Chawangshop

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Recent Tasting Notes

95

I am now officially a cheap tea date. 2.5p/g & i’m devouring this like its going out of fashion. Its fruity & old & dank & spicy (like mince pies)… has a slightly tongue numbing sour note, sweet… just so much win for so little wonga.

I mean you just open the bag & inhale the goodness. It’s a bit like the sweet part of a christmas cake or a pack of dates has been transformed into a boggy leafy mess. Raisins? yeah something like that. There is old wet mud in there but because of the fruity flavours it just tastes of win.

Love it.

It does leave me a little confused though – this seems to be closer in flavour to an aged sheng than any 2012 shou could ever be….? I wonder why that is

Flavors: Dates, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Spicy, Sweet, Wet Earth

tperez

Mmm, sounds good! I’ve been wanting to try some more hei cha, they’ve been hit or miss for me though

Rasseru

This one is win from bag to mouth, there is some interesting aromas from my heicha order, that’s for sure

tanluwils

Interesting notes. Heicha was my door to pu’er, oddly enough. Once I found pu’er that I loved, I put my heicha aside to age, which I suppose is the right thing to do. Most of my stuff tastes of medicinal, sweet leaf pile and soil. I’m hoping it will reveal some nuances as it ages.

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this tea punches me in the face a bit, with some sour/bitter sweetness. im not sure what to say about this tea, it tastes low-key. i think it smells a little like fern plants and tastes like sandalwood. there is some citrus that comes at you with a dry bite to it. this is another tea mrmopar sent me and its unlike any other sheng ive tried so far.. its kind of offensive but in a good way.

-nycoma

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Earth. The Final Frontier.

There have been a few reviews on this tea, and invariably the taste mentioned is earh, or soil or such. This is definitely the tea those loamy shous are trying to imitate. You’re not going to get more ground taste in your tea without having to chew.

And I suspect, really, that’s all I’ll need to say for you to know whether this tea is for you. It harbored no surprises, it didn’t evolve during the steeps, nor did it out stay it’s welcome. Although, to be fair, this sort of tea gets brewed very long very early when in my pot by preference (and due to being “bombproof”), so perhaps a more measured approach would extend its number of steeps considerably.

Of particular note is the lack of funky or off flavors, despite a taste profile that usually features some. Not sure how it was stored precisrly, but I did only one rinse and couldn’t taste anything sloughing off as the session progressed. Well done.

Overall, an enjoyable cup, but certainly not one I’ll miss when it’s gone. Perhaps like the fabled Red Marks of old, it just needs another quarter century to come into its own. Don’t look to me to exhibit that degree of patience, however.

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68

Scent: lovely, gentle, aromatic bamboo softness. I think to myself, “Hey, maybe this will be a hei cha that doesn’t flirt with a level of total horror and dankness that’ll make me half afraid to drink.”

Taste on the first steep: slightly dank, unbelievably dusty and dry.

Me: “It’s pretty old bookshop.”

Wife: “It’s less the old bookshop, and more the abandoned cardboard boxes that they used to move the books around in the bookshop.”

By the third steep, it’s developing kind of… halfway pleasant warm gentle sweet nutty notes under the undeniable taste of bookshop.

Wife: “This makes me think of first grade.”

Me: “Definitely… there’s like, paste and glue under the cardboard taste.”

Wife: “Yup.”

Me: “Do you like it?”

Wife: “Well, it makes me sad that I’m an adult now and there aren’t construction paper projects in my life anymore.”

Me: “I think I’m starting to like it. That makes me worry for the state of my soul.”

Super Starling!

She could TOTALLY have construction paper projects in her lifetime. Google ideas for her. There’s always the classic hand-turkey option as Thanksgiving approaches.

Terri HarpLady

Ah, to drink the ancient library scrolls…

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78

My first two experiences with aged liubao from Chawangshop were so inutterably dank/musty/insane-dead-bookshop that I thought I would never like aged liubao. But this was the bridge for me, just the right balance of dank must and intense warm nut chillness that I thought, “Hey, I could like this.”

The next day, I was definitely thinking about this tea. I suspect this makes me something of a tea pervert.

