This is a 2002 CNNP ripe brick. This brick used the 7581 recipe, meaning the recipe originated in 1975, using an average grade 8 leaves and the recipe was formulated by Kunming Tea Factory (aka CNNP).
You will notice that the wrapper on this 250g brick did not indicate the recipe number nor the date of production, which is sometimes indicated on the back of the wrapper. This is where the buyer will have to depend on the seller or shop for the tea specifications of the tea being sold. The seller should and must know the background on the tea being sold. An example would be like informing the buyer that the tea was purchased directly from the tea factory or the tea had being stored in a warehouse since production. Such informative details may help the buyer in his purchase.
I purchased this brick from Yunnan Sourcing and was told this brick was "The classic 7581 Ripe Pu-erh recipe from Kunming Tea Factory (aka CNNP). This is a 2002 production and is comprised entirely of fermented Menghai area large leaf varietal Pu-erh. The brewed tea is sweet and smooth. The color of the tea liquor is deep red wine hue. A very enjoyable tea with just the right amount of aging." There were also other favorable reviews on this Yunnan Sourcing's brick on the internet.
This pu erh costs me US$35 (inclusive of freight). The tea is compressed quite tightly and some tea tools are required. I only need to opened it lengthwise and then break (by hand)the tea leaves into 12 pieces to be place in my tea container. One of these pieces would be later halved to brew a pot of tea. I usually found that after breaking up a brick/cake, there are small and tiny pieces of tea left in the tea wrapper, which I put aside to make my 1st few brews of the tea.
The taste of this tea is smooth and has a hint of sweetness. Quite nice actually. This 7581 ripe brick's aroma reminds me of cooked chinese rice; a fragrant scent. Makes 10 drinking infusions easily. It was a surprise when I detected an extremely mild taste of raw pu in this tea, and upon checking up with my learned tea friend from Penang, he indeed confirmed my findings that this 7581 tea recipe has some raw pu erh mixed to the formula.
This tea is pleasant to drink, and has a nice smooth taste and aroma. Somehow, I have not learnt how to appreciate this mix of ripe/raw pu erh brick. My personal preference is still simplified that ripe or raw pu erh should be appreciated on its own. Likewise, I believe all tea drinkers will have their own personal taste and preferences. No right or wrong. Just buy what you like. Would I buy this tea again? Not now and not endearing enough, and I will use the money to try other pu erh in my tea adventures.