Topic: 50s-60s mystery cake ID
I'm going to ping some people about this off-forum, but thought I'd post it here in case someone has something to contribute.
A co-worker of mine, after reading the LA Times article, asked me about some pu'er cakes (not an intact stack, but about 5-6 of them) that have been in her in-laws family for quite some time. They purchased them in the 1960s in Vancouver, and the cakes were apparently somewhat aged already at that time. The original wrapper was removed, and replaced by a card from a HK tea business called 鸿昌泰. This was common back then when exporting tea -- I have some tea from the 60s which has the same kind of card from a different exporter. The tea has been stored in North America since then, and I believe has been in cellophane or plastic packaging since that time. You can see a bit of staining on the neifei, but I would assume the storage of this tea has been pretty dry since it arrived in N. America.
The card from 鸿昌泰 appears to just have a company name, address, and phone number, so I don't think we can determine much about the tea itself from the card.
Based on the following pictures, what can we exclude / include? I am assuming that since the neifei says 'Menghai Tea Factory' and features the zhongcha logo, we can assume that
1. The tea is from after 1953, and also, must be from before whatever date it was purchased. So conservatively, the tea was probably produced between 1955 and 1970.
2. While I don't have a picture of the back side yet, based on the leaf size and compression style, it does not appear to be a discus cake.
[edited out some inaccurate details about hongyin / lanyin neifei - wby] Most of the hongyin and lanyin (whether discus or not) I can find pictures of (see below, and notes in second comment) seems to have a square-shaped neifei without text. If memory serves, there were also some less "distinguished" teas produced during this time period as well?
I will try to taste the tea, and to take some better photos, when I'm able.
I didn't find much about that company online - but I think this may be the same firm: