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Recent Tasting Notes
The tea was packaged in a small bag, which was encased in an ornate silk bag.
The leaves of this Oolong were lightly compressed into a small square brick. I was able to remove every leaf whole by gently wiggling the brick. The leaves were dark green and black, with some white tips showing. The brewed tea smelled very fruity. It reminded me of plum, blueberries, and perhaps a citrus.
The brewed tea smelled fruity and floral. The brew’s color was a light golden-brown. The tea’s flavor was very delicate. It was sweet, floral, and fruity. The aftertaste was long-lasting between sips, and tasted of honey.
This brew tasted more fruit-like, both during sips and in the aftertaste. A hint of smokiness was also present.
This was a very light and fruity Oolong.
This is my first review of the year 2013. This is a dark tea, but it’s not a pu-erh. It will be interesting to see how the age has effected this tea.
The leaves were pressed together and were easily separated from each other. Most of the leaves were dark brown, however some looked a dirty green. The tea smelled slightly sweet, and had the earthiness of a ripened pu-erh. The brewed leaves smelled leathery and earthy. They expanded, showing some leaves were quite long and others shorter.
I “rinsed” the tea once, but decided to keep that water in a separate cup. The rinsed brew was a light golden-red color; the first brew was a deep red. The tea was very aromatic. It was mossy, woody, sweet, and fruity. After each sip came a slight earthy aftertaste.
This steeping was smooth and sweet. The earthy aftertaste was still present, and the moss and wood notes held strong. The brew was very clear, which was unexpected given the storage conditions of the tuo cha.
In this steeping, the tea had mellowed down a bit. I noticed a more floral aftertaste, and a fruit-like quality different from the previous brews. It wasn’t as smooth as the second steeping, but it retained all the mossy and woody notes as before.
The color of this brew was gold. The earthiness was prevalent, with woody and mossy notes following. The tea was again silky smooth and floral. I liked this steeping the best.
This, on 31-Dec-12, is my last tea review of the year 2012.
I opened the sample bag to find a generous sample of this Fu Zhuan. Immediately, I could see that there were “Jin Hua” or “Golden Flowers” covering the surface of the sample. As I carefully separated the layers, I found the Golden Flowers to be everywhere, inside and outside. Most of the brick was comprised of leaves, however there were a few stems. The dark leaves smelled sweet. After brewing, the leaves smelled like baking flour but remained sweet and floral.
The brew was a light golden brown. Some of the Golden Flowers managed to float on top. The tea smelled sweet, a bit musty, and floral. It tasted sweet, floral, and had a lingering aftertaste of sweet mushroom. This tea proved to be very delicate.
This brew was sweet and floral. In the second sip, I noticed a bit of “zing” similar to the sensation of tasting a lemon peel. This same “zing” quality I noticed in another tea that had the “Golden Flowers”. I could also taste the baking flour note more in the finish. There was a slight aftertaste of sweet mushroom. The aftertaste actually reminded me of a ripened pu-erh.
This brew was very floral. The sweetness remained the same from the second brew, and balanced out the almost grassy aftertaste. There was also a spiciness to this brew, almost like cinnamon. Each sip brought on new flavors.
What a great tea to end the year with. The aftertaste changed with each brew, and new flavors were unlocked with each sip.
The dark, fragrant tea leaves of this Oolong were tightly compacted into a miniature cake. Before brewing, they smelled fruity and floral. Once brewed, the leaves smelled more chocolaty and sweetly smokey.
I brewed each cup for several seconds with great results.
The brewed tea had an amber-red color. Its aroma was similar to the dried leaves, only a bit milder. It tasted sweet, fruity, smokey, and floral.
The second brew was also smokey and sweet. This tea had all the attributes of a Wuyi Oolong.
I really liked this steeping. It was wonderful with fruit notes and sweetness with a chocolate-like finish.
I’ll save the other cake for aging to see how it changes in a couple of years.
I saw this on the ChaWang Shop website and thought it looked very interesting.
The dry tea leaves were large and felt rather dusty. The appearance looked similar to tree bark or brush on the base of a forest in autumn. The leaves smelled sweetly musty, and with good reason. There were tiny, yellow fungi growing on the leaves called “Jin Hua” or “Golden Flowers”. A bit of earthiness was also present in the aroma. The brewed leaves turned a darker brown from the original grey hue they were. They smelled like earthy, musty honey, and had the texture of dry paper. Only some of the “Golden Flowers” remained visible, as most seemed to have disappeared into the brew.
I “rinsed” the tea once, and then brewed it several times. The resulting brew was a pale golden color. The brew smelled mossy, earthy, and musty. The taste was somewhat similar. The first flavor I noticed was the mustiness that had been present in the dry leaves; the second flavor was rather sweet and earthy. Each sip was completed with a mushroom-like finish. The first brew was very interesting, and rather enjoyable. There was a very sweet aftertaste from this cup.
This steeping tasted musty and earthy, but also had a bit of “zing” that the first brew didn’t. Each sip rested like lemon peel on the tip of my tongue before I could notice the other flavors. This was a very sweet tea. The mushroom-like flavor and earthiness increased .
This brew tasted much like the second. It was sweet, musty, earthy, mossy, and zingy.
