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Recent Tasting Notes
I decided to purchase MGH 1206 Green brick since the 1109 Mangfei and the 1214 Eco Big Tree left a good impression on me. Turns out this one is even better.
I’m using a yixing teapot dedicated to raw pu’er (the result differs with the type of brewing vessel). The wet leaves are have a pleasing flowery, honey-like fragrance. There’s no bitterness or smoke here. It has notes of ripe fruit, honey, camphor, minerals, thyme, and a very long sweet aftertaste that can last for 5 mins or more. Lots of good body with this one and a very pleasing feeling in the throat.
Honestly, I did not expect this to be THIS good, and I can’t believe how inexpensive it is ($9). I think I’m also better gauging the appropriate water-to-leaf ratio. Essentially more leaf (2 teaspoons), 5 sec short steeps with hot (non-boiling) water.
Breaking this out after about a year and a half in the “pumidor”. I remember this smelled nice and had a very light color to it.
I am back sometime later for a proper review.
First noticeable thing is this has become a bit more loose and easier to chip off. The color hasn’t seemed to vary that much on the dry leaf from what I remember.
I got about 10 grams off the brick to brew in the easy steeper that I have. I gave about a 10 second rinse due to the fact that bricks are more tightly pressed and take a bit longer for the water to get in there.
The rinse water actually looked a bit more amber than the green I recall. It is a 5 year old so it is still “teething and growing”.
I gave two 5 second steeps with about 5 ounces each. The brew is giving a scent of warm wet hay and a whisper of smoke. The tastes are of pine and some bitter that fades into a caramel touch of sweetness very quickly. A bit of astringency that leaves quickly. Swirling the tea in the mouth gives you that thick feel across the tongue.
A very nice brick from them and I think it is progressing along nicely.
Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Pine, Smoke, Sweet
Brewed this western style this morning and it is good. This is one of the best cha tou nugget teas I have drank. It has very little earthiness left to it. It has largely cleared. I would definitely buy more of this tea and might buy more in my next order to puerhshop, don’t know when that will be. This tea is sweet with fruity notes to it, no bitterness, no camphor, no smoke to it.
I brewed this once in an 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 12g leaf and boiling water for 1 min.
This is fairly tasty but I used a little too much of the tangerine peel so it’s fairly smoky tasting. The tangerine peel imparts a bit of a sour note too. This only got brewed western style tonight as I am tired and lacking time for a proper gongfu session. This is tasty and hits the spot though. The nice thing about this is you can dial the smokiness back by simply using less tangerine peel or none at all.
I brewed this once in a 16oz Teavana Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 12g of tea and tangerine peel with boiling water for 30 sec.
Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Sweet
I found this to be a very smoky sheng. Pine smoke dominated the aroma and flavor through the first six gongfu steeps before stepping aside and letting it’s true nature come through, although I got some smoke in the retro-nasal exhale through the 11th steep. Once the smoke did subside I found some floral notes in the aroma and a fairly strong and pleasant tart and sweet combination that finally tapered off around the 15th steep.
This sheng has some power and legs, but it’s just too smoky for my tastes.
Flavors: Floral, Smoke, Stonefruits, Sweet
Another Sample from the great and powerful Miss_Phi!
I like the combination of black and silvery green leaves. It combines the look of a white peony and a silver needle. I brewed this in my glass gaiwan at a lower temp, and it was really fun to watch the leaves do it’s thing. The light gold liquor produced a rich bouquet of flavors. I got a rice and fragrant floral, like lilies and orchids. I also got that cold inhale from what I must guess is camphor. I am really surprised by how all around pretty this tea is. It looked pretty, it smelled pretty, it tastes… pretty. It seems ever so slightly girly if that makes any sense to anyone.
I have had a handful of samples from Puershop now, and this may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I may have to put in an order sometime in the near future. idk why I was apprehensive before, part of me looked at the site and thought to myself, ’wow, this looks terribly spammy!"
Now I know not to judge it by it’s cover!
Flavors: Camphor, Champagne, Orchid
I’m looking to start aging some sheng Puer cakes finally. I’ve been into Gongfu cha and loose tea for about a year and a half now and only got my first cake a month ago. I’m surprised I didn’t get more interested in that sooner, but then again it was more that I couldn’t afford to and hadn’t found the right cakes to purchase.
I ordered a sample of this because I love Moonlight White and I’m hoping this one will be nice for aging since it is a really good price for the size of it.
I tasted the rinse infusion just out of curiosity. It had a subtle honey taste and primarily a taste that reminds me of Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka.
After rinsing, the leaves have a bit of musty smell typical of Puer, but they also have a nice charming perfumed aroma with hints of spice. This is the aroma I’m used to with Yue Guang Bai, though I feel like this cake has a bit earthier scent than I’m used to and is maybe a bit more muted.
