|Let's find out: One, two, three...three.|
|Oh no, almost gone! Better buy another cake so I don't have to break into the tong!|
Flavor-wise, it's no paragon of complexity--the notes are mostly what I'd expect from my past experiences with 90s CNNP--standard pu-erh plus a solid dose of sticky huang pian sweetness. There's plenty of humidity and earth in the flavor to corroborate the other evidence, but this tea's storage is by no means as tough to handle as the stomach-churning (for me, anyway) Hong Kong storage of its similarly-priced EoT brethren, the Late 90's Grand Yellow Label. There's no sparkling complexity that can be found in more special aged sheng, but it's a far cry from the one-dimensionality often exhibited by aged loose teas, for example, providing a handful of simultaneous flavor and mouthfeel experiences and a noticeable progression during a long brewing session. This is a tea I thoroughly enjoy drinking now and will be happy to continue drinking whether or not its aging progresses, which gets at the primary motivation behind this purchase.
I find myself less and less often looking for amazing, unparalleled examples of a certain type of tea, but more often for good, solid examples that are "the way I like it" and can be enjoyed repeatedly without the stress of budgeting a tiny quantity. Not that I don't appreciate amazing tea, but I can't afford a ton of it and tea drinking is such a part of my lifestyle that I can't always pay the kind of attention that extremely expensive, good tea deserves. This tea fits bill, and after buying so much of it I can virtually drink as much as I want without any fear of running out before finding out whether or not it's continued aging. Also importantly, if I simply feel like casually drinking "some pu-erh" I can turn to this tea instead of a much more expensive one, thereby making my more modest stocks of those teas last much longer. In the months since I special ordered my tong I see the full cakes have sold out. I'm hoping David and Kathy restock this tea soon, as I feel it's probably the best value for its agedness on the Western-oriented web--what an affordable way to learn about aged pu-erh! At roughly $90 for a cake, this tea is priced below innumerable cakes of 2005 or later vintage that provide no insight into the experience of drinking aged pu-erh, an experience I feel is usually unjustifiably difficult and expensive to achieve in the Western tea drinking world.