Chawangshop

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

Sheng/Shou TTB
A very smooth drinker with a mild taste of astringency. Kinda tastes like a green tea and has some sweet buttery notes. Also has a mild apple taste, but the skin taste lingers, like on a red delicious apple – that’s where the astringency kicks in. Overall, it’s a pretty nice tea.

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69

This is the huang pian cake in the 2012 Chawangshop Yiwu line of cakes. I purchased it in 2014 for $12, it is now $14 in 2015. Read the vendor description carefully so you know what you are getting because the cake name is a little misleading. The tea is supposedly 1/2 Yiwu leaves, and all the leaf is supposed to have been picked prior to April 8. Leaf quality is thin and papery.

I packed a lot of leaves into my gaiwan, expecting this to be on the lighter side, which it is. The first two steeps confirm the smattering of Yiwu leaves but I notice on steep 1 that boiling water kills the tea and flattens the flavor. 190-200 is more ballpark for this. On steep 3 and subsequent steeps the other “half” of the leaves emerge with a rather ordinary plantation apricot flavor. The little Yiwu sister is chased away by her bigger and badder brother.

Not much body here, in steep 5 I’m swishing the leaves to add a little steep time. And nothing offensive in the tea, very light overall but I’m disappointed at the rather ordinary taste. I wish this had kept the Yiwu leaf throughout or even some Laotian leaf for that other half. But then the low price speaks for itself. Given the amount of leaf I used, I can probably use up this 200 g cake quickly.

Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Hot hay

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 13 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
JC

Sounds a bit disappointing, I had their 2010 Dian Yi Hao Naka Raw Puerh Brick and wasn’t impressed at all, but to be fair I have yet to get another young Naka to compare it to, because all the Naka I’ve had is older stuff.

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I think this was the tea Stephanie so generously sent me a sample of! It was really interesting at first. During the rinses, frothy bubbles, like from champagne, were in the liquor. It bothered me a bit because I’ve never seen that before, so I rinsed it a few more times and that went away, leaving a nice clear golden liquor. Phew! The taste was absolutely delicious…fruity sweet and smooth like butter. It actually had a buttery mouthfeel, which became more pronounced in later infusions. I again, lost count of the infusions. That happens to me a lot when I am enjoying a sheng!

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I’m not certain this is the right tea. It is the tea that I ordered, but I received a sample envelope with “2011” written on it instead of “2008”. I think the error may be in the envelope, since 1) CWS doesn’t sell a 2011 version, and 2) the tea seems to have more than 4 years age.

The aroma is straw with some smoke. Fairly rich taste makes me think that 2008 may be the correct year for this. Good, somewhat earthy finish. It makes an attempt at good texture, but is too astringent at the finish to carry it off. 3rd and 4th steeps were too astringent to enjoy, so I shortened my steeps. The astringency went away and I was left with a pleasant straw flavor with a bit of wood underneath: not exciting, but enjoyable.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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70

Dry – Tart fruits, honeyed and faintly greenwood notes (bitterness).
Wet – Sweet (honeyed), fruity, stonefruit?, orange peel, plummy, mineral and bitter floral-fruit notes. This later evolves into a more invasive Zhu (Bamboo scented) perfumy note, maybe even sandal wood.
Liquor – Dull Gold(no clear liquor) and have a spice? scent to it.

Initial steeps 1-2 (maybe 3rd) Plenty floral honey notes with a muted sweetness that follows it. The mouth feel is thick, but in a ‘waxy’ spectrum of thickness, almost like getting chap-stick in your tongue. The middle develops a savory notes as it goes down that linger a bit into the finish, but develops a floral bitterness after it washes away. The second and third steep have more fruity notes up front with a similar finish.

Middle steeps 4-5 Initial notes are floral bittersweet and floral honey with the same muted honey sweet, but once it starts to develop the fruity notes it also develops this green wood note combined with a bamboo frangrance/sandal wood perfumy note; it is still sort of pleasant, but definitelly more invasive than the previous notes. The finish stays fairly similar with some of tha perfumy/wood note. The thickness is still in there, the savory note however is playful and only apparent sometimes since it is mostly taken over by the wood and floral notes.

