Temple Beam is one of the best shou cakes we have ever tried. There are other great old shous from the 70s and 80s, but what makes this classic 7572 special is the blend, the storage and the price. 7572 is a great classic blend, using a lot of bigger leaves, often from older, more mature trees, to bring depth to the tea. Back in the day, Menghai factory knew its blends well and since raw material was much more consistent year to year than it is today, they could perfect the piling over time, getting the right degree of fermentation honed in for a particular blend. They could also keep the same micro-ecology from batch to batch. Cakes of this day were not ever fully-fermented the way they are now, which means aging was much more influential than it is to most modern shou puerh cakes. The storage of this cake is very good, though ever-so-slightly on the wet side, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Temple Beam may seem expensive, but it is actually very, very cheap for what it is. The reason is that these versions are paperless, meaning the outer wrapper was removed. This is common in Taiwan since the importation of Chinese goods was very restrictive back in the day (still is, really). Because it is wrapperless, the price is significantly cheaper. And since this comes from one of our most trusted sources, we feel fortunate to have this superb tea at such a bargain rate. We also sent some samples of it to old-timers who drank a lot of 1980s 7572 and they not only verified its authenticity but bought a bunch of cakes themselves!
You cannot go wrong with this tea. This is at the top of the shou world.