1996 CNNP "Green Mark Te Ji" Ripe Pu-erh tea cake

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Cardamom, Clove, Earth, Forest Floor, Musk, Rainforest, Wet Moss, Wet wood, Musty, Smoke, Chocolate, Coffee, Whiskey, Berries, Bitter, Creamy, Caramel, Mushrooms, Plum, Wood, Cedar, Cherry, Herbaceous, Mineral, Molasses, Smooth, Sweet, Autumn Leaf Pile, Camphor, Cocoa, Fruity, Spicy, Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Thick, Vanilla
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Edit tea info Last updated by shakirah1984
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 20 oz / 598 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I brewed this tea gong fu style as I do for most. The aroma of the steamed leaves is typical of most older puerhs – having nice notes of moss, leaves, and a touch of creaminess. Overall – a very...” Read full tasting note
  • “Dry leaves seem very wet, packed loosely and easy to pry apart. Leaves smell smokey but tea liquor does not. Rinsed once. First infusion: Tastes like mellow coffee, roasted, reminiscent of silky...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is the oldest tea I’ve had to date. I used the entire 10g sample in my 160ml Jianshui clay teapot. I don’t know what this tea was like back in ’96, but thanks to both the age and the small...” Read full tasting note
  • “I love that Shu, its sweet, it has all the plesant notes that makes me relaxed, for me there are notes of smoked plum, cinnamon, cacao. Its taste changes in mouth from something intense to subtle...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

A special CNNP for Malaysia export ripe tea cake. Pressed entirely from 1st grade, Te Ji and broken Gong Ting grade Menghai area ripe tea. This tea cake features old green mark on old style pin-stripe offset paper. Nei Fei is not pressed into cake, as this inventory was to be sent to Malaysia where the wrapper was to be changed. Dry-stored in Kunming for 15 years this has developed an incredibly complex flavor and mouth-feel. The tea need only be washed once before drinking. The aroma is of cacao and fruit with some spiciness. The tea enters the mouth and fills it with pungent aroma and thickness. The taste also belies cacao and something spicy. The astute drinker will notice a mouth-watering effect accompanied by a protracted feeling and flavor in the mouth long after drinking. This pungent cha qi and flavor reminds me of raw pu-erh. Some people may experience a subtle drunken state after drinking this tea. Pleasant and clean aged tea, very rare and unique.

Sample available! Please try before buying a whole cake!

Net weight: 357 grams per cake

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14 Tasting Notes

24 tasting notes

I brewed this tea gong fu style as I do for most.
The aroma of the steamed leaves is typical of most older puerhs – having nice notes of moss, leaves, and a touch of creaminess. Overall – a very earthy and mild smell that becomes stronger and gains musk once washed.
In terms of the liquor’s flavour, it is similar to the aroma with overtones of earth and musk and just a hint of something spicy – perhaps cardamom?
A good example of a classic late 90s puerh!

Flavors: Cardamom, Clove, Earth, Forest Floor, Musk, Rainforest, Wet Moss, Wet wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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261 tasting notes

Dry leaves seem very wet, packed loosely and easy to pry apart. Leaves smell smokey but tea liquor does not.

Rinsed once. First infusion: Tastes like mellow coffee, roasted, reminiscent of silky dark chocolate. Exceedingly smooth.

Second and third infusions nice, but nothing special. I wouldn’t buy the whole cake.

Rating: 82

Flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, Whiskey

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123 tasting notes

This is the oldest tea I’ve had to date. I used the entire 10g sample in my 160ml Jianshui clay teapot. I don’t know what this tea was like back in ’96, but thanks to both the age and the small leaf size, the chunks feel loose, dry and brittle. I gave the tea a brief 5s rinse, followed by a 5 min. rest to let the moisture soak in. The rinsed leaves had a super clean woody smell to them. I did a total of nine steeps, the timing for these being 10s, 10s, 10s, 13s, 18s, 28s, 45s, 90s and 5 min.

Thanks to the small leaf grade and the loose compression, this tea brews dark right out of the gate. The liquor itself is also extremely clear. I was taken aback by how strong and bitter the first brew was. When I say bitter, I’m not talking positive or negative, it was simply a flavor like any other, in this case a coffee bitterness to be exact. The empty cha hai after the first infusion smelled amazing. If you are brewing this tea yourself, don’t miss it.

