i live in toronto where a large chinese community is to be found and hence we have a lot of stores that cater to the chinese community. some of them are chinese supermarkets and chinese herbal/pharmacy store.
i have now found three stores that stock pu erh tea cakes.
you know about one, i found this cooked pu erh tea cake :
today i found another store, a chinese pharmacy, they sell an assortment of sun dried herbal plants, flowers etc....i also found these two cakes :
a cooked pu, a label on the outside of the bamboo wrapper was dated 2005:
the front :
the back :
the inside of the cooked pu with a cnnp yellow mark wrapper :
there is a whitish colour on some of the leaves. rot? mold? i don't care. it's fun and good for strengthening my immune system.
i haven't had it yet but it smells good.
here is the second cake, a menghai green but it has no date, no little piece of paper imbedded into the leaves. a total mystery. i had some of the tea. it tasted not bad but the smells inside the store had permeated into the pu. still not bad, not bitter at all, but the leaves inside the pot were like a total mush of leaves. i think this is a good tea for visitors to my house who i don't like. i will give them some of this mess of a pu.
the wrapper :
the wrapper has no printing whatsoever on the back. the tea also did not have that little piece of paper inside the tea cake. this could be a total fake of a menghai tea.
here is the tea cake :
it is now my quest to hunt down more of these mystery pu erh tea cakes. i will scour all chinese super markets and chinese pharmacy/herbal stores. more pics shall follow.
i actually found a second store, yes, another chinese healthfood/medicine store. they had some real good stuff there. but, all the pu cakes were ziplocked. all were priced $18.99. they had some bamboo sticks filled with pu. they had a plaque of pu on the wall. they had some bricks. i did not bother buying any at all. the place was dirty, things felt grimy, everything was covered in dust.
they had some tuo chas in threes but again, the whole thing was wrapped in plastic.