Red Star-7581 Zhong Cha 2005 Ripe Puer



A classic cake from Zhong Cha, this 7581 cake is prime example of a ripe puer done well. The tea is very clean and direct, with no off flavours or fermentation taste – just a nice, lingering date-like sweetness and the right amount of earthiness.

With inconsistencies and impostors abound, well known labels from this period can often be a bit of a gamble, and the Zhong Cha 7581 has been as big a target as any. We promote this tea based on its most important characteristics – taste, cleanness and quality – rather than name and recipe. This tea was purchased directly from a Zhong Cha employee in 2006 and has been stored by the original owner in Kunming dry storage ever since.

Click here for more information about this tea and brewing instructions.


Additional information

Weight 50-500 g
Dimensions 20 × 20 × 8 cm

250g, 25g

12 reviews for Red Star-7581 Zhong Cha 2005 Ripe Puer

  1. 5 out of 5


    This is a great tea–I was handed a sample by the people at BitterLeaf earlier this year and wasn’t expecting too much as I have several bricks of this tea from the same year aging away. Well, the sample from BitterLeaf was an absolutely outstanding example of 7581 and is very well aged. It surprised me greatly and I enjoyed the tea immensely. No off flavors and just the lovely sweet date that I love from this recipe. My own bricks have turned this way after a year of storage here in Hong Kong. At $21.50 a brick, this is very good value for a very good tea that is absolutely ready to drink!

  2. 5 out of 5


    A very nice tasting everyday shou Pu’er. We received it as a sample with our purchase and found it pared well with pineapple cakes, a taiwan confection. The tea does not exude wet storage and as described is very clean tasting and hints of sweetness. It’s very smooth and easy to drink.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Noam (verified owner)

    at this price I was worried I’d get a fishy smell and bad tasting notes.. none of that. this is a good cheap ripe. nothing fancy, but a solid daily drinker.. I don’t drink much ripe, but this made my ‘to buy’ list

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner)

    This tea is an absolute most-buy! The color of the liquor is a kind of pinky tinted orange. Very very smooth! It has a great sweetness which is really pleasant in the mouth!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara (verified owner)

    A great shou for the price! Super smooth, sweet, and just a hint of smokiness at the finish, which I find very pleasant. Very glad I added a cake of this to a recent order: I’ll certainly be enjoying it regularly in my daily tea sessions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    DJPAS (verified owner)

    Great value of an aged Shou
    No wet pile, buttery age taste and awesome price

  7. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Wollering (verified owner)

    Seriously. I am addicted to this. One of my absolute favorite teas. I can gong fu cha method it. I can grandpa method it. It always comes out perfect. Ever so slightly smoky, deep, rich, earthy flavor and petrichor scent;, a touch of leather and old library. Woody notes come out later for me. And I love the way this tea makes me feel. Not jittery. Even keel. comforted. It’s a tea that’s hard to mess up in brewing and brews well in several different waters with no problem. When I run out of this tea, I really miss it. There is a sweetness to it that my guests have gotten – like gentle marshmallow candy taste, but I don’t get it, though I do get a taste of alkaline dried fruit in it. I love smelling the tea too. Sometimes I would just take it out and smell it in deep breaths. Smells so earthy and comforting. I am now ordering the sheng version of this tea, and will explore its acclaimed heavy smokiness. This shu, however, is not at all overwhelmingly smoky. Just so comfortable. Like coming home to relax, or taking a hike in the forest after a cooling rainfall.

  8. 5 out of 5

    wingnut4096 (verified owner)

    This is the first shou puer that I can say I’m thoroughly enjoying. I think this is primarily because of how straight the flavors are. It is very clean and there are no off flavors at all. This tea is thick and sweet with woody notes as well as a hint of dark fruit. Really impressed, especially for the price.

  9. 5 out of 5

    StellaLia (verified owner)

    Got this for my boyfriend who is a fan of shou puer – most likely because he normally drinks coffee. We both like the woody notes and he´s always amazed how many brews you can make with this tea. Definetly worth it´s price!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Henrique Paschoal (verified owner)

    I’ve been addicted to this shou. It’s probably the best quality/price shou puer out there. Don’t miss the chance to buy a brick. Definitely wood/paper notes and it’s sweet, clean, round and delicious!

  11. 4 out of 5


    This is a one of the most woody ripe pu’er teas I’ve encountered. Especially in the aroma there is a strong note of wood chippings, complemented by grape juice and red currant.

    The taste is a little fishy / marine at first but also very clean. It gets more mineral and bitter as the session progresses, displaying flavours of mead, cranberry, wood, shellfish, and betel nut. The liquor is medium bodied with a soy milk like texture and a decent astringency that is also present after swallowing as a constrictive and a little abrasive feeling in the throat and back of the mouth especially. The aftertaste is cooling, sweet and mildly sour. It lasts for a while, but lacks pungency.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Lopez (verified owner)

    Aged to perfection, so clean and clear taste. This is the kind of shou I would share with someone that says that they don’t like shou!

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