Final steeps 5-6+ Although I was starting to disagree with it during the 4-5th steeps, I could still enjoy most of it, but now the Floral bitterness is most of the notes with some honey that it is immediately followed by the perfumy note that still reminds me of a young Zhu/bamboo stored Sheng that has that Sandal wood perfume/incense character to it.

Final Notes
This notes hold the possibility of developing into really pleasant notes 10-15 years, but I don’t think I have the dedication to wait for this one, I’d rather focus on others. I’ll keep this brick around to see if it improves, but I’ll gladly ‘lose it’ if I need more space.

If you have some free time, check out my Blog
http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/

Flavors: Floral, Green Wood, Honey, Perfume

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
bellmont

Did you get any cooling/cold sensations from this brick?

JC

I did get a bit of cooling, but It may have been that normal sensation you get after you drink something hot in a cold place. I’ll drink it again this week and confirm it.

JC

Bellmont, I tried it again over the weekend. There is a slight cooling sensation on the chest, very faint but it is there. I still dont like the actual notes yet, I’ll probably try to age it for two-three years in a humid environment to see what happens.

bellmont

Nice, sounds like a plan (aging). Thanks for touching base on the cooling.

JC

Yeah. My experience with Naka is very limited and all on the mid aged side, so I’m not sure what to expect on the younger side of it. So I’m hoping this now ‘weird’ notes will turn into what I like about the mid-aged examples.

I would like to find another example of Young Naka, so if you stumble into something let me know!

JC

Thanks for this! I’ll check that out for sure. I want to know what it is supposed to taste like when young, since this one I have from CWS tastes very ‘particular’ :P

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Drinking this now and I dare to say that I am really enjoying it! Jinggu is an area for tea leaves with which I am not terribly experienced or familiar. The main thing I know is that the Jinggu area has many mountains and villages producing high quality teas (many from older tea trees). The aroma of the dry leaves is clearly aged – mostly whole (rather large) leaves with a few stems mixed in. The tea soup is dark orange, with a hint of savory brown in its color. The texture is thick – smooth on the lips and filling the mouth with vibrancy on the tongue. Overall, there is an enjoyable mild bitterness but it is also quite sweet to the point of being nicely balanced; active in the mouth and throat; nice warming effect; lingering pleasant aftertaste.

Update: Three days later and still working with these same leaves. On the 12th infusion and steeping for 25 seconds. The leaves still have more to give.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cwyn

This is a good age point to buy into right now, in my opinion. Not as pricey as the 1990s tea floating around.

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71

HGTTB

I started the morning off with this one and am thus far, not in love. I don’t hate it, but it’s nothing to write home about. there’s a bit of a smoky, sweetness to this and the after taste on my tongue is weird lol

mrmopar

Send it to mrmo for some proper storage..

Sil

haha i wish! this was a sample so no more in my cupboard but if you think it’s worth another shot i’ll try it out again in the future!

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87

This is a nice somewhat aged pu erh. The first few steps were kind of mushroomy, but later steeps were a bit fruity. It had a nice Amber color. The tea held up to many infusions, so I’d say the leaf quality was high. Not much astringency, for better or worse. It’s kind of expensive, $142 for 400g, I only bought a sample.

