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Recent Tasting Notes
I have to admit I always start the day with fresh ground coffee. I also have to admit I am not myself until the first sip of tea. Tea touches your soul. The better the tea, the better the touch. For a young Sheng this tea not only touches you it massages you lovingly. It has one of the best aromas I have yet to encounter and the flavor is beyond good. The intoxication factor is high. This is not a tea for laying around and avoiding. A truly dynamite younger Sheng….
This is real nice and smooth. I made this with plentiful leaf in the Yixing and steeped it for close to a minute. It is strong and full of flavor. I love how it is perking me up. It’s cool when you have a break between teas to better gauge them instead of constantly drinking all day. The liquor is a dark brownish-purple. Remember, I made this strong. Cup #2 is wonderful with more life. I did not rinse this. I personally love the very strong first cup. This tea has improved from my last tasting. Was it from not having tea since this morning? Or my heavy hand with the leaf or just the fact that Pu-erhs get better with age? This tea is so dark you definitely have to brush your teeth when you are done….
This tea has a lovely light aroma. It is very uplifting as well. The flavor is a bit thin although I may have had a light hand with the leaves. I am enjoying it. I have to retract my statement about the light hand. As I peered in the Gaiwan it appeared to be just right. So I am going to give this one a deeper steep. The tea has what I would call spirit. The longer steep has improved the quality. It is still mellow. This tea truly has the “feel good” quality. Very drinkable. A good everyday tea. Maybe in a few years it may evolve into a special occasion tea.
When I opened the sample bag I could smell the lovely complex aroma. I brewed this in a Gaiwan. It is complex and bold yet it is not bitter. After the first cup I always smell the empty cup to further determine the quality and this has to be one of the most beautiful aromas I have ever had the pleasure to smell. It was truly ethereal. This is a beautiful tea. . The dried leaves are already turning brown and it appears to be more mature than it is. I will say without hesitation this is one of the best Sheng that I have had. The liquor is a golden hue and the flavor is absolutely sublime….
This is another young Shu that is very powerful. I brewed this in the Yixing for about 30 seconds and the result is a very flavorful and strong brew. It has a coffee richness. I was generous with the leaf but not too so. Cup #2 is numbing and dark. Still coffee-like. This is nothing unappealing about this tea. Flavor, check. Aroma, check. Cha Qi, check.
I brewed this in my Yixing with boiling water for between 30 seconds and a minute. It is a rich, smooth and very robust young Shu. Hints of Mother Earth that will undoubtably improve with age. This tea is great on a rainy night. I would assume this would be a decent investment. The liquor is a dark red with a strong flavor. It satisfied this Shu drinker. The 3rd steep is more alive. It has a slight effervescence while numbing the mouth oh so lightly. It is getting cleaner and crisper.
This tea is really unlike anything I’ve personally ever had. Slightly nutty with a sweet initial flavor, absolutely zero astringency, all combine to make an amazing cup of tea. I brewed it in gong fu style and each cup was extremely delectable. At about $7 for 50 grams it’s very reasonably priced for something that tastes so great. I would highly recommend this tea to anyone.
Comparing teas side-by-side is always fun. Today, pushing the ’09 Gong Tuo (http://steepster.com/teas/menghai-tea-factory/15881-2009-da-yi-gong-tuo) hard with an initial one minute steep, for an espresso-like brew, I was amused to see the weak last steeps of the 80s shu seem incredibly sweet when held up against, the more bitter, terse, and earthy ’09. Enlightening was that when brewing shu so aggressively, the faults of the tea come right to the surface, as it showed little sweetness or depth, instead giving a chalky coarseness and a watered-down earthen flavor, making the 80s tea seem so much more interesting. However, comparing young and aged shu in such a manner is probably not fair.
Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=511
I bought a sample of this tea because of all of the hype over Xi-Zhi-Hao on Jas-eTea. I wanted to try what many others were calling the best Sheng out there. This one is younger (2007) but considering several of the highest end bricks I have are that young, I figured this one would be old enough to try.
The sample is a nice loose compression with big arbor buds and leaves. Very nice visually! I had high hopes for this brick. I am using 5 grams of leaf material and around 200 degree water on this one. There really isn’t all that much to say about this tea to be honest. What I did recognize right away is that it is not offensive. Usually with sheng pu’er of this age you will get something unbearably drying and smokey right from the start. This tea tries to steer clear of any of that. It doesn’t necessarily want to say anything however. With some sheng of even higher quality than this one you will get something that is not only non-offensive but also minutely complex and interesting.
This one is not.
By steeping 3 the classic “Sheng” flavor of smoke and a common astringency start to creep in. But overall I would actually say that this is a better sheng than probably 80% of what I’ve tried. Not really worth investing money in a brick but certainly wasn’t a bad experience.
I bought this brick because of the positive reviews on it and in hopes that it would age in to something great. Keep in mind that I am basing my review of it on what it tastes like now…the true value of it will be seen in the years to come.
This is an above average Sheng brick considering it is only 3 years old. The liquor is thicker than other green Pu’ers of this age range. It’s not overwhelmingly astringent which is a good thing, and while possessing some of that young “smokiness” that bricks of this age can have, it is not overbearing and I could see this turning in to something pretty nice considering the complexity it already possesses.
