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Recent Tasting Notes
I received this as a free sample along with my pu-erh gift order. Thank you Esgreen for the sample!
This tea came in the form of compact tea globes. The leaves themselves were easy to separate whole from the ball for easier brewing. The scent was nice, earthy, and mellow. The short rinse I gave the tea globe got rid of all of what little stems there were. The rinsed leaves smelled very mellow as well, and had mossy and malty tones to them. After the first brewing, the tea carried the faint scent of barley and earth.
The brewed tea had a mild mossy flavor with light smokey undertones. This tea has definitely mellowed out over the years. The dark amber brew was very smooth and left a sweet and malty aftertaste.
The second brew was much the same as the first. Mellow, earthy, malty and sweet with slight smokey undertones. The aftertaste was a bit different. Muscatel notes shown through.
The smokey undertones mellowed out quite a bit for this brew. In stead, it was replaced with an aftertaste similar to mushroom or fungus. The liquor is getting silkier with every steep, with about the same amount of earthiness thus far.
This steeping had more body then the others. There was a heavier earthy presence along with a woody finish.
This brew was very sweet and had a stronger essence of cooked mushroom.
Though brewed longer, this brew was substantially lighter than the rest. The color was a pinkish-amber. This steeping was as sweet as the previous, but the earthiness had completely left. There were more wood tones.
This was very mellow and sweet. Nice woody notes still held strong.
This was a great tea. This aged rather well in my opinion.
This tea came as a sample along with my Pomelo Pu-erh gift. Thank you Esgreen for the sample!
The dried mini-bing smelled very light, and not very earthy. As I unwrapped it, I noticed a slightly nutty aroma. The brewed leaves smelled very mild and mossy. I could already tell that this would be a very mild pu-erh.
This tea produced a very nice red amber color after the first wash. On the first sip, I noticed the tea was mildly earthy, nutty and sweet. I’m not used to such quiet pu-erhs. The earthy tones blended very well with the other notes.
What a consistent tea. The flavors were much the same as the first, but much more developed. This tea was not bitter in the least, and actually very pleasant. I very much enjoyed this brew. The finish was slightly buttery.
This tea has very even tones; each quality balances itself out with the others. This steeping was very sweet, and nutty.
I really enjoyed trying this tea. It was very mellow, but still a bit earthy with mossy and nutty notes.
This was a gift from a friend which I am very thankful for.
What an interesting tea. First off, I’ve never had a Pu-Erh aged in a pomelo before; it’s a rather interesting idea. Secondly, I’ve been wanting to order this, so it came as a nice surprise to find it in the mail.
When I opened the box containing two Pomelos, I immediately got a smokey fragrance like pinewood. It wasn’t too smokey however, and was rather enjoyable. I unwound the metal wire around the fruit and opened the top to find a dark brown bunch of leaves tightly compacted on the inside. Upon braking portions of the tea up, the smokey-pine aroma quickly transformed to that of a smokey citrus. There were some stems, and very compact leaf. Much of the leaves crumbled a bit, while others came out in tiny chunks. The earthiness was not as noticeable as other pu-erhs.
I “washed” the tea for 15 seconds, but kept the liquid in a separate glass. The liquid was light, and mildly sweet with a smokey aftertaste.
This brew had a dark tan color. The first steeping was not earthy in the least, which was quite unexpected. In stead, it was smokey and sweet, with a hint of citrus in the finish. The flavor reminded me of a Wuyi Rock Oolong, but less fruity.
The second steeping was again sweet, but more so than the first. The smokiness carried itself through lightly. Citrus notes only showed up in the pleasant aftertaste.
This steeping was very light, and the citrus notes were more prevalent. The sweetness seemed to increase from brew to brew.
This was a very interesting and wonderful pu-erh to try. I’ll definitely enjoy drinking the rest.
I tried this one a while back, but haven’t had any time to log anything recently. As I think back on the time I drank this, I remember being much happier with it than my notes seem to show. But I was listening to Queen songs on repeat while I drank, so I’m sure that had something to do with the discrepancy. :D
Overall this one was pleasant enough, but not incredibly exciting. I used the whole sample in a 100 mL gaiwan, which came out to be about a third of the way full. The dry leaves had a very sweet aroma, with that characteristic “old” smell very prominent. It also had this “seltzer-y” characteristic, like that smell of club soda. The aroma rounded off with undertones of avocado, old books, and this light sour smell. The leaves were very tightly compacted, appearing almost fused.
