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Recent Tasting Notes

I received a free sample of this tea in my last teaware order. They have wonderful teaware on this site and thanks to boychik for telling me about it and enabling me! ;)

I’m not usually into green tea, but I’ve heard there’s something unique and different about those from Korea, so it was worth a shot! The dry leaf smelled sugary and nutty. Once wet, the leaves are more vegetal in aroma, and there’s some saltiness there too! The tea tastes a lot like asparagus and spinach, nutty and vegetal. It’s a very beautiful tea, with little verdant green leaves and a vibrant greenish yellow liquor. I also felt very warm drinking it. Overall, I enjoyed my session with it.


Glad you like it ;)


Have you tried this one, Boychik?


not this, jaejak . also yellow tea hwangcha

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drank Tuo Cha 1990 by pu-erh.sk
157 tasting notes

Got a sample of this with a recent order, it is the oldest pu erh I think I’ve tried. I found it very similar to the 1997 CNNP I got from Streetshop88 that may well have been a fake. The tea was cola colored, with notes of medicine, mushroom, and a bit of earthiness. It had a long huigan. The soup was medium bodied and the leaves were not terribly long lived. In fact, I like the 1997 fake a little better.

I am finding it educational to taste teas of this age. This one was pretty good, and I was surprised how much it tasted like the other tea I mentioned. Though the 1997 was probably fake, it seems to me it was probably similarly aged. This 1990 was very likely not fake given the reliability of the seller. I have yet to try a real quality aged pu erh from gushu material, I wonder how that would taste.


I like your comparison So basically you prefer the 1997 CNNP tea (£0.1347/g $0.21/g) to the 1990 Toucha (0.5534p/g $0.86/g) 4 times the price.


I do, though others who bought cakes of the CNNP did not like it. Mine was a sample, which may have benefited from airing out.

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drank 2004 Shu Tuocha by pu-erh.sk
157 tasting notes

This is an excellent little number from pu-re.sk. It is very similar to the famed 9016 from 1995, also from the same purveyor, only it costs about one tenth as much. It is stout, slightly musty in the best way, and tastes of burnt coffee. It is hearty, I got close to 10 steeps of dark coffee brew, and could have gotten a bunch more that were light but flavorful. I gave up before the tea did. There is a 2003 version which I will try next.

All in all, it lacks some of the depth and complexity of the 9016, but it is a nice little gem. I just checked the website and the 9016 is no longer there. Looks like I got one of the last ones. Lucky me! Anyway, these are well priced tuos that are interesting and good.

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I received a free sample with my recent purchase.
Ive never had a chance to sample Korean green teas. They are not common.
I read on Cwyn’s blog she likes them. Since we share the same passion for pu i really wanted to try. Peter must be a mind reader. he chose 3 samples for me . Yay!
Needless to say i was nervous to try. i didnt know the right parameters. After consulting several teafiends and Peter here what i did.

I heated the kettle to 200F. Pour the water into shibo and pour out into 2 cups. placed 3g of tea into preheated 100ml shiboridashi and covered it for few secs. then i poured water from those 2 cups back into my shibo for 1 min.

1st steep @1min was delicate pale green in color and nutty
2nd steep @1min 15sec it becomes more grassy, no astringency, long sweet and grassy aftertaste
3rd @ 2min taste stronger,grassy,color intensifies and looks like honey dew melon
4th @3min i see resemblance with longjing. tastes like quality chinese green tea without bitterness or astringency. I wish all chinese greens were like this.
Also i begin to notice some slight saltiness and tingling on my lips.

I had 6 steeps in total. i could probably continue but it stopped evolving .

My next step was eating them with tiny bit of soy sauce. It was delicious. I was surprised that after so many steeps leaves didnt become soggy, didnt loose the color. they looked bright green and fresh , delicate and chewy.

It was a great experience, so glad i was able to try. I will definitely pick up some more with my next order from pu-erh.sk





175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 1995 Shu TuoCha 9016 by pu-erh.sk
157 tasting notes

“One shu to rule them all!”

That’s what I was led to believe by reading a blog post on this shu from the prolific pu erh blogger, Hobbes. He said he thought this tea sets the standard by which good shu should be judged. Them is strong words.

This is a quite old and expensive shu from puer.sk. But I was so intrigued that I had to get my hands on some. So I put about 8g into my pot and began with some flash steepings, using just enough water to almost cover the leaves.

This really is a super tea. The first 5 steeps were thick and dark. It has just enough to of that old bookcase flavor to make it interesting, yet not overpowering. This shu has huigan that you can really taste if you are looking out for it, minty and mentholy, but again, not overpowering. There are hints of chocolate and perfume. It is not sweet. Absolutely no fermentation flavor, it is quite smooth. Just a wonderful flavor.

