62 Tasting Notes

90

good results with this tea using about 2 grams directly in mug steep for a few minutes and drink.

pleasant fresh dough aroma, almost like chocolate cake.

smooth, slippery texture.

flavor is sweet and mild.
flavor could be more rich and strong. perhaps in a couple of years…

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec
JC

This one sounds like a pleasant treat specially when cold out.

Asaf Mazar

I have made it sound better than it is. a bit too mild. yet is it smooth and with a pleasant aroma. I think the best shu I have had in the past few months is this: http://www.finepuer.com/product/1997-cnnp-brick-tea-ripe-10g-free-sample
and this:
http://steepster.com/teas/awazon/37828-2001-fine-aged-ripe-pu-erh-tea-cake

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100

revisiting this tea after part of the cake has aged broken up in a paper canister for 5 months.

The flavor is more deep and fruity. It feels less cold on the stomach.

JC

How do you like breaking up a cake vs storing it as is?

Asaf Mazar

Thats a good question. I need to compare both to tell. Mt feeling is that it wont be much different in just 5 months time, especially since the compression is so light on many modern cakes.
Due to higher compression in the cetner, I suppose there might be a difference between center of cake and outer part.
According to Daniel from thechineseterasop.com, breaking up a cake and storing in pourous container is the most dramatic thing you can do to speed up aging (aside from moving to a different climate, I suppose)
In any case- this cake is still too immature for my stomach.
What I am enjoying the most these days is 15-20 year old sheng, especially from essence of tea. These may be less fresh and floral than young tea, but for me at least, the comforting, comfortable, calm nature of the aged leaf is much much more pleasant on the body and mind.

Charles Thomas Draper

I love that racy freshness of a younger cake…. I wish I could afford the 15-20 year old or have the restraint to age my young ones….

JC

Asaf, I agree with you. Modern cakes are so tight that aging takes longer. I bought some young tea a bit over a year ago and broke one to put in a Yunnan clay put and the other as it was. If I were to compare them, I’d would have to be side by side, otherwise I wouldn’t notice the difference. But the one in the pot is getting more mellow slightly faster. But I imagine is only good for improving a tea, not so much for long term storage.

Charles, I don’t love really young Puerh, but I long for it some times. I feel like its ‘roughness’ wakes me up with energy. But treat yourself to an aged one from time to time (As a poor guy, I buy one and its my reward tea. Sort of like opening an expensive champagne bottle to celebrate accomplishments :P ).

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90

Review is after comsuming entire 250 grams brick :)
fine golden buds on outside of brick, raggedy-looking large leaf in the center. Seems to brew best with an intact chunck of both center and outer regions.
At first, I was disappointed, because it had funky fermentation/storage aroma.
however, after airing out in a metal canister for a severall weeks, it became perectly clean asusming a proper wash.

Satisfying everyday tea for drinking in office. a decent amout of aged character in the flavor: Caramel-jujube perhaps.
Seems to taste best brewed to a dark honey color, not more. lighter = more caramel. darker = more earth.
I can recommended this tea. Make sure you break it up into chunks and store for a few weeks first.

Price wise, its 20 something for 250 grams, on the high end for a shu brick, but its 15 years old. price seems accurate: not over or underpriced, though I am far from an expert on these things.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
NofarS

Wow! An entire brick! I’m impressed

Asaf Mazar

It took about 3 months or so to get through that one. At 5 grams average per brew its 50 sessions. Perhaps more impressive than finishing a brick or cake is to manage to hold on to one for enough years to see it age enough. When you are back in the country lets meet for tea I have some nice aged shengs that are waiting to meet you :)

JC

Good tea is always a battle for me; enjoy now? or save for later? The good thing is that you enjoyed it all the way!

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96

review based on 10 gram sample divided intow sessions. one yixing, one gaiwan.
Flash infusions for first 6-7 brews.
I enjoyed it more in the gaiwan. strong aroma, somehow coffe like.
Thich, powerfull, impresive leaves.
strong qi/caffeine. Thick tea liquid. clear pectin-type thickness, not the soymilk particlate-matter type thickness.
Excellent tea, simillar to red mark from same order.
Seems like a solid deal at $45 per cake.

Nicely aged at 10 years. Malasia storage rocks.
Toataly clean no storage aroma.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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96

review is baased on 2 5gram tasting notes.
once in yixing pot second time in gaiwan.

Well, here it is: the LEgendary Red Mark, with almost 10 years of age.
Volumptuous, mostly intact leaves brimming with vitality, when rinsed, relase a satisfyingly strong prune-plum aroma and flavor.
In the yixing session : unsurpassed thickness of tea liquid, leaving prominent oily coating in the mouth.

Still a bit too young and cold on the stomach.
Certainly worth a try at only a few bucks for 10 sample.
An important educational experience.
I find it much easier to asses quality of puer after drinking this.

