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Recent Tasting Notes
I bought the brick a while back, and I’m still reaping the rewards. This brick breaks apart into some very fine scraps though, could be I’m not breaking right. I do dig deep right through the center though to get those “shelves” of tea.
I brewed up maybe 6- 7g i don’t really know, i just threw it in the french press and added the water. I let it sit for 4- 5min and used a nice ceramic mug. The rest of the tea, I put in a mason jar with the lid on. Of coarse I don’t get all the slight changes of the tea when I go western, but I don’t care right now, I’m happy to have the quantity of tea.
I’m now drinking the second cup and I just love this tea. I’ve been drinking lots of coffee lately and this is more than a good substitute, as it ( as most shou) is full bodied and rich, with a bit of bitter on the finish. I personally love the fermentation flavor, because it some how taps into the nostalgia vein, or rather just simpler times.
The mouth feel is somewhat astringent, and coats the mouth.
I don’t know if its because I’m drinking a hot drink on a hot day and the result is a heavy feeling, I don’t know, but I feel slightly tea drunk with a good sense of qi. Something tells me I’ll be brewing another pot in about an hour- savage!
I can see why this tea isn’t for everyone. It’s certainly got some teeth to it. As a fan of scotch and this being my first Xiaguan experience, I’m not disappointed.
4g in a 60ml porcelain gaiwan
Flash brews increasing steep time to taste, boiling
Flavors: Camphor, Smoke, Sweet
Yesterday I drank through this for quite awhile since I was hooked up with a beenghole:)
The rinse brought out very strong aroma which meant either it wasn’t going to be my type of tea or it was going to turn into something good. I went into this thinking it’d be a few months too young for me, however as you will find out, that was not the case.
First thing I noticed was the blend itself. There was a flower in my leaf, multiple colored leaves, and even different sizes/shapes; this made me realize I had no idea what to expect. I went ahead and put a picture on Slack because the flower was interesting to see.
First three brews were murky, looking very strong in taste. There is certainly a texture to the tea that is pleasant, yet it doesn’t have a great taste as of yet. Opening this tea up, as it was a beenghole piece, did take five or so brews but it changed after that. Texture wise it still had some viscosity to it when hitting the later steep, but it was the taste that got me.
Once this opened up, it tasted much like the 2014 wild purple wuliang that YS sells that I have really really enjoyed. This being so young and having some of that gentle wild like taste to it with hints of sweetness is quite nice. This is definitely a quality blended cake with a bit to settle still, but it’s already a pretty nice tasting material as it is. I expect with time the wild aspect will fade a little and smooth out creating a better taste to go with the thicker brews in the beginning.
This was my first shou pu’erh and really my first pu’erh period. I have to say that as a (previously) heavy coffee drinker (shou changed my mind), this does it for me both in the morning when I need to enter consciousness, and throughout the day when I need a pick me up. I have brewed it in a 140 ml yixing and a porcelain gaiwan (60 and 150 ml), and wow, the yixing really rounds the edges of this shou nicely.
The early steepings are a deep brown/ black color which I thoroughly enjoy. There is a nice, smooth sweetness that isn’t too much complemented by a very slight touch of bitterness/ astringency as it rolls back on the tongue. The first steeping is nice, but the second is dynamite. Really rich and creamy.
Steeps 4-6 or so lighten up a bit and give way to a smooth, thick mouth feel. Any astringency seems to drop off allowing the sweet, almost honey-like sweetness to shine through. I love these steeps.
Steeps 7-10 or 12 are just delicious, period. The consistency is incredible. It’s like drinking diluted honey. The flavor is maintained nicely throughout, and I had a hard time “stopping” this tea from giving back. It is a pleasure to drink in the late steeps.
I prefer this from the Yixing over the gaiwan, but alas, my yixing is big enough that I can really only handle two steeps at a time! How could I solve this problem? Oh yeah, I ordered a 60ml Jian Shui from Crimson Lotus Tea!
This is my first of, Lord willing, many comments on great leaf! I’m excited to be apart of such a community!
I wanted to drink tea before work this morning. I usually make a single cup of something “basic,” but I figured it’d be a treat to have something complex and unique since I was going in later than usual.