I took this tea through perhaps a dozen steeps this morning, all for about 10 seconds or so. The first six were very thick, the second six were less so, but still had plenty of flavor. All of these steeps were dark as coffee. When my hand began to shake after reaching for the 12th steep, I called it quits for the time being. The stimulation, or qi, is very nice. I feel wide awake and aware, but it is also gentle.

I’m going to go after this some more later or tomorrow. I bet I’m less than halfway through. I bet I can get a lot more from this shu. This tea has power.

I wish I could afford a tong of this, but it is 139 euros for 250g. I’m really glad to have some of it, and they do have samples available. Keep in mind that this tea brews perhaps twice as much per gram as an average shu, so it is actually not as expensive as it seems. The proprietor was very generous, and threw in a free handmade teacup with my order! And not a cheap one, it was an expensive one that I absolutely love.

I wonder what this tasted like when it was young? I wonder if any of my shus will turn out like this when they are 20 years old?

So I went back for a second round, and it lost a lot of its punch. These later steeps were light, but still had some good flavor. So I wouldn’t say it yields twice as much tea, necessarily, though if you like those light steeps you could probably go on for quite a while.


Nice review. The tea sounds great. Did you order any other samples from pu-erh.sk?


I got the 2015 sample pack, which is a great deal. I liked most of the teas I tried. I think they have a 1990 sheng that might be good, I’d like to get a sample of it with my next order.


there’s a sample pack?


Yes, indeed, they have a package of their 2015 lineup.


A nice tea cup? Holy cow, I don’t what could make a tea lover happier than finding a surprise tea cup in their order!


Yeah, it was wonderful. I thought there had been some sort of mistake! It was quite generous.


It’s not a mistake. Peter was giving away cups for orders more than 100 euro because of their 5th (?) Anniversary. I got one too. It’s beautiful and very generous of them


Indeed. Which one did you get?


That’s the same one I got. I absolutely love it.


Me too. such rustic and delicate at the same time.

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drank Yiwu 2013 autumn by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

6g Gaiwan
28/25g 
Summary: This tea has its best moment in the first 3 steeps, showing an interesting soft and dry texture, with a sweet raisin sweetness; however, it fades after this with bitterness.

Dry: Colourful, loose compression. Aroma is concentrated herby and fruity. Nice aroma.
Hot Gaiwan: Warm berries.
Wet leaf: Hot apples, then hot fruit, and when it cools, slight mushroomy.

5s – Cloudy yellow/light orange. My first sip has a very sweet raisin sweetness. It does not linger. The third sip does linger. Pleasant raisin sweetness. A succinct sweetness. Flavour is mild, with no strong bitterness. I’m not feeling any throat rhyme. It’s not too thin. 75/100
10s – Light yellow/orange. Not so cloudy. This does have bitterness, of course it is raw pu’erh, but it is so mild and met by an almost dry sweetness, which gives it a rather unusual texture of something soft and dry. 80/100
15s – Sunburst orange (light orange). Sweet raisin fruitiness with a very balanced sweetness. Becoming a little astringent. 70/100
20s – Light orange. This has a nice bite; the heat has really gone through the tea. I can almost taste base sheng in the lingering finish. 65/100
15s – Same light orange. The water may be too hot; the Gaiwan really heats up with consecutive brews. Raisin sweetness is getting some bitterness and astringency. There are some sour lemons in the finish.
20s – Raisin sweetness. The texture of soft and dry has gone.
30s – Water has cooled in kettle. This tea works better with cooler water temperature. This is less bitter and less astringent, and is pleasantly raisin-sweet.
35s – Lemons – both sweet and sour.
10s – Very light yellow/orange. Very light on flavour – mainly sweet/bitter lemons.
60s – Brighter orange. Base sheng taste – end of session.

6 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Yiwu 2013 autumn by pu-erh.sk
457 tasting notes

I received this tea as a free sample with the purchase of teaware. Peter was so generous . he included 4 samples of shou and sheng. Thank you so much !

This tea is beautiful. the chunk consisted of intact leaves. Smelled so good.
it was roughly around 7g.
Went with my 95ml gaiwan. The tea opened up around 5-6 steep. it is smooth, creamy and incredibly clean taste. Some bitterness,not excessive and easily controlled with short steeps. it gave me so much positive energy. I felt relaxed and happy. A little sleepy too. Today is my 3rd day of drinking it. Still strong.

7g 95ml gaiwan 205F rinse/pause/3/5/3/3/5/7/sec etc




205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 95 ML

:) :) :)

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drank Shu Tuocha 2003 by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

Congratulations to Teadb.org for reaching their 100th episode. I enjoy watching your youtube videos and reading your articles very much :)

6g using tea strainer.