In the second steep the tea already brewed coffee black. The tea was smoother now, although still bitter and the flavor had shifted toward roasted coffee beans. In the third steep the tea started tasting clearer and brighter, like looking at a clear sky after a storm. The bitterness had now shifted to only being present in the finish. At this point I was already starting to feel tea drunk. This tea hits you pretty hard.

The taste continued to get brighter and clearer in the fourth infusion. There was also no bitterness to be found anymore. The flavor is hard to describe, but this was easily the most enjoyable infusion so far. The next steep only brewed a dark red anymore, so the color was definitely beginning to fade fast. The taste was that of red berries, but nowhere near as bold as it had been before. I was getting a real buzz from this tea by this point.

Steep six was still fairly dark, but the color was definitely fading fast. The taste was a mixture of bitter and creamy. I was feeling quite messed up. The brew that followed was also slightly bitter, but the bitterness was accompanied by darker tones that I didn’t really care for. The flavors were definitely beginning to reflect the color and starting to get considerably thinner and fade. My body was throbbing by this point. I did two more steeps, both of which were rather simple but pleasant enough, possessing some basic sweetness. The leaves may have had one or two more extra long steeps in them, but they would have most likely just been more of that basic sweetness so I called it there.

Even though these small leaf grade ripe pu’ers do tend to brew rather strong in the beginning, this tea still surprised me with its strength. If you are using a teapot, I would probably recommend using less leaf than you normally do. What surprised me more, however, was the strong bitterness present in this tea. I’m not used to tasting bitterness in shu pu’er very often and most certainly not on this level. Again, the bitterness wasn’t a bad kind of bitterness, but neither was it a pleasant kuwei.

For a shu pu’er, the tea does possess rather potent cha qi. While not necessarily unpleasant, I wouldn’t call it enjoyable either, we are talking of more like a hammered sensation. The flavor profile does not appeal to me personally. Coffee drinkers might appreciate it, but while not a coffee drinker myself, I’m sure you could get a much better coffee experience for the same money or less. I don’t know how many people are drinking ripe pu’er for the cha qi, but there are other alternatives out there, if that’s what you’re looking for, maybe not quite as potent though.

The more I drink these gong ting/small leaf grade ripes, the more I’m starting to think they are not for me. They can be finicky about how you brew them and I just find them less complex compared to teas with larger leaves mixed in. If you just think about for example a pure bud picking versus a one bud, one leaf picking standard, it’s easy to comprehend why the material would be more expensive, but just like when comparing two picking standards, a pure bud picking, while more expensive, isn’t necessarily better, just different. One may prefer the pure bud tea, but another person may prefer the one bud, one leaf picking.

Anyway, to sum things up, this tea brews extremely clean and strong both in flavor and cha qi. If you are averse to fermentation taste and are willing to pay, this is the tea for you. Just don’t go expecting a sweet shu. While I didn’t find the tea to have enough complexity to keep me interested, it was still interesting and informative to session, which is why I bought a sample in the first place. If you are wondering what an aged shu pu’er tastes like, this tea is worth it for the experience.

Flavors: Berries, Bitter, Coffee, Creamy

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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8 tasting notes

I love that Shu, its sweet, it has all the plesant notes that makes me relaxed, for me there are notes of smoked plum, cinnamon, cacao. Its taste changes in mouth from something intense to subtle at the end. The tea having that “i want more and more” factor. The smell is sweet with some umami elements and the taste deffinietly follows it. When im drinking it, it has some similar notes to raw puerhs, yet they are not dominant, its more as an impression than main note:)
The cake is very loosy so tea tends to fall off the cake, yet it does not change its taste which is awesome :)
Perfect tea for autumn and winter days for sure!

Flavors: Caramel, Mushrooms, Plum, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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12 tasting notes

This tea is something special, its flavor is rich, woody with hints of caramel. I was kind of disappointed with its longevity, Around the 8th steep it started dying. Qi is quite heavy, relaxing and powerful, I may have pushed it too far cause at the end of the session I felt a little jittery but that may be my fault. I went on a two month young sheng binge and my stomach made me pay for it, so I went three and a half weeks with absolutely no tea and I think I’m feeling jiterry because I completely reset my caffeine tolerance. Anyways, I greatly enjoyed this beautiful tea.

