298 Tasting Notes

This is a tasty, warming, clean ripe puer brick. Revisiting after almost 12 months, I found it very comforting (as always). Many rich steeps over the last few days. The dry leaf offers the satisfying smell of old book leather. The tea liquor is a dark reddish brown color and yields the scents of sweetness and dark chocolate. There is a mix of fruity + creamy flavors in the sip. Dense and rich with an appealing earthy sweetness serving as the foundation for the overall impact of the tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
JC

This tea reminded me of one I used to get from the Phoenix collection, one of my favorite shu/ripes.

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I must confess to using very good tea as a respite during the hectic holiday family-time – sneak away and enjoy several quiet minutes with my tea. One of my favorites during this time was a generous sample of the 1996 CNNP Green in Orange from White2Tea. What a nice example of aged tea!! The color of the liquor is deep orange-red and the sip is smooth with a nice aged taste. Definite sense of a woody sweetness with every sip and an interesting tang of minerals or spice (I could not decide which). Vibrant texture in the mouth and throat. A very pleasant sweet aftertaste lingers nicely in the mouth and throat. The qi builds throughout the session (relaxing and warming). Overall, a delicious tea which I found quite comforting.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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2004 Shi Kun Mu’s Menghai Gushu Raw
Shi Kun Mu is a tea trader/blender/master from Taiwan and I was very curious about the 2004 ShiKunMu productions (Yiwu, YiBang, Manzhuan, Menghai). When my Menghai and YiBang cakes arrived over 18 months ago, they seemed a bit dry so I stuck them away to freshen up a bit. They have been in my humidity monitored tea cabinets and they now seem ready to taste. The Menghai cake is rather enjoyable – overall a tea of rich flavor and mouth feel. Reported to be spring ancient arbor material, the leaf looks good and the dark golden tea liquor is very clean. Sweet aroma lingers in the cup. Early steeps offer an earthy mushroom flavor which lightens and becomes sweeter in the next cups. The flavor includes a bit of rather delicate astringency in 3rd and later infusions but this makes the tea a little more interesting and complex in my opinion. Camphor and menthol appear off and on. Reasonable amount of Qi builds up through the session. Decent endurance – I’ve enjoyed eight cups and the tea has more to give. My mouth continues to water from the tea session which ended an hour ago.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
tea123

Excellent review.

ashmanra

Weeping at the thought of having a humidity monitored cabinet! How wonderful!

jschergen

Humidity monitored cabinet should be easy. Just buy a hygrometer for $10 to measure humidity!

DigniTea

ashmanra – I have two free standing cabinets in my dining room – one for sheng and one for shu. I use multiple hygrometers and water glasses to monitor and control the humidity. Nothing fancy but it works for me.

jschergen

That’s more or less my setup!

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A very nice brick. I rinse 3 X 5sec. each before starting to enjoy this heartwarming shu. I find it to be rich and creamy with nice depth. A 10 year old brick which is quite easy to pick apart and retrieve many whole leaves. I’ve enjoyed 6 thick syrupy cups this morning – rich, earthy aromas and smooth sweet flavors. This is listed on the PuerhShop website as 450g brick for $32.95; however, mine came as (2) 225g bricks in the package (making it very easy to split with another shu lover).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
tea123

That would make it very easy to split :)

tea123

$44.50 delivery :( Guess I won’t be ordering.

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Premium YiWu material + authentic GuShu + 100% YiWu area blend + produced by a knowledgeable tea maker + carefully stored in Taiwan = a good tea in my experience. This tea did not disappoint. While this may not be the very best YQH tea I have in my collection, it is a very nice tea. Sweet and earthy notes initially coming from the wet leaves. The early sips offer a sweet, earthy taste which becomes a bit fruity after the first two infusions; a vanilla overtone emerges in the 4th and 5th infusions. The tea liquor offers good mouth and throat feel – smooth feel of the tea in the mouth and throat with nice textures. Overall, the tea has a fairly light body which deepens with longer steeps. Decent chi comes from the tea throughout the session. The wet leaves look very good but since this was formed into the more tightly compressed tuo shape, there are more bits and pieces resulting from the picking off of leaves; nonetheless the material seems to be of high quality.
When you have an opportunity to purchase 12 year old authentic GuShu YiWu material in 2016 at $200 for a 300g tuo ($0.67 per gram), that is a very good deal and a tasty tea to enjoy! If you enjoy tea with nice age on it, as I do, this one is worth owning.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
mrmopar

The Tsang Liu Gushu is top shelf as well. Excellent body and throat feel to it.

jschergen

This tuo also went down by something like $40 since the last order which makes it very tempting! Better than all of the cheaper YQH imo.