Dry: Dark, high compression. Mildly sweet.
Wet: Sweet and creamy, then smoky, then milky creamy, then just milky.

30s – Light brown. This was just a rinse as there wasn’t much flavour.

Mashed chunks with a spoon.

5s – Dark brown. Dark tasting; not creamy; smooth; quite intense. Thin.
10s – Thick dark brown. Thicker. Creamy and dark with some astringency. This is in contrast with White2Tea’s creamy and milky 2002 CNNP (Zhong Cha) 7572 Green Label Tiepai Ripe.
15s – Dark brown. Dark tasting and a little astringent. Some chicken shed has appeared.
30s – Dark. Intense flavour. Some sweetness, but mostly dark. Robust flavour.
25s – Dark brown. Loosing intensity, but still dark.
40s – Dark brown. Dark, strong and becoming woody. This is a solid, well made shu with no off flavours. No fishiness too.
50s – Dark lighter brown. Pale in comparison to previous brews. More woody; still dark and intense.
~60s. How does it pair with Camembert of Normandy? Quite well. The sourness of the cheese infuses with the rawness of the tea.

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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4g in Gaiwan.

Dry leaf: Dark brown. Med/high compression. No aroma. Square shaped.
Wet leaf: Bird cage/chicken hut old aroma; creamy.

Summary: An interesting aged tea that shows how the development of flavour can distinguish it from other teas that show that raw beetroot flavour.

5s – Light/medium. Lightly earthy. Not particularly flat; it has some roundness in the earthiness.
10s – Medium brown. No bitterness; no astringency. A buttery taste accompanies the still mild earth. Liquor has a grainy texture, which may be the specs of tea leaves.
15s – Med brown. More earthy/soiliness. Very mild with nothing standing out. Finish is subtly sweet; body is soft.
20s – Med brown. Ah that’s better. Raw beetroot has appeared in the finish, which is bright but subtle. A swill around the mouth reveals mild earthiness and mild raw beetroot. The finish at the last sip is spritely; it is slowly gaining pace.
25s – Darker med brown. Much brighter raw beetroot; mild earthy in background. The buttery base sits on the front of the tongue, while the raw beetroot shifts towards the back of the throat in a fashion likened to liquid man T-1000 on Terminator 2 passing smoothly through the bars. Raw beetroot is left in the mouth.
30s – Med brown. Buttery base on the front of the tongue; bird cage has joined the beetroot on the finish. This is interesting: the tone of the raw beetroot has dropped and merged with the bird cage.
35s – Med brown. Grainy thickness. Very smooth; raw beetroot shines again.
40s – Darker med brown. It has some thickness. It is very enjoyable. It is mature in it’s form: it is smooth and has not rough edges. More the bird cage; the raw beetroot has softened.
60s – Med brown. Streams of raw beetroot flavour rise to brightness, then sparkle in the finish. Bird cage can still be found.
3 minutes – Med brown. Soil; buttery; bird cage.

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

do you think beet root flavor is a sign of humid storage ?


Well I first noticed it in white2tea 90s Hong Kong storage and I also notice it in aged raw pu-erh. You may have noticed it in my notes: )


You pin point the flavor. I was associating it with wet soil. Beets are better description. I especially notice it in White Tuo


You two quit beeting around the bush. :P

Jiāng Luo

LOL still better than my borsh reference


ugh, I keep thinking of a poopy bird cage!

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drank Sheng 7542 (2011) by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

This was a free sample with my order from Pu-Erh.sk. Sample labelled 6 and containing 8g.

4g in Gaiwan.
Dry leaf:
Dark brown; high compression. At a guess, very light herbyness.
Rinsed Gaiwan: Dusty smoke; wood burning.
Wet leaf: Electric smoke; some fruit. The rinse was light brown suggesting some humid storage.

Summary: Tasty with it’s sharp bitterness and early smoothness.

5s – Light brown liquor. Must be humid storage. Liquor is thick; there is a little smoke in the background. There is a balance of honey and tobacco. Incredibly smooth with a delicate soft sweetness.
10s – Light brown liquor. More smoky, peppery smoke and bitterness. This has some Menghai flavour profile, but the smoke is a little heavy and a little thicker than what I expect.
15s – Bronze liquor. There are raisins. It has a slightly bitter, sour finish, and that is when the raisins really come in. The smoke is easy off. The finish is good: it has a good bite with the bitter/sour notes against the sweet raisin fruitiness.
20s – Light brown. It is sparkling on a woody base with a very tasty sour finish. I had a look at the leaves in the Gaiwan and they look like plantation stuff: small green leaves and stems, reminding me of my Menghai tuo. Menghai tuo with humid storage. I’m guessing cheaper leaves have been aged in an environment that has improved the tea greatly.
25s – Lighter brown. The bitterness/sour flavour stays with you and there is some tartness. This tea is juicy and makes the mouth water with its crisp, sharp bitterness.