This was quite an interesting tea. I didn’t expect it to be as musty as it was, but that quality did not detract from the experience. I actually liked its presence among the other flavors.
Thank you Chawangshop for this free sample!
The tea was entirely comprised of golden, furry buds. Immediately upon opening the sample portion, I noticed a chocolaty aroma. The brewed leaves smelled sweet, malty, and chocolaty as well.
The golden leaves created a golden-brown brew. The liquor didn’t have the usual reddish hue of black tea at all. The tea smelled just as the brewed leaves did: malty, sweet and chocolaty. There was a tiny floral hint to it as well. It tasted light, floral, and sweet with a chocolate finish. The malty notes were only present in the aroma.
The second brew was more mellow than the first, and sweeter. The chocolate and floral notes were again present. This tea was not in the least astringent. With each sip, I started to notice the flavor of honey.
This was a great tea. It’s definitely not a breakfast tea, but can be enjoyed any time of the day.
I have never had a Puer from this mountain before so I was curious to see how it compared to Yiwu or Banzhang.
I enjoy the initial flavors, nectarine and some yellow squashiness. The finish is clean and sweet, not too dry but just woody enough that I have a nice full mouth feel for 10-15 infusions. I can see this being great in 5 more years.
NaKa Shan has quickly become one of my favorite kinds of puer. The throat feel and mouth feel linger on for hours, if the tea is right.
This brick is good, but not outstanding. It has a nice aroma, but I think the focus was more on the packaging than the tea. I do not care much about a pretty box, I just want something nice to drink!
Too bad for me, this years Naka prices seem far higher than before.
I got a 25gr sample if this tea to see if I wanted more. I was warned that 90% of the people didn’t like it and the 10% that did were mostly Russian customers. Something in my Russian heritage must have come alive because this is a wonderful find.
The aroma is quite strong, pungent and a little smoky. The fist infusion was little light but the flavors were noticeable enough to pick out some hints of what was to come. The second infusion was fantastic, like a hickory smoked meat or cheese but without the saltiness.
You can really taste the age of the tea, the woodiness has a little more kick to it. There isn’t much if any fruity notes that I have found in Shengs even as old as 2003 so I think that speaks to the wet storage speeding up the aging, creating the darker, richer brews. The liquor was a deep orange, Grade B Honey hue.
I’m 10 infusions in and not going to quit any time soon. This has high potential for my Puer class menu!
Chawangshop has a lot of bargains for an attractive price. It’s one of them.
This brick has an extremely strong flavor of dry/wet leaves (one of the strongest aroma I’ve ever smelled from pu cakes) and typical floral character of Mengku. I feel notes of different flowers and honey and it reminds me smelling the most beautiful wild flowers. The taste is smooth and sweet with overwhelming scent of meadow. BaHu puerh is pretty light to be refreshing and very easy to drink.
Very nice, dry stored (maybe too dry) tea of sufficient complexity. More notes at: http://jakubtomek.blogspot.com/2012/03/1998-cnnp-you-le.html
Aroma: strong, reminds me dried apricots and other ripe fruits.
Taste: smooth (yes, almost silky), full in the mouth, sweet and dried apricots again.
Aftertaste: very sweet (typical Bada sweetness) and pretty noticeable.
Very pleasant tea. It’s an excellent example of aged Bada puerh. Recommended for everyone! Especially if you like cookies with dried apricots :)
P.s Chawangshop offers this pu for a very decent price, even lower than Taobao.
I received a sample of this excellent cake a few months ago and at that time did not feel like trying it. I told myself to wait for the best occasion, as this is what has proved to be a good thing to do. Once the moment comes, everything is perfect. This little sample showed me something very important. I tasted some younger old-tree leaf in autumn 2011 and did not find special pleasure in tasting the leaf so young. This one recruited me!
It is very good, true, but I cannot say it is so much better than other young old-tree leaf samples I drank before. I guess I probably was not ready for appreciating it. Or maybe I was looking for something very specific, something to be found in more aged leaf.. I am now discovering a plethora of flavours which to me seemed a bit boring before but now I simply welcome the change.
This yiwu cake was produced (almost on my birthday) last year by Chawang Shop and you can read all the important information above. I found the leaf to be very nice, rather light green with lovely hairy tips here and there. The light green colour shone beautifully especially after the first rinse and throughout the first hour of the session before it started to oxidize. I enjoyed taking the lid off many times just in order to see the young spring energy embodied in perfect shape.
The flavour is really delicate. It is floral, sweet but very special, it almost reminded me of greener type of oolong from Formosa. I used to drink them a lot few years ago and did not miss it but now, it was as if with each cup I was going through the pages of my old diary. It is quite aromatic, the element I never looked for when drinking shengpu. I however enjoyed every sip of this little wonder. It is a cake with great potential but I cannot say if drinking it in a few years time will be even more satisfying, I can only tell that at this moment it is really worth it.
2011 Chawangpu Yiwu GaoShanZhai Xiao Bing
Flavour: sweet, aromatic, floral, light
Aroma: sweet, fresh, floral, pleasant and promising
Bitterness / smokiness: none
Aftertaste: pleasant, refreshing
To read the whole review see: http://teadropping.blogspot.com/2012/01/2011-chawangpu-yiwu-gaoshanzhai.html