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Wood

Boiling 8 g

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46 tasting notes

Tea: TTB review: 1996 CNNP Green Mark Teji Ripe

Prep: 100cc gaiwan, 6g. Longish steep to open her up, flash steep x2, 10s, 10s, 20s, 30s, etc.. Probably 8 steeps before it’s out.
Sessions with this tea: 1

The early steeps give a rich creamy but very earthy flavor, with robust sweetness, molasses or caramel or something rich. In the middle a simple-ish woody note comes out and joins the earthy mix and we roll around in the mud, salivating like a fool.

Body: This tea made me feel like somebody built an addition onto the back of my head. Like suddenly there was a lot of extra space for my brain to move around in. Fortunately I can fill that new space with all this extra saliva. This left a thick sticky sensation in my throat and a warm slippery peppery coating in my mouth.

Sample: a 6g and a 9g chunk o’ cake traveling around in the box. The chunk split in half easily with my thumb, the material is finely cut and there is a fair amount of shake, but the sample held up to steeping well.

Somebody said our box was supposed to be sheng only, but with shu like this in the world how can you be snobbish about sheng. I’m certainly not a shu aficionado but I’ll probably be looking for more of this, and this sample alone makes me happy I signed up for the TTB. NB: I’m purposefully not drinking all of this so that somebody else can experience this wonderful tea.


That sounds incredible! I quickly came to favor sheng as soon as I started exploring it, but I have encountered some really awesome shou recently which made me realize that I shouldn’t disregard it. Thanks for taking notes on this one!

Dr Jim

AllanK really wanted to share this tea, so I made an exception to the sheng-only rule. Sounds like it was a good choice. Thanks Allan.

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526 tasting notes

I am not one for shou puerh. I usually drink it in phases, so my palate is by no means accustomed to these teas. However, this was a very nice tea. The leaves are heavily compressed and crumbly. They carry a heavy earth scent with some cedar, mushrooms, and a very light fruitiness. I warmed my gaiwan up and placed the rock inside. I shook the pebble about and opened the lid to be created with some smoke and earthy spices. The classic damp wood tone was present, but it was in the background behind bell peppers. The brew is thick and dark with smooth clean notes. I like shu; because, it’s so warming. The drink is filled with sweet earthy mineral tones. A nice clean aftertaste coats the tongue. The drink is nice and relaxing. Later steeping brought on a sharp cherry tone and some root flavors. Oddly, I picked up on some herbaceous notes on the next steeping. The sweetness in the mouth is incredibly long lasting with molasses sweetness. The qi is heavy and warming with a nice massaging relaxation. I really liked this tea, and I thought it to be very good!


Flavors: Cedar, Cherry, Earth, Herbaceous, Mineral, Molasses, Mushrooms, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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673 tasting notes

1996 Cnnp “green mark te ji” ripe puerh cake review

Ru Yao dragon teapot gongfucha

Dry leaves: slightly musty

2x 15s rinses

Wet leaves: slight earth/fermentation smell, Old books and autumn leaves. Light musty smell

Light steep: I taste smell; light —> earth/fermentation, old books.
Slight -→ autumn leaves.

Medium steep: I taste/smell;
medium —> earth/fermentation, old books, autumn leaves. Light -→ camphor.

Heavy steep: I taste/smell; medium to strong —> earth/fermentation, old books, autumn leaves. Medium -→ camphor.

All in all this is an extremely tasty tea! The aroma, the flavour, the qi! I rate this a 100!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Camphor, Earth, Musty

200 °F / 93 °C 10 g 165 OZ / 4879 ML

That’s a dark tea!


yeah, but it was “oh so good”


I enjoy aged teas—the old wood/deep earth flavors are what I like the most about them!


I’ve only had sheng from 2009 iirc. I have a 2003 cake on the way.