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Shu 7572 (2011) by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

Dry leaf: Slightly fishy; smoked fish.
Wet leaf: Burnt wood; not strong in aroma.

5s – Medium light brown liquor. No fishiness. Subdued, creamy milk and some background milk chocolate. Soft.
10s – Medium brown liquor. Multi-layers. Earthy floral sits on top of a creamy, wooden base.
15s – Darker medium brown liquor. Creamy sweet, burnt wood with something interesting in the background…
20s – Medium brown liquor. Solid, sweet and creamy Shu.
25s – Medium/dark brown liquor. Not so creamy now. It has some bitterness and an almost treacle like taste. That flavour in the background appeared briefly – chicken shed?
30s – Medium/dark brown liquor. It is milk creamy, but it also has some dark chocolaty notes.
35s – Medium brown liquor. Light on flavour.
Reboiled kettle.
2 minutes – Medium/dark brown liquor. Solid; some cardboard.
35 minutes – Medium/dark brown liquor. Wet wood; mild creamy.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Milk

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank SeJak 2014 ECO by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

3g in Gaiwan.

Dry leaf: Loose leaves; looks like dried grass.
Wet leaf: Smells like sencha with hints of high mountain Dayuling.
Summary: A Korean green tea, which provides a sencha-like flavour with an unusual boldness.
Note: This is my very first Korean green tea so my description might not be that good.

No rinse. First brew is well below boiling; then each subsequent brew has a slightly higher temperature.

40s – Very faint yellow liquor. The aroma is quite strong. The flavour is sencha-like with a grassy sweetness. It tastes very much like sencha with the grassy sweetness, seaweed and umami. The sweetness roof and back of the mouth. The liquor has some thickness to it. The finish is very smooth and lingers for some seven seconds. Very pleasant.
55s – Faint yellow/green liquor. The lower temperature is really bringing out the soft sencha-like sweetness. Swirling it around the mouth reveals a range of sweet flavours. There is no taste of artificial sweetness; it is mainly fresh.
1 minute 10 sec – Very light green liquor. Liquor is fairly thick; sweetness has a little astringency.
1 minute 25 sec – I have increased the temperature and it has capped the sweetness and gives it more boldness and astringency.
1 minutes 40 sec – Poured from the kettle, which boiled minutes ago. It has taken the hot water well. The sweetness sparkles a little and it is active in the mouth. It is bold and stimulating. It’s interesting how this tea has taken the hot water; sencha would have tasted overly bitter at this high temperature, plus it would not have lasted as long. I find sencha (from O-Cha) generally makes 3 good brews.
1 minute 30 sec – Boiling water. Still sweet, but more like the base for Genmaicha without the roasted rice.

Flavors: Grass, Seaweed, Sweet

3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Tuo Cha 1990 by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

Dry leaf: Small chunks, lots of dust/tiny bits of leaves. The aroma is earthy and light raw beetroot
In a rinsed Gaiwan: Burning wood; very dusty; toasty.
Wet leaf: Pigeon loft / Chicken shed; church; some bright notes like subdued polish (Mr Sheen in UK). I know the aroma of polish as I just polished an hour ago.

Summary: A tea with an aged flavour, well controlled; some peppery smoke develops; an Islay whisky finish develops.

5s – Light brown liquor. Very bright on the first sip; it feels like it sizzles in my mouth. Flavour has some pigeon loft / chicken shed, but it has dry fruit and has cinnamon on the swallow. Soft and almost chalky mouth-feel. The finish lingers with some chicken shed, and the feeling I get is peaceful. Snow has landed softly on the ground to rest.
10s – Medium brown liquor. Not a thick mouth feel. Perhaps the chicken shed is the storage flavour? This reminds me of 1980’s Tong Qing Hao Tea Cake by SampleTea. There is a little bitterness on the swallow, which adds a nice finish to the body which is smooth, chicken shed and remarkably controlled. This differs from younger shengs in that there is no harsh bitterness and is not as bright; this tea is very mellow in tone. I can still taste the chicken shed when finishing the cup, when swallowing and when breathing out.
15s – Darker brown liquor. It’s interesting that I seem to feel the effect of the tea while it is in my mouth and before I swallow, almost as if swallowing is superfluous. It makes me feel relaxed.

Reboiled kettle.

