Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Blind Storage Guess: 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu from Puerh.uk

Okay I have three ¼ cakes of this 2003 ChenYuan Hao- onefrom Teas We Like, one purchased with the 2003 ChenYuan Hao Youle from Puerh.uk four days after it was released (here) and this quarter cake purchased with the 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yibang from Puerh.uk on May 17th.  I didn’t think that it would have come from a different storage than the first one I purchased.  However Paolo recently clarified in thecomments here that the remaining cakes come from a slightly different Taiwanese storage.  I mused that I no longer know which storage I had received because I didn’t pay much attention to the description when I re-ordered.  Below is a sampling of the second quarter I received in an attempt to uncover which one I had received…

Dry leaves smell like a plum and tobacco leaf odour.

The first infusion has a vibrant perfume floral grape plum onset.  Nice raison/ grape tastes here with a long cooling taste and deep throat opening with a thin full chalky mouthfeeling.  There is a creamy almost talc finish to the puerh.  The main note here is raisin.

The second infusion has a deep plum and perfume floral subtle raisin and talc finish.  The sweet layers come on quickly with a subtle sour note underneath and a creamy almost Rou gui perfume talc finish to it.  The mouthfeel is a sticky mossy chalky full feeling.  The Qi is warming on the face and has a nice focusing feeling to it. 

The third infusion has a raisin woody perfume very deep fruity raisin taste.  Nice oily perfume fruity raison.  Nice strong returning sweet raison plum sweetness.  Has a subtle creamy chalky finish.  This infusion has strong perfume floral raisin.  Nice sustained focused feeling.  Super delicious puerh.

The fourth infusion has a jam kind of plum raison taste initially with an oily returning taste of sweet plum raison and perfume sweetness.  There is a raisin overall taste to it.  Deep throat opening and subtle cooling in the breath subtle creamy talc.  Nice very relaxing feeling takes hold with a warm resigning feeling and nice calm focused feeling as well.  There is a bit of throat gripping and a dry chalky mouthfeeling under the texture.

The fifth infusion has a resin woody incense with fruity plum jam initial taste.  There is a bit of sour fruity splash of sweetness in that initial taste and is goes deep into the throat and leaves a chalky dry feeling that stimulates the upper throat a bit.  My favorite thing about this puerh is this incense floral perfume lingering taste minutes later and kind of finishes like wood resin.  Very nice.  I also love the tension easing and mind focusing to the Qi of this puerh… so good.

6th has a woody resin plum chalky onset with a perfume resin and raisin finish.  The mouthfeel is left behind the oily tastes with a deep relaxing with heavy limbs sensation. The returning taste sort of comes with a more gripping stimulating top throat sensation that is sort of saliva producing.  Incense perfume finish.  Relaxing tension easing feeling with heavy limbs bodyfeeling.

7th infusion has a resin incense onset with lesser sweet fruity tastes.  There is a deep throat opening and top throat stimulating sensation with a faint plum and perfume finish.  Dry gripping chalky mouthfeeling.  Nice deep relaxing focusing with heavy shoulders and limbs.

8th has a sweet bread and woody resin onset with a deep throat opening and upper throat returning gripping feeling.  There is a deep opening feeling in the throat with some faint plum perfume left behind with some bread sweet tastes.  A dry mouthfeeling is becoming more intense and grips at the throat.

9th is left to cool and gives off a rich coco resin creamy sweet with raisin returning sweetness with creamy and bread sweetness underneath.  Nice mossy dry mouthfeeling with a returning throat stimulating gripping feeling.  There is a coco and incense aftertaste minutes later.

10th infusion has a fruity coco resin primarily quite sweet onset.  It is almost like a chocolate bar with currents in it- super yummy.  The Qi is mainly focusing and warming.

11th is less flavourful coco with a raison creamy bready fruity edge.  Surprisingly bitter with a returning or developing gripping mouthfeeling.  There is a resin coco aftertaste that is a bit bland in the mouth.  Nice focusing Qi and warming body and face and heavy shoulders and limbs.

12th has a fruity coco bland woody resin onset that finishes more incense and resin.  There is interesting movement of the mouthfeeling that reaches deep into the throat then grips the upper throat.  It’s done this throughout.  Has a mainly woody-incense-coco taste where the sweetness is a bitter sweet coco now not fruity nor is there any perfume now….

I mug steep out the rest….

Conclusion:  The old man storage of this cake (Taiwanese hot and dry storage) from Puerh.uk seems to be a bit darker with notes like caramel and prune coming up.  The other Puerh.uk storage( which I believe this quarter cake comes from) has much more noticeable resin taste and a very thick floral perfume taste as well.  There is no caramel or prune taste here and there is no thick floral perfume nor as much resin taste in the old man storage.  Interestingly, the storage is somewhere between Teas We Like storage and the other Puerh.uk storage.  While I was drinking it I was thinking that it might be from the old man storage but looking back at my tasting notes it seems unlikely.

Now, I will wait to see if Paolo can give me his opinion on which storage this second quarter cake could be based on the times I ordered, change in label with “Puerh.uk” stamped on Mylar, whether he completely sold out of the old man storage before refilling with the other storage, and based on my notes???

I mentioned in my sampling of the Teas We Like storage that there seems to be a lot of variability with this 2003 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu session to session.  That coupled with the fact I didn’t have the time to do back to back sessions leaves a bit of room for error.  To make matters most interesting, I like the this sampling better than the old man Puerh.uk and Teas We Like storage options.



  1. Hi Matt,

    The second 1/4 slice you purchased it's still from "old man" storage, but from a different cake in the same tong.


  2. Matt,

    I wonder what would the results be if you measured the humidity tea is received at and/or re-humidify tea to the same level before drinking? (for example using a mini-boveda pack left in the bag for 1-2 weeks)

    I wonder how many of the differences are because of the long-term storage, and how many are they because of the humidity the tea happens to be at when it's been drank.

    While I'm not 100% sure, I think that the ideal humidity to drink puerh at might be quite a bit higher (~75%ish +/- 5%) than the ideal humidity to store it (in my opinion, 65% +/- 2% is both enough for dry sealed storage, and most importantly safe).

    I've considered the idea of increasing humidity of tea we send out to make it taste better, but it doesn't feel like the right thing to do for customers that want to keep their tea long term.


  3. CarlosHopontopofusJune 15, 2022 at 10:48 AM

    You're a nut job

  4. Paolo,

    I was certain that it was the same storage until I read my older tasting notes as I stated above. Hahaha… a great learning opportunity!

    There are many different situations that can influence the taste as you mentioned even in the short term. Could be tong placement, short term storage differences, or even humidity when consumed.

    The first sample I actually added some humidity for a few days where this sample I just sampled straight from the sample bag.



  5. CarlosHopontopofus,

    Anyone to pay these prices for tea definitely ain’t sane…Hahaha