16 Tasting Notes


I gave this mini to a patient of mine and she remarked that she felt she was on a mild narcotic all day. The cha-qi of this mini is decent. I’d give it about a 7 and a scale to 10. Can’t taste one lick of chrysanthemum in the brew, but might be there to enhance some of the liver treating properties of the tea itself.

This mini is another tea where it doesn’t much matter how long you steep it. The flavors don’t change much from one cup to the next traditional style. Therefore, it makes a good gift or “gateway” introduction to pu-er just based on the mellow taste that is both up-lifting while simultaneously grounding. Great for work too.

On the liver note, also, I should mention that I’ve had more than one patient report to me that certain complaints they were experiencing seemed to resolve after taking a course of these little gems. It’s not all about the taste, but also what it does for the body that makes these things so great.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I cut my teeth on this tuo and well what I can say is that it is the most diplomatic of pu’ers one could ever taste. This is to say that if diplomats are concerned about not offending anybody, then V93 2010 is the diplomat of pu’ers.

I like to cook with this in addition to drinking it mixed with other spices like ginger, dried long-gan, or rosebuds or even piloncillo. I don’t normally take my tea with sugar, mind you. I’ve also noticed that this is a very refreshing tea when drunk cold.

No errant flavors, but the depth of flavor itself seems to wane fairly quickly. I’d say this is a perfect tea for the person who likes to steep their tea for minutes and forget about it. A fine tea, but I cannot think of a time where I actually craved some V93.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I got this one about a year and a-half ago and it’s only getting better. It has such a rich roundness with just a hint of sweetness.

Lot’s of cooked pu-ers have a kind of tobacco, wet cardboard, with essence of molasses taste. After having drunk some richer varieties, and perhaps with age, the tobacco notes have become more attenuated. There is no sign of errant fishiness with this cake. The cha-qi might clock in at about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. It’s a grounding tea, a winter tea, something that would go most excellently with rich meals, like after all those sweet yams and turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s an top-notch aid to digestion.

As for brewing, I have two ways of going about it. The first is the technical pu-er fashion by giving it only a minute or so and pouring into a pitcher, but in the winter I like my tea hot, so I place a chunk into my 20oz thermos and drink at will. About half-way in, I’ll add more hot water, as the strength and quality of this Bo-you can more than accommodate 30-40oz of water. Maybe my serving size is bigger than 5g., but not much bigger. The tea is just that good.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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About two years ago I discovered pu-ers can be flavored when I bought a harmless looking cake from a drugstore in Chinatown that I frequent.

It all boils down to the “cha-qi” for me, both in terms of intensity of flavor and the quality of buzz elicited. From the moment I washed the leaves of this Long Run cake, the floral aroma was promising and true. The liquor is of a pale amber caste, maybe a wee bit cloudy by purist standards. The leaves are on the dainty side, green with young tender stems.

I’ve already had four infusions. The second was for 30 seconds and that was too long because it became too bitter, so I strongly recommend only 15-20 sec. I can’t really detect any sweetness. I’ve never found jasmine to be as sweet as it smells. It’s probably good for another seven infusions, though at one setting that would be altogether too much of this tea. It’s just that potent.

This is a tea-drunk tea. You may want to be careful about drinking on an empty stomach. I think it would be great as a first measure to clear a headache of any type.

I drank a lot of jasmine tea when I lived in Beijing, but none of it was jasmine pu-er. The question obviously begs as to the differences. I’d guess that it’s the cha-qi, because I can’t detect any smokiness, which is a fav for me among the raw pu-ers.

It is a very up-lifting tea. Those fond of jasmine tea will love it.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Earthy, mushroomy pu-er. For the life of me I cannot detect any citrus taste to it, though the idea of aging in a mandarin peel is interesting.
Not a lot of cha-qi to this one. Maybe a good starter for introducing folks to pu-er.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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The thing with really good raw pu’ers is that they taste better with each infusion. This one seems to bottom out fairly quickly, that is in terms of complexity and richness of flavors.

So much depends on storage. I had another raw pu’er which I tasted upon purchase and then once a month after placing it in a proper storage container. After three months, the tannins had mellowed and after 6 months it was a perfect balance of bitter, sweet and smoky.

This Bana cake has some nice smoky note initially but it goes away quickly. I’ve had this now for more than a year and a half and will now place it in a zisha container and see how it develops. It really needs to find its “sweet-spot.”

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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I’ve been drinking Chinese tea since the early 90s when I was a student in at Peking University.
Being most fond of Yunnan, though I did fancy Guizhou on my last visit in ‘13, I’ve focused my attention on pu’ers, ripe and raw.
I love all of the artistry that surrounds this powerful leaf.


Los Angeles



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