Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1980s CNNP Special Production (Big Tree)

"China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Corporation - Yunnan Tea Branch" (CNNP) - An old teacake made from gushu (big tree) is a rare treasure that has become increasingly hard to find in the age tea market.

What I am about to describe in this entry may seem baffling and go over a few people’s heads but I also hope that there will be a few who “gets” such magical experiences when we connect to tea with cha qi. On a personal level this tea brought about an unforgettable experience that has forever carved itself into my memory. The standard CNNP (Zhong Cha) Label tells us very little about the precious tea leaves inside. The comprehensive use of the Zhong Cha Label by the Chinese Government for puerh tea production from the 1950s to 1990s make differentiating the different batches of puerh tea from this time period challenging to say the least. These old labels require detail examination and expertise. That said with so many well-made copies and an underground market that buys genuine old labels for reuse (from teas already consumed) the final test lies with drinking the tea. The raw material for this gushu production is big tree (possibly wild) and not the plantation leaves used in standard blends. Old gushu tea that has been aged for multiple decades is rare and such teas express themselves in a uniquely special fashion.


You really need to spend time and direct your focus towards the appreciation of this special tea otherwise the finer details will escape you. The taste and aroma of this tea is verging on the Zen of emptiness. The tea sings one pure note and leaves us to catch the vibrations that resonate in our body. The tea brews sweet, sweet water that is delicate and satisfying in every way. As the silky smooth brew enters the mouth and flows pass the frontal cavities, hold it in momentary to capture the moment and caress it with your tongue. The mouth feel is exquisite. The texture is amazingly soft, oily, moist and lush in the mouth beyond anything I have ever experienced. The wonderful delicate sweetness blooms in the back of the mouth and in the throat. As I drink a feeling of warmth appears in my chest and flow downward penetrating deep into the pit of my stomach. I feel like someone has placed a warm blanket over me. The effects are wonderfully relaxing and calming. Words cannot do it justice.


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