If you are not a shu drinker and just want to get to the heart of the matter- I will sum up that 05 CNNP brick was too gnarly and the Menghai was respectable but failed to capture my heart. Shu drinkers read on.
This 05 CNNP brick sells for $8.5 at tuochatea so you can imagine how dirt cheap it must have been back in the day. Actually you don't have to imagine because you can just take the way back machine to find that something similar was $5.90 for 4 bricks(a kilo) in 2006.
Even a wild tree brick was $5.90 per 4 pack kilo back in 2006. Who's enjoying such tea now I wonder. I normally do not dabble in such shus but I had a cheap shu experiment in mind to determine if I could find a enjoyable cheap sub $10 shu.
When I break off a piece this CNNP, it's all very flimsy and powdery and I'm having misgivings about even brewing it up let alone sending it down my gullet. As I am currently suffering heartburn which I'm blaming squarely on this cheap shu- I try to think of situations where I would be desperate enough to drink this CNNP which is at least more potable than the Numi brick. My husband drank it without too much complaint. Me- I'd rather drink Lipton than this brick. Here is square evidence that cheap bad shu does not improve into something worthwhile with age and I really wonder how or why I bought two bricks with such confidence. I have a Lucky 2006 7581 which now appears to be amazing next to this miscreant. Tuochatea says this brick is "based on 7581".
I was so distraught, I went straight into the arms of the lighter fermented 2007 Menghai Adorned in Red. I sigh with relief at the smooth respectable taste of a high-end Menghai shu. But the CNNP put a shu curse on the night, I did not love this Menghai. Actually I have many fine Menghai ripes such as the 06 Caravan to Tibet, 06 San Ji pu, 06 7452 and 06 7572 and I don't love them either so it's nothing unusual there.
Thus far, the only cheap shu I have enjoyed is the 06 Dehong Plateau.