The first few steeps (1-4) were smokey and slightly astringent. However, it was pretty satisfying. The best thing about a sheng is the astringency, I think. This one was full of it within the first few cups. However, as the next few came along (6-9), there was no longer any astringency, but the smokiness lingered on, following a sweet (honey?) note in the aftertaste.It was a pretty great tea to start the day with. It allowed me to ease my mind before work, and get a few things done prior to my shift. I have about 8 grams left, but I think I’ll save it for a much needed tea session, or when friends come over. This’ll be a tea that would be great to share with someone who is quite the tea fanatic. However, I have a friend who is starting to get into sheng pu-erh, too, and isn’t totally as obsessed with tea as I am; however, he will drink tea when he’s here. So maybe, I’ll have him over soon, or maybe I’ll save it for a rainy day.
Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Smoke, Sweet
Really looking forward to getting this tea, but after my first session…hmm…I’m honestly hesitant to venture back for a second session.
First whiff of the aroma was like WHOA! This is powerful aroma. I want this in my teacup!! Smells like the sweetest Jingmai you ever had.
Brewing: 2x rinse, bone china gaiwan. Aroma of wet leaves changed to a rich fryer oil-like aroma (in a good way), not the fruity sweet of the dry leaves.
Steeps 1-3: steeped 5s each. Deep, back of the throat, lingering heavy waxy bitter, that never turns sweet. Have you ever tried bear gallbladder (TCM folks?)…its that kind of bitter. Thick, heavy, lingering, mouth coating, back of the throat, intense bitter. There’s a rich sweetness present that is trying to peek out and say hi, but that bitter just shoves it back down. I really diluted my chahai halfway with water and the tea became somewhat more palatable, but not really enjoyable. I’m struggling at this point. But venturing on.
Steeps 4-5: Steeped barely a second, trying to reduce bitter to something I could drink. It kinda worked. This tea needs VERY quick steeps. There is a thickness and rich sweetness you want to enjoy, its definitely there, but the intense bitterness on the back of the tongue really dominates.
There’s some chaqi. Ever eat something so sour you get goosebumps, sweat, and takes your breath away? Kinda like that, except its from bitterness. I got goosebumps from this tea. Strong cooling huigan after taking just a sip, very nice. If you can get past this unique bitterness and look at the other aspects of this tea…I don’t know.
Not sure I’ll be drinking much of this. I think its going into storage for quite a while. Its just too bitter for me. I’ll probably sample a bit here and there to see if it grows on me. At the moment I would say its undrinkable. So I hope it ages well.
All that said, this is definitely high quality leaf material. That much is evident. But unfortunately its just personally not my cup of tea. For the price, I really wish I could have tried a sample first.
The second rinse is drinkable; however, it is strong! To brew the tea, I followed my typical sheng puerh parameters of water just off boil, with flash steeps for the first 5 to 7 steepings and adjustments to taste. Planet Jingmai started off with a very pleasant honey sweetness. There was no astringency or smoke, this was a very smooth sheng. As the leaves opened up in middle steeps, the sweetness turned into more of a grassy flavor with a touch of wood. At this point, my mind was feeling extremely relaxed. A nice sense of calm came over me and I started to feel very warm. There is a term for this feeling called “tea drunk” or “cha qi”. I had only sensed this with a few teas, but on Planet Jingmai, the cha qi was strong! After about 15 steeps, I was very relaxed, and needed a break from the tea. The leaves were overflowing in my gaiwan, but there was plenty of flavor left in the leaves. I decided to continue the session the next day, something I had never done before.
Day two on Planet Jingmai and the leaves had completely unfurled and were overflowing in my gaiwan, so I transferred them to a 180ml yixing pot. I rinsed the leaves with boiling water for about 15 seconds and then continued my session. The tea was still full of flavor, and it seemed that the honey sweetness came back once the grassy notes subsided. The tea finally gave up around 20 steeps or so, and I took the leaves out to examine and found whole leaves! I couldn’t believe these were all wrapped up in a tiny orb.
Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Honey, Sugarcane
Been a while since I have had some time to post. Summer work schedule has been a bit brutal lately and the heat. I think most know it is that time of year.
I remember this when I first got it. I bought it untasted and then grabbed another after it got here.
I got about 10 grams of this to brew tonight. I have been doing it for 3 days but I wanted a fresh from the cake portion to start with.