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If you dare, take a journey through the leaves to the roots and taste the earth itself.
don’t get discouraged by its simplicity, and remember, the soil is more valuable for those who know what it can grow.
With its generosity it will give you as much as you want to enjoy and explore its secrets that went through time..
Now, if you took the lesson and let your roots go deeper, you can feel the good flowing from below helps you the get higher and higher!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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80

Got this out of the Puerh TTB. It was pretty good, though not particularly remarkable.

Dry leaf smelled lightly grassy, wet leaf smelled more mushroomy or like forest floor. Slight disclaimer regarding mushroom notes: I’m not particularly fond of mushrooms themselves, and am thus not intimately familiar with their flavor, so when I say something tastes mushroomy, I’m not sure how accurate or whatever that is – it’s a bit of a savory flavor with some similar characteristics to forest floor/wood/moss notes for me.

The first steep tasted lightly grassy with a slight vanilla sweet note. After that, the mushroomy flavor started coming to the front of the sip, at times becoming more vegetal. The vanilla finish lasted for only a couple steeps, later replaced by a slightly citric sweet note that I struggled to place – maybe a bit like pineapple. The texture was decently thick, though I don’t think I’d call it creamy or oily. The flavors balanced out after around 6 or 7 steeps and it became harder for me to pick out individual notes. The flavor began to die out around 9 steeps, though it did yield a few softer and lighter tasting infusions after that. A pretty good tea, but probably not one I’d want to pick up a cake of, though the price is reasonable. I’ll need to try some other stuff from Chawangshop in the future!

Flavors: Dry Grass, Grass, Mushrooms, Pineapple, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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79

I obtained this in a tea swap with CWarren.

I’ll start with the serious side of the review first. The tea was quite mouth kicking. It had nice brown sugar and earthy notes. It is good for those who like the casual ripe pu-erh that keeps you up throughout the day. However, I was up all day and night. In fact, within the hour of drinking the tea, I was scrubbing the floors and washing the house from within. I wanted to run for the first time in ages (I usually would rather hike). I wanted to sing in the streets & on rooftops.

Rather, I cleaned, took a nice brisk walk on a 95 F day, and sung along to the Beatles. I felt such a surge of energy from this tea, that it allowed me to get a whole a lot done throughout the house; which was relaxing.

Very nice. Thanks again for the tea, CWarren.

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80

Note 100!

A sample swapped with CWarren a few months back. I’ve just finished this off, so I thought I’d make a note about it before heading to bed.

First off, never have this later than you should. My “normal” ending time for tea is at 5 p.m. However, due to an eventful series of events (my wife dislocating her arm at work, eye doctor appointment, and the A.C. guy coming to fix the unit) I was unable to get to this at the time I was planning on having it. Therefore, I started drinking it at 7:30 p.m., and am fully awake until 12 or so.

Okay, back to the tea. It’s quite good. It has a solid citrus-y note about it. Not fishy like other pu-erh stuffed tangerines/oranges that I’ve had. It’s very mellow and sweet, with a slight kick to it. I hadn’t noticed the tea’s affects until I was playing Battlefront online, and I started “Chewy-ing it up,” as my brother called it. However, I calmed down afterwards, while talking tea via phone/online.

Overall, I liked this session. But now, I’m getting tired and need to start settling down for the night….or try to.

Thanks again, CWarren!

Flavors: Citrus, Orange

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This tea, which comes from ChawangShop’s well renowned product line of “the more words in the title, the better the tea”, is astonishingly cheap for its age. From such a well known vendor, this often a portent of some sort of doom. What kind? Let’s find out!

The dry leaf had no shortage of odor, primarily of a musty variety. This does not lead me to believe we’re dealing with a genteel, floral affair here. This is some biker bar tea odor right here. Game on.

It becomes apparent from the first rinse that the 2005 do re mi fa so la ti do is going to be a very no-nonsense cup, which is fine by me. Having worked ten hours yesterday, I’ve had my fill of nonsense. Early infusions are thick and hearty, yet unrefined. The mouthfeel is excellent, but both Tibetan Flame pu bricks and Pigpen from Peanuts are looking at this tea askance and thinking it’s a bit dirty. Would have been a wise idea to employ a strainer.

