I appreciate the Anning Haiwan Tea Factory for their decent quality, fairly priced factory teas (Laotongzhi or “Old Comrades”). This one is a solid, inexpensive ripe pu’er brick, composed of middle grade larger mature leaves. This is a basic, straightforward shupu but pleasant enough to be considered a good everyday drinker. A value purchase since it is a 500g brick with all the characteristics that one should expect from a reliable shu – clear reddish-brown color; a smooth and balanced woody flavor; understated warm creaminess; reasonable longevity. I think I prefer the 2006 Haiwan Chen Xiang Zhuan brick I sessioned last week. Both are in the $33-$35 price range but since the earlier described ’06 shu is a 250g brick and today’s tea is 500g, this “Old Tree” is probably a better value for an everyday drinker (like finding a “buy one/get one” special).

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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I drink mostly puer and sometimes what we as Westerners think of as black tea.

I no longer assign numerical ratings to teas because our enjoyment of tea is very subjective. Reactions to a particular tea vary from person to person and within the same person across different tasting sessions.

My tea notes are simply comments reflecting my impression at that specific point in time. They are helpful to me and if they happen to be useful to someone else that is good.

For me, tea is magical with its ability to transform by bringing one back to center and inspiring both peace and contentment.
Reformed coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since.

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