The wet leaves were powerfully earthy, very musty, with aromas of peat and dusty old books. After steeping, the leaves pretty much looked like mulch. And there were tons of empty stems. And I mean tons.
Transferring over to the liquor, that sour smell from the dry leaves became very powerful after the liquor was drained from the empty cup. Otherwise, the liquor itself smelled very similar to the wet leaves. The liquor appeared as this extremely red-tinged burgundy color that became nearly black during the middle steeps. It made this beautiful red ring of liquor around the lid of the gaiwan while it was steeping.
As for flavor, the first and second steep were probably the most interesting, at five and twenty seconds respectively. The taste was most predominately earthy. It really packed a punch. However, there were delicate traces of avocado and smoky notes, with a nice sweetness that rounded things out. The second steep was more or less the same, but with additions of peat, salt, and must. The mouthfeel was very smooth and mellow, and it left a spicy aftertaste that could be felt in the back of the throat. However, the body was quite flat for both steeps.
The third steep was the same as the second flavor-wise, but the avocado tones disappeared. The texture became a bit unpleasant—oily and slippery. This was probably the last interesting steep. I went for seven steeps, but I was reallyyy dragging it out (the seventh steep lasted 10 minutes) just to see if I could pull anything interesting out in the end. Instead, I received a taste that was like wet cardboard. Bleh. The mouthfeel became a bit intriguing. Tingling sensations grew in strength into the sixth steep, with a cooling sensation in the fourth. Other than that, however, I didn’t get much from this tea, leaving me a bit disappointed.
2002 Ke Yi Xing Raw Pu-erh this one is nice in appearance when dry I have a sample size of it broke off the brick and ready to be steeped, I notice big leaves folded and just a few stems, dark and light brown colored with a slight earthy scent, after the rinse the leaves are darker brown and slightly chopped looking and I see more stems so what I saw in the dry as folded leaves were actually big pieces of leaves pressed together still to create a folded appearance. The aroma at this point is earthy but not woodsy, forest floor type earthy its more like back yard garden type earthy.
1st infusion is brown and very smooth like a ripe puerh but quite thin, it has the aroma still of the backyard garden with very root-like earthy flavor much like a beet.
2nd infusion is about the same in color but the flavor is much stronger of the earthy beets in fact its a very strong flavor that tastes like big red beets.
I have a very earthy aftertaste in my mouth that is nice.
3rd infusion little darker, I can still see the bottom of the cup if I look close enough but still plenty dark in color but still a thin tea. Still the same earthy beet taste as the previous infusion but this time developing almost spinach type notes, I wanted to not like that taste at first but it’s actually not so bad.
4th infusion still just as dark brown as the 3rd there is a little of the spinach type notes but not enough to replace the beet like taste. The earthy aftertaste is quite pleasant
I want to say here that most folks who drink puerh will understand what I’m talking about in my taste descriptions(I hope) while those who drink other teas may not,This is Puerh and puerh is know to have “Earthy” notes so when I’m talking about beet and spinach flavors and notes I’m not talking about flavorings or anything like that, its not like steeping a beet it’s just the earthy flavor of this Puerh Tea itself is reminiscent of eating beets or spinach to me that’s all, this is just the way I describe this particular earthy flavor, it’s not Beet flavored Tea :)
5th steep and the color just started getting lighter brown but the flavors are still coming through, I’m not sure that this one is going to develop into anything much more so I’m going to end this review saying that this is a very nice and earthy puerh to me I enjoyed it, I’m going to watch a movie now and try to enjoy it a few more times since it was just a sample, I may even want to buy some of it so I can try it again.
When I opened the package of this sample, the aroma was very earthy. I rinsed it once for 10 seconds, and it was still very earthy, so I rinsed it again for another 10 seconds. The earthiness mellowed somewhat by this time so I proceeded to brew it for 30 seconds for this first infusion. I’m glad that I did take the time for the rinsing, because this tastes just perfect for my palate: It is earthy, but not too much. There are sweet, caramel-y tones and a really lovely, mellow flavor. In the background, there is like a “hiding green tea” flavor … hints of fresh, vibrant green tea in the background,almost wild, that are often masked by the earthy overtures and caramel-y undertones, but every once in a while the green notes peek out just to let me know that they’re there and to remind me that this is no ordinary Pu-erh.
