Early 80s Thai Aged Raw Pu-erh Tea Dry Storage

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From Tea Side

Sometimes it seems that nothing “new from the old” is possible to find already, that I’ve searched all the places around. But the stars fall from the sky, and the tea pops up when the right moment comes. So we’re back to the 80s. And although in those years there was a noticeable rise in pu-erhs production in Thailand, I think these are the last remnants.

The tea is expensive and I hesitated with the purchase. The decisive factor was the pure and powerful Qi energy of this sheng, which simply blows me away. Or as my American colleagues say, it knocked my socks off. As a result, we got 2 kg of this tea.

Organoleptic Properties.
Rinsed tea smells a lot of chen xiang (old age aroma), dried fruit mix, and wood.

I am well acquainted with the old tea of our terroir, and this specimen is quite Thai Pu-erh style. But if you compare it with our shengs of 1993 or 1988, here is a little more clarity in its old age melody. It is slightly less thick but more transparent.

Distinct apples are in the foreground taste, accompanied further by dates and dried apricots. The aftertaste has a powerful dried fruit mix and a traditional fragrant woodiness as a background. Everything is quite neat and high-quality.

However, the rich trail of aftertaste deserves additional mention and appreciation. This sheng is as oily as a tea can ever be in its 40s. As a result, we get a wonderfully long aftertaste, the entire throat wide. It’s soft and goes smoothly, five stars out of five.

I’ve bought this pu-erh directly from the old master, so all technical information is from him.

They collected the harvest somewhen between the ‘80s and ‘85s from 300 – 800-year-old trees. The photo shows these exact trees which leaves were used for this sheng.

The term “tea from old trees” has become less trustworthy nowadays – too many old tea trees have grown on our planet in the last few years. :) But for Thailand, there is nothing unusual about old trees. As I’ve written many times, we do not have pu-erh plantations at all. This has always been the case here – 40 years ago, too. Any Thai puer factory in Chiang Rai province has its chunks of forest with old trees on the mountainsides. The varieties are often similar, but can sometimes be quite different.

Since the 80s the tea has been stored at the master’s place, a couple of kilometers from where the trees grow, which means in the mountains. But, what is important here, they store it on the second floor of the warehouse. So they’ve managed to achieve the driest storage possible in mountainous Thailand. If you’ve ever been to Asia during the rainy season, then you have a good idea of the difference in humidity between the first and second floors. If not, believe me, it’s significant.

Another important moment, this sheng does not contain partially fermented leaves. The technique of mixing in some amount of such leaves into raw pu-erhs was widely used in the 80s and 90s. For example, there are some semi-fermented leaves added in our 1993 loose old sheng, which makes that pu-erh somewhat thicker and darker.

Here we offer a technologically pure, rare old tea of dry Thai mountain storage.

Its Cha Qi, as I’ve already described at the beginning, is unexpectedly powerful, but soft. The sheng is long-lasting, so plan your tea-time with a margin, 5 grams easily hold two liters of water.

May the tea force be with you!

Valerii Levitanus

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