62 Tasting Notes

just did two final sessions with the remaining leaf.
first session was not remarkable.
one the second session, I brewed probably 4g intact chunk for approx 40 secs each time.
this longer infusion made a huge difference and I got really nice 1st and 2nd infusions with ethereal vanilla like qualities in there.

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After rinse there is a somewhat pleasant aged aroma. there are some hints of rubber in there.
I found some decent aged notes in some of the brews, though by and large, its not something that I feel like drinking much of, and has this cooked artichoke water somewhat bitter flavor that is not too exiting. Maybe its my (filtered) tap water, who knows.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Nah, sounds about right. I was hoping for a bit more sweetness out of this one when I tried it. Try giving it a good rinse and letting it rest for a longer time. I did this a followed by brewing with water at 200-205 and ti was a bit better. Not great though. Cheers!

Asaf Mazar

JC, Its always fin to compare notes. I will try it with a longer rinse and rest.

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brewed probably 5-6 grams in Gawain.
It was much better this time.
During first several infusions leaves have a nice aged aroma of wet earth and raisins, with a faint hint of camphorous complex aged puerh aroma and much much less storage smell than before.

First few brews did have a bit of of that eukalyptus/camphor that boychich mentioned.
The tea is thick, almost coffee like, which is nice though its also somewhat muddy/murky.

From the three recently sampled aged shengs, this would take second place, after the yong ping hao. Both have some notable qualities, but I would rather pay more for a sheng with stronger, more obvious flavor and aroma, and with notable enhancement of well being and state of mind.

This morning I transferred the samples to small mugs with puer-paper & rubber band seals at the top. Will see how they fare in a couple of weeks or months.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Glad it was better this time. it’s sold out anyway. I do really like 2008 version.

Asaf Mazar

Seems like both 2005 and 2008 are out of stock now. there is 2012 for $35.

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Brewed in my roasted oolong $15 yixing pot from jk tea shop.
Coworkers loved it. they said it might even be their favorite so far.
It lasted for a good number of infusions.

5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This time I brewed it in a gaiwan using long steep times, at night in a relaxed setting.
It does have a classic complex aged puer flavor, though you have to pay fairly close attention to notice it.
The aroma of the rinsed leaves had a deep, rich and fairly pleasant but not amazing aged aroma during the first 2-3 steeps.
This tea is much more aged tasting than just about any post- 2000 sheng that I have tried. There is a sense that the leaf material itself is of high quality, and that it was somehow dulled down and muted, overly mellowed during storage. That is just my uneducated guess.
There were some mild cooling sensations primarily in the throat, and some coating on the tongue as well.

Compared to more expensive late 90’s shengs that I have tried , this one has no significant storage smell, and while its flavor is perhaps equally interesting and complex, its faint and a bit hidden underneath a mild primary flavor somewhat akin to composted wet wood.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

I think I have the 2002 but I haven’t tried it yet.

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Rinsed leaves smell fantastic. Deep creamy Vanilla orchid aroma, and a hint of ‘cookies and cream’ of all things.
Taste is vegetal-orchid.
Nice dark large leaves take a while to expand.

Flavors: Orchid, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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Dry leaf smells dusty and musty, a bit like mold spores actually. Since its from a reputable site I am not worried about sampling it.

I rinsed twice. All the infusions are dominated by a strong storage flavor. The brew itself is a bit sweet, faintly aged-fruity and lacking vitality.

Well, 3 out of 3 semi-aged sheng samples that I ordered are all rather disappointing to be honest. I see good review here so perhaps I am doing something wrong. Again, lets see what happens after they breathe for a few months.

Flavors: Musty

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 90 OZ / 2661 ML

it was first wet stored for me but i liked it. maybe because i live in a very humid climate. Couple days ago i tried 2008 wild tree Ye Sheng cha. nothing like this one. bright yellow soup, not bitter at all. sweet. highly recommended. available fr Mandala Tea

Charles Thomas Draper

I always enjoy your honest reviews.

Asaf Mazar

Thanks Charles. Its challenging to be accurate when rating a tea, especially aged puer. So many factors seem to influence the experience. This is why I have put aside numeric ratings for now. Perhaps its best to assign a score to a tea only after about 4-5 sessions with it.

Asaf Mazar

boychick, I am hoping to get some of that menthol that you mentioned. Its one of my favorites qualities in puer. Fortunately you left precise notes.I will try again using the same parameters.


I agree on lettung the tea “breathe” also. Since shipping can be slow and it is sealed most of the time I allow it to "acclimate’ to my environment.

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Dry leaf aroma has fruity tangy notes. After rinse the aroma is not that pleasant, perhaps a bit like aged rubber but not quite. The tea itself has a dulled-out aged barely fruity taste with some storage notes. Not much vitality in this one.
Perhaps it needs to acclimate for a few months.

After my experience with the ‘ancient spirit’ cake from YS, which seemed dull wen I first received it and is now an excellent tea, I can’t really judge a tea from an initial tasting right out of the sample bag.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

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This one helped me calm down and recover the lao ban zhang puer. It has a warm, calming nature that seems to be typical of da hong pao.
Nice clear broth with good flavor. Well rounded with no smoke, dry mouth, or roughness of any kind. Again very pleasant on the body and mind. I could drink this often. There is a bright crystalline quality to the brew.
Flavor is hard to describe…almost peachy.
I used a gaiwan. Will try yi xing pot next time it seems to add depth and texture for roasted oolongs.

Flavors: Mineral, Peach, Roasted, Sweet

3 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

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This is obviously top quality leaf. Very impressive.
Dry tea is fragrant. moderately compressed. After rinse, a satisfyingly strong, very pleasant and elegant tangy-fruity floral aroma emerges. The elegance of the aroma is a common denominator of quality old tree material, from my limited experience.
Sweet, thick tea liquid with penetrating aroma and lots of vitality in the mouthfeel. Very satisfying. This one really hits the spot and leaves little to be wanted.
Little bitterness/astringency for a young sheng. Poweful qi. Strong caffeine kick and psychoactive effect. Pleasant at first, then a bit unsettling.
Now I understand what all the ban zhang hype is about.
Compared to other old tree premium shengsthat i’ve tried of the same vintage, this one might have the strongest flavor and aroma, second only perhpas to a sample I once received of a $300 cake from royalpuer.
Its qi reminds me of the 2011 nano mountain old tree tasting set from jk tea shop, though the flavor is much better.
The refined flavor and aroma is similar to the top quality teas you get from essence of tea.
$10 for 25 grams is a decent deal.
If you like raw powerful shengs, give this a try.
I probably wont reorder this because I like the calming effects and warmer nature of old sheng, though I might buy a newer (cheaper) vintage of this tea and age it for 12 years or so.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

Fascinating review, might sample this one myself after reading about your experience. Though I prefer the older stuff too.


I wish Yunnan’s China site was working better. Every time I get on it to look at things it “locks” the page up.


I wish that would happen to me, the checkout page works all too well.


I can’t seem to get it right. I go to it and it is in Russian and Google translates it but when looking at the info for the tea, instant lockup. I really have a few things I want but the lock up issue really bugs me..

Asaf Mazar

I get some russian in some parts of the site as well. Try using a different browser/clearing your cache. disable browser add-ons perhpas.

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“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh



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