This is the first of many infusions.
I’ll apologize ahead of time for this rambling…
Ahhh pu’er, you have redeemed yourself. I drank this sample from Esgreen last week, and I was supremely happy with the little cake. The cake was well-compressed and has a faint smell of old leather. I followed Esgreen’s instructions and plopped the little guy in my 100ml gaiwan. I heated my water up to boiling and poured it over the cake, releasing strong fumes of smoke, sweet damp earth, mushrooms, and peat. I took a bamboo chopstick and began breaking up the cake during a ten second wash. This is where the fun really began with me. I don’t know why, but there’s something so enjoyable in this activity.
I poured out the wash and was astonished by this ruddy, rust-tinted, incredibly dark broth. I was thinking that the “10g” cake in such a small volume of water would produce something pretty potent, so unsure of whether to stick with the 20 second initial steep, I took a sip of the wash. Barely anything. The body was actually smooth and creamy despite the overly weak body. With regained confidence, I steeped out a 20 second brew.
And I thought the wash was dark. This was THICK. Not only was the mouthfeel smooth and incredibly thick, the broth poured out of the gaiwan was highly viscous and murky. I took a tentative sip and was rewarded with a well-rounded flavor. Peat and earth flavors were mirrored with smoke and camphor tastes, while salty, almost caramel-y notes brought up the rear. There was also this faint nuance that with the immense thickness of the broth reminded me somewhat of cream of mushroom soup. After swallowing, I was greeted with a tingling tip of the tongue and a unique minty-cooling sensation on the sides of my lips. Excited, I went on to steep number two.
The peaty/earthy notes climbed and burst forth throughout a sip. The smoky notes became quite potent and caught in the nasal cavity. Camphor notes decreased, while a small amount of bitterness surfaced, along with a subtle metallic feel. At this point, the tea’s physiological effects came into play, and I started zoning out, becoming mesmerized by the tea oils. They were so delicate, the translucent spindles dancing under the rising steam against this unfathomably dark background of the broth. I snapped to, took another sip, and tried detecting an aftertaste…and realized there was barely anything. The flavors of this tea evaporate after a sip, leaving almost nothing lingering besides a very, very faint salted caramel flavor. Ah well.
The next steep resulted in essentially the same brew, but with a reduced bitterness. But wow, my head was feeling so thick and heavy. I was becoming so relaxed from this tea. I poured out another steep. A very prominent sweetness broke off from the earthy flavor as a new woodiness began to climb from the bottom. As I was appreciating this new sweetness, I closed my eyes…and found it difficult to reopen them. Why was I so sleepy? I debated taking a nap and starting back where I left off, but brushed off the idea.
The next steep was spectacular. A new sparkling texture arose, with thick sweetness, a more subdued smokiness, increased camphor and wood flavors, a reduced saltiness, and an addition of this ripe fruit taste. Mmmm such a nice balance.
Steep six. Supposedly the last quality steep according to Esgreen. I was anxious to see how this lovely would fizzle out. I soon realized that “fizzle” was a poor verb here. Perhaps sizzle? I was greeted with a great deal of spice, a decent amount of earthiness, and the aroma and flavors of cedar chips and wood shavings. The mouthfeel became extra tingly with that spicy feel on the sides of the tongue. After this, I thought there had to be more.
I quickly prepared a seventh steep. What resulted was a bright and warm brew. Spicy notes increased along with cedar and oaky goodness. earth and peat notes were subdued and smoke flavors were diminished. I could tell my tea was dying, but with great dignity. The texture was as tingly as ever and still sparkling. On a side note, I was becoming even sleepier, the tea seemed to be sucking my energy as it’s own was reduced.
I thought, let’s go for one more. After a seemingly endless time of five and a half minutes, steep eight was ready. Alas, poor Mini Bing! I knew him, Steepsterites; a fellow of infinite depth, of most excellent flavor… He faded out with notes of cedar, aged leather, and peat.
