I drank the early 90s CNNP sample from Imperial Tea Court today. It was rather interesting, and seems to hold some promise for further aging. The leaves are mostly buds on the cover of the cake, and larger leaves in the middle. Seems like your typical receipe cake, although I have no idea which one. The tea was strong, and flavourful. I didn’t take detailed notes today, so there’s not a lot of detail I can tell you. The tea still tastes youngish — obviously aged but probably not what you’d expect from a 15+ year tea. Is this the San Francisco environment slowing the aging down? It’s hard for me to say.
One thing that didn’t come out so well is that the tea has a slight persistent sourness/astringency that I couldn’t get rid of. Towards the end, around infusion 6, it started going away, so perhaps it is just something that the tea hasn’t shaken off yet because it needs more time. I would think it would’ve gotten rid of it by now, but it hasn’t.
This is not to say I didn’t like it. It’s, I think, better than the 93 tuo, which is less complex in aroma and taste. I guess only time will tell how it will further develop.