I think if I were to try to describe the flavors, I would term them Gothic. In the “portentously gloomy” sense, of course, not the young girls wearing black dresses and ridiculously small hats sense. It’s old, it’s fermented, and was likely put up damp at some point, and it’s not going to hide any of it. Take it or leave it.

Lest I give the impression I wasn’t impressed with this tea however, I do feel that if you’re not looking for a focused detail tasting session by the koi pond of your Zen garden with guqin music in the background, but rather something to provide an excellent background chug while you perform your duties as a lumberjack or bear wrestler, the 2005 up down up down left right left right B A merits much consideration. Good longevity, decent flavor duration, not much progression, but if you want tea that does acrobatic tastes, you’ll be paying a lot more.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to pluck some of these new hairs off my chest.

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I must confess I don’t know what category of tea this is. Maybe hei cha? It tastes like a cross between a ripe pu erh, aged white, and red (Hong cha). It is clean tasting, with notes of ripe age, tart, and black tea. It is really different. It is not at all pretty, it is very dark, with stems, broken leaves, and whole leaves. An interesting one that I think ripe pu erh lovers would enjoy.

Cwyn

Yep that would be Hunan heicha.

Mahjong

This doesn’t sound like one of the classic Hunan Hei’s, at least not any that I’ve encountered in Hunan or any of the many ‘chacheng’ I’ve visited in other places in China (at one point I had close to 100lbs of different Hunan Hei’s aging in my living room, all of which I sourced myself in China). ‘Qing zhuan’ is the ‘dark tea’ associated typically with Hubei Province. It’s known for systematically blending (usually three) different grades of tea in the outer, inner, and center of the brick. It is rather tightly compressed. I’m unsure of exactly how much post-fermentation it undergoes but, if any, it’s very little—I would guess even less than classic Hunan Hei’s (which undergo far less than ripe pu’er). The bricks that I have seen are dark green. The tea tastes to me like very smooth ‘black tea’ (hongcha). Quite delicious. It seems that the tea in question here is from a northern Hunan prefecture that might border Hubei (it certainly seems closer to Hubei than to Anhua/Yiyang, the region where classic Hunan Hei’s are produced). Could be a Hunan version of a basically Hubei-style tea. Just a guess. Very interesting.

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73

This was a fun tea to unwrap. It comes in the shape of a small pillow, about 2" on a side. Looks like a puerh cake, but is much lighter because it is uncompressed. It was easy to flake off 3 grams (out of about 20) for my pot. 5 oz water, 1 min steeps.

Sadly, the fun ended when I began to drink. The first steep was very light, with only a mild toast flavor. Simple and uninteresting. Second steep was pretty much the same, so I increased the steep time, which only added some bitterness. This looked like a bargain, but I guess you sometimes get what you pay for.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g
Liquid Proust

The fresh ones are excellent. I found some 2006 which no one is sourcing yet, but I’m unsure if I want to bring it to light.

CWarren

I purchased this one a while back and still have yet to try it. I tend to use at least twice the leaf than you do for the same size pot and shorter steep times so my results will most likely differ when I do get around to it.

Cwyn

Really should steep the whole pillow.

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An evening tea session with some beautifully aged chunks o’ love. This is some super smooth aged sheng. As hard as shou will try it just can’t compare to the pure simple natural aging process. That being said there are many ripe puerh teas that are happy being what they are and those are the ones I love the most. This tea however and others like it will always be a reminder of why I will always prefer raw whether it’s young or old.

Dried over ripened fruit and leather aromatics with a sweet nectar flavor note and some subtle earth and wet autumn leaves. Milky mouthfeel. Some calming good feels as well.

10g, 120ml Duan Ni, 212F, 30s rinse, 60s rest, 10s first, and counting up in 5-15s increments for what I imagine will be at least a dozen infusions.

The dry leafy chunk:
https://instagram.com/p/BGu4pgZBUuf/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGu9e6oBUp2/

*Update: Over twelve infusions later and still going strong on day two.

https://instagram.com/p/BGxKX6jBUpM/

https://instagram.com/p/BGxL20MBUtk/

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
boychik

this is the reason why im falling out of love with shou :(

CWarren

@boychik there are just so many great shengs out there that I no longer look for a shou trying to be a sheng. My favorite ripes are in their own little worlds like brown sugar from White2Tea.

