1980s Loose Yiwu Raw Pu’erh — Tea Classico — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #6

Inbetweenisode Episode #6 from James. The tea is a 1980s Loose Yiwu Raw Pu’erh generously offered as a sample to me from Tea Classico. Topics include loose raw pu’erh tea, storage, and the tea of the month series.

17 responses to “1980s Loose Yiwu Raw Pu’erh — Tea Classico — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #6”

  1. Nice to see you drinking more aged teas =) I’ve been interested in this one once I saw Neil add it to his site. Nice to hear someone’s impression of it.

    You mentioned how the 4th infusion was lighter in color and had a little less body; I find with older loose puerh, and some older pressed puerh, after 3 flash infusions I like to jump up to 20 or 30 seconds for the 4th. I continue to get a thicker, richer body this way.

    • Hi brian,

      Thanks for the comment! That observation lines up with my experience as well. For some of the better quality base material teas they still can go pretty strong with flash steeps (~5-6), until you need to add more time. This one has about average longevity.


  2. Rap, James? Seriously?? Bring back the nice black shirt, please, even with the poorly-tied tie!

    I have had stems in some of my puers as well. Is this a common phenomenon with pu? In many teas it would signify poor quality tea.


    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for the comment! I apologize for my poor taste in music and poor neck-tieing skills.

      Yes indeed, stems does indicate lower-quality base material. Many of the higher-end pu’erh producers will demand that they be removed.


  3. looks like this tea produces a fairly thick brew.

    I’m not big on rap, have never heard Wu Tang Clan myself. I prefer chick rappers if I am gonna go there, Peaches and Missy Misdemeanor would be my choices.

  4. The light was very helpful in seeing the soup. Might need a bit of handling on the focus to see the leaf well, but the last shot does this quite nicely.

    I’ve had Sanhetang maocha vs some idea of the cakes (the ’06 Guang Bien Lao Zhai, just south of Hekai and north of the immediate Banzhang area, only has a small old tree patch; the ’06 Mahei, Gaoshanzhai that presumably were blended for the ’06 Yiwu cake; the ’06 Nannuo). I have not had any direct comparison to cake, unless you consider the ’06 Yiwu to be direct. What I have found is that the maocha does not change in character in dry storage. It mostly just gets flatter and perhaps the potential oolong processing becomes more evident. That Bulang, for example was still much more bitter when I tried it in ’12 than I really would expect a cake to be like. While I’ve had a ’07 GBLZ from JingMeiTang, and that was also very bitter and astringent, it had developed the substantial honey notes one would suspect, with the maocha still had its original fruit note. And this tended to be true of the others, aging more like an oolong than a sheng, even taking into consideration gushu having a slight oolong aging bent overall. Now, there is some sort of confusion about exactly when the leaves for the cakes were picked. Tony Chen said spring, BBB said later on that TC said summer, and one way both could be right is if the cakes were made with (certainly not early)spring maocha while the maocha were made of summer maocha (and what TC meant), and perhaps summer character made the differences in relation to cake.

    Do not presume that aged maocha is really any good, though. If you have a choice and want complexity, go for the bings. They also tend to be a pain to put in the pot as well. There are some good aged maochas out there, good at what aged maocha does, but they are expensive too. Good GNWL loose shu from the 80’s is probably more expensive than vast majority of saved maocha from that time, for example.

    • Hi shah8,

      Thanks for the comment. Lot’s of great information here. I think I’ve only really had either traditionally stored or naturally stored maocha.

      I think you’re right. It seems like loose maocha can be functional but is rarely exceptional. Because of this I think aged loose maocha can be a cheap way to consume browner tea that isn’t ripe.


  5. Camera work keeps getting better on every episode!

    Interesting contrast with Denny’s episodes, in which we get that kind of artisanal camera work, though I actually like both styles.

  6. Great episode! I am still learning about pu-erh so have no problem with your continued coverage of those. I am looking forward to your “tea-of-the-month” report on aged pu-erh. I have tried several and cannot get past the storage taste of most. Stefane at Tea Masters has a good 95/96 Menghai that I like.

    My husband just bought some tea on auction that Linda at Bana Tea says is about 100 years old. We have not received it yet, so I am not sure what we have. I will send you some samples when it arrives.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for the comment. You are definitely not alone! I recently had pu’erh with a friend who kept referring to the older stuff as dirt tea.

      Wow! That is very exciting. What brand is it? I’m presuming one of the old Yiwu ones (Tongqin Hao, Songpin Hao)? Hope you are able to enjoy it.


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