The wet leaf after the rinse has a bit of smoke in there with a sweet aroma. The tea on the first brew has some sweetness in the beginning and the BuLang comes in. This one come in on the middle of the tongue. A bit of the oily coating come in on the sip. There is some tingle on the tongue. It is coming across as bitter and punchy. Smacking the taste buds around. The color of the tea is coming through as a more golden color. I remember it being a bit lighter and greener in color when young. I don’t know if it is the pumidor aging or a combination of both. This is warming , salty and with a nice bitter punch to it. There are wisps of some smoke and sweetness but the BuLang is the potent factor here. It is a nice blend and seems to be punching above its ticket for me. I have brewed this all week and I am glad I had a break to post on it.
Flavors: Bitter, Salty, Smoke, Sweet
first time trying this, and i did not get a shot at last year’s. brewed gongfu after a long work day; 4g:60ml in a porcelain gaiwan. i drank the rinse because i’m gross. ;) it was sweet, and cucumbery. the tea has picked my day right up.
it’s definitely on the sweet side. i haven’t been able to pull astringency out of it yet; closest that i’ve gotten is a tingling along the sides of the back of my tongue. it’s somehow light but thick-feeling? my teeth feel clean-shiny, too.
early on the wet leaf smells spicy-vegetal, and early flavour notes are reminiscent of cucumber. has some flavour components of a green oolong, too; kind of a buttery green vegetal flavour. there are definitely some other interesting flavours in there, particularly in some of the early steeps (i smelled them!), but i’m more in an enjoying mood than a dissection one.
this is really nice. for me, it’s probably suited to a particular tea-moodcraving. i look forward to drinking the remainder of my cake. :)
“whispering sunshine” seems like an appropriate name for it. i see the whisper — the flavours are there, you can hear the words, but they aren’t shouted at you. it’s got that sunshine warmth to wrap around you like a blanket, filling in all the nooks and crannies, just gently, like in the spring.
i’m into it.
Flavors: Cucumber, Sweet, Vegetal
Pleasant, relaxing, easy drinking shu, good for after dinner or evening tea.
Very clean, no fermentation flavors, smooth and delicious. Subtle ripe plums. Drying finish for first 3-4 steepings, then it was mouth watering til the end. No aftertaste, flavors faded as soon as you swallow. Mid-full bodied mouthfeel.
Almost a slight camphor cooling thing going on about 3/4 of the way through my whole session, but only when the tea had cooled down to room temperature. I wouldn’t consider it huigan though.
Relaxing, not getting caffeine jitters. Soothing to the stomach.
Made me sweat a little towards the end but that soon passed.
Nice longevity, well over 12 steepings.
Steeped in Crimson Lotus jian shui dragon egg 100mL teapot. Love this little guy! Someone said this same tea in maocha form (that came in jian shui jar) had unpleasant fermentation and was bitter. I got neither fermentation nor bitterness. Perhaps this jianshui teapot removed those flavors or they disappeared during pressing into cakes? I’ll have to test this tea in a gaiwan and update if necessary. (http://steepster.com/AllanK/posts/338033)
2x rinse, gongfu session
At $.16/g this is an easy affordable choice for a daily shu to drink now. I may pick up another cake or two for that reason. I’m not sure if more age will improve this any, so this is a tea I’ll be drinking now and not sitting on.
Flavors: Plums, Wet Earth
Dry leaves are whole and intact. That aroma! Wow, the aroma of the dried leaves is very strong and translates into the tea. One of the best parts of young sheng is that stone fruit honeysuckle apricot aroma.
I brewed this 3 steepings at a time, mixed together in a chahai/pitcher. Each set was different. This tea is interesting, and different in each set. I think I’ll need to break this tea down to separate steepings to fully explore its nuances.
First impressions: Once hot water hit the leaves there was a remnant of a very rich sweet burnt sugar/antifreeze-like smell, maybe remnants of processing? But it went away after the first steeping. Very mild flavor, malty sweet, very full body. Very full body (worth repeating). Thick liquor with lots of bubbles. Underwhelming flavor at first.
Second set: Slight sour/astringency and subtle bitterness developed throughout the session, then converted into a long lingering sweetness and long lasting aftertaste. Not much flavor complexity. Grassy honeysuckle dew.