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83

Fortunate to get 100gm of this before it’s departure from Chawangshop. As pointed out by Cwyn and Boychik, this is a delightful stoner tea. Also as pointed out by another tea friend who shall remain nameless here, " we drink tea not for it’s taste, but for it’s affect on the body". Cheers.

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This was an evening tea session that included a multi tasting of 2009 Ripe Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao”, 2010 Ripe Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao” and 2011 Raw Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao” all from ChaWang Shop. I will include a brief tasting note for each one.

The third and last selection of the evening was this 2010 ripe which had the darkest liquor of the three I tasted. This was molasses meets chocolate meets earth maybe slight leather. There was also this not so subtle similarity in flavor, color and consistency of liquid to a semi strong black coffee. The thickest of the three I tried with a super creamy mouthfeel. This also had some serious cha qi.

The recommendation is 1g per 150ml. I enjoyed it but enjoyed it more when in a second session I used 2g instead. Unlike the other tea pastes that came in already measured “lumps” around 1g, (1.2-1.3g), this one came in a larger size which made it easy to enjoy more. This like the other tea pastes is better in split steps/steeps to allow the last of the undissolved paste to dissipate. Boiling temperature worked well.

This is also the most ornate of the three “cha gao” I tried and my favorite in appearance.

*Photo notes: The blue foil wrapped paste is the 2011 raw, the gold foil wrapped is the 2009 ripe and the gold foil wrapped square is the 2010 ripe.

The tea:
https://instagram.com/p/BGKy3e1BUpE/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCfWNhUp7/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGLB8DeBUov/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCBKzhUo7/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCImEBUpJ/

These are not only fun but would be great for work and/or travel however as compared to leaf puerh there is no comparison. A little tasty treat.

Preparation
Boiling 1 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Kirkoneill1988

is it literally a pasty dough putty like puerh?

CWarren

@kirkoneill1988 they take actual leaf and extract it to make this condensed paste which is closer in texture to a hardened resin than actual paste. You dissolve it in hot water. Think of it like boullion cubes for puerh drinkers. :D

Kirkoneill1988

oh! fun! :)

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This was an evening tea session that included a multi tasting of 2009 Ripe Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao”, 2010 Ripe Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao” and 2011 Raw Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao” all from ChaWang Shop. I will include a brief tasting note for each one.

The second selection of the evening was this 2009 ripe which had the brown sugar hue that you would expect from a shou. In terms of flavor I found it to have the flavor notes that many of the daily drinkers I enjoy do, brown sugar meets earth meets wet leaves. Nice milky mouthfeel.

The recommendation is 1g per 150ml. I found this to be just about right with this one perhaps just a little less water and in steps to allow the last of the undissolved paste to dissipate. Boiling temperature worked well.

This is probably my favorite of the three I tasted.

*Photo notes: The blue foil wrapped paste is the 2011 raw, the gold foil wrapped is the 2009 ripe and the gold foil wrapped square is the 2010 ripe.

The tea:
https://instagram.com/p/BGKy3e1BUpE/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCfWNhUp7/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGLB8DeBUov/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCBKzhUo7/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCImEBUpJ/

These are not only fun but would be great for work and/or travel however as compared to leaf puerh there is no comparison. A little tasty treat.

Preparation
Boiling 1 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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This was an evening tea session that included a multi tasting of 2009 Ripe Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao”, 2010 Ripe Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao” and 2011 Raw Puerh Tea Paste “Cha Gao” all from ChaWang Shop. I will include a brief tasting note for each one.

I started with this 2011 raw which had a bit darker color liquor than a sheng from that year might normally have but considering its extracted into a condensed paste using a 10/1 ratio of leaf it should be expected. In terms of flavor I find it to share the same bitterness that many leaf form sheng would have. There was a heavy lemony note but not much else heavily prominent. Thin mouthfeel to this one as well.

