This is a 2005 Xinghai ripe pu erh cake, 357g. I had purchased it in a city teashop in Guangzhou.
Yunnan Sourcing's website gave a short description of Xinghai tea as follows : "The Xinghai tea factory is a medium size Pu-erh tea factory which is located in Menghai county of Xishuangbanna. The tea factory was opened in in June of 2002 with an initial investment of just 700,000 CNY. Boasting 80 workers and producing just 5 different pu-erhs in its first year of production. The boss of Xinghai tea factory, Zhang Jian Li (a woman) is a Menghai county native and worked at Menghai Tea Factory from 1994 to 1999 before striking out on her own to create her own Pu-erh teas. "
According to a teamaster there at Guangzhou, pre 2006 Xinghai, based on his knowledge, used the traditional method of fermenting ripe pu erh tea. This meant that the tea factory took almost 3 months to ferment the tea in their factory. This teamaster believed that current fermentation times for newer ripe pu erh are slightly shorter now.
The aroma from brewing this tea is that of freshly baked bread. The scent reminded me of the aroma of biting into a freshly baked bread roll. The tea is very smooth.....the tea slides down the throat easily, culminating into a nice sweet finish. A very enjoyable tea.
I recommend, for this tea, that you make a slightly stronger brew of this tea and/or extending the infusion times a wee bit. Its a pity I only bought a cake for myself in Guangzhou. Fortunately, I saw the same cake for sale in Qiu Xiang teashop in KL, Malaysia......bought another cake of course (below US$20).