1999 CNNP Ripe Pu Erh Tea Cake, Zhongcha Original Red Green Label 357g/12.6oz

This is the real stuff: a zhongcha cake from 1999 in the original red wrapper with the Chinese character ‘tea’ in green.
Sign up to get notified when this product is back in stock

Availability: Out of stock



Authentic green label with 8 character zhong

Given the messy history of CNNP tea cakes, it takes some effort to find real cakes available on the market these days. This is especially the case when you’re looking for really old cakes like this one. It's red green wrapper is perhaps the oldest pu erh packaging label in history. There’s a green mark (绿印) In the middle surrounded by ‘8 zhong’ characters (八中).

Limited Stock

Luckily, we managed to get our hands on a final batch of 1999 ripe pu erh directly from the original producer. These are the final 20 cakes without restocking availability after it's sold out. If you ever want to own such a old ripe pu erh. Here’s your chance to order one right now.

Steeping notes/instructions & our experience

After many years of aging this cake isn’t as tightly compressed as it was before. It’s super easy to get a chunk of it using a good tea knife. Steep 8 grams of this pu erh with a gaiwan or small clay teapot.

Give it one or two quick rinses to wake up the leaves and warm your teaware. This also helps to remove the final bit of storage taste. We advise to use the hottest water possible bring out all it’s deep nuances. With regards to steeping time, this pu erh is very forgiving. The first 2 steeps are earthy and decent, while it really becomes magical from the 3rd brew. The tea is super smooth and tarty, yet complex with a thick mouthfeel. The tea colour has a nice saturation level. We also found that this is a very forgiving tea that hard to over-steep. There’s very little pile fermentation flavour left after so many years of aging.

Definitely brew this tea at least 10 times, as the flavour is more layered and complex than most ripe pu erhs. The flavour evolves from steep to steep, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on such entertainment. All in all, it’s a well balanced CNNP tea with good ‘cha qi’ accumulated over the years.

What is CNNP/Zhongcha?

CNNP is an abbreviation that stands for “China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export company”. This text is also shown on the label of this CNNP cake.

In China CNNP is however known as ‘Zhongcha’ (中茶) which literally means ‘Chinatea’. Nowadays Zhongcha is owned by COFCO (China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation), which is one of China’s largest state-owned food manufacturing, processing and trading company.

CNNP took a hard hit when the pu erh tea bubble bust in 2007, but in 2012 COFCO decided to make a comeback with the original CNNP label. The brand today is regarded as premium, lifting the prices of old cakes.

Additional Info
Additional Info
Steeping time Gaiwan / yixing teapot: 2 x rinse; 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, etc
Steeping temperature 100 °C - 212 °F
Leaves per 500ml / 17oz teapot 2-5 gram
Tablespoons / 500ml (17 oz) n/a
Tea Year 1999
Tea Season Spring
Tea Caffeine Content medium
Tea Region Menghai
Tea Province Yunnan
Gluten-free yes
Tea in Chinese 中茶熟茶饼
Customer Reviews (2)
Do not buy this tea
i am very disappointed in this tea. My Wife is Chinese and got me into tea. She warned me not to buy it and she was right. I don't believe this tea is from 1999. It is very over priced as well. This is not a quality of tea that you should receive for the price, whatsoever !!! I see there ad still says they only have 20 cakes left , that number should have been reduced after I bought mine.

This tea is very bitter and it never changed colors. Always with our ripe pu erh the tea will get darker on the 3rd or 4th steep and stay dark until it begins to weaken. This tea actually taste as if it might be used tea that was dried and re-packaged. I have never had a ripe pu erh taste bitter like this. I will say it arrived fairly quickly and was in a nice green felt bag, but for $100.00 it should be a much higher grade of tea.It is also very bitter and hard to drink as such. You will be upset if you spend this much money on this tea.
Review by tech (Posted on 9/22/2018)
A very rewarding experience
I tried it and liked it. Then tried several other ripe pu-erhs and could compare - this is better than all the rest. It is rich and nutty and develops well with gong-fu style steeping. Very interesting and satisfying indeed! Review by Maya (Posted on 3/25/2018)
Write Your Own Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register

You may also be interested in the following product(s)