Saturday, April 5, 2014
I recently opened up a tong of 2008 Haiwan Lao Tong Zhi 908 ripe pu erh tea cakes. This paper wrapped tong comprises of 5 cakes each cake weighing 200g. It a small tong when compared to the regular bamboo wrapped tong of 7 cakes (about 357g per cake). Well I had noticed since 2008, there have been creative efforts made by pu erh tea factories to make their 'carton' of tea more affordable. Some factories had reduced a carton of tea that normally has 6 tongs to a smaller carton of 4 tongs. Or.....even pressed smaller cakes like this 908 recipe of 200g per cake and pack 5 cakes in a tong. So when you are buying a carton of tea for storage or investment, find out the packing specifications before you agree to the price.
Haiwan introduced this 908 ripe pu erh cake recipe in 2008. It has now became popular with tea drinkers and this 908 tea had been produced yearly ever since. Warning! - this cake for whatever reasons brew very fast and strong. I brew my ripe pu erh tea normally on the strong side but for this pu erh, I had to reduce up to 40% of my regular amount to have a good session of this tea. I do not know why this tea brews so fast and strong. I suspect this 908 blend has a mix of old ripe pu erh tea inside. The information sheet enclosed within the cake did advise that storing the tea for more than 3 years would make the tea more flavorful. No doubt about that.
Brewing this tea makes for a pleasant tea session. A nice scent of dried fruits like berries and dates with a mild sweet after taste (a couple of minutes after drinking a cup of tea) was to me the highlight of this tea. And....it is a very inexpensive tea to add to your tea collection.