DigniTea

jschergen – yes, my ’04 tuo cost $240 but it is now priced at $200. For my tastes and preferences definitely a good purchase.
mrmopar – I am very happy with every YQH purchase I have made (each is worthy of mention and comments). Many are similar if they are YiWu (like this ’04 tuo) but the 6 mountain blends are also very, very good (like the ’05 Tsamg Liu you mention – now increased in price from $175 to $195). The YiWu and 6 Mtn. blends differ a bit but both are worth owning IMHO. Quality like this is more difficult to find (again my opinion) so I am picking up quite a bit because it will not be available to us forever.

mrmopar

Like Marshalln says, “Hit it hard”. He talked of the same thing. If you like it stock up om it as it won’t always be available.

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Pausing for a few moments before beginning what promises to be a very busy Saturday. Felt a strong need for a “black ball” tea so I decided to revisit Teavivre’s Dragon Pearls. Tasty rich brew which warms to my core – just what I needed. Peaceful Saturdays for all….

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Enjoying the “Gold Hai Lang” as my breakfast tea. Light fermentation shu so it is mellow, smooth, and richly flavored. Nice choice for the first cup of the day!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
tea123

Just out of interest, when did you purchase this tea?

DigniTea

It looks like I ordered this in May 2014 from YS.

tea123

Ok. I just wondered if you had been aging this one.

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This is a very good tea and an excellent example of YQH quality productions. It is an authentic single origin Yiwu gushu. This is the first of the 2004 season’s premium Yiwu harvest – a Pre-Qing Ming or Yu Qian tea. Nice whole leaves. Fair amount with stems attached to one or two whole leaves. Sweet, smooth and silky with a very balanced taste and no astringency detected at all. It is worth noting that there is a blend of tobacco and old leather sweetness throughout the session (albeit more dominant in the early sessions). Definite sense of chaqi hitting by the 3rd cup. Overall this tea yields a more delicate, light tasting soup (i.e., not thick) – very appealing and enjoyable to me but not a complex heavyweight. Since the tea is on the lighter side, you can push it without fear. On one steeping, I intentionally used half the water and it still produced a delicious cup which was definitely thicker than the previous cups. A final comment on the tea’s longevity – this is an impressively durable tea. I’ve steeped it 10 times now (during 2 sessions) and the leaves are not yet fully open and my longest steep time has been 15 seconds. These leaves have much to offer!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
jschergen

Late commenting on this, but I’ve had three sessions of this tea in the past couple weeks. Your review sums it up very well. It’s lighter than the Dingji and Chawangshu but I find myself liking it even more than those heavy-hitters. Really phenomenal tea and I think it stands above most of Yang’s catalog. Just top of the line Yiwu… mmmm.

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Ban Pen is a BuLang village found close to Lao Ban Zhang and Lao Man’e. It is home to the LaHu minority people who earn the majority of their living from tea and ancient tea trees surround the village. Reported to have less bitterness than Ban Zhang but a fast huigan and a lingering feel in both the mouth and throat. Medium sized, spindly, dark and twisted leaves. Fresh clean scent (tangy and sweet) from the dry leaf. Clear golden yellow tea soup with a sweet herbaceous aroma. The first sip revealed a fresh pure taste with a light hit of bitterness. A few sips later I began to detect a warming sweetness which became stronger and more dominant in successive steepings. Buttery mouthfeel builds up throughout the session. Overall, healthy balance of sweetness and low level bitterness; good strength of character – complex and rich; calm and relaxing chaqi, invoking a peaceful state. Included in TU’s “Bulang Maocha Tasting Set” or you can buy a 50 g packet of just the Ban Pen.
Update: Endurance – good for 6 steeps than it fades rather quickly.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML
TeaExplorer

This sounds like a really nice sheng!

DigniTea

Yes, it is not what I would classify as a bold powerhouse but I found appealing complexity within the subtleness of the tea.

TeaExplorer

Overall, healthy balance of sweetness and low level bitterness; good strength of character – complex and rich; calm and relaxing chaqi, invoking a peaceful state.

That was the part that caught my attention.

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Sometime during the summer I was fortunate to receive 3 samples of Bulang gushu maocha from Tea Urchin’s 2015 spring harvest. I’ve let them sit and develop a bit and now ready to taste. This HeKai sample is a rich and potent young sheng. The dry leaves are whole and project a fresh sweet aroma. After (2) 5 second rinses, the tea liquor from the first steeping is a clear yellow-gold. The taste is fresh and clean with a honey sweetness and fruitiness dominating the early cups. A pleasant taste-sensation follows in the later infusions as the tea becomes simultaneously bitter and sweet. Good body feel with a lingering sweet vegetal taste in the mouth and throat. Happy to have tried this very appealing tea! Looks like you can try this solid example of He Kai leaf in TU’s “Bulang Maocha Tasting Set” or you can buy a 50 g packet of just the Hekai.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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Bio

I drink mostly puer and sometimes what we as Westerners think of as black tea.

I no longer assign numerical ratings to teas because our enjoyment of tea is very subjective. Reactions to a particular tea vary from person to person and within the same person across different tasting sessions.

My tea notes are simply comments reflecting my impression at that specific point in time. They are helpful to me and if they happen to be useful to someone else that is good.

For me, tea is magical with its ability to transform by bringing one back to center and inspiring both peace and contentment.
Reformed coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since.

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