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68

I once thought that Sheng was feminine in comparison to its counterpart Shu; I stand corrected. This is a powerful brew! I opened the wrapper to reveal a dull green and jade Tou Cha. With pick in hand, I began separating a generous amount. A small and faint aroma of grass and shale emitted from the bird’s nest. I brewed in my yixing with boiling water. The wet leaves emit the scent of smoke, bitter greens and a sweet undertone. I washed the leaves. By the second steeping I was drunk. This brew has an intense overwhelming menthol flavor. It dominated with sharp and bitter with slight astringency. I could only hint at the sweet undertone after drinking and allowing my mouth to relax. I thought maybe that the sharp would die down and the flavor would plateau, but I was wrong. The intensity of this never died down. I assumed it to be slightly deepened, considering its twelve years old. I also came to expect a slightly lower quality considering price. I’m not sure if this Sheng is good or not, I couldn’t muster the strength to steep after round seven. If you enjoy an incredibly powerful sheng then this is for you. Also, as a last note, I do enjoy the box it comes in. I think it would come in handy for storage.

Flavors: Bitter, Menthol, Smoke, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

Was not the best. Maybe because it was not what I expected and I read too much into the other posts and reviews and expected too much. Thanks though!

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Highly aromatic brick. I have found Manzhuan to be a reliable place for me to find products of great enjoyment to my taste. Man Zhuan is a higher mountain area in the Yi Wu mountains. It is another one of the six famous tea mountains of ancient times located in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province. Trees of 100 years and older grow organically on Man Zhuan mountain surrounded by natural forest. This brick is a little dark beauty.
The aroma of the dry leaves is pleasingly sweet and offers the characteristic floral scent of Yiwu teas. Began in my usual manner – two quick rinses and then let the wet leaves sit for at least 30m before I prepare the first steeping for tasting. The clear deep gold colored tea soup presents full and thick flavor with a salivation inducing effect. Sweet and buttery hay or grass overtones with a slight stone fruit accent are detected in the early sips. Active on the tongue and throughout the mouth. Produces a nice chaqi. I’m four steepings in and I’ll continue working with the leaves tomorrow.
In summary, this is a smooth tea, not overly aggressive or strong. Deep honey colored tea liquor which yields a thick soup with a smooth, rounded mouthfeel. Nice huigan which leaves a persistent sweetness in the throat. Thick, buttery mouthfeel, with the perfect blend of honey sweetness and bitterness. A comforting and enjoyable puerh brick and a solid tea for the price ($4.10 for a 50g 6+ year old brick).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Stephanie

Sounds great :)

DigniTea

Yes, seems nice to me.

Cwyn

Agreed on Manzhuan, have had several and I can reliably expect to like.

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Ai Lao Mountain is in the Zhenyuan area of Simao. The brick is composed of small spring leaves (mix of whole and pieces) which have become dark brown over almost thirteen years of aging. Produces a pure liquor with a deep golden yellow hue indicating the richness and intensity of the flavor. Rich scents come forth. First sips – straw-like and a little tart; pleasant mouth sensation but not terribly full. The following steepings produce a richer, sweeter tea liquor. The flavors of grain and mushrooms emerge during steepings four through seven. Overall, clean and rounded, smooth, thick mouthfeel without astringency, aftertaste is sweet. A decent, fairly priced small brick ($15 for 90g brick) with nice age made from decent raw material.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
tea123

I’m reading that this tea is aged in plastic film, which is something I’ve not come across before.

DigniTea

Mine came wrapped in rice paper. To clarify for others who might read your comment:
“(The) Fu Cha Ju (Tea Co.) wraps puerh products in plastic film (they named it “high-density organic bag”). Mr. Zhang who is the boss of Fu Cha Ju TF said this is very good way to balance maturation without the influence from external environment.

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Youleshan is one of the original six famous tea mountains and it has easily become one of my favorite areas. This cake is made of spring tea leaves harvested from ancient trees on Youle mountain – the whole leaves have aged into a rich, dark brown, with some copper-tinted tips and put forth a gentle sweetness the level of which you don’t often find in a puerh. Typical Youle puerh attributes found in this brick: deep honey golden color and very clean aromatic tea liquor; sweet, mellow and full in the mouth; smooth with a very nice aftertaste and a solid cooling sensation in the throat. A heavy fruitiness is clearly found in the scent that is most satisfying. The sweetness grips hold of the tongue and holds throughout the session. That fruitiness is the type that fills the front of the mouth immediately and makes it instantly appealing while an undercurrent of other tea flavors gather underneath to make themselves known in the throat. Overall, this is a pleasant combination of savory and fruity. An interesting blend of characteristics that settles into a constantly enjoyable tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tea123

Interesting review.