The leaves are impressive, perhpas this is what old arbor leaf is like when not over picked. Very simmilar leaf on the xiaguan 2004 blue mark that I got with the same order. the blue mark was darker and more aged, Less fruity, more coffe-like in a way.

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85

Great stuff.
has a warmed milk taste, along with expected toasted malty nutty grain qualities.

best brewed in a cup where it wont clog the teapot and you can eat the grains* with a spoon.

Good non-caffeinated drink for a change.

Tasty and seems to foster a pleasant healthy feeling in the body.

technically its not really a grain.

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78

EDIT: having tried it a few more times, using thermometer to ensure close to 70 celcius I can say that is starting to grow on me. It has a thick, nourishing quality like green food powder supplements.
will try a fresh higher grade matcha next time.

This is my first experience with Matcha.
I was hoping for bright super fresh ‘ultimate green tea’ experience.
however it turned out to taste and feel rather flat. certainly much less fresh and cleansing than just about any quality green tea leaf that I have come across.
perhaps this is due to the fact that I am drinking it approx one year after production, and being powdered, it ages fast.
the color was olive green.

I will probably pass this one as a gift to someone who can get better use from it.

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100

tried it twice so far in the usual 180 ml duan ni pot.
first time was outdoors on hot day with a 5-6 g piece from center of cake using spring water.
second time was in office with filtered tap and using un-weighed piece towards outside of the cake.

first session:

1.first few steeps were very floral.
2. first few steeps had a milky color.
3.dry leaves after first rinse smelled like night queen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyllum_oxypetalum
4.sensation of strong wave of fresh energy coursing through upper body immediately upon first sip.

none of the 4 characteristics above occurred during the second session.

Going to experiment more with this one and will update results here.

UPDATE: tried again in glass pot. none of the milky color or floral aroma of first session. this one is is still young for my tastes. hoping that a few hot humid israeli summers will mellow out the cake and bring out some riper flavors. Ever since I sampled a few 12+ year old shengs I am not in a hurry to drink anything younger.

EDIT: after experimenting a bit more with this tea, my conclusion is that the flavor/aroma are too light for my tastes. On the plus side, it has a certain amount of qi to it. I will put the rest of the cake aside for to age for another few years and hope for the best.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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91

Predominant characteristic of this tea is a fresh, clean, sweet, pastry dough aroma and flavor. Very pleasant aroma indeed. Good thickness and mouthfeel.
Seems to have practically zero caffeine.
I am not feeling any cha qi on this one. No obvious body sensations or noticeable change in mind state. Just a pleasant smooth sweet clear gentle drink.
EDIT: having experienced it some more, I would say this tea induces a subtle feeling of well being. There is a long lasting feeling of having consumed a delicious pastry, without the full stomach or sugar effects.

I tried it a few times gong fu style short steeps.
last night I experimented with the following system:
4 grams to approx 180 ml. no rinse.
I guess I steeped it for around 30s 30s 50s 40s 5min.
3rd steep was too strong and the 5th was weak.

this is the pot I used: 225 ml yixing http://www.pu-erhtea.com/TeaDetails.aspx?TeaID=631

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Asaf Mazar

DELETEless than a minute ago
The more I drink this tea the more I like it. It feels nourishing to the body and has other pleasant effects that are hard to describe. In has the wholesome good pure life energy that can be felt when kneading whole wheat dough.
This morning I tried it with quick rinse then 3,3,3,5,7,10,15.
100-120 ml to 4.6 grams. This has given me the best results so far. last infusion was weak. will try a 30 sec final infusion next time.

Charles Thomas Draper

I think I read a review from you about a sheng on the Essense of Tea site. Your thoughts are always insightful…

Asaf Mazar

Thanks Charles.
you might want to get a few grams of this stuff before it runs out http://www.essenceoftea.co.uk/tea/puerh-tea/1992-da-ye-loose-leaf-sheng-puerh.html
Essence of the are some of the most through tea vendors I have come across. If you read on their blog they actually test for pestecides on the mao cha they buy and even returned the leaves to one supplier because chemicals were detected at very low concentrations.

Asaf Mazar

By the way I must have not timed it right the first time. Last night tried exactly 4g in exactly 100ml water 3 seconds was too light. seems like it should be starting at around 10-20 seconds as described on the awazon website

Charles Thomas Draper

I have purchased from them. I bought a whole cake of the 2012 Bulang which is superb. I may take your advice and buy the ’92. There is a new maocha single tree which they say is very special that I am also considering….

Asaf Mazar

Just finished off the last 4 grams of the ‘92 da ye loose leaf. Very prominent camphor qualities, sparkling texture and calming qi. In Later steepings the camphor fades to reveal distinct wood qualities. Its got some musty storage notes, which I don’t mind.
seems like another place to get good old tree sheng is awazon.
I just sampled this $20 cake over the weekend:
http://www.pu-erhtea.com/TeaDetails.aspx?TeaID=20
Its got some potent qi and floral aroma.

Charles Thomas Draper

They sound like they are right up my alley. Thanks

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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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Israel

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