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  • Pure ancient tree (on a 2002 cake! this is exceedingly rare)
  • Elegant, strong, patient, deep Yiwu taste and mouth conquering aftertaste
  • Fully comfortable and strong Qi
  • Perfect dry taiwanese storage

I can’t speak any higher of this tea and of its extremely friendly price.

It was 2002 and a young Chen Huai Yuan was making his first productions under the CYH name, teas that among a few others (the real ZhenChunYaHaos) would change the course of Puerh history, first bringing back the 100% pure old tree cakes (which had been almost stopped since the late 70s), and later giving us the single estate purity masterpieces we can enjoy today.

Unless you were up in Yiwu in late 90s-early 2000s with Chen Hui Yuan and the others, you just can’t find a tea like this. If you want to understand ancient tree puerh and how it ages (in perfect conditions), this is the tea.

Cakes of this quality and pedigree are very rare, but I got to try quite a few of them. The thing is that the vast majority of them are not available to buy (or have a price in the high 4 digits or 5 digits), so being able to offer this cake is really exciting. The very best cakes made in the last 10-15 years by serious producers like CYH are purer (they use older, more selected trees from smaller areas) than the ones made in the 2000s, but this cake is one of the purest of its era, with much better quality than the ’03-’05 CYH, ’04-’06 BYH, ’05-’07 XZH etc.

There’s a remarkable amount of gan (sweet-bitter) and power in this cake, you’d easily mistake this aspect of it for a Menghai, if it wasn’t for how soft, smooth, silkily covering the throat it is and how it conquers mouth and nose with the aftertaste. In few words: elegant, full, strong, long.

And the Qi? Not just strong, but fully comfortable. Not (just) a stoning blast but a strong, solid, peaceful presence that’s enveloping yet gentle. If the pure Yiwu ancient tree quality somehow wasn’t clear from the strong-and-smooth taste, than this should put your mind to rest.

I saved the best for last: the price is extremely reasonable, this is a tea that’s both miles better than the factory tea of the era (and even earlier ones, for instance the 88 qing bing can’t compete with this cake either) and rarer and more important in its role in puerh history. Price in Taiwan is about $2000 and that’s still a good deal compared to the inferior factory cakes I just mentioned. In a world where the rare aged “gushu” (without provenance) sells for multiples of this, and so do factory cakes (largely with plantation leaves), this is possibly the best finding we’ve seen so far. This is a tea that’s often faked but because of our close relationship with Chen Yuan Hao we’re able to fully guarantee authenticity.

Strongly recommended for both excellent taste/Qi and collection/value appreciation. A full unopened tong may be available, please email for pricing. Strongly recommend to buy as much as you can of this to age into something that otherwise will be completely unaccessible (because of high pricing) in the future.

The video review is about the 2001 but the two are similar cakes (same storage, recipe, quality). Hard to say for certain which is better, but they’re very similar.

Approx ~375g cakes, some weight loss over the years. 1/4 slices approx. ~85-90g.

size

25 grams, 1/4 slice, full cake, 1 tong

1 review for 2002 Chen Yuan Hao Yiwu pure gushu (T5/T5+)

  1. Nick M.

    There’s depth from the first taste – the rinse has pomegranate-like sweet/ acid balance, mouthwatering, chalky mouthfeel.

    The balance changes from the first proper steep onwards, even if the low PH is evident throughout. Pot aromas are fruity sweet and somewhat aromatic, as they are in the empty bowl, though not exactly perfumed.

    There’s a seriously good thickness to the tea soup and no bitterness. It’s the opposite of returning sweetness, immediately sweet with a mouthwatering sensation ‘returning’.

    Heavy eyelids and a sensation of slowing down. Peaceful Qi!

    The sense of volume is palpable. This isn’t about taste or aroma – this tea is all about texture and feel.

    It’s a seriously good tea and delivers an immersive session. Highly recommended.

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