“San He Tang” was established by Mr. Chen in Tainan, Taiwan in 1998 as a place to share and sell yixing teapots and aged pu-erhs. “Xi-Zhi Hao” was started in 2004 and the first XZH production was in 2005.
So the two 1997 and 1997 cakes were definitely not “XZH”, and were most likely acquired by Mr. Chen in the early year of San He Tang. Exactly who was the producer is a mystery to me. We acquired these two cakes along with our purchase of 2005 XZH (those good old days ….) They were, and still are, unwrapped. Mr. Chen prepared some XZH wrappers for me just in case I like them wrapped. On one wrapper, he wrote “1997 Yu Wu Zhen Shan Yeh Sheng (Wild) Cha”, and on the other wrapper “1999 Meng Sa Da Shu (Big Tree) Cha”. MengSa was one of the Six Famous Tea Mountains around YiWu, and MengSa as a town was once a very important center along the tea-horse trade route.
It was not uncommon in the late 90’s, the time when Taiwanese producers started to visit Yunnan and initiated the hype of “Pu-erh”, to have pu-erh cakes imported to Taiwan unwrapped. One good example is the famous Zhen-Chun-Ya Hao as shown below. Please note I have no confirmation of any link between 97/99 Mr. Chen cakes to the Zhen-Chun-Ya.
We have only the last 2 and 3/4 of the 97 cakes left. We will offer samples of the 97 cakes, but not the whole piece. We still have a few 99 cakes to offer. The 97 cakes to me were the “dream” of what great aged YiWu cakes should be. The 99 ones are close but still have a bit more complexity to develop.