Amongst puerh collectors this cake needs no introduction. For the sake of completeness I'll add a short introduction here.
The '88 Qing Bing' is a 1989 - 1991 7542 recipe Menghai tea factory cake stored in Dry storage by Mr. Chan of 'Best Tea House' in Hong Kong. This cake was a landmark in the appreciation of dry stored cakes, as opposed to the traditional humid Hong Kong storage.
The storage method and subsequent appreciation and demand for this cake by puerh tea collectors and connoisseurs was a combination of fortune and market forces.
More information about the 88 Qing Bing can be found in this informative but slightly rambling article by Chan Kam Pong
When brewed, this cake gives a deep red/amber colour with very clear liquor. The flavour is almost perfectly rounded, but with a slight bite that indicates that there is still further ageing to go with this cake. The tea liquor is smooth and thick in the mouth with a long evolving huigan and strong chaqi.
This tea really surprised me. I'd last drunk it a couple of years ago and felt it too young still. This time I was really impressed how the flavour had evolved and though there's still a little bite from its dry stored origins, it is really evolving into an excellent tea.
Evolves well through the infusions Review by Simeon
This is definitely worth a sample if you enjoy the Menghai 7542 recipe ! The aroma and flavour profiles are complex , exceptionally clean and well defined , evolving well through the infusions . The qi is strong , deeply penetrating , vibrant and energising . The only negative aspects are the price , plus the fact that it still has quite an astringent bite and will require a few more years of storage to iron that out . All in all though , excellent ! It was interesting to drink an aged dry stored version of this recipe , and most enjoyable ! (Posted on 18/10/2011)