20s – Darkish brown liquor. Some spice and peppery smoke give it a kick. Chicken shed faintly, but still in the background. Thin liquor. It is fruity, rather than woody; wet rather than dry, and fresh more than stale. The finish is slightly drying, spicy and has some similarities to an Islay whisky finish: that being slightly smoky, strong, some tobacco and complex.
25s – Medium/dark brown liquor. Definitely some dark chocolate, even glimpses of 100 cocoa. The smoke is fairly dry, but not overwhelming, though it does give some heat.
35s – Some sharpness appearing.
40s – Almost raw beetroot. The spiciness reminds me of 2005 Wild Tree “Ye Sheng Cha” Raw Puerh Tea Brick of Dehong by Yunnan.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Dust, Tobacco, Wood

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Naka 2014 by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

6g in Gaiwan this time and here we go :)

Interesting pairing with Ardbeg.

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drank Naka 2014 by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

4g in Gaiwan.

Dry leaf: Colourful; smells of straw/hay.
Wet leaf: Med/high compression. Bright, hot strawberry jam; concentrated herbyness.

Summary: I rate this highly because of the hardcore bitterness and energy. This tea produces the thickest liquor I have come across so far.

Note: I have previously given one of the White2Tea teas a low score for being singularly green – 2012 Ruiyuan NanNuo Old Arbor. That may have been due to my lack of tea experience at that time. This Naka tea is not singularly green and that is why I score it highly. If I ever buy some more of that same White2Tea tea, I will re-review it and possibly score it higher.

5s – Light yellow liquor. Very thick and soft in the mouth – interesting. Complex. There is a light lemon flavour, which suggests an easy drinker, but underneath there is a whirlwind current beginning.
I’m beginning to feel energised: my head feels lighter; my ears have almost popped. Is that the tea or the gin (Hendricks) I had earlier?
10s – Pale yellow liquor. Bit cloudy. Thick and lemony. It is quite bitter on the swallow. It is sweet until the swallow.
15s – Pale yellow liquor. Cloudiness gone. Interesting mix of sweet and sourness; the sourness is the dominant one. I’m getting energised from this tea. It is smooth, lemony, thick and goes down nicely. On each swallow it seems to add more energy.
20s – My head is beginning to race. I was slightly dazed watching this one being poured into my cup. The Streets – ‘Lights Are Blinding My Eyes’ has appeared in my head. That tune is taking over the more mellow -Manu Chao ‘Bongo Bong’. This is one powerful tea. I feel heat in my chest and face. On the swallow it was astringent and bitter; the tea is reminding me that it is strong.
25s – It’s easy drinking now. Lemony with bitterness. Mouth is left dry and bitter.
30s – Lighter yellow liquor. Astringent and bitter, with lemons. The bitterness goes under the tongue; the sweetness hits the roof of the mouth. On the swallow the whole mouth becomes dry and bitter before becoming dry and sweet with sugary sweetness.
Re-boil kettle.
35s – Some bitter raisins have appeared. Lots of bitterness. What started as a gentle, sweet, drink is now hardcore sheng. Peter (the seller) said this is hardcore and he is correct.
~40s – Bitterness on the sip, some sweetness, then heavy on the bitterness.
40s – I can taste some base sheng material, so the end is close.
1 minute – Colour is fading. Mainly bitter, which fades slowly into some sweetness.
2 minutes – Bitter with steady sweetness.

Flavors: Bitter, Lemon, Strawberry

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

NaKa. I had one fr Chawang and was seriously drunk for 2 days

Jiāng Luo

How in the world do you afford puerh.sk?


I payed €13 (~$14.1) a 25g sample of this. For comparison White2tea sell a 2005 NaKa for $32. Other teas in my order to pu-erh were similarly priced and I have found the quality to be excellent.

Jiāng Luo

$15/oz is steep $32/oz is indeed steeper I guess ill rephrase how can you afford to drink naka I am jealous

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drank Yiwu 1999 maocha by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

Dry leaf: Loose leaves; dark, dry and twig-like. Aroma is very much like milk chocolate: it is smooth and creamy/milky.
In hot Gaiwan: Not much; subdued dust.
Wet leaf: Cooked pastry, sweet, oil.

Summary: This tea is very good. It has aged into something very interesting to drink with it’s aged flavours and moreish texture.

Rinse was dark brown.

