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Xia Guan Cooked Brick 80? 90?

Pu-erh Historian time again !!!

The 80/90 Xia Guan cooked bricks – used to be quite available, but not anymore – have at least 5 different versions. Its production spanned from the early 80’s to the mid 90’s. Knowing the intricate differences among the wrappers – as is quite often the case for pu-erhs! – is the key to narrowing down the potential vintage of the brick.

The two major groups are distinguished by the print on the wrapper “Net Weight 250g” and “Net Content 250g”:

“Net Weight” version – it appears as two characters “Jin Zhong”, and is generally considered to be the 80’s vintage:

“Net Content” version – it appears as three characters “Jin Han Lian”, and is generally considered later than the “Net Weight” – late 80’s to mid 90’s. Depending on the print of the simplified “Factory 厂” character, this group can be further divided into two periods:

The short “Factory” version (as shown below) is considered to be the earlier one (late 80 ~ 90’s) in the Net Content group:

The long “Factory” version (as shown below) is considered to be the later ones (mid 90’s):

The XG brick we are offering match the features of the Lot 348 brick in the 2018 L&H Auction:

(1) Net Content

(2) the paper is thin and has a horizontal texture

(3) the simplified “factory 厂 “ character is short.

There was a very informative discussion on T4U:

T4U discussion on the Xia Guan cooked cake vintage

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1999 Da Du Gang

A customer sent me the link to the offering of 99 Da Du Gang from SunSIng and asked my opinion about this tea. It is undoubtedly, to me, one of the finest 99 among all the mighty 99 celebrities (Green Big Tree, Yi Chan Hao, etc.) However, I was puzzled by this offering as there appears to have no nei-fei and no nei-piao?

According to the Yearbook, there were two batches of the 99 Da Du Gang. You can easily tell them apart by the larger nei-piao (one in full Chinese, and the other in two languages) and the smaller nei-fei (one typical Chung Cha, and the other in all red letters). In general, the all-Chinese nei-piao one is considered the first ever batch.

If you like to dig deeper about this pu-erh, CloudTea has a wonderful article about the history of it.

I have never seen a batch without any nei-fei or nei-piao. Obviously, SunSing is a well-established tea house. So let me just say – I am not aware of such a batch.