So to sum up all the above nonsense , I was expecting at least over ten steeps with such a high concentration of leaf, so at first I was a bit disappointed. Yet, I soon realized that that’s just not this shu’s thing. It’s simple, tasty, uncomplicated, and extremely easy to brew, as it is very forgiving. I also loved how the flavor changed from something that brought to mind images of a damp, murky, and earthy marsh to something like a dry and woodsy forest during summer. At least that’s what I got from the tea. Also, with that extreme calm feeling I received, I could definitely picture this being a nice tea for before bed or on lazy Sunday afternoons. At any rate, mini bing cha is pretty neat. :) Cheers!
I’m not sure that I like this one as good as the one from Siam Tees but I’ll compare them together soon :) look at my blogsot for it I hope my pics turn out good! http://toadsteablog.blogspot.com/2012/10/lan-gui-ren-ginseng-oolong.html
Thank you ESGREEN for offering this tea for me, and also for giving me this free sample!
Taiping Hou Kui is a wonderful tea to begin my Saturday morning. The weather’s nice today as well.
The leaves were very thin, and very long, much like the other Nie Jian I’ve had. They were very aromatic as well; each leaf smelled very floral and sweet. In direct sunlight, I could see through some of the reddish stems. Each one was composed of a bud and two other leaves, pressed almost paper thin on a grate. The brewed leaves smelled grassy and vegetal, and also like nectar.
The brewed tea smelled light and sweet, and was a pale yellow-green. In a glass, it looked almost completely clear. It tasted very sweet and floral, and a tiny bit like melon. The end finish tasted of nectar.
This one was more floral and sweet. I always seem to like the second brewing of Taiping Hou Kui more than the first. A wonderful pale yellow again, completely clear.
This is a great-smelling, and great-tasting tea. I’m glad to know that another company is selling this tea as well.
I’m way behind in my reviews…So I’m not letting myself try new samples until I can catch up on the old teas and allow myself to focus on the new ones. And with that, I will catch up with this pu’er. I steeped the whole sample (I think it was around 4.5 grams or so) in my 100ml gaiwan. I got through about 10 or 11 steeps total. There was a great deal of intrigue in this tea, with a very unique flavor profile. From the first four-second steep, I received notes of mushrooms, cedar chips, a certain grape-like tartness, a faint earthiness, and flavors of overripe fruit. The liquor smelled like old, worn-out leather and age. It actually came out kind of frothy, which was interesting to me, as the height I poured it from wasn’t any higher than normal. The mouthfeel contained a slow and drawn-out huigan that began sparkly and tingly and transformed into a bitterness. There was also a lingering metallic feel to it here.
Into the next steep, all the above flavors increased in intensity while notes of camphor and what totally reminded me of Dr. Pepper were added to the mix. The mouthfeel turned into something fierce in this steep. It was stronger, more potent, and it made the tip of my tongue feel like it was on fire or that it was vibrating or something. Very tingly. This mouthfeel remained like this with somewhat less intensity throughout the rest of the steeps.
As far as flavor goes, the rest of the steeps went downhill from here (at least for me). The next steep was incredibly sour-tasting. And instead of showing up and then fading, it actually expanded and became more intense after a sip. It was kind of like biting into an unripe lime, complete with a great deal of astringency. Bleh. I don’t know what happened here, but it only steeped a second longer than the previous steeping. At any rate, it calmed down into the next couple of steeps, but it was still very apparent.
The steeps faded out with a great deal of earthiness, a bit more spice, and some notes of that overripe fruit taste. Overall, I really liked the tastes it put forth, and the mouthfeel was highly stimulating, but the metallic feeling and sour tastes were just too off-putting for me. However, I did really like the leaves of this one. Although there were a TON of stems in my sample, the leaves became quite green when wet and the ones that happened to be whole had some beautiful veins. The leaves’ aroma was also quite nice. Hints of florals, grapes, ripe fruits, and some nostril-tingling tartness.
I can’t find this one on their website anywhere but here are my thoughts on it.
It kind of smells like worms after a fall rain.
I rinsed it twice and there are still floaties/particles.
The color is a very nice red/orange/brown color…warming and very fall-like.
The taste is really good! It’s mellower yet still sweet and woodsy, a bit earthy, and even a hint of malt. As it cools – it’s more and more mouth-watering.
