2009 American Hao 0901 '7542' Pu-erh Tea Cake

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Pu'erh Tea
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Dry Grass, Roasted Barley, Sugarcane
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cole
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 oz / 138 ml

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From PuerhShop.com

The first of its 2009 series, this cake is made by blending three tea leaves from Menghai, and one from Lincang – a famous 7542 recipe made with selected tea leaves. We also called it ‘Peacock Tribute’ (Chinese: 孔雀献瑞) but in a single color wrapper.

Hopefully this tea cake would stir up some interests towards American Hao as a quality value offer.

Because of its strong taste, it got ‘ohms’ to go a long way into aging, only time will tell.

Pu-erh Tea Cake 357g - Vintage 2009 - Medium class - Raw/Green/unfermented - Loose tea leaves - Caffeine: Moderate - PuerhShop Exclusive

The background info on this cake could be found at puerhshop.com

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4 Tasting Notes

41 tasting notes

The very first impressions I have of this cake are of large, whole leaves. It looks just as nice as the picture on the site, but what you can’t see is how the leaves inside the cake are sizable as well. It’s pretty loosely compressed around the edges, and I’m able to pick off a lot of leaves just by rubbing my puerh pick along the edge. Dry, it has that characteristic smell of hay/alfalfa, in a “fresh” sort of way. Not overwhelmingly “compost-y” or bland.

For this particular session, I used about 4.5g of leaves in my tiny Yixing pot (which holds about ~80ml at max).

The rinse tastes very light, brisk, and refreshing; while the first real steeping has hints of its characteristic “sharp” edge with a surprisingly smooth finish. I quickly notice a bit of warmth coursing through my extremities, and my head feels a little lighter. The color is a deep caramel, and leaves a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. When it cools, the bitterness is more pronounced.

The next steeping feels “stronger” in every way; including bitterness, mouthfeel, and slightly smoky/sweet aftertaste. Even though it’s might be a little sharp at first, it doesn’t make me pucker or wince since the bitterness transitions quickly to a soft, sweet, almost floral aftertaste that lingers on my tongue for over 5 minutes afterwards. Yum!

I let the third steeping go a little longer than I wanted to (about a minute or so), but it didn’t become overwhelmingly bitter. Now, the astringency is starting to cut into the mix; but I’m still left with a soft tongue afterwards. I love this about good green teas and sheng puerhs!

I’ve only had a couple 7542 blends (none of which were older than 2008), and this one tastes very familiar to me. I don’t break this one out everyday, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it ages. Since it’s not too dense of a cake, I’d imagine it would age nicely in proper conditions. In my dry cupboard in California, I’m not expecting too much out of this already tasty cake.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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25 tasting notes

First impressions:
Brewed in Yixing, Zhuni 125ml / 5g tea with spring water.

I read previous tasting notes (from 6 years ago) stating that this tea was incredibly smoky and bitter (no surprise, that’s exactly what I’d expect). That’s largely disappeared now.

The cake looks to be well produced, with large leaves and little brittleness. That usual ‘aged’ smell is present on the dry leaf. I put it into a steaming hot pot and I’m getting a slightly acidic ‘guava’ note off it along with the usual ‘sheng’ notes (and a barely detectable smoke).

I was able to easily loosen a chunk from the side of the cake with minimal breakage (didn’t have to use a pick at all). So the compression isn’t overly tight which (I imagine) helped speed up the ageing process a bit.

The wet leaves are aromatic and I get that spruce scent with a tropicality and a hint of forest floor.

A clean, vibrant and golden hued brew proved consistent across all of the steeps I did.

Nice and fruity first glass, I mean… it still tastes of a well mellowed sheng. Mouthfeel is good too. Very smooth now, with absolutely no bitterness and very little astringency. It makes you salivate and has a good hui-gan. There’s smoke in the distance, but it serves to accentuate the sweet/savoury barley-water mouthfeel.

The second steep I’m getting a bit more ‘sweet rock’ minerality in the roof of my mouth. Also a bit of ‘clover flower’ sweetness on the after taste.

Third steep, still performing well, but I understeeped a bit – silky mouthfeel is still there, but a bit thinner. The energy is good, fairly strong at this point. Very warming.

Fourth steep – left for longer – still similar, but I’m getting more sweetness ( the clover has moved toward sugar-cane). Excellent body, like a thick wine or barley-water. Quite a bit of oil visible on the surface and it coats the tongue

Revisiting the leaf gives an intensely bright metallic and sweet scent.

I’ll stop here, but this could definitely go on. Overall this hits the balance of savoury and sweet dead-on and has an extremely pleasant complexity worthy of many revisits.

A solid and well produced tea that has aged well (11 years old atm). If you’re familiar with a decent middle-aged (dry stored) 7542 you will have a close idea to how this feels and tastes. Energy is great.

Allowing for ‘value’ (an 11 year old Dali production is currently just under $500, this is $22).

This is 5 star tea. It’s been well stored, tastes excellent and the taste ‘lasts’. Very enjoyable. I would highly recommend it.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Roasted Barley, Sugarcane

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

Nice notes and tempting….


Thanks, I’m probably going to get a few more cakes too in the new year (hope they have a good level of stock). Can’t spend any more this year!

I’m going to keep trying it for a little while. It definitely has that recognisable ‘Dali’ taste, I get from older Nanjian, XG and Menghai (TaeTea) productions.

I’ll get in touch when I have more budget (as I know you hinted you can source stuff from TW at a decent rate).


Yeah I just dropped a bit on purchases too. I am waiting till the new year before I do more as well.

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26 tasting notes

9 years in and it’s still really in your face!

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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289 tasting notes

Rounding out my tour of puerhshop teas this weekend, I tried this 7542 clone tea. The cake looks beautiful. Smells smoky. The tea is quite strong, I had to trim my usual over stuffing of the gaiwan. The first infusion was smoky like a lapsang souchong. But it was fun to taste! It took several infusions just to tame the smoke. Later infusions were also smoky, but much less so. Kind of a fun tea to try, the leaves were good and held up for at least 10 solid infusions. I don’t know if it is really like a 7542, certainly not in terms of smoke.

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