2006 Guangdong Dry Changtai Wild Jiangcheng Cake

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Pu'erh Tea
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From TeaLife Hong Kong

August 30, 2019: These cakes have opened up over the summer, and the flavor is now much more intense. The citrus note now tastes like chen pi, or aged orange peel!

This cake was released in 2006 under Changtai’s Sipuyuan label, and was made with material from 2005. In 2005, Changtai acquired an old state-owned pu erh factory in Jiangcheng (Simao), and harvested material from the wild trees on the factory’s grounds in the same year. This maocha was then pressed in 2006. This is lovely wild material that has been aged very well, and is a great value in 2019!

There is some wrapper damage from bugs eating the paper, as is common on these mid-2000s Changtai productions. The bugs don’t actually eat the tea! Almost all of Changtai’s Guangdong-stored cakes from this period show similar wrapper damage.

Changtai rocked the Simao area with their acquisition of the Yukong State Factory, and significantly upgraded the quality of processing of Jiangcheng material to a new standard with this production. Of course, we’ve come a long way since 2006, but this cake is a snapshot of pu erh history, and at a nice price!

As with many Changtai productions from this period, this cake is stone pressed in the traditional manner. You may find small bits of foreign matter: I found a small chunk of concrete in the tea. I haven’t found anything particularly strange in Changtai tea (yet), but we’ve found bits of concrete in the tea on occasion (probably from the buildings used for processing).

Interestingly, after the rinse, I get some aromatics that remind me of Changtai’s Tianxia Tong An, which is unexpected. The liquor is bitter (but tolerable), with distinct Ceylon black tea notes, and surprisingly intense huigan (sweetness after the swallow). The tea also has remarkable power, which is to be expected from good wild material!

In the aftertaste, I get some orange (citrus!) notes: like Assam or Ceylon black tea, but without the astringency and bitterness you’d get from those plantation teas. The liquor is sweeter and smoother than any hongcha, and with that wild tree potency I am so fond of!

This is a great tea, with surprising power, and very long lasting huigan. The price is great, too, so this would make an excellent daily drinker with a good amount of age!

I have eight cakes on hand at present, so don’t hesitate on this tea if you’d like to try it!

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