu), while the Da Yi mixes leaves from various mountains and type (gushu and plantation). This difference is easy to taste. The Yiwu tastes pure, mellow while the Da Yi doesn't taste as harmonious and has an astringency that is absent in the Yiwu. Nevertheless, the Yiwu feels richer and thicker.

Conclusion: During the CNNP era, tea drinkers didn't have much choice. There were only few puerh factories and they produced almost exclusively cakes that were mixed leaves. A few years later, in 2003, more choice became available. Those who trusted my advice back then have been rewarded with a puerh that has remained superior in quality over the years and that still tastes more harmonious than the Purple Da Yi of 2003. 

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