2809 Tasting Notes


Something else I picked up at the tea festival… I think I got these because I liked the shape – lol. The squares come in a little box and of course, the tea, the paper and the box are all biodegradable which is right up my alley. No plastic – whoop! Pu-erh has a definite advantage in that regard.

I cut this square in half because I wasn’t sure I was up for a strong sheng experience. Then I steeped it for about 1 minute. This tea is very interesting because the top notes are light, sweet and woodsy with some green apple but the bottom notes are slightly sour and bitter. Steeping for shorter periods will definitely help to keep the bitterness under control.

After steeping you can see the leaves start to unfurl which is a definite sign these are not made with leftover crud from the factory floor. For a young sheng it’s nice but I would not recommend steeping this for more than 30 seconds. My second steep at 30 was a bit more palatable…

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I’m drinking the last one of these today – thanks again Tommy!

I’m making it a goal to see if I can drink two cups of pu-erh every day. My family has high cholesterol so I’m wondering if this will help mine to go down, in addition to a healthy diet. I can’t quite figure out if the supposed health benefits apply to sheng and shu as well.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I started eating 4 ounces of celery a day for one week of every month. This is recommended in Prevention magazine for blood pressure, but my cholesterol dropped a LOT! By the way, I used to HATE celery, so this was hard for me, but I actually kind of like it now!


Really? wow. I actually hate celery too but perhaps I will need to try loving it as well…


Celery with natural peanut butter and raisin are an awesome snack! I’m going to buy some raisins and make some tonight. Thanks for reminding me!
Might actually go well with the rice pu-erh.


Celery can be too stringy for me, but when tender it is usually sweet. I like celery when it is like that!


Scott, you should stick with the tender inner stalks for raw munching. Use the outer ones for soon. :)


Thanks Mercury. :))

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As soon as I opened the little sample tube to smell this I thought “Oh, the holidays!”

So I steeped this for 4 minutes at around 205 F. When I inspected the wet leaf I could see bits of cloves and orange rind in it. I think there might be some cinnamon in this blend too. One of the other tasters remarked on not liking Le Palais des Thes black tea base, but this tea is so highly spiced that I’m having a hard time finding it!

Overall, I thought it was okay, if you don’t mind the taste of a spicy Christmas tea but I doubt I would go out of my way to find this. Then again, I am not usually craving orange spice tea either. I’m having mine with soymilk this morning and am finding it a wee bit strong, might cut back on the steeping time by one minute the next time I have this.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I got only 1 oz. of this and it’s almost gone, I liked it a lot better than I thought I would – it is going on my list of things to reorder! see my previous notes.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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It’s a sipdown… after lunch treat.
I am definitely noticing the mustiness and mesquite aroma of this one today. I can’t remember how I steeped this last time but it seems stronger than I remember (today I did a few short infusions in the gaiwan). This really smells great and is taking the chill right out of my afternoon (it’s windy here). Farewell – 2005 Twin Elephants Shu…. see my previous notes for more details.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I did try cold brewing this yesterday and I think I like it better this way, however the hibiscus just kills it for me. Another tea that tastes like fruit punch as well. If anyone would like to swap for this I’ll be more than happy to let you try it…..

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These folks were at the SF International Tea Fair yesterday so I knew I’d have to stop by. I got a very good introduction to their teas including stories and pictures of where my tea came from right now to the actual trees…

They were serving up samples of this shu so I decided to purchase a cake after trying it. ($33). I was told that “third grade” applies to the size of the leaf used and wasn’t meant to imply that this was a third rate tea.

We steeped some of it up this morning. I may have not been generous enough with the leaf. Since there were two of us I decided to steep this in a teapot and forgo my usual gaiwan method. The first steep we did for 60 seconds and the second for 2 minutes.

This yielded a clear, reddish brown brew that is not as dark as some I’ve tried. I am enjoying it. It’s clean with a nice savory/woodsy/mushroom aroma that is very soothing and somewhat mild. The flavor is very earthy with a bit of nutty flavor like butter pecans. It has a clean and sweet aftertaste I am enjoying so much. This is supposed to develop a date flavor as it ages but I don’t know if I will be able to let it age before I end up drinking it… lol

Overall, very good. If you’d like to try a lighter shu without any smoky, fishy or musty aromas I’d give this one a try for sure.

On other notes I’ve discovered I can use a cheese knife to pry apart my bricks and cakes so at least I won’t be needing to purchase a special puerh knife. :)

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

But…but…but! The doodads are half the fun! LOL! This sounds delicious. I am going to be drooling over a lot of new companies thanks to your puerh reviews. So lucky you got to go! :)


@ashmanra – lol. I’m kind of glad I did not get a new knife since that means I can spend more on tea. :) I’ve definitely been getting into the puerh thing lately. Once you get into more variety with your tastings it’s surprising how different they can be from each other.


My pu’er pick is basically a flathead screwdriver with a pretty handle. I’ve also used a fork, which works in a pinch. Glad you found something that works! Hope you never get a brick so tightly compressed that you have to used the serrated edge of that blade. Glad you’re getting more into this! It’s an inexhaustible new frontier of flavor- always changing and challenging.


It’s fun getting into it but also kind of expensive. :) I will remember the screwdriver if I’m ever in a pinch!

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Wow – this is delicious. Overnight it seems like I’ve become a Menghai factory tea convert!

This little cake is 100 grams and comes in a cute red box, well what more could you ask for?

I broke off a small piece and did two short steeps in the gaiwan for around 30 seconds to make the cup of tea I am drinking now. This has a slight “forest floor” aroma but it just really smooth, creamy, slightly sweet and with a bit of fruity aftertaste. Smells a bit musty, but IMO no weird “off” flavors like barnyard, fishy, etc. But I always rinse my puerh in boiling water before the first steep.

Definitely a tasty little shu. I wish I had more time to linger over this one but I have to get myself ready for the SF International Tea Festival today!!!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

I think I am going to have to check them out. Birthday in a few weeks…I am making a list of puerhs!


I think you might like this one. :)


very good tea but i think the 2009 is a little better(aging adds to it)

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This stuff is intense!

After steeping I noticed my senses were immediately flooded with this floral aroma so I was either in for a treat or something scary…ha!

I steeped this at the recommended 4 minutes at around 190 (my temp may have been slightly higher). This tea yield a light, sweetish liquor with lots of honeysuckle and an almost “baked” quality that just reminds me a bit of cookies. Lily of the valley – I am not sure what that smells like but this is for sure heavy on the floral. I can sense the kaffir lime out there as well but I probably would not have picked up on that if it wasn’t on the description. :)

This is a tea that just makes me want to sit with it and focus on it, so it’s pretty relaxing and meditative as well.

Either way this is a fabulous oolong, if you’re a darjeeling lover. I’m not picking up on any astringency either, just a smooth and rich mouthfeel. Very unique and tasty. Yum! An awesome way to wake up. I might need to get some more but it is very pricey. :)

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I like genmaicha but I’m not sure about this tea. The first time I tried steeping it it was all cheesecake flavor and I didn’t like it at all but I don’t think I used water that was hot enough.

Tonight I steeped it in a gaiwan and I like it better this way, the cherry flavor is coming up and mixing well with the nuttiness of the rice but now I am not getting any cheesecake. Weird. I feel like if I can find the perfect method to brew this it might be ultimately more enjoyable for me but for now it’s just kind of elusive.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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