Red Star 7542 Zhong Cha 2005 Raw Puer



This is a powerhouse of an aged tea. After 10+ years of aging, this tea still has plenty of buck. Compared to most of our other offerings, this 2005 Zhong Cha (CNNP) production is a more aggressive tea. It leans towards a campfire-smoke and and wood flavour, which recedes slightly during the middle steeps as the tea starts to level out. An excellent tea for scotch and cigar lovers.

As one of the most recognizable labels out there, the 7542 or “green mark” wrapper is also one of the most forged and exaggerated. There is very little useful information on the original wrappers, making dates and source of material difficult to verify unless coming from a trusted source. Even among legitimate production teas, this label has undergone periods of inconsistency. We evaluated this tea based on its taste and quality, as we would with any other production.

As far as this particular tea’s history, it was purchased in 2006 directly from a Zhong Cha employee in Kunming, and dry stored by one owner ever since. This tea was part of the second production batch in 2005 (batch 502).


Additional information

Weight50-500 g
Dimensions20 × 20 × 8 cm

357g, 25g

12 reviews for Red Star 7542 Zhong Cha 2005 Raw Puer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rinaldiwibowo (verified owner)

    The product description is spot on. If you like your cigars and whiskey, go for this. For those who don’t drink and smoke, like me, it felt like I was drinking liquefied smoke. And for a raw Pu’er that’s aged for this long, it is still very intense. Steep 3, 4 rounds out the flavor profile and hints of sweetness peeks in. This is definitely a cake I would bring out occasionally when curious friends visit to show the breadth and variety of tea available.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vulpes (verified owner)

    While the price has increased $10 since I purchased it last, this remains an excellent CNNP cake. Rough, smokey, peaty, and moderately bitter; this tea is more akin a dram of Islay whiskey than a conventional puer profile. This is not a refined tea by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s an absolute delight for someone looking for a tea experience off the beaten path.

  3. 5 out of 5

    DJPAS (verified owner)

    Ohhhh wow I was pretty sceptical with this one but wooooow its suprsed me
    If you like smokey and tobacco smell and you can dive through it, this tea will show you its minty aged side

  4. 5 out of 5

    Noam (verified owner)

    For the price it can’t be beat.
    A fun, smokey, and sweet tea with a long brewing life.. You really can’t ask for more.
    The next bargain aged puer I know costs twice as much.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner)

    This tea surprised me. I never had a puer with a smell of smokey camp fire as strong as him! Great super cold winter outdoor taste!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara (verified owner)

    Bold, unique pu’erh that packs a serious smoky punch! My wife, who adores scotch (especially the smoky, peaty Islay varieties) went crazy for this tea. As someone who isn’t a scotch drinker, I was surprised to really enjoy this tea as well for its boldness and rich smokiness. The first few brews are incredibly smoky – like sipping tea through a haze of campfire smoke – eventually revealing a more pronounced bitterness with subsequent steepings that gradually mellows out a bit. This is a tea to sit with and enjoy on a cold, snowy night.

    Really glad to have purchased a sample of this unique tea. My wife is asking for a full cake with my next order, so I’d consider that a hit!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael (verified owner)

    Previous descriptions of smoke, cigars and whiskey are spot on. I’m not one to usually go for aged sheng like this, I much prefer danker stored stuff, but this one was a pleasant surprise. Besides the strong smoke, there is a loose tobacco kind of sweet and savoury flavour to it, along with some dried stone fruit and a welcomed minerality to bring it structure. Surprisingly enjoyable.

  8. 4 out of 5

    hollywaxwing (verified owner)

    Quite intense in spite of its age. I think I found some dental floss or other plastic goodies inside my cake, though I’m not very squeamish about that especially for the price point. I drank through my sample pretty quickly a few years back, but I’m going to let the cake age another 3-100 years.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Utkuak (verified owner)

    Possibly the strongest aged tea I’ve had. A lot of characteristics you’d see in a Bulang tea: honey, fruit, bitterness, sweetness. There’s a fair amount of tar and smoke, but not overly so at least for my tastes and they never take the forefront, forming more of a backdrop for everything else. Cha qi is potent. Again similar to Bulang in its nature leaning more toward the aggressive side. Not quite my type of tea, but very solid for the price and one of the better aged teas I’ve had so far, speaking as someone who’s yet to truly fall in love with any aged sheng.

  10. 3 out of 5

    loganrah (verified owner)

    This is definitely smoky pu’er. I would not describe this smoke as a whiskey smoke (it isn’t anything like the peaty taste of Islay malt) but it is a definite smoke taste. Very intense overall, this is more intense than many of this years fresh pu’ers. Not a style that I’m particularly attracted to, but for the price this is nice enough tea and worth a shot. Not a great tea to gift to others, but can make a good educational experience if you’re sharing teas with friends and want to give them a sense of what intense factory/old school pu’er is about. Happy to put this away for the long term and see what happens to it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tomas (verified owner)

    This is a really good example of a factory tea. Smoky yet clean it definetly needs a little more age to it but in a couple of years I can see this tea turning into something really special. Very strong and upfront flavor. After a couple steeps the smoke clears up and turns into a nice aged puerh with some nuttyness. Very much worth the price and especially if you are looking for something to age!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Lopez

    Smoky, robust and very thick. Very long lasting, you can make lots of infusions with this one since it’s so powerful. I prefer to use cooler water and shorter infusions for this one, to make it sweeter and less harsh. And a tea from this age, quality and at this price, is a steal!

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