7222 should be split into 3 parts by first “72” means recipe invented in 1972 year, the next “2” means 2nd level of tea material (茶cha青qing). From the most high level of “royal 宫gong廷ting” pure tiny buds to the lost level of “9th level 九jiu级ji” almost pure rough stems, 2nd level means high ratio of tiny bud and young leaves. Does the higher level tea material means better tea? Not at all but definitely there is some relationship between them. We will try to make that more explicit in our another article. The last “2” means MengHai tea factory which was numbered as 2nd during PRC nationalized 4 big tea factories in YunNan province, KunMing tea factory (1st), XiaGuan tea factory (2nd), LiMing tea factory (4th).
This 7222 has 3 batches, 301 batch made in April and 302 batch in December which was wrongly printed into the inner side of NeiFei. 303 batch has red ribbon pressed into the disc body. This one published here is 301 batch. Usually, market take the 1st batch of every tea is the best, but 2003 year 7222 is so unique, the most expensive is 302 batch, then 301 and 303 batch. DaYi didn’t release too much info about this tea, but all the three have different characters. 302 batch is the most expensive one, but not must be the most favorite one to you and other tea lovers. 302 batch is smokier than two others (if you are a fun of smoky tea, that will be your better option), 301 batch is lighter on smoke, but 303 batch has the least smoke.
As sheng cha which needs to ferment naturally under natural environment, it has been 15 years old and more than enough to consume right now. This tea on shelf is stored in Guangzhou city, south of China till now. It has been stored very well, so we needn’t to worry about high humidity in the tea body. In contrary, we feel proud of the storage, because it has fermented so well these years.
Photos attached below are of 301 batch. Well balanced tea with long lasting steeping times.