DigniTea

For my preferences, this is a nice tea. Easy to write about.

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82

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82

This tea is my first naka but I am at least somewhat fimailar with sheng puerh.
The effects from this tea were unique. Sedative and calming.

I found the taste to be excellent. It was very smooth even with boiling water 2 liters into the session.
This sheng was sweet and rounded with an overall clean and refreshing mouthfeel.
Hands down one of my new favorites. Thanks boychik for the sample.

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
Stephanie

I can’t wait to try Naka someday!

Marcus reed

Next order I place with ChaWang shop I plan to buy one or two logs. :-)

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i got just one small mini brick with my recent order. it looks so cute. i had to brew the whole thing around 10g. it was hard to separate and i didnt want to break those gorgeous full long leaves.
To my surprise it wasnt heavy roasted at all. But it was pleasant despite that im not huge fan of floral notes. its very fragrant and sweet, not bitter at all.
I may get more of these. They all vacuum packed and i think it will be nicer with takeouts than green tea. Green tea i find finicky even though i have a variable kettle. they do get bitter no matter how careful I am.
You can steep this brick forever and it doesnt go bitter.

http://instagram.com/p/vkRvBvBwgv/

http://instagram.com/p/vkR6GGhwhS/

http://instagram.com/p/vkScmVhwkR/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Doug F

Pressed Oolong. Very cool!

JC

Ha! nice. I bought a Da Hong Pao Heavy Roasted cake and that killed my palate lol, I should have gone with this one.

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This is my 400th note. how ironic
last night i had a session 2007 Naka Qiao Mu Bamboo Raw Chawang Shop
I got it based on Cwyn review. yes, i got stoned. not immediately. after 5 steeps. i was very happy smiling then fell asleep and couldnt get up. I still feel drugged. Flavor wise its very pleasant, bittersweet stonefruits and spice. 6g for 100g gongfu glass teapot

http://instagram.com/p/vhpa_ehwm2/

http://instagram.com/p/vhwTfiBwt4/

http://instagram.com/p/vhwwyGBwgP/

http://instagram.com/p/vhycPKhwoq/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Stephanie

Sounds really neat :D

Cwyn

Omg you got the actual wrapper, and it is so cool with the people paintings on it. O.o mine was wrapped in just plain blank paper. Had to chuckle at your write-up here, sooo perfect! :)

boychik

@ Cwyn ok,now you gotta tell me what to drink to get back to normal, haha

Tea Pet

Oo! That one has been on my wishlist for a while!!

DigniTea

It is something special. We are indeed fortunate Cwyn recommended this one for I doubt that I would have purchased it on my own. And I’m delighted you are purchasing from Cha Wang – I’ve ordered many times and I really enjoy the items I’ve picked up there. Try one of their Chawangpu cakes sometime – low price for the quality of the tea leaf used.

Sil

Oh man. I really want to try this one now!

Doug F

That’s how I felt yesterday after the Gao Shan Zhai.

boychik

@ DigniTea, i only got few samples because my main purchase was Yixing. it has a crack and i believe it didnt happen during transit. everything was packed beautifully. Pot was in a very pretty plush padded box. no way it got damaged. now i need to send an email. Sigh…

DigniTea

Sorry, that’s unfortunate luck. Given the distance traveled and the way carriers pack small boxes into crates, bins, etc. You can understand how things crack or break during transit either to him or to you. He’s a good guy to work with so hopefully there will not be a problem. We all take a chance when we order online so the big question is how does the merchant handle the problem. I often take photos including the box/packing to attach to my tea seller’s email when there is a problem. Good luck correcting it.