After my adventure with the golden flowers you might think I would be leery of another puerh. Nope. Not gonna happen. Wouldn’t be prudent. Steeped this one for about 30s. It made a light amber cup with a burgundy tint. Took one sip and wow has this got a bright metallic taste. So I added some Splenda – the great equalizer – to calm it down. This is still quite bright and young tasting. As the cup cools I realize what I thought was metallic is actually the beginnings of earthy notes. I like this. Nice sticky lip feel. In my attempt to learn about puerh I have stumbled across information that leads me to conclude this will make an excellent cup once it has more time to age.
I steeped a total of 5 mugs in my western style. Each cup bacome a little darker and a little sweeter than the last. Conclusion – I like me some young raw puerh.
I am not going to do a normal review. See Cody’s comments on this one as he did a much better job at putting it in to words. However, I will say my conclusions are a bit different. This reminded me of back in the day when I bought a quality bottle of burgundy wine. By wine standards it was still a cheap wine but compared to my normal fare it was a giant step up. I opened the bottle. Poured in to the crystal wine glass. Swirled the liquid around the glass. Smelled. Took a sip and realized, I much preferred a cheap sweet white wines or the cheap concord grape wines made locally. I was not sophisticated enough for such a hoity-toity glass. Same here. I found this puerh to be too musky, musty, earthy. I love horse leather. Musty, not so much.
If you look close this leaf has a few yellow dots on it. This is a fungus growing on the leaf. It is known as golden flowers and is apparently considered desirable in some collector circles. Is it the source of the strong musty smell and taste? I don’t know. I appreciate the opportunity to taste 10 year old leaf and learn about golden flowers but just not a fan.
Score based on trusting Cody’s review.
Thanks to ESGREEN for this sample!
I’m still pretty new to pu’er, so the first thing I did was go to ESGREEN’s website for any brewing instructions. When I saw “10-15g in a gaiwan” I thought I was misreading something. So I weighed the sample I received and found it to be 7g. I shrugged and poured the contents into my 100ml gaiwan. I went with the rest of the guidelines on the website and did two washes of three seconds each. The liquor was DARK. I began thinking 7g was too much, but went on with the first steep at four seconds. I bid my time and sniffed the wet leaves first. They were extremely pungent, smelling of old, worn-out leather, dusty books, dirt, and hints of overripe plums and a touch of florals.
I turned back to my foreboding cup of deep, dark, brown-crimson liquor, and sniffed it. Earthy and musky. I took a sip…and sighed in relief. I guess I was expecting something like turpentine since it seemed like there were way too many leaves in the gaiwan. Turns out it was just the right amount. The resulting brew wasn’t potent at all, and it never did become unpalatable if steeped too long in the later steeps. A slightly familiar “sheng” flavor introduced itself. It was earthy and musty. Meh.
But then….whoa… This tiny bit of astringency I first detected hiding somewhere in the tea exploded, making my mouth and throat tingle all over like ants were marching back and forth across my palate. An excellent sensation of huigan. The liquor was silky, smooth, and had this interesting salty/slippery feeling to it. The tea becomes more complex over time, increasing in sweetness, introducing flavors of fruits and florals, and becoming much like a shui xian into the fifth steep. The mouthfeel becomes even more complex, though. All kinds of tingling, sparkling, smooth, salty, and coarse textures assaulted my tongue and throat, appearing and disappearing with reckless abandon. I took this tea into the twenties for steeps, finally rounding out with flavors of peppercorn, camphor, earth and wood, tiny hints of chocolate, and florals and fruit. Towards the end of its life, it left a beefier aftertaste, and the huigan was slower and subtler.
The leaves were quite massive. By the end of my steeping session, the lid of my gaiwan was resting on the leaves, and couldn’t even close completely. There was also a ton of huge loose stems and quite a large ball of broken pieces that had formed at the bottom, resembling mulch. The leaves that were whole, however, had held up nicely through aging and were very strong and thick.
Other things I noticed: around steep five, the liquor became kind of murky, and was actually gritty. At one point I ground my teeth and heard a crunch. Also, through steep four to around six or seven, tea oils were clearly visible resting on the surface of the liquor.
