I purchased this pu erh brick when I was in Guangzhou in 2011. This tea brick is a 2010 ripe pu erh tea produced by Annin Haiwan Tea Factory. I enjoy Haiwan's pu erh tea and readers would know that I am a fan of their ripe pu erh. I make it a point to visit the main Haiwan showrooms every time I visit Guangzhou, to update myself on the company's new tea offerings and to sample their tea as well.
This tea brick is interesting in that this pu erh tea uses 2005 ripe tea to press the bricks. Information on the box indicated this brick is composed entirely of 2005 ripe tea. Producing pu erh tea using older material do suggest that the bigger pu erh tea factories have a substantial stockpile of tea leaves and may even afford to age some of the pu erh tea in their warehouses.
I had also noticed that for the past few years, during my sampling tea sessions in China, some newer ripe pu erh teas were easier to drink. These ripe tea had been 'blended' with older ripe pu erh. Generally, ripe pu erh tea taste better if they were drank, in my opinion, about 3 years from production date. The 3 year storage would made the tea more mellow and any 'fermentation scent' would have dissipated. Adding older ripe pu erh tea in a blend would add an aged dimension to the tea and may make a new ripe tea more 'drinkable' now than waiting for 3 years.
I could easily brew up to 10 good infusions when I brew this tea. This tea is pleasant with nice toast bread aroma with a hint of a sweet aftertaste. Though this tea uses 2005 ripe tea, I felt that the tea leaves used were of average grade. No wow factor but its a good and simple ripe tea.
I better use a larger teapot to brew this tea today. Time to tune in to CNN - Super Tuesday results. "The wall just got 10 feet higher."