5s – Med brown liquor. It sizzles in the mouth. I have drunk nothing like this before. Very smooth, soft and supple. There is no bitterness. It evokes a sense of calm as it reveals it’s flavours gently, melting and subtle sweetness, before disappearing. The finish leaves a constant low buzz; the mouth is left dry and I can almost hear the buzzing after taste.
10s – Med/dark brown liquor. There is a lot going on here. There is a small amount of bitterness; there is a warehouse/musty flavour. There is some beetroot developing, but not much. As an aged tea I am not getting any church/bird cage flavours.
15s – Darkish brown liquor. Rolling it around the mouth reveals some old flavours such as mustiness and a hint of the British Library – the Ancient Greek section. The form is interesting: it is smooth and simple at first, and then on swallowing it seems to reverberate/oscillate/fluctuate up and down subtly.
20s – Darkish brown. It has a fizzy, lightly spiciness on the sip. Liquor is not particularly thick. It lingers quite strongly of the flavour of the tea.
25s – Darkish brown. There is some dark chocolate and a little spice, then some bitterness. It fades away slowly, leaving the mouth dryish and full of the flavour.
50s – Darkish brown. Brewed for longer increases the bite, gives more thickness, and gives more bitterness, which gives it a better mouth action.

How does it pair with Camembert? Not so well, as the ammonia taste of the cheese swamps the tea.

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

This is an interesting one….


Sure is.

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drank Yiwu 1999 maocha by pu-erh.sk
65 tasting notes

Wow this is good. Full review coming soon.

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I recently made my first order to Pu-erh.sk, a pu erh vendor based in Slovakia. I first heard about this vendor from TeaDB (thanks James) and read some reviews by Hobbes. Anyway, after some excellent communication with the seller (Peter) I put in my order. The order was received in less than one week and the packaging was impressive: the box was double cardboard and the contents were padded with foam bits. This is the first tea I have reviewed; there are others on the way…

4g in Gaiwan.

Dry leaf: Loose compression. Nectar/pollen sweetness. A flower on a summer’s day.
Wet leaf: Strong concentrated syrupy sweetness, that is emitted as a constant aroma, rather than one that fades away.

Summary: Soft, sweet and floral/perfumy.
Notes: This session was accompanied by some cheese (Old Amsterdam) in later steeps.

5s – Light, pale yellow liquor. Soft, floral sweetness. Sweet raisins. The flavour swells; the finish fades slowly leaving a sweet raisin finish.
10s – Light, pales yellow liquor. The raisins are brighter. It leaves the mouth dry, but it is not astringent. It makes the mouth water. It is developing a syrupy thickness. It is pleasantly sweet. Not complex. I’m feeling warm. The effects of this tea appear slowly.
15s – Light, pale yellow liquor. A bunch of raisins now. Bitterness cuts through the sweetness to provide friction, which make it interesting. There are no obvious lemons.
20s – Light, pale yellow liquor. Becoming astringent. Lemons have appeared. Raisins in the finish. Dry mouth.

Reboiled kettle.
25s – Darker, pale yellow liquor. Raisins on the front of the tongue; this lingers. Astringent at the end of the cup.
30s – (Eating Old Amsterdam cheese) The raising sweetness softens the strong mature flavour of the cheese.
35s – There are some similarities between tea and cheese, mainly the rounded, sweet flavour.
40s – Has a syrupy consistency that can be felt in the throat on the swallow. Flavour is very much light floral.
1 minute – Dark pale yellow. Base sheng taste of stewed leaves and plums. That means the end of the session.

Flavors: Floral, Perfume, Raisins

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Tuo Cha 1990 by pu-erh.sk
25 tasting notes

After initially sampling this last year I was so impressed that I had to get a whole 250 gram Tuo. My review score may seem very high, however I only reserve this score for what I consider to be the better puerhs I have tasted. A day off from work today and I decided to chip away a big 14 gram chunk and steep it in my 250ml teapot. Here are my notes.

I use boiling water throughout…this tuo breaks up quicker than the Wild Quarter brick I recently reviewed. I sniff the wet leaves…deeply rich aged aroma, sweetness but there is a robust strength there too. I already have a good feeling about this tea session.

After the quick rinse I do my first proper steep at about 15 seconds. Already the liquid has become a lovely dark red/orange. I let it cool down for a minute or two and slowly sip the brew. Clean, smooth, clear and precise. Liquid is already thickening up very nicely, a trait that I always enjoy in my puerh. Rich, robust aged taste. Numbing sensation already beginning to develop on my tongue…I take a deep breath in maximising the cooling affect.

Second steep I decide to push the puerh at 30 seconds. Colour of the liquid is now basically dark red. The same rich, robust aged taste. Noticing some pleasant sweetness at the back of the throat, however there is a pleasant tartness there as well, probably due to the slightly longer steep. The tartness is not bitter or unpleasant, it complements the sweetness and creates a rather interesting taste sensation at the back of the throat. Liquid has now starting to become really thick creating a lovely coating in my whole mouth. Bursts of sweetness, tartness and deeply aged flavour=YUM.