The recommendation is 1g per 150ml. I found this to be subtle and would double the amount next time but in steps to allow the last of the undissolved paste to dissipate. I would also use colder temperature as boiling was too much and most likely aided in the bitterness as often happens with too hot temperature even with leaf sheng.

*Photo notes: The blue foil wrapped paste is the 2011 raw, the gold foil wrapped is the 2009 ripe and the gold foil wrapped square is the 2010 ripe.

The tea:
https://instagram.com/p/BGKy3e1BUpE/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCfWNhUp7/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGLB8DeBUov/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCBKzhUo7/
https://instagram.com/p/BGLCImEBUpJ/

  • These are not only fun but would be great for work and/or travel however as compared to leaf puerh there is no comparison. A little tasty treat.
Preparation
Boiling 1 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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87

Chawangshop has some great ripes, at really low prices. This is a $6 100g cake, and it is really good. Pretty smooth, very little fermentation flavor, just deep and rich and hearty. Later steeps had just a touch of tart cherry. It is not earth shattering, but it is really good.

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This was such a thick creamy liquor with notes of brown sugar and the tangerine blending beautifully with one of the smoothest Liu Bao’s I’ve had the pleasure to taste. There is no doubt this is a premium leaf. Serious good feels that resonate through every part of you. Thinking I might need to order more of these as I have a feeling this could be mind blowing with some years in storage.

7g leaf/tangerine peel mix, (about 8/1 ratio), 180ml Zini, boiling temperature with no rinse and a 30s first infusion, 10s second and counting back up to 30s in 10s increments all the way up to 2m with over six infusions and still going…

Day six of Lion’s “A Week of Tea Exploration”, dark tea.

The preparation:
https://instagram.com/p/BF6xmsEhUq8/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BF7KakvhUrr/

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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86

Trying this one I got a number of months ago. This is a cheap $10 ripe cake from Chawangshop, made with purple leaves (at least in part). I’ve never tried a purple leaf ripe. I can’t say I noticed much that was unique about it. But it is a very good tea, killer for the price. A little bitter and acidic, but deep and rich, a little chocolate creaminess, and a whisper of smoke. The flavors mingle well. It tastes nicely aged at this point.

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One of two awesome gifts included with a cake order from ChaWang Shop. Creamy butter, slight floral, semi sweet, nectar like fruit, zero bitterness. Beautiful leaf and liquor. Takes multiple infusions like a champ. Fresh leaf at its best. Added after smiles were a bonus.

6g Leaf, 100ml bone china teapot, 200F with 5s first infusion and 5s increments.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BFpibqgBUmr/

The liquor:
https://instagram.com/p/BFp04GqhUqu/

The wet leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BFp1QTYhUre/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Dark tangerine, subtle vanilla, scorched brown sugar, creamy mouthfeel, tingling pine resin on the tongue. This is where ripe puerh and tangerine meet perfectly neither masking the other but rather complementing each other. A shou that would be fantastic even without the tangerine peel. This is burnt sugar meets creamsicle meets incense with aromatics out of the stratosphere. Seriously tea drunk.

6g, 85ml dark zini shuiping, 212F with a 10s rinse and 10s start moving in 10s increments for over a dozen infusions with one last 5m steep.

The Tangerine:
https://instagram.com/p/BFeu_8iBUnn/

The Session:
https://instagram.com/p/BFe9j58BUpk/

The Leaf’s End:
https://instagram.com/p/BFfIpxXhUuv/

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 85 ML
Kirkoneill1988

ah, tangerine puerh! :D

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88

2016 Sheng Olympics

I got 3 steeps into this tea today and hit my caffeine level. I can’t take much caffeine these days (another reason why I hardly have any black teas).

It was a really good sheng. I didn’t take any notes but each steep was honey sweet with woodsy notes. A bit of apricot too and a thick creamy mouth feel to it. Steeped at 90C , 10 sec or less each steep and no bitterness at all. I really enjoyed this one.

Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Honey, Wood

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96

Triple Laos border tea taste test:

This was my favourite of the three. I loved the rounded less fruity but dense flavour. I would like to say hints of veg & cream in there. I really enjoyed it, and every round this one just had a bit more than the blue one had.

I didnt take notes per se, just noted every round which one I preferred and this one was the winner.

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