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Recent Tasting Notes
I feel this is between the semiaged and aged stages of sheng. A slight bitterness on the edge of the earthy flavour. The earthiness is quite faint and is enveloped in a honeyed fruity thickness. Some woody flavour also. Slightly powdery and soft mouthfeel.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Honey, Wood
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Rich, meaty aroma. Good mature flavor is mostly leather and tobacco, with some meat and fruit. 2nd steep is even better. Lots of camphor appearing, with strong tobacco notes. By the 3rd steep, I was getting tired of the heavy camphor though there was nice tobacco underneath, as well as some spice in the finish. Some would consider this a really fine tea, but I’m not all that into camphor.
The tea had great longevity. Still going strong after about 8 steeps. I went back about 8 hours later and it was still going strong, and it started to grow on me. At this point I was steeping for about a minute, and the flavor is just camphor and tobacco, but it is fairly strong and still has good mouth feel and a nice balance between nose, taste, and finish. I just kept steeping and it was probably about the 15th steep that I finally decided there was no more flavor in the leaves.
I’m not going to give the tea a score, since I rated it down on my personal ambivalence about camphor. If you are into camphor, you will think this is an excellent tea.
I keep telling people that I don’t like ripe puerh, so I suppose it is only fair to write up a review when I see a tea that challenges my prejudice. I’ve realized that I am just totally buried in samples of puerh. I’ve started just grabbing things at random and steeping them (with an emphasis on shou). This tea is from the second Puerh TTB: I stuck 4 grams in a baggie and threw it in a box about a year ago, so I’m past due time to try it.
The tea is really enjoyable. The best feature is a powerful wood/tobacco aroma with a bit of camphor and a bit of mustiness that reminds me of a dusty shelf. The flavors work really well together, being fairly complex and subtly different in each steep. The taste is similar, with the exception of the 1st steep, which was quite bitter. The bitterness was just about entirely gone in the second steep and beyond. I’m currently on my 5th steep and it is still going strong, with a bit more camphor and a bit less leather as it progresses. Sadly, it is a) out of stock; and b) fairly pricey, or I’d be buying shou for the first time in over a year.
This tea was also my grandson’s introduction to puerh. He’s 10 and has been mostly drinking dessert teas with me, but I figured he’s ready for the hard stuff. He loved it!
I’ve had this sample for over two years. Back then I really did not know what to make of it. Now that I’ve tasted a range of quality young and aged sheng I thought it was time to revisit it.
This tea spent it’s first four years in humid storage, then was moved to Kunming for the remainder. It comes across as a very nice sheng that has passed through middle-aged and is on it’s way to maturity. No sign of wet storage taste that I could detect.
The steeps smell of old books, medicinal notes, camphor, leather, with a couple of hints of cabbage near the end. The cup has a slight Bulang bitterness remaining which turns sweet in the aftertaste. I also get old books, leather, light citrus, some spice, camphor and medicinal notes. Good throat lubrication with slight dryness of the mouth (an interesting contrast).
I took it through 16 steeps, but I was pushing it a bit mid-session to see how the leaf reacted. It was always very smooth with no sign of astringency. I also got a great calming energy from it, and around steep 10 I heard the dying reverberation of a temple bell playing in my head for several minutes. I really enjoyed how this tea made me feel, in addition to the flavor.
Although a little pricey, I’m going to add a bing to my stash.
Flavors: Camphor, Citrus, Leather, Medicinal, Spices
Surprisingly unusual complexity found in this brick. The tea highlights the beauty of the leaf in repeated brews with full body and strong fragrances. Bold and flavorful is the best way to describe my overall impression of this tea. Clarity is found in the mahogany colored liquor. Built upon a base of musty wood as are many shu puerh but there is so much more here. Very smooth with a lovely berry sweetness. The taste of camphor is definitely found throughout the session and a light tangy citrus note comes forward in the 3rd or fourth infusion. There is clearly a bit of smoky tobacco in both the scent and taste but this subtle feature actually enriches the overall impact of the tea in a very positive way. (And I say that as one who is not particularly fond of smokiness in my teas.) The duration is on the shorter side with solid flavor throughout 6-7 infusions before thinning. Produced by the original Kunming Factory per Yunnan Sourcing. Carefully aged in the dry environment of Kunming. This is a wonderful example of a dry stored shu with nice age on it. Overall we have a sweet woody mouth feel with a mellow, sweet aftertaste that builds over a series of infusions. The flavor profile features notes of wet earth, wood, tobacco, berries, camphor and smoke all working together so very well. This blend is definitely done right and it is a very fine tea!
