This is my first 7581. For starters, I cannot for the life of me figure out what the D denotes in the naming by Camellia Sinensis, whom this tea is from, but their reputation is great, so I have no doubt this is authentic. 2004, from what I have found, was during an odd time for Pu Erh production, and for CCCP Pu Erh especially. From what I have sussed out, the Kunming factory, while not directly CCCP, is affiliated with and produced tea under their labels/management, however they are also known to have made some of the better and more consistent teas of the group. (https://teadb.org/cnnp-zhongcha/)
Anyways, on to the tea. I’ve brewed this 2-3 times now, each time learning the tea and making better choices. On it’s own it has some salt to it, not much wo dui dampness, but enough to have a velvety soil smell, like fresh forest floor. It is on the peppery side, with an astringency and a very slight ‘kick’ that makes it stand out for other shou. Better to use a little extra leaf although the chunks are somewhat delicate and prone to crumbling if you try to peel them apart.
As I’ve learned this tea, I’ve decided to throw in a punch of the Rishi Tea loose Pu erh, which has a much richer wo dui mustiness and a half to one whole Chrysanthemum pod. The Rishi Pu Erh provides a smokiness and mustiness that the original tea is lacking and the Chrysanthemum pod accentuates the spice characteristics that this tea has. All together, they balance to complement this fine red tea. I would definitely place this firmly on the spice/soil side of Pu Erh as opposed to the must/wo dui side.
It is a coating flavor, finishing at the back of the palate, and leaves a nice lingering astringency that is pleasant if you avoid overbrewing. Mildly drying, not a problem though.
Notes of mushrooms, broth, roasted root vegetables, forest floor, wet rocks, salt, minerality, wet metal, dry heartwoods, black pepper
Flavors: Black Pepper, Broth, Forest Floor, Metallic, Mineral, Mushrooms, Salt, Wet Rocks