Camellia Sinensis 90s and 80s pu-erh for real?
I noticed Camellia Sinensis is offering a few aged pu-erhs from the 90s and 80s at ‘cheap’ prices (compared to other vendors offering cakes from the same era): e.g. https://camellia-sinensis.com/en/pu-er-sheng-1986-xia-guan/4457. Could they be authentic?
I’m interested in drinkers thoughts on these teas, too.
$420 USD for a 250g tuo isnt exactly cheap….
The very few cakes I have encountered online from before 2000, usually cost 1000$ or more…
I tried the 1998 Menghai 7542 today (https://camellia-sinensis.com/en/pu-er-sheng-1998-menghai-7542/3403) – I’m not really knowledgeable enough about more aged pu’erhs to speak to authenticity; but I can definitely say that the tea itself tasted amazing. Really quite smooth and camphor heavy with a resin-y sweetness, and thick liquor. I live in Montreal, so at some point I do plan to go down to the shop and check out a bunch of these newer listed pu’erhs in person – perhaps grab some samples my next payday…
I have no reason to doubt the authenticity though – Kevin & the rest of the CS team are incredibly knowledgeable and have maintained a strong and credible business, without ANY controversy, for two decades now. From what I’ve learned over the last few years about pu’erh, the pricing for these new listings doesn’t seem ridiculous for their ages – especially considering that they’re all factory productions, without any spectacularly “out there” claims about region/production/grade/tree age/etc.
Also, a ton of the particularly “old” ones are liu bao/shou which would command a lower $$$ than Sheng…
That said, if anyone has any reasons to doubt them aside from a “hunch” I’d be interested to hear – this is something I’m always interested in learning about/expanding my knowledge of. I’d personally be shocked if CS was selling anything other than what they’re advertising though.
Thank you for your elaborate answer! These ae the teas I was referring to, all shengs:
Well, they do have some products that you might find shocking:
– 800 years old trees: https://camellia-sinensis.com/fr/pu-er-sheng-2015-bada-shan/2373
– 1,000 years old trees: https://camellia-sinensis.com/fr/pu-er-sheng-2001-lahu-theiers-sauvages-de-1000-ans/2368
Wow, that’s a pretty big red flag. Other vendors like Verdant Tea and Mei Leaf have been heavily criticised on these forums for making those exact same claims.