Previously, we offered this tea on the old Hou De Asian Art online store as “1999 Dual Nei Fei”, as it was the vintage when we acquired it in 2004. In the Asia tea market, however, the vintage of this tea seems to have two groups of opinion:
In one group, this tea is recognized as a 1999 vintage. In the T4U forum, it was even compared to other 1999 greats including the Green Big Tree:
Another example from a blogger discussing it as a 1999 tea:
However, a tea vendor offered it as a 2001 vintage and even showing a page from the newer version of New Born Pu-erh Tea Yearbook (mine is the 1st version and it does not include this tea) that identities it as a 2001 tea. Our approach is to estimate the vintage of a pu-erh tea more conservatively if can not be accurate. So … 2001 it is.
Now, moving beyond its vintage myth, I was filled with Wooww Wooww Wowowow when visited it again in 2020. How can it age so well? The aroma is mature, round, and balanced, and the taste is exceptionally smooth and satin-textured. It seems most of the tannins have transformed into ripe fruitiness and good acidity. Many of the signature characters of a good aged pu-erh can be found in it: copious quantity of sweetness (remind me of Yi Wu!), spicy herbs, woodiness, mushroomy, damp forest, and long lingering after taste. And you can tell all the aging and transformation is not because of a high humidity storage environment as the aroma and the taste is quite clean.
A 2001 vintage? Maybe this is a tea that likes to keep it true age a secret : )