Mystery Cake


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Mystery Cake

Postby Stechschritt » Oct 19th, '11, 22:52

I am fairly new to puerh and Chinese teas in general, having just briefly starting to drink them a few years ago and loosing interest. Lately I have a renewed interest in tea, specifically puerh.

While I was going through and sorting out the stale teas that I have had on a shelf for these past few years I found a puerh cake that I bought at the local Chinese grocery. I am pretty certain I overpaid at around 40-50$, however I cannot find any information about this tea online. I am beginning to think it is either fake or just some generic brand for export for tourists or something. Although I cant be certain due to inexperience, based on the flavor and aroma of this puerh compared to others I have bought over the past few weeks, I think it is raw.

I would be very grateful if someone with more experience could help me identify this tea, and maybe let me know how badly I was overcharged.

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Searches for Puer Specialty Tea Factory and combinations of Puerh and 2128 yield nothing. I have seen other cakes with similar colors and layout on the wrappers but with different kanji in the middle. Also it came in a fairly ornate paper box with a faux silk lining that I forgot to take a picture of.
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Re: Mystery Cake

Postby MarshalN » Oct 19th, '11, 23:36

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=7628 ... 1092274375

This is the only thing I saw on Taobao. Same wrapper, but different tea - your cake is machine pressed, whereas the Taobao one is stone pressed. Leaves also look different.

I think if you paid anything more than 100-150 RMB for the cake, you overpaid.
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Re: Mystery Cake

Postby Drax » Oct 20th, '11, 07:01

Interesting... I agree that a ring of 古 (which means 'old') is relatively rare -- the 中 (middle, or most usually China) is much more common. The symbol in the middle is also an older script of 茶 (tea).

I would think that the key identifier for this tea would be the square-shaped logo (is that a leaf inside?). I have not seen that logo before, but then again, I don't have a wide exposure to those sorts of things.

The tea looks relatively young, and you're correct that it is raw.

What color does it brew? And how does it taste?
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Re: Mystery Cake

Postby Stechschritt » Oct 20th, '11, 11:26

Its interesting that it doesn't seem to be the tea that originally came in that wrapper, I guess there isn't any real way to tell where it came from.

I brewed some up in a gaiwan this morning. It comes out a sort of rusty light orange and smells slightly smoky and like autumn leaves. Sort of like how it smells around here in the fall when people start up their wood stoves. The first 2 or 3 infusions were slightly bitter and very "leafy", with subsequent infusions mellowing out and tasting very similar to a tea I got from Upton Teas called " Chun Mee Moon Palace". I got around 7 infusions overall before it started to loose flavor, although it didn't loose much color. Its not bad overall.
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Re: Mystery Cake

Postby MarshalN » Oct 20th, '11, 13:06

Tea wrappers are hardly exclusive, so it's entirely possible for different batches of tea to have the same wrapper.

The key identifiers are the words on the wrapper, not the logos and such
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