£20.00 – £333.00
Xiaguan T8653 Iron Cakes – 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005 Sheng Puerh tea adventure
The whole point of iron cakes (also “iron discus” or “iron disk”) is that the compression is very tight, the idea being to apply natural storage (in this set they’re all traditional Taiwan or Guangdong) and have the cake keep most of its original complex layers.
T8653 are very rough and strong when young, but with appropriate storage become somewhat softer, without losing their character and getting (like more loosely compressed cakes would, if subjected to the same degree of humidity).
This is one of the few collectible cakes/numbered recipes I think are worth trying or having despite the price, because of the unique compresssion method it produces tea that can’t be easily found outside these cakes (for late 90s anyway).
In T8653 the T stands for Tie (Iron) and 8653 is the recipe number, first started in ’86, with leaves size 5, and by factory with number 3 (Xiaguan)
2005 Xiaguan T8653 Thick paper wrapper
Recognised as much better than 2005 Thin paper wrapper and at the same time not as expensive as FT version.
* Sold online elsewhere for $180. Entire cakes may or may not be available, will be confirmed after an order
2003 Xiaguan T8653 FT
FT (Fei Tai) is a company that commissions popular recipes from Xiaguan (and other producers) with better material. I thought it would be fun to include a FT to see how much difference does better material make in this kind of cake.
* Market price somewhere between the 2005 and 2001. Entire cakes may or may not be available, will be confirmed after an order
2001 Xiaguan T8653
A classic, I believe the best balance of price and quality.
* Sold online on various websites between $450 and $700. In stock in UK and/or Taiwan
1998 Xiaguan T8653
The ’98 starts to be a bit too expensive for my taste, but in my opinion it’s needed to see what you can expect from further aging (and likely has somewhat better material than 2001)
* Market price a lot higher than 2001. Entire cakes may or may not be available, will be confirmed after an order
Also note that in Dry Storage Done Right Tea Adventure we feature a dry-stored (US) 1998 Xiaguan T8653!
Wrappers may be damaged, if it’s important to you please inquire beforehand. Pictures are of the 2001.
Samples ship from late July.
If you love any of these tea, it’s worth buying a tong to keep on dry storing, it’ll only get better and be a very satisfying brew to drink over the years. 2005 Thick paper is good value, while 2001 and 1998 are collectible classics.
10g of 2001 and 2005 thick paper = 20g total, 10g of all four teas = 40g total, 1998, 2001, 2003 FT, 2005 Thick Paper Wrapper, 25g of all four teas = 100g total