64 Tasting Notes


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.

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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

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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:
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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sweet and fruity
Beautiful cake glistens with shiny silverish golden buds. Distinct, whole leaves are easy to pry apart, as expected from a stone pressed production.
Review is based on a few sessions using approx 6g/100-150ml water in 180ml duan ni pot.

Dry leaves in warmed pot exude a strong ripe fruit aroma. Certainly the most intensly fruity sheng I have come across. Sweet, golden infusions with a tangy apricot/orange character with a slight hint of tobacco and honey. It’s somehow more like a phoenix dan cong oolong than a pu er.

Clean and crisp with zero smokiness/storage smell. There is some astringency with longer steeps.

Seems to have a gentle qi and to be relatively low in caffeine. It does not appear to deliver as intense a shift in awareness and body sensations, and is not as not as thick/rich/complex as the better (older and pricier) shengs I have tried. All factors considered, In its age and price range I would say its solid choice.

In summary, this is a sweet, tasty, clean, very drinkable sheng. A great everyday tea and a sure bet for those used to sweet drinks and who are new to pu erh. I wonder if it will develop more qi, complexity and thickness as it ages.

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Charles Thomas Draper

I just received a shipment from YS that has a sample of a 2010 Hai Lang Hao “Cha Wang” that is from what I’ve read absolutely intense. At $210.00 a cake it better be…

Asaf Mazar

Looking forwards to your review on that one. Ys seems to be generous with their samples though on this last order there was none. I am gravitating towards older’ circa 1990’s vintage these days as they are much mellower. Great stuff at essence of tea esp. 92 da ye loose leaf.

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been enjoying this one very much. It brews best in my burt duan ni clay pot from yunan sourcing which oddly enough looks exactly like the one in the picture.

The aroma of wet leaves for first several infusions is rich and deep.
Using min 15 sec steeps with 90 + water 100 ml/5g yields satisfying earthy brew.
It seems to last for about 5-7 solid infusions and then thins out on a steep curve.
If you keep the temp high and pot warm then there is no silty effect as I mentioned before.

Although I am sure there are more complex shengs out there, I think this one is a good purchase. If you want earthy coffe-like sheng this is probably for you.
Compared to 99 menghai the latter is more nuanced in flavor and aroma, and with a sparkling, (yet less robust) character.

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tried this one again using 3 grams 200 ml boiling water 1.5 min steep (as directd on website buth half grams/ml)

It seems to be at its best brewed this way. Good for perhaps 3 steeps.

It was not that pleasant in the past when I tried a strogn brew using a big chunk with approx 80 ml water.

I am not particulalry fond of this one. will probably drink it mixed it with some low priced sheng I have on the shelf (fu lu yuan by royaslpuer.com)
on camping trips and other occasions where I dont want to risk misbrewing high end tea.

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This tea was a big hit on Passover dinner, albeit speculatively non-kosher in certain circles due to the microbes and aging process. I dropped what must have been a 12 -18 gram chunk in 280ml glass pot, using 200ml water at boil. Seemingly endless infusions poured forth into the eager hands of guests. Four generations exclaiming their astonishment at the pleasantness of this newly discovered drink. Bright, complex, vaporous brews. Very steady and consistent. Simply marvelous and an excellent source of joy and togetherness on a family evening :)
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Well,if you wanted to feel better about it the same could be said about wine and tea. Aging, microbes..and so on. Glad it was such a hit!

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glass pot, 6 grams, approx 150 ml mineral water
90+ degrees 3-5+ sec infusions.
very distinct ginger flower aroma. flavor and aroma are one and the same.
sweet. no dryness or astringency. vaporous quality. highly aromatic and pleasant.

One of my favorites teas by far.


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broken up cake has been sitting paper canister for 2 days now.
Was easy to pry open with a makeshift pu erh pick made from a filed broken tipped screwdriver. (how romantic) resulting in only 5g of broken leaf+ dust.

dropped a 7g chunk plus a few loose leaves in glass pot, filled to approx 200ml each time.
washed the tea with probably 80deg water and let sit for a few min.

this time the initial warmed leaf aroma was not as stunning as on the first encounter with this tea , perhaps due to the fact that a large chunk rather than more broken up pieces was placed in a pot that was probably not as warm.

enjoyed several good infusions well received a group of five. smooth, well rounded, nice richness and depth. not an explosion of flavor and aroma yet certainly complex and satisfying.

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I did my best to brew this one as described: 7g in 200ml for 1 min, 45 sec, then longer steeps with higher temps.
my friend quickly exclaimed that it tastes, oddly enough, like chicken soup.
It does indeed have a deep mineral salty aspect, and creaminess that suggest chicken soup – with wheatgrass.
smells like fresh grass- very vegetal as expected for a sencha.
after drinking several cups I fely very refreshed, cleansed, surprisingly keen and alert – as if my vision has become sharper and more focused.
very excellent re-set effect – like being reborn into the present moment. an excellent tea to restore yourself around 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. on a workday.
no negative ‘cold stomach’ low oxidized tea effects detected.

The distinguishing characteristics of this tea in comparison with other greens is the salty richness of it. gives the tea a deep, nourishing quality.

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Sounds like you had a good l-theanine effect with this tea as well as a nice caffeine boost. Delicious tea for the afternoon!

Asaf Mazar

Good point. Theanine explains the chicken broth (umami) flavor as well. I am getting back into green teas now as a result of today’s session

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This is it: a pre 2000 sheng with wonderful aged character at approx 22 cents per gram.

aroma of dry leaves in warmed pot is simply fantastic and meets my expectations what aged pu er should smell like:
musty but not dusty or moldy, with undertones of tobacco, wood, earth, tangy aged fruit (menghai character?) and a vaporous velvety character.

now the challenge is to bring out this aroma and flavor as much as possible in the actual infusions.

I tried it once with approx 7 grams in about 120 ml 20 second steeps.
and once again with about 3g of broken leaf 100ml 1 minute steeps.

the second time it was more hearty, savory, and creamy. notes below are from first session.

balanced, plesant cha qi:
smooth and comforting to the stomach, and after initial warmth and slight sweating on first 2 infusions, there is a cooling sensation in the outer regions of the upper body. clear, stable mind, no jittery caffeine jolt.

flavor and aroma are a satisfying yet less intense version of the warmed leaf description above. if these can be intensified with proper brewing and/or ageing, then this could very well be an ultimate pu erh experience by my humble standards.

I love this tea and it is currently at the top of my re-order list.
If you live in Israel and want to try it drop me a line :)

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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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