I continue to steep this with varying times past a litre and am rewarded with the same great taste. I honestly have nothing negative to say about this puerh. It is exactly what I expect a good quality aged puerh to taste like. It is an old puerh, but still has the tamed strength of youth. You can do what you want with it…if you want a milder brew 10 seconds is good, if you want a more powerful, flavourful brew 30 seconds or more.

I personally think the leaves are not particularly high grade, however my feeling is that the storage was impeccable. There is not too much to say except I think this is an excellent example of drier stored puerh, that is ready to drink right now. I could attempt to age it a bit more but I don’t really see the point. It has the perfect balance of aged and youth.

Price wise it is not inexpensive at a cost of 165 euros per 250 grams, however it is a fair price for a puerh of this age. I consider this to be one of the best aged examples I have tried, only being beaten slightly by EOT 1991 Private Order. I would love to keep this and save it for special times but the reality is it does not stay on my shelf too long before I want more of it. Definitely worth at least one sample to try. I have a feeling that the price will shoot up at some point and I will kick myself for not getting another Tuo. Anyway I have said enough…for me this is puerh heaven.

Many thanks to Peter at pu-erh.sk for this excellent example of dried storage puerh.

Flavors: Camphor, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 14 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

Is this ripe or raw?


Hi Allan. This is raw.


Hi DarkStar,thanks for the excellent review, I too like it. I was wondering if you could possibly do a review of the other tea you mentioned as beating this – EOT 1991 Private Order…

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It has been quite a while since I have posted a review, however I have managed to find some spare time this evening to write up a few notes on this aged puerh.

Besides the 2002 White Whale I don’t really have that many bricks in my puerh collection. I have had a 25 gram sample of this for a while now, courtesy of pu-erh.sk, but have not had an opportunity to dedicate an entire evening to tasting this. Tonight I decided to brew up a big 12 gram chunk in my 250ml teapot and here are my notes.

This puerh is tightly compressed and takes a good few steeps for it to break open. To put things into perspective I have already drunk a litre of this and it could easily go on for another litre or 2. Highly durable.

Smelling the wet leaves I am finding it difficult to describe what this smells like…to me it has a good aged aroma, probably drier storage as I am not getting any of that “mineral” aroma you can get from wetter storage. This makes a good change for me, as lately I have been drinking a lot of wetter stored puerh.

No issues “punishing” the leaves with boiling water…in fact I found boiling water to be the best way to slowly break this 12 gram chunk apart. First few steeps start out a little thin, but by the third steep the liquid has become a beautiful, clean, dark red colour. Slowly sipping this it reminds me of drinking a good Yiwu…there is a lot of warmth and comfort. The liquid tastes clean and crisp, with a hint of sweetness and a gentle aged flavour. I am not detecting any hints of spicy camphor. I find the gentle aged taste very pleasant, however not overly complex or exciting.

You can be generous with your steeping times on this one. Sometimes I steeped it for 10 seconds, other times 30 seconds or a bit longer. Longer steeping times means a bit more powerful brew, however it never tasted bitter or obtrusive. I am feeling some Qi, not the aggressive type or “drunken” type but more a feeling of calmness in my mind and body. Very relaxing and again comforting.

It has a pleasant finish, the gentle aged taste sits there on your tongue and at the back of the throat. I think the puerhs greatest asset is its comfort and longevity…you can steep this over and over again.

Overall I think this is a very good example of an aged brick, that would appeal to novices and veterans alike. As I have said I don’t think it is overly complex, but is perfect to just sit and relax with for a good few hours. From a price point I think it is fair…a 300gram brick is 99 euros. When you take into consideration how many steeps you will get out of it you will realise this is a good deal. A 25 gram sample is only 11 euros so it is definitely worth trying out at least once to see if you will enjoy it. Definitely recommended.

Many thanks to Peter at pu-erh.sk for yet another really good aged example.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank BaDa 2013 by pu-erh.sk
25 tasting notes

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drank Yiwu 2012 Autumn by pu-erh.sk
25 tasting notes

Out of all the puerh that I have this is only the second Autumnal cake that I own. I tend to steer clear of Autumnal puerh mainly because I have generally been pretty disappointed with what I have tried in the past. This cake, courtesy of pu-erh.sk, really intrigued me when I saw it on the website. It had a minimal description, and was quite a bit cheaper than the other cakes Peter had to offer. I am always interested in finding decent quality Yiwu, so I thought that 53 euros for a 250 gram cake was a decent deal if I enjoyed it. In short this autumnal cake does not disappoint. Here are my notes…

Picking apart this cake is fairly straightforward as it is not that tightly compressed. The dry leaves smell lovely…very, very sweet. I take a 7 gram sample and prepare my 130ml yixing with a short 5 second rinse. The wet leaves aroma is beautiful, again loads of sweetness with fresh fruity overtones.