Third set: Here’s where the huigans started along with throat cooling effect. The gentle bitterness has faded but that aftertaste keeps building. Its wonderful to see it develop throughout the session.
Good longevity, lasted over 10 steepings without fading.
Last thoughts: Seems a bit too raw for me at the moment. Very pleasant, but stomach was a bit uneasy. I may need to let it get some age. I think I’ll revisit this tea in a few months.
Brewed in bone china gaiwan, 2x rinse, gongfu
I’ve been drinking this for nearly an hour now, with an occasional break from the tea to drink water. I’m pretty tea drunk, I must say.
Anyway, this is a nice sweet mushroom/honey-esq tea. Definitely a great tea to have on a daily basis, or if you’re trying to wake up, but getting extremely giddy while doing so. I’m on steep six, but I had to stop for a moment to gather my senses (however, how I feel momentarily isn’t bad, of course). My wife’s tea-loving friend is stopping by later, so maybe I’ll continue the session with her.
I used 6.5 grams for a 120 ml Yixing pot. I steeped this for 15s, 20s, 30s, 30s, 35s, & 45s.
Also, it’s hot inside the house. The AC crashed, so I’m having to sit in front of a fan while drinking the tea. The landlord said that he can’t get here until Thursday to fix it, so I’m going to have to make several trips around the block to cool off….That, or go ahead and buy that kiddy pool I’ve always wanted for the backyard.
This is a very tasty shou with a moderate amount of fermentation flavor. The fermentation flavor is not unpleasant or fishy. There was little to no bitterness to this tea. This tea was mildly sweet from the start. Somewhere along the line it got listed as having a mushroom flavor. That is not out of the ballpark. This tea is quite good. This is one I am tempted to buy more of to age, we shall see. It’s good enough to warrant a tong of the stuff.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml yixing gaiwan with 10.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. It was pretty much finished at twelve steeps but I think if I upped the time I could get a couple more steeps out of the leaves.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
Hope Crimson Lotus continues to deliver more teas like this one. Total blind buy without sampling, but based on other Jingmai teas I’ve had from Crimson Lotus I couldn’t pass up an 8-year old Jingmai maocha. It was totally worth the gamble. And it paid off! Wow! High quality material, clean, no off flavors, really good sheng.
This is an interesting tea. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but don’t think I used enough tea initially so I held back those tasting notes, and used a lot more tea in later sessions.
It brews a really nice amber color, on the lighter side of amber, but what I expect from a 2008ish sheng. Signature Jingmai honeysuckle and honeydew, less-so than some other younger Jingmai shengs, and an underlying creaminess that brings it all together.
It still leans to the bitter side but quickly turns into sweetness, and a gentle astringency that causes my mouth to water…if a tea can be juicy then this one is juicy. Nice mouth buzz from first 4-5 steepings that fades away after that. Very long lasting pleasant aftertaste, one that you don’t want to eat anything because it may ruin your palate and the flavors you’re enjoying. This speaks to the concentration of polyphenols and minerals in these leaves. High quality stuff! I absolutely love these aspects of shengs, and what I look most for in mid-age shengs.
Large thick and intact leaves, beautiful to look at.
Very slight huigan, no camphor, qi is relaxing and gentle. Not getting any caffeine kicks or jitters, and around steeping 10 I started getting a bit tea-buzzed and had to eat something.
After about 12 steepings it started getting straight bitter, which means I probably need to be fine-tune my steepings later in each session, or pay attention more. In my own defense, this tea had me buzzed :) Some longevity! Its outlasted me every single time with 12+ steepings consistently.
The strength and qualities of this tea give me a really good sense that it has lots of potential for long-term aging, and that its not even close to hitting its peak. But after 8 years, it also has me wondering if there is a bit of younger material blended in? How can this tea reach this level of bitterness after 8 years as maocha?
High quality material, glad it was left to age in Jingmai for 8 years. I’m really looking forward to growing with this tea, and only wish I had more!!
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bamboo, Bitter, Chestnut, Creamy, Honey, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Sugarcane, Tannic
This tasting note is for the maocha version which was available for purchase in a beautifully made Jianshui Zitao Storage Jar. I will review the cake once it has been released.
