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Dayi: The end of an era

Dayi (Menghai Tea Factory) has a long and famous history in Puerh. It’s home to the most sought after cake for investors (7542). There’s a wholesaler spot market dedicated to all recipes and years with plucky chancers willing to risk it all on the hottest new flavour of the month investment. Dayi is probably most well known for being the bench mark of Ripe Puerh, in fact they created this genre of tea. For plantation stuff, these guys have earned their spot for being a reliable, stable source of tea. When a tea newbie asks me about which ripe to start out with, I always suggest Dayi. They have their market, they have their place. 
2004 Zhong Cha 'CNNP 7542' HK Dry Stored Raw Puerh Cake

Since I got in on the tea racket I was told “Dayi is good but it’s not great bang per buck, try some small label stuff”. You know I completely agree, it’s over priced, has been for a very long time, but why? Well it’s a strong brand, a household name in China, they’ve ploughed some serious dough at becoming market leader and we pay towards that marketing every time we purchase a tea cake. That’s understandable but recently somethings changed that means we will probably no longer be able to stock it again 😭.

2015 Menghai 'V93' Ripe pu erh 100g Tuo

Have you noticed the lack of Dayi cakes in western venders stores recently??? Up until last year I (as a tea vendor) was able to buy Dayi tea directly from Dayi or franchised outlets in China..at wholesale rates. Dayi has now cut out the middleman, done away with franchised outlets and pretty much removed the wholesale buyers completely. The wholesale rate for a case of tea is now 10% under retail price which means it is uneconomical to offer up for sale for tea vendors. I can’t blame them for being merciless capitalists, it’s just quite sad 😞. 

All this has created a knock on affect with the ageing cakes being held back as investment by tea wholesalers. The prices have gone bananas 🍌. We are soon to run out of our Dayi cakes but I will take a look at the market in summer 2022. We might be lucky and find some off piste recipes to haggle a deal on but I gotta say that the future seems quite bleak with it all. I may also decide to bite the bullet and buy a couple of good selling recipes at high prices but this will be reflected in the price I would need to offer to you. Time will tell. 

Thanks for your time to read my humble blog. 

Oli 😊

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