Very good tea, Starts off light and grassy with bitterness then goes a little darker almost like a ripe Puerh with no grassiness but still some bitter in a good way, it keeps getting a little darker each time but with a pretty consistent typical aged raw puerh flavor until finally it starts slowly fading away.This is one of those feel good teas to me that gave me the “High” “Happy” feelings that I love so much. I can enjoy this tea for its taste and that wonderful feeling. I’ll end up getting more of this one I’m sure :)
this green pu-erh is exquisite. the only one that i can think of off hand that i enjoyed more is the same from a 1995 vintage. it’s earthy and robust as you would expect from a pu-erh yet not overwhelming. it’s dynamic in flavor as the bold notes of nut and earth make way for subtle hints of fruit and chocolate and finish off with the green vegetal side of this complex brew. i love this tea!
The aroma of the dry tea cake is earthy but I notice a much softer earthy aroma in the brewed tea which I appreciate. I think it is the strong earthiness in the aroma that I often find off-putting in a pu-erh, especially in the brewed liquor. With a much softer earthiness here I find this very easy to drink.
It’s very sweet and mellow. Incredibly smooth. No bitterness, very little astringency, just a very mild flavor. Deep caramel undertones. It is earthy, yes, but, the sweetness from the caramel gives depth to the earthiness.
A very enjoyable pu-erh… going to take this for a few more infusions!
I have been a bit quiet the last few days. My tea time has been largely devoted to this tea. Sample provided by Esgreen.
The nose is musty leather. The first cup is lighter than expected with leather and wood notes. This morphs nicely through 6 (12oz) mugs and ends as mushroom, leather, and hints that make me think chocolate. Not overly complicated but nice and comfortable.
I am still putting together a review of this for the blog. Here is the meat of it -
The first thoughts I had were mellow and rich. Those two descriptions don’t seem to go together but you have to trust me on this one. When it is hot it has a pleasant earthiness to it and only hints at leather. There is a slight tingle on the sides of the tongue but this is not bitter and does not seem the least astringent. It seems to coat the entire mouth with a sense of slickness – not in an oily way. I am also getting a feeling of grit (slick and grit – two more descriptions that shouldn’t go together). I hate to use the term because there is nothing gritty in the tea. This is a sensation not an actual thing. As it cools the earthiness and grit subsides and the leather picks up. I also notice a cooling like menthol or mint would give, without the actual flavor. The bamboo leaf adds a bright wood flavor. This is a winner.
I great mini bing for the best day ever. Well it wasn’t really, but it was a good one. Horse tack – need I say more? Of course I do…
The pod is nice sized eyeball with a white cornea and a pink iris. Well at least that is what it reminded me of this morning. I put it in my press and poured 12oz of boiling water over it and waited for the display. This one opened oddly. It resembles a pineapple. The flower is surrounded by tea leaf but beneath it is a big bulb. I examined it closer and the bulb is wrapped in string so this is intentional. It looks like a big freakin’ spider. There seemed to be a large amount of leaf coming loose from the pod.
The color of the liquor is light yellow with a green tint. It is very clear. The scent is green tea.
The sip has only a light touch of what I think is globe amaranth. This pleases me as I find it can turn a tea sour tasting. This is not sour. In combination with the tea leaf this takes on a very unusual taste that is a bit like oak or maybe nutty. It reminds me of young sheng with out the bite. That is as close a match as I can come up with. It is mildly sweet, lightly floral, and feels milky. Actually it feels more silky than like milk. This is the first blooming tea I have had that was not jasmine. I don’t miss the jasmine.
After a few cups, I cut the string on the bulb and set the leaf free. There is a lot of leaf in this pod. My press looked like a giant gaiwan. It was stuffed with leaf.
Normally I like the display of blooming teas and tolerate the taste. Here the display was just ok, but I actually enjoyed the taste. It is a pleasant uncomplicated tea with a very light floral taste.
This is an interesting Sheng Puerh because it has a very strong earthiness to it – stronger than I’m used to with a sheng. This is much more like a shu to me. But it has a lot of interesting flavors to it – sweet, bitter (which also surprised me, this savory bitterness), even sour notes that morphed into a gently sweet aftertaste.
A rather unusual but enjoyable Puerh. I look forward to trying more from this company!