I do my first proper steep at about 8 seconds. The yellow/gold colour looks really inviting. I take my first sip; Massive Yiwu sweetness, dense, rich, buttery mouthfeel, slightly fruity texture in the background. Clean, crisp, pure. Very long sweet finish at the back of the throat. This is lovely stuff.

Second steep and I am getting more of the same, however the fruity overtones are becoming a little more present in the taste. I am still getting that massive Yiwu sweetness. Damn, I love Yiwu…it has that “warmth” that emits feelings of comfort that you don’t find in most puerhs.

Third steep and the balance of fruity tones and sweetness are now perfectly in synch and are singing together in harmony. I am still getting the rich, buttery mouthfeel. The sweetness at the back of the throat is still there and will not go away. My body feels positive and calm…the Yiwu warmth has charmed me.

I push this puerh up to about 8 steeps and I bring my session to an end. The bottom line is that this is an excellent example of a young Autumnal Yiwu. I have no idea how a Spring Yiwu of the same year would taste, however I could not see it being any better than this. As I have said before in my reviews I tend to prefer bitter over sweet, however in Winter time I make an exception to this rule. For me in Winter there is nothing better than sipping a good quality Yiwu or shu.

Today I went onto the pu-erh.sk website and this Yiwu is still for sale at 53 euros. I cannot believe it has not sold out. Which reminds me, I only have half a cake left of this lovely puerh so I think it is time to get another one. If you enjoy your puerh sweet, with that typical Yiwu warmth and character then I think you should at least get a sample of this to try. As Autumnal puerh goes, this is the better, if not the best one that I have tried. Many thanks again to Peter at pu-erh.sk for another great puerh expereince.

Flavors: Butter, Fruity, Sweet

0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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drank Hekai 2013 by pu-erh.sk
25 tasting notes

Another day, and another pu-erh.sk review. I was very fortunate to get a cake of this last year. The pressing sold out very quickly, however Peter managed to find a couple more cakes and was kind enough to set one aside for me to get. I quickly drank up half the cake last year as I enjoyed it so much, but have let the other half sit for the whole of 2014. Tonight/this morning I decided to break off a nice 8 gram bit of it and see how it is coming along. Here are my notes…

Smelling the dry leaves I am getting honey type sweetness and fruity tones. Smells rather inviting. I prepare my 130ml yixing with a short 5 second rinse of the leaves. I smell the wet leaves which are not far off from the dry leaf aroma…plenty of honey sweetness, fruitiness and a faint hint of “biscuits”.

My first proper steep is only 7 seconds. The liquid comes out a beautiful, clean yellow/golden colour and I begin to sip. It tastes very fresh, very clean and very pure. Honey sweetness and fruit start dancing around nicely on my palate. This is a really good start, and is exactly what I remembered from a year ago.

For my second steep I brew for 10 seconds. Now the texture of the liquid looks more golden than yellow/golden, so I am expecting a stronger taste. The puerh does not disappoint and now I remember why I drank so much of this last year…there comes that strong bitterness that I enjoy so much. The bitterness does not overstay its welcome, and I begin to get a lovely returning sweetness after the bitterness has passed. The liquid is a lot thicker, more dense and rich.

The third steep yields very similar results, however I am beginning to notice dryness beginning to develop on my tongue. I don’t find this to be a bad thing at all, for me it actually creates a very pleasant “taste sensation” as all the sweetish, bitter notes are now dancing around on my tongue. I am not getting much QI, but my body is feeling positive.

Subsequent steeps I am getting more fruity overtones , the sweet finish remains for a long time at the back of the throat. One thing I will say with this puerh is you need to get a good grasp of it’s steeping times. It is pretty potent and punches hard. Brew it for too long and it will be too bitter…it requires a little trial and error however when you get it right you will know straight away as you will get that lovely returning sweetness. My tea session ends and gives me time to contemplate on this rather excellent puerh.

I always enjoy Peter’s cakes, but for me this was one of my favourite ones from his 2013 pressings. It really surprises you with its potency and richness. The dry tongue sensation was one of the highlights of this puerh for me as I could taste everything this tea has to offer. I don’t think that the tea has changed much with a year of storage…it is just as good as it was a year ago and is exactly how I remembered it. So, it is fresh, clean, pure, vibrant, potent, sweet, bitter, dense, rich and punchy. What more could you ask for in a young sheng? Many thanks to Peter for a great quality pressing.

Flavors: Bitter, Honey, Thick

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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