TeaBrat

@boychik – I am hoping they just send you a new one, it’s not like they could sell the cracked pot to someone else….

Sil

so sorry to see your pot was cracked :( that’s sad… long wait, cracked pots pooooooh!

Kirkoneill1988

did you find any particular stone fruit taste? ie. peach

Cwyn

Aw sorry about the pot. At least a chance of replacement, I broke one during seasoning once, total loss. I do have one Chawangpu Yiwu cake, haven’t tried it yet though…dunno what to take to recover, usually I pass out and stay passed out, haha!

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81

Brewed up 9 grams in about 110 ml water, two rinses and long 30 second first steep. This tea cake is only a few months old, essentially fresh green tea leaves and not really fermented at all yet. My tong of this tea is quite fragrant sitting in crock storage.

Laos tea cakes are often compared with Yiwu because the Phongsaly area of villages is just over the border from Yunnan. The tea doesn’t disappoint in this comparison, very floral and mellow, with lemony undertone. I pushed the tea because I am used to a much stronger puerh brew.

My shoving of the tea got me 5 good steeps before showing signs of fade in the soup color. No real smoke here to speak of. The leaf quality is excellent, with buds and whole leaves. I am not sure why this tea cake costs less than half the price of the neighboring village cakes which Chawangshop also sells, maybe this cake is just more mild. But the $22 price tag drops to $19 per cake with a purchase of a tong of 5, I paid $96 for the tong. I think this is a great steal either way if you want a mellow Yiwu flavor.

At the same time, Chawangshop’s own 2012 Yiwu costs only $12 for the same size cake. I have that cake too, but don’t feel it is fair to compare Yunnan with Laos cakes even though the border is a political division and not really how tea trees decide where to grow. We do know about the Laos cakes as the government there strictly bans any pesticide or artificial fertilizer use in the region on tea trees.

Great choice of tea cake for people who enjoy fresh “puerh” cakes. Gulp without guilt. Works for me.

Much different narrative than this plus a couple photos at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Floral, Green, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
boychik

i have so much fun reading your blog ;)

Cheri

I do like that your blog post is so different from the post here. Good read! And the tea sounds good, too!

Cwyn

Thanks! The tea is actually really good, for a new tea. It is a shame collectors don’t view Laos cakes favorably when really it is the same tea as just over the border. However, I have read that Yunnan factories buy this leaf for filler in Yunnan cakes, who would know the difference?

DigniTea

Your note is very timely. I’ve been curious about Honza’s offerings from Laos so I think you’ve given me a reason to try them. By the way, I love the 1st paragraph on your blog post for this one – let’s just say that I took it personally. ;-)

mrmopar

She is a trip!

Cwyn

O€O. It is hard work picking teas, cuz I don’t have a Chairman Meow who wants to help me. Thanks guys!

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A fruity sheng made entirely from You Le Mountain tea leaves now aged over 10 years – a very nice tea for a decent price! Tightly compressed cake with many whole leaves and buds throughout. The material used is from an autumn picking and yields a clear golden yellow tea liquor with a spicy scent. The first infusions offer a fruity flavored tea but it carries a tart sweetness (a sweetness with a bite). Later cups are more mellow and fruity – berries and peaches. The aftertaste is long and sweet.
Produced in the Jinuo Mountain tea factory of Xi Shuang Banna. Handmade by the Jinuo minority group inhabiting the You Le Mountain area. Cakes are made using classic traditional methods developed over hundreds of years of tea growing.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

How is shipping from them to our side?

DigniTea

I’ve been paying for EMS Small Packet ($20-$25).

Cwyn

I guess this was dry stored, cuz it is still giving yellow color?