Aromatics of apricot as well as similar flavor notes along with sweet nectar and a slight vanilla buttercream that fades after a few steeps and becomes vegetal wherein the youth of the leaf shows itself. So much smoother than I expected this would be and a luscious creamy soup with a bright yellow hue. Takes multiple infusions well without fading quickly and I expect to continue to enjoy this session right on through to late evening as I enjoy the happy feels.
10g of absolutely gorgeous looking leaf strands in about 180ml at 200F with one 20s wash, a 30s rest and followed by a 15-20s first and increasing in 5s increments from there.
I’m absolutely loving this sheng and expect it to be even more amazing with age. I will definitely get it in cake form as well.
Update: I managed to seriously oversteep this one infusion midway through which produced this beautiful golden hue. Major bitterness definitely present but with it a heavy sweetness and overly ripe peach quality not present in the shorter steeps. Sometimes distractions leading to mistakes/accidents lead to pleasant results. Though this led to lesser infusions it did not affect later infusions in terms of flavor and bitterness.
*Note: After two days the leaf finally waned. Huge leaf without tears, holes or in pieces.
Overall this was a nice tea. It had a lot of fermentation flavor to it and that flavor was somewhat unpleasant but not fishy. There was a little initial bitterness. There was a sweet note that developed and became dominant. Overall this was very good. This came in a Jian Shui tea jar so I wonder how this will effect the tea aging.
I steeped this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Sweet
Wow this tea is good! Broke off a bunch and threw it into the new Crimson Lotus dragon egg Jian Shui teapot 100mL. 2x rinse. First three brews were a bit “dusty” with muddled flavors, needs probably 3 rinses next time.
Steeps 4 and 5 this tea started to wake up. A slight mouth buzz developing, sweet aroma, but not so much sweet taste, hint of nutty/chocolate undertones, wet wood, no astringency, no bitterness, slight wodui fermentation but in the background. Lots of golden tips in this cake, and very clean. Rich, thick, full bodied, creamy mouthfeel but no cream flavors. If a tea was chuggable this one is chuggable. Easy on the stomach. Not too complex, but not bland or cloying either. Not getting caffeine jitters, so for the price, this is a great daily drinker. I see myself buying at least another cake and drinking lots of this in the future.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Mud, Mushrooms, Musty, Paper, Round , Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Walnut, Wet Wood
This is excellent tea. It was really quite good. The surprising thing however was it has not cleared completely. I figured a 16 year old ripe puerh would have no traces of it’s fermentation left. This one had a noticeable amount. It had cleared partially but not all the way. The fermentation taste that I noticed was not unpleasant and it certainly wasn’t fishy. The tea was slightly bittersweet at the start. The bitterness steeped out after about two steeps and what was left was a tasty and mildly sweet ripe puerh. I didn’t find either notes of chocolate in this or a fruity taste for what it’s worth. This was still really good puerh. I’m not entirely sure what to call the sweet note that was there. This is a tea I might find myself buying more of. It seems to me that in another year or two of storage all traces of fermentation should be gone. This one was just surprising as I didn’t expect to find any fermentation taste. Not that in my experience ripe puerh ever loses that taste completely in a sense. You always know you are drinking ripe puerh. No matter how many years you age a ripe it does not start to taste like sheng. But overall this was an excellent tea and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes ripe puerh.
I steeped this ten times in a 220ml solid silver teapot with 14.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 mini. I could have kept going but at this point I have had something like two liters of tea. I have had enough even of a tea this good.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
Crimson Lotus offered the opportunity to purchase this aged Jingmai maocha in a custom made Jianshui tea jar and I could not resist. This is a very nice tea! The leaves are whole, long and beautiful to look at. The tea liquor is a deep gold color which when exposed to the air begins to shift toward a copper color. The aroma is full of a thick sweetness and this same sweetness is found in the first sips. Active mouthfeel which continues into the throat where the sweetness lingers. I also found a decidedly citric component in the tea which led me to think of it as having an appealing sweet charm while a tiny bit tart at the same time. Overall the tea has a solid, potent character and is indeed a treat. This is one to be enjoyed now and in the near future.
This is a really good shu. I’m usually not overly excited about shu, but this one changed my opinion. It is full bodied, sweet, with a nutty cashew-like complexity to keep you engaged throughout the session. I recommend picking up a cake or two..