I made an order recently through Taobao, and one of the cakes I got was this
A tea made by “Dingxing”, a long defunct tea maker from early this century.Â Like many others at the time, some manufacturer saw it fit to use these old school names when making their own puerh.Â There’s no clear vintage for this tea — I’m guessing around 10 years or thereabouts, plus or minus a few.Â In some ways, that matters less than what it tastes like — as storage condition matter greatly, and as anyone can tell you, 10 years in Kunming is not the same as 10 years in Hong Kong.
You can see the paper is slightly worn and probably devoured by some bugs.Â There are no obvious bugs in the cake, but there’s that smell of a wet storage room.Â The cake itself isn’t really frosted
I didn’t use too much leaves.Â The first two infusions there’s a distinct smell of wet storage, but in a slightly bad way.Â The cake can use a little time to air out before another attempt.Â The wet storage, however, goes away a bit, and what remains after the first few infusions is a nice, somewhat aged cup of tea.Â It’s sweet, although some bitterness remain if you brew it longer.Â Perfume smells.
And the wet leaves tell the rest of the story.
There are lots of duds on taobao, and I’ve bought a few.Â This one is not too bad though.