1999 Big Green Ink "Jia Ji" Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bark, Bitter, Char, Coriander Seed, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Earth, Metallic, Mineral, Spicy, Sweet, Walnut
Sold in
Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 oz / 150 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I drank my sample today and I found it very much in line with Nate’s experience, unsurprisingly. The tea is really very smooth across the board and has no mustiness at all. Ultimately, however, I...” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “I really like this one, especially after resting a few months in my storage after being shipped in harsh winter conditions. Smooth, deep, rich and sweet with hints of wild cherry, vanilla, old oak...” Read full tasting note

From Taiwan Sourcing

In the concept of “Ink Grade” tea cake, there are two kinds of “Green Ink,” one is “Grade A” (Jia Ji 甲級) and another one is “Grade B” (Yi Ji 乙級). These two grades did not indicate the one’s quality is better than another, but was simply an indication of different batch of raw material at its time.

However, due to the naming effect, people often consider “Jia Ji / Grade A” as a better tea than “Grade B,” so it was inevitable to see this reproduced version called “Grade A.” This “Grade A” was made from clean Yi Wu material, making the whole cake having the powerful Yi Wu character after every brew.

Original Han Character: 甲級大綠印

Vintage: 1999 / 壹玖玖玖

Varietal: Assamica / 大叶种

Region: Yi Wu, Yunnan / 易武云南

Oxidation Level: 90% / 分之 玖拾

Storage History: Stored in Taiwan since 2000

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2 Tasting Notes

83
793 tasting notes

I drank my sample today and I found it very much in line with Nate’s experience, unsurprisingly. The tea is really very smooth across the board and has no mustiness at all. Ultimately, however, I also found it to be lacking that special something. I’m not sure, it may be a case of a tea that requires multiple sessions to be appreciated and to unravel its subtleties in full.

As for specific notes from my tasting, the first infusion was sweet with a vegetal finish and hints of cream, coriander seeds, and some char-like bitterness. The liquor had a buttery mouthfeel, at times a bit effervescent. The protracted aftertaste was somewhat spicy, but not overly distinctive.

I oversteeped the third infusion, which brought out some metallic sensation akin to a dark chocolate and tree bark flavour. Rest of the session didn’t present too many surprises, the tea got quite mineral at times with hints of dry earth and walnut shells.

Flavors: Bark, Bitter, Char, Coriander Seed, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Earth, Metallic, Mineral, Spicy, Sweet, Walnut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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110 tasting notes

I really like this one, especially after resting a few months in my storage after being shipped in harsh winter conditions. Smooth, deep, rich and sweet with hints of wild cherry, vanilla, old oak barrel, pipe tobacco and leather. Not much camphor or forest notes one finds in the burlier eastern Yiwu teas but a smoother affair. I realize that very few have tasted a 20-40 year old bottle conditioned English old ale/barleywine but there are several similarities. For a somewhat similar and possible to find beer experience I’d compare it to Fullers vintage ale only much less aggressive. Everything about this tea is mellow and smooth. The storage is very clean yet fully fermented. The qi is deep, relaxing and meditative. Not stupefying or jangling, just nice. Pure yin energy. A silk hammer of a tea. All the TS aged sheng are worth sampling (although many samples I’ve tried were dried out, astringent and in need of some rejuvenation opposed to the cakes) but this is my favorite of the bunch. Early on I preferred their 2000 Mansa but as I continue to live with these teas the subtle beauty of this one won me over. It’s very difficult to find a clean 22 year old Taiwan stored Yiwu for $.65g these days. This tea is a must try.

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