Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?


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

Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby tingjunkie » May 17th, '12, 01:41

I'm probably just a misguided American, but I got to thinking recently...

Consensus among many puerh aficionados is that many factory sheng cakes 2003 and prior can often be pretty darn good, since this was before the big puerh craze. Before demand for great maocha was really outpacing supply, and before factories were putting out a lot of junk cakes to meet that high demand. Of course, this is not to say that all cakes 2003 and prior are good, and those after suck, but it's a general concept. After the puerh bubble burst, maocha prices started to go back down a bit, but in the last couple years they are really skyrocketing again. Could be China's economy, more Chinese becoming tea connoisseurs, more international demand for sheng, etc, etc, etc.

Anyway, with 2003 and prior tea cakes at a premium due to their pre-puerh-bubble perception, and current offerings of those trendy $100-$500+ village of the month cakes, it made sense to me that the years 2004-2009 must have some really great hidden gems from known factories that are selling for a lot less than the current market for great maocha would allow.

I'll get things started with a cake from one of my favorite regions, Bingdao. This is a pretty well known cake, but considering this already has 6 years of aging under its belt, and it clocks in at 500g, I think this is a very nicely priced tea. The flavors are complex and strong without too much of the bitter rubbery taste found in many young shengs, it has a lot of stamina, a long sweet finish, and some powerful warm Qi.

Please share what makes your list for high-quality-for-a-fair-price post 2003 sheng cakes! Thanks.
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby gasninja » May 17th, '12, 10:27

Ummmm 08 xiaguan ft Jin cha is about the only thin I'm drinking in that category unless you count douji as big factory.
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby shah82 » May 17th, '12, 10:43

2004 2005 Xiaguan FT Nanzhao.

Any number of 2005 Dayi, and 2004 was when they were using good leaves, more or less, if not fantastic. Most items have pretty firm limits on how good they can be, post 2005.

2006 Haiwan Pasha (and this Mountain product I forget the right name of.

Changtai can have some decent Yiwu and Jinzhushan (Kuzhushan) past 2003, but '03 was the last time they consistently made anything good. 2005 SE Memorial 300g bing...

Mengyang Guoyan occasionally made some O.K. stuff or so I hear, but I don't know them at all.

Shuangjiang Mengku: 2004 Bainian. 2006 Spring Tips and 2006 Wild Arbor King. 2004,5, Da Xue Shan Tips. 2006 Organic. 2008 Bingdao. Most notable Mengku teas, in the Sinosphere, are from 2009-10. Probably not *that* great.

There are 6FTM from 2004 and 2005 that are not awful.

Douji has made a few decent cakes, of course, most notably the 2008 Dadou and Shangdou for their originally cheap decency. They are more of a premium sort of brand, but factory enough to count here. Obviously, the better single mountains and premium blends are included without specification.
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby gingkoseto » May 17th, '12, 10:51

I think Meng Ku Rong Shi is pretty good and is generally trustworthy in terms of their 2000s tea, as their reputation is built on them. The company started from 1999 by buying a state-owned factory, so don't have history to sell as Dayi :mrgreen: I believe when Meng ku rong shi says "Bingdao", they mean it much more sincerely than when Dayi says "Yiwu" :wink:

I enjoy Xiaguan 06 mushroom very much, suspect these ones aren't going to be as good as 1990s ones, but not quite sure yet. Some other post-2004 big factory stuff I have, I don't drink them very often, partially because some machine compressed products are still quite hard to break and I'm too lazy to struggle with them. I feel I could definitely enjoy 2004 Xiaguan tuo, but would rather wait for longer.

In my eyes, douji is a big name small producer. We are only talking about big factories here right? :D
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby auhckw » May 17th, '12, 10:58

Among all my 2004 to 2009 raw puerh, this box is my current favorite drinkable and enjoyable tea (from a big factory production). Though y2006, it is ready to drink now.

Image

Consist of 5 diff beeng in the box which taste completely different from each other.

Over here, you can rarely (no longer) able to find it off the shelf now. Even if there are, it is very expensive.

Anyway, the good news is this year (2012) Dayi is re-releasing this hit... Coming soon

Image
Hope this will be good (or at least potential)...
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby tingjunkie » May 17th, '12, 12:32

Great replies so far folks! Keep'em coming!

Oh, and don't limit the answers to BIG factory. I'm just interested in exploring some cakes that I can find online without trying to navigate Taobao... which I can't seem to do very well. :oops:
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby shah82 » May 17th, '12, 14:44

Taobao's search function sucks. You also need a pretty strong idea of the market and benchmark teas to figure out what's actually a good deal.
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby MarshalN » May 18th, '12, 04:27

shah82 wrote:Taobao's search function sucks. You also need a pretty strong idea of the market and benchmark teas to figure out what's actually a good deal.


Seems like auction sites can't get search right. eBay's is similarly woeful.

These aren't the greatest teas, but I've tried them and thought they're not bad. You can do far worse

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=305
http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1803
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby tingjunkie » May 18th, '12, 10:43

Thanks M! Hmmm... both teas that were NOT stored in Kunming for most of their lives. Coincidence? I think not. :lol:
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby zencha » May 19th, '12, 05:07

2006 Guoyan * Gui Fei Raw Pu-erh tea brick * 250 grams
http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... product=93
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby MarshalN » May 20th, '12, 00:44

tingjunkie wrote:Thanks M! Hmmm... both teas that were NOT stored in Kunming for most of their lives. Coincidence? I think not. :lol:


That's correct, although the 2004 has been in Kunming since at least 2007 or so.
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby zencha » May 27th, '12, 13:10

Wow , the price really jumped on the 2006 Guoyan * Gui Fei Raw Pu-erh tea brick * 250 grams !
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby Drax » May 28th, '12, 14:12

I really quite enjoyed this 2006 Jin Long from YSLLC. Very surprising taste for its age w/o being "wet"....

Sorry for the late reply, though, I wanted to order a couple more before I posted about it.... :lol: Scott's been posting his new teas, so just completed an order! (which I'm sure also means that he's not quite done, but that's okay) :D
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby tingjunkie » May 28th, '12, 23:30

Looks interesting Drax. I didn't know YS offered this many teas that were not stored in Kunming! That gives me hope.
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Re: Favorite factory sheng 2004-2009ish?

Postby teaisme » May 30th, '12, 17:52

Why only big factory?
Why don't we just list everything in this age range we favoured?

tingjunkie wrote:Looks interesting Drax. I didn't know YS offered this many teas that were not stored in Kunming! That gives me hope.


Yeah quit a few actually. I'm bout to try out some of them in a couple days and hopefully contribute a little to this thread (new to puerh but not new to what I like :mrgreen: ).

This thread reminds me of what I read once in an art of tea mag, something about teas being in a 'confused' kind of state when they are not very young, and not reached the first major corner of aging. I wonder how accurate then our assessments of these teas would be during this period of confusion. I have no experience with an identical cake from 1yr up until the 15th ish so personally can not say.

Do you all think that a good cake, even though 'confused' at that particular time of tasting, can be discerned as a good amidst the 'confusion'?
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