Menghai Tea Factory's very first wet piling master Lu Yin oversaw the the production of this tea under the auspices of state owned tea factory (CNNP). It's called the 8 Character Zhong (八中) Green Mark (绿印) because 8 Zhong Characters are in a circle around the Green Cha character 茶.
The tea was sold by the Menghai Tea Factory as loose leaf to the Nan Tian Company in Hong Kong in 1992. The tea was aged there until 1997 when it was purchased by Lu Yin and pressed in his own small tea factory in Menghai. Later in 2003 the tea was purchased by a Shanghai Pu-erh seller and stored there until mid-2015. The tea is now close to 25 years old (at the time writing) and has taken on a highly aged feeling, aroma and taste. The storage condition seems to be just perfect. It's not musty or moldy at all!
The cake is no longer tightly packed and can be easily cleaved apart with a good pick or knife. We recommend using the hottest water possible and a dedicated clay pot or silver pot to brew this exquisite tea! The tea needs all the heat it can get to bring out the years of layered nuances! The first time I had this, my wife was starting to brew it and I came back into the room from outside and I could smell that aged aroma filling the room and I knew it had to be "that old ripe cake we just a sample of..."!!!
Even though this tea has a strong pedigree and a long history I really encourage you to approach as just a really enjoyable tea! It's special because it's good and totally unique! It will go many many infusions and I encourage you to boil and then simmer the spent leaves for awhile and then drink that. If you love ripe pu-erh then I am confident this tea will bring you great pleasure and a peek into the past. It's in there!
357 grams cake
1992 fermented, 1997 pressed!