Saturday, June 9, 2018

You Need Experience: Authenticating a Stack of 1970s Zhongcha Guang Yun Gong Bings

First, I must say, it is not super easy to confirm this puerh’s authenticity.  There are a few reasons for this.  But on a personal level, I have never ever tried this famous production before.  I have had a sizable amount of puerh from the 70s as well as some cakes of my own to base my judgement but have never tried this unique series before.  This immediately puts me at a disadvantage in authenticating the vintage of this “1970s Zhongcha Guang Yun Gong Bing”.

Personal experience with old tea, lots of experience, is very important in validating the presumed age of any aged puerh you might encounter.  This is why people who drink puerh will always recommend sampling a wide amount of puerh- anything from old stuff to new stuff to puerh with different storage and shu and sheng.  If you have a wide experience with lots of puerh, you are more confident in drawing your own educated conclusions about the information the vendor supplies about a given tea.

If you have no experience with old, aged puerh then how will you even know what it is?  You won’t.  You will be at the whims of what others tell you it is, which, in the world of puerh, is a dangerous place to be.  And there is no way you would even be able to find a treasure like these.  You never know… that 1970s puerh could be at your corner store or in your local Chinatown and you wouldn’t even know it!

The first step in validating an old puerh is to rely on your own past experiences with puerh of that production and age and storage.  As I stated before, I have no experience with the famous Guang Yun Gong Bing series.  I have only enough experience to visually identify one, that’s it.  This tea does look like a 1970s Guang Yun Gong.  Well, at least that’s a starting point.

If you don’t have the experience, don’t worry.  You may be able to acquire some tea of a similar vintage for comparison.  You can do this by going to trusted vendors who have samples of the same production, age, storage.  Or you can even send a free sample of the tea in question (please contact me) to or swap with someone who claims to have a similar tea.  I think a lot of people who have extensive knowledge of aged puerh will have a lot of experience with the famous Guang Yun Gong production.  David of Essence of Tea, Varat of The Guide to Puerh Tea, and Phil Sheng are some people that, I imagine, have some significant experience with the Guang Yun Gong Bing series.

If you don’t have extensive experience with a certain aged puerh you can always do some serious research online or go back to the vendor to acquire as much information as you can on the tea.  This is what I had to do.  The next posts will explore what I have found for online research on this tea, as well as my experience going back to the vendor to gather as much information as I could on this tea.  Of course I will be posting extensive tasting notes as well…. Hahaha.

For this “1970s Guang Yun Gong Bing”, my experience with aged teas tells me that it looks old, smells old, tastes old, and feels old.  So the question really is how old? 70s? 80s? or 90s?  That’s the real question with this tea.



Anonymous said...

Dry leaf looks well aged. Though I've seen pictures of 90's cake that look similar. Still a bargain if it's only 90's. Any idea when/if they stopped producing these cakes?

Curigane said...

I do hope it's the real thing but if not i just hope it's quite tasty. Always the most important. Do update us. I'm very curious for the verdict. :)

Matt said...


The leaf could easily be deceiving as the Guang Yun Gong is put through a proprietary “prefermentation” processing.

I totally agree that even if it’s only 90s it’s still a great bargain.

I don’t know exactly when they stopped production of this series but some things I’ve read suggest mid 2000s.

Thanks for your positive thoughts regarding these cakes.


You got it right- it is nice drinking tea, nice aged taste, wonderful qi to this tea.

That is the main reason I picked up the remaining 9 bings of this- $28.00 a cake for something that is ready to drink and I like drinking- can’t beat that!

Promise a full reporting on this one!


Matt said...


Correction: The series of Guang Yun Gong ended in the 1990s. In the mid- 2000s it was no longer considered "puerh". I've been doing lots of research on this one.