Hopefully this helps you know what you’re getting in to a little bit better. If you’re comfortable buying a young Sheng and letting it sit then I would recommend this brick. This one is probably not one that I would considering buying multiples of for aging, but lets see if time proves me wrong on that!
I know a 2010 ripe puerh is a bit young to be drinking but I am greatly impressed at this quality and how it compares to a 2009 tuocha of the same label. This tea has no trace of any wo dui odor and off tastes in the brew and has a equally clean test to it. The only real notable difference from the 2009 version is that the smoothness is not as strong so I wonder if smoothness tends to develop more with age in ripe puerh. Anyway a great tea at half the price as the 2009 version which might be just as good as the 2009 version is now come 2012.
A wonderful clean and smooth puerh with a bit of maltiness. I would say this one has a medium fermentation level that is darker than most ripe puerh in the growing trend of lighter fermentation levels. Just watch out and pay attention to your time and tea to water ratio as this is a ripe puerh that can be overbrewed with less than ideal results if you do not take care.
A solid black tea, the dry leaves have a bit of musky Yunnan funk to them that doesn’t carry through to the flavor. First two steeps are brisk, floral, and light on the malt characters. A bit of biscuit and some conifer. I really like the nice small, even buds used in this tea, I think they lend it an extra sweetness. Enjoyable, but not dazzling.
Used 2.5 grams in my ~100mL gaiwan with boiling water at 2m,4m,6m,10m. This tea opens with awesome aroma, texture, and flavor complexity. Big malt and biscuit nose, nice tight pine and light smoke flavors, and a silky, tongue-coating texture. Refined, complex and enjoyable from front to back. Also, this tea is a real trooper, giving me four reasonable steeps!
I purchased this from Jas eTea for a comparable price and am very impressed with it. I think the playing up of the cinnamon is reasonable. It comes through nicely in the aroma as a Mexican mole or spiced hot chocolate. This tea also has a big fruit bouquet, with punching white grapefruit, simmered yellow plums, and candied apples. Flavors percolate in goat milk caramel, toast, honey, and a bit of soy. Complex, easy to brew, and very enjoyable. Worth seeking out in my opinion.
I surprise myself, resisting all evolutionary tactics of self-preservation, and drink something that immediately smells like old compost and a grandmother’s boudoir. The aroma is strong and thick with talcum powder, black humus, and musty cellar. I rinse twice.
This tea does reveal an early hint of quality, by showing stunning clarity in the first pour. Nonetheless, the intense milky talc dominates the front edge of this tea. Old, dried maple twigs come to mind. Sweetness moderates the long finish. A tea to be sipped very slowly, as it has strong potency. Later steeps lose the mustiness and pick up sweetened grains.
The qi is a bit unsettling to me. It’s foggy and full of cobwebs, making me feel a bit distant. I’m not sure that well-aged shu is for me, or at least examples aged similarly to this one.
The subsequent infusions are just as lovely as the first, if not even more so – I am finding the flavor smoother and possibly even more refreshingly delicious. I am getting a little more of the fruity notes coming through with the second infusion. I will be brewing these leaves again (and probably again!)
I purchased this tea some time ago, but, as I’ve often said – I have so many teas in my possession that I haven’t yet tried! No time like the present to give this one a try.
The leaves are beautifully golden… and they brew a deep gold/brown liquor that is absolutely delightful to the tongue. Everything I love about a Yunnan is in this tea – Sweet with a hint of peppery spice, smooth… and absolutely delicious.
Oh so pleasant.
This tea has a very smooth almost creamy and sweet richness to it with the classic “Menghai scent” notes as one would expect for any Menghai ripe puerh. A very wonderful example quality ripe puerh at its best with a light silky texture in a sweet mellow taste. Just be careful about using too little leaves the first time I brewed it I did and it came out a bit plain tasting and disappointing but the fault was mine and not the tea.
The first real oolong tea that I had outside of a Chinese restaurant was Tie Guan Yin. I’ve had many different types from many different producers with varying results. This one, unfortunately, was one of the worse ones.
The aroma of the tea was incredibly tantalizing: sweet, buttery, honey-floral scent that filled the nostrils and lifted the spirits. However, the promises made in the aroma were not fulfilled in the taste. In fact, there was very little taste at all. The very thin body, although smooth and pleasant, had very little depth. I enjoyed smelling the tea more than I did drinking it, which sort of defeats the purpose of preparing tea.
This tea seems better off freshening up a room than pleasing the tongue. I guess this is the problem with the more modern ‘green’ style of TGY.
This is a very robust tea. The aroma of the leaves after the wash could be smelled from a few feet away.
The tea brewed a nice rust-orange color with a heavy roasted aroma. The flavors were rich and deep. Roasted bittersweet rock taste, with a clean finish, and a florally bitter aftertaste. A faint spice flavor showed up around the 5th infusion while staying smooth, full-bodied, and without any dryness. The flavors began to mellow out and harmonize with each other towards the end, with a nice cinnamon taste showing up as the tea cooled down.
A very rich, full-bodied, and robust tea from start to finish.
Steeped in a 180ml gaiwan. 25s,30s,40s,60s,60s,25s,180s