I prefer young sheng’s honey, spices, smokey flavours


I love ALL sheng, but I too, like the younger kind. I like that “newness” to it—the smokey, spicy, honey, and slightly astringent notes that linger throughout the sessions. But there are days when I’m craving that woodsy/deep earth note(s). As my friend once described it—“This is what I imagine river water, with the river floor [mud, rocks, etc] would taste like.” Older/aged Sheng has that “rainy day in the woods” vibe to it; so, it’s more of the adventurer part of me, wanting to reminiscence about past hiking experiences. However, a young Sheng reminds me of Spring, where everything is new and delightful. So, now you know, when/why I like to have my tea—and at what age I like having, when I like having it!


wow! great way of describing it

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1758 tasting notes

Drinking this this morning because I couldn’t sleep. This is a nice aged ripe with just a vestige of fermentation flavor left. Barely noticeable in the first two steeps. There was also an aged flavor for the first four to six steeps, after that it was a nice sweet tea. This one one worth trying. I definitely recommend a sample.

Steeped this fourteen times in a 160ml Solid Silver teapot with 14.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave the tea a 10 minute rest. I gave it a 10 second rinse.I steeped the tea for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I could have gotten a couple more steeps out of the leaves but I had had enough tea at fourteen steeps.

Boiling 14 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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187 tasting notes

Dry – Light bittersweet, faint persimmon (dried), dates, raisins, some mellow wood notes.
Wet – Apparent complexity with Molasses notes, vanilla, dates, raisins, coffee-cocoa bean, earthy/woody bittersweet.
Liquor – Burgundy – Brown.

Gong Fu on 130ml Gaiwan, 10gm of the good sample a good chunk of lightly pressed cake that came loose with the first of two flash rinses

1st Steep 3secs Thick, bitter, woody-earth notes, caramel, vanilla and then a slightly starchy note with hints of woody-pencil shavings scent, smooth in the middle while going down with hints of cocoa that is at the woody spectrum of cocoa.

2nd Steep 3secs Thick, bitter, woody and starchy, pencil shavings, a coffee-like/cocoa bitter note, followed by caramel and vanilla notes. A smooth middle with a refreshing sensation that develops. Smooth starchy and filling with a sweet finish.

3rd Steep 4secs Thick, bitter, woody and starchy, pencil shavings, coffee-cocoa notes (woody spectrum of cocoa bean), followed by caramel and vanilla notes, smooth body and lasting sweetness together with a slightly refreshing finish.

4th Steep 10secs Medium thickness, smoother, bittersweet, mellow woody-starchy note and a more forward vanilla and caramel note and faint cocoa note. The liquor is very smooth and pleasant, Cha Qi is present here and goes well with the camphor that is showing up a bit more.

5th Steep 25secs Medium to a weak thickness, bittersweet, mellow starchy and woody note with notes of vanilla/caramel and hints of cocoa. The camphor is more apparent now but the liquor feels thin in comparison, some minor astringency present, The liquor is also lost most of its initial color.

6th 40secs Thin liquor, some of the notes are still there, a lot more camphor and woody notes. There’s a good sweetness that lingers with hints of vanilla and even perhaps dried fruit.

7th 1m 20secs Watery… mostly sweet and refreshing.

Final Notes
This is a good tasting Shou with a nice thickness together with complex notes. However, it has a very… very short life. Longevity is the only downfall on this one, it is composed of only smaller leaf with gives it a very nice taste, but runs out of gas. I would recommend this one to people who are ok with 6 good steeps, 7-8th are usually watery.

Scott recommended brewing this on on a Yixing/Jian Shui for maintaining the high temperatures, which I also did, but at the most you get an ok 7th steep with a watery 8th. I would still recommend a try, the initial steeps are delicious.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Thick, Vanilla, Wood

Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

that’s the thing with puerh samples, you have no idea how long ago each sample was removed from a cake and sealed, or if its storage is anything like that of the full cakes (usually not unless the sample is really fresh).

Yunnan Sourcing

Can you clarify? You got two samples? One was sheng and one shu? This 1996 cake is definitely shu/ripe. Anyways… let me know by email, and maybe send some pictures so we can figure it out.


Hi Scott. Sorry for the delay I just saw this and sent you an email with pictures. Both samples were indeed Ripe Puerh, they were just worlds apart in quality and I said the sheng comment to convey that. One sample is only fanning and dust, the other other one had a small piece of cake and the rest was loose but it was different leaf grade levels(good shape) no dust.

The first sample I could only get two steeps and there were not leaves in the gaiwan only a muddy looking puddle because of the dust and fanning, and filters didn’t work for this one either. The other one it is what I was expecting, but I wasn’t taking full notes of that one, so I wanted to wait until I revisited it to take proper notes.

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