DigniTea

Cwyn – stored in Kunming

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This Nannuo Mountain tea is sun-dried and fairly potent yet easy to drink. There is an appealing bitterness and it provides a surprising spectrum of tastes – aged-worn leather, forest wood and tobacco but there is also a bit of fruity sweetness (maybe plum) present. The gold tea soup was a tad cloudy and there were a few stem pieces in the mixture of leaves I picked off from the moderately compressed cake. Nice huigan which builds throughout the session leaving an aftertaste which offered a pleasant cooling effect. I found this tea very easy to like. A good moderately aged tea at the very fair price of $39 for the 357g cake.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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77

I purchased this tea looking for a less expensive comparison to white2tea’s 2005 Naka which is a real stoner tea. Chawangshop doesn’t make claims about this tea, but it appears to be the wild mountain leaf tea just like the other Naka I like. This tea has been dry stored, and has no humid smells, but it is very green, tightly compressed with hardly any aging. It comes wrapped in paper rather than in the bamboo.

I don’t taste any bamboo flavor which is slightly disappointing, but the apricot taste is pleasant and not smoky. Psychoactive effect confirmed, not as intense as the other Naka I like, but there. I ate a bag of chips afterward. At $7.50 per 100 grams, this is a value buy and I don’t expect to see it in the shop long. I just wish it were a bit more aged, and that I would have time left to age it.

More and comparisons with other Naka teas on my blog: http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Apricot

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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78

Dry – Sweet, faintly flowery and fruity, refreshing.
Wet – Honeyed sweetness, faint bittersweet floral notes, some thickness, fruity.
Liquor – Golden/Light amber.

The initial cups are sweet that resembles mellow honey and has subtle fruity and floral notes. The body is medium to full, but not the most lasting. I would describe it as being full initially and keeps a medium body as it washes down. The broth is sweet, fruity,floral and mellow with a smooth body and some thickness. The bitterness is very subtle, almost non-existent at this point.

Mid session the liquor has some more floral notes and the sweetness is not as strong as the initial two or three cups. The Honey notes are still there, but take a backseat to the floral that is still gentle and smooth, the liquor maintains a medium body and is mostly smooth with minor astringency appearing at the end of each sip.

The final cups have an initial floral with faded fruity notes and some ‘vegetal’/green notes with some astringency. There’s still sweetness left in the cup, just not as apparent or as forward, but still enjoyable. The tea is holding up pretty well for the age and most of the young notes are herbaceous with astringency.

Final Notes
A very nice tea, specially for the price range. This is a recommended for those who enjoy mellow teas or people still getting used to Puerh. It isn’t flashy, it is subtle and mellow with not much change in the session. The huigan fairly lasting and the final astringency is not overwhelming at all.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
mrmopar

I have still to order from here. I wish their shipping policies were a little more “set in stone” so I would know what the final tally would be. Maybe we can get them to implement something like this. I love their line up of products. Just wish they had a set price on shipping.

DigniTea

mopar – I can tell you from a recent order that I was charged $20 for EMS shipping for 3 puerh cakes.

JC

Yeah, they have to fix that. My first order wasn’t that bad, but granted it was all samples, except fro one 150gm cake. I’m looking at some others they have and this one to pick up. The price vs quality is great.

mrmopar

$20.00 EMS for 3 I can live with. I have actually paid that on EMS for one. Thanks for the info both of you.

Yang-chu

How does this contrast from the Misty Peaks Yiwu you mention above?

JC

Yeah, I don’t think my shipping was over $20.
Yang To me they sound similar on ‘paper’, but hit different spectrum of taste. The NanNuo is very pronounced in honeyed sweetness and fruity notes, some floral with thickness and hay like vegetal notes. Misty Peak’s Yiwu is Honeyed sweet and floral with fruity notes, but they are much more subtle and balanced with the vegetal notes that are more ‘savory’ or even faintly brine-y. I always say that Yiwu has an olive oil or faint artichoke taste in the middle. :)

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86

Got a sample of this with my recent Chawangshop order, based on a positive review from the Half Dipper. It is indeed a power pu, nice and thick, some real bitterness at certain points in the brews, and good flavor, though not outstanding. It gives and gives. I liked it, though not enough to order a cake. I’d recommend giving it a whirl if you order from them.

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