Enjoying a nice large cup of this one on a rather cold day – seems to hit the spot. When I drink this one, I typically use the same leaves over a three day period – the quality and maturation of the leaves allows me to do this. The first day (phase) offers a woody, mellow tea which is also quite smooth and mellow with the complexity slowly revealing itself. Good choice for this afternoon with more promise tomorrow.
This is the oldest cake I own. Picked it up during Yunnan Sourcing’s recent sale and when it arrived I had to open it up and pull out the leaves that had collected in the bottom of the wrapper. 7 grams of dry leaf with ; 4 oz boiling water; 15 sec rinse; I began steeping the tea at about 10 seconds and added 5 for every succeeding infusion. It yielded a very clean red-brown colored liquor but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in the flavor. There was the earthy and musty taste one might expect but it was rather flat. The third steep, however, produced a smooth and sweet taste with a rich, medium body and not a hint of bitterness. In steep five, I began to detect notes of fruit and chocolate. I’m drinking steeps seven and eight now and find them very enjoyable.
A nice mature full flavored ripe tea, with somewhat light body. It has a very good flavor, a bit woodsy and mushroomy, and it just tastes ‘old’ though I’m not even sure myself what that means. Definitely worth trying at least a sample to see what you’re in for, since the price is somewhat steep.
Not a Tasting note
I was drinking the last of my sample piece and comparing to other ripes I’ve had. This one deserves a better score. I already miss it. A really complex and juicy ripe.
The scent is nice, sweet and complex. The liquor is a beautiful Bright Burgundy color. The whole thing is a pleasure to steep and then drink. If only I could afford several cakes!
Quick Notes I bought a sample from Yunnan Sourcing of this tea, so even though the infusions are ‘traditional’, they are slightly shorter because most of the sample came loose so there was no need to wait for the cake to open.
Dry Leaf Smooth earthy sweet, slightly fruity.
Wet Leaf Sweeter, mellow, slightly fruitier, some complex scent.
Liquor Red/Burgundy and clean.
1st 20secs The pitcher smells incredibly sweet and fruity. The liquor is sweet, fruity almost ‘juicy’ with some tanguiness that opens for a roasty/chocolate finish when it washes down. The aftertaste is somewhat like fruity tasting chocolate.
2nd 20secs The pitcher smells sweet and fruity with tangy notes. The liquor is sweet, fruity, juicy and tangy that becomes heavy as it washes down. This heavy taste has hints of chocolate with fruity/tangy notes. The aftertaste is fruity with chocolate and camphor.
3rd 20secs The pitcher smells sweet, fruity and creamy. The liquor is sweet, creamy, fruity and tangy tha becomes heavier roasty/chocolate tasting as it washes down. The aftertaste is smooth roasty and fruity/juicy/tangy notes with refreshing camphor.
4th 30secs The pitcher smells sweet, fruity and creamy. The liquor is creamy, sweet, fruity and chocolate/roasty with some tangy notes. As it washes down it is cleaner before the sweet, juicy and camphor aftertaste sets in.
5th 40secs The pitcher smells sweet, fruity, creamy and slightly tangy. The liquor is creamy, fruity/juicy and slightly sweet. The roasty/chocolate notes are faded and the juiciness is more apparent. The aftertaste is fruity with some chocolate notes and refreshing camphor.
I made two more steeps with this tea. The 6th 1 min was juicy and sweet an refreshing and slightly faded. The 7th 1:30 mins was faded and weak, I used it to ‘clean’ my pot.
Overall, I liked this tea. It is sweet mellow and has some slight complexity to it. The description in Y.S. refers to ‘Persimmons’. I didn’t use this because I feel it depends on your experience with the fruit. But I agree that it has ‘traits’ rather than the taste. It is fruity/juicy sweet with some tangy notes that are almost acidic in a good way. All that can resemble a Persimmon but I don’t think it tastes like it, rather reminisent of it.