The first actual infusion tastes similar, light honey notes with a black tea body, the fruity tones I’m used to in Moonlight White are very subdued in this one if they are even present at all. By the second infusion, it’s tasting a bit more like raw honey with a creamy note, but I wouldn’t say it’s sweet. It’s the flavor of honey, not the sweetness. There is still a black-tea-like body present.
This tea is peculiar. It has some nice qualities and some that are not so nice to me. The flavor starts out somewhat enjoyable for me with the honey-like flavor, but the black-tea kind of flavor afterwards is not that enjoyable to me. After leaving the room and coming back, it definitely smelled like I had brewed black tea. With other Moonlight Whites I’ve had, the fragrance is much more perfumed and spiced, almost like a white wine or a nice scotch. This one just isn’t hitting me that way.
It’s not a bad cake. If you like the flavors, the current price is a really good one for such a large Puer cake. Would be good for beginners looking to experiment with Puer brewing techniques, but I don’t think I could recommend this tea for aging. It just doesn’t seem to have the complexity I’d want for a tea I’m going to age. Considering this one is already 7 years old, I don’t really see it developing qualities that would really change my mind.
All that said, if you like black tea with a bit of sweetness, this may be exactly the tea for you.
Flavors: Cream, Honey, Musty, Tea
This is a very tasty lao cha tou nugget tea from Puerhshop. It is sweet and earthy with no bitterness. It would be even better if I had had the time to brew it gongfu style this morning but I am going to work. It rates quite highly in my opinion but is not for those who can’t stand a little fermentation flavor.
I brewed this twice in an 18oz teapot with 7g leaf and boiling water for 30 sec twice.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
The first steep has a very interesting flavor: first time I thought citrus, second time was Dusty and metallic. This flavor gradually disappeared behind a more woody flavor. All steeps were relatively smooth with decent finish and some cha qi.
My overall impression was a tea that was well-made and pleasant but has nothing that lets it stand out from the crowd. not a bad everyday pu-erh, and probably fair value.
I had very high hopes for this tea. It was good, but did not live up to my expectations. It was sweet, earthy and had no bitterness so I shouldn’t complain. It just tasted a little flat to me. It’s inaccurate to say there was anything bad about this tea, I just expected more as it was “Ancient Tree” tea.
I brewed this six times in a 220ml Gaiwan with 10.2g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. It seemed a little weaker on the sixth infusion than it should have been.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
I am continuing my exploration of Gedeng shengs across a fourteen year period of harvests. Earlier this week I began with my oldest cake (1999) and today’s tea is made from the youngest material (2013). Clearly the younger leaf does not have the power of the older leaf material. I am a firm believer that, for the most part, today’s harvests do not produce the same level of power in their teas. There are, of course, exceptions but as a general rule it is my operating assumption and explains why I now focus on finding tea with nice age. This is certainly not an original idea of mine for I believe many (if not most) collectors share this notion.
That said, I did enjoy this tea session for the dual purpose of education and enjoyment. This is a Changdahao tea. Changdahao is a brand from the well established Yiwu Manluo factory. The leaves are on the small side and mostly whole. With almost two years of age behind them, they are beginning to turn and darken and offer a nice clean aroma – no intimidating scent here. The tea soup is gold, clear and bright with a light fruity scent. No truly distinctive fruits come forward but I would describe the impact as fruit-like. The flavor is not powerful or intense but rather soft and welcoming. There is a bit of astringency to counterbalance. The sip is easy to swallow and quickly offers a warmth and sweetness in the mouth and throat.
This is not a particularly complex sheng (perhaps explained by the more limited scope of modern plantation teas that have been processed) but the flavor and aroma are enticing. Pleasant taste and decent Qi. The real question for me is whether it will age into something magnificent. Probably not but I have enough confidence to go ahead and purchase the whole cake (I am now drinking a sample from Puerh Shop). Also it is particularly difficult to find cakes or bricks from GeDeng Shan (革登山) and I want a few in my collection. Two additional GeDengs to try in future sessions.
Using hot, not boiling, water, and less leaf to water ratio than other shengs is the way to go with this one. With slightly lower brewing temperatures, I found: crisp subtle sweetness of the forest, buttery mouth feel, dried fruits, deep complex mineral notes, bright citrus zest, and a long sweet finish. Tricky tea, but satisfying once brewed properly.
Ok, so my late night puerh drinking experiment took a sour turn.
I found myself staring at the clock, feeling like electricity was flying through my limbs, at 3:30am (I headed up to bed around 1am)… haha!
BUT… This puerh was SO good! I kind of don’t regret drinking it last night…
I wonder if you can build up a resistance to caffeine, because I would like to do that if it meant I could keep drinking teas like this at night and not just during the day.
The sweet rice scent, the warm smoothness…. aw, it’s just awesome. :D
Elegant, sweet, complex, deep, versatile, and easy to brew. This can be treated like a puerh, white tea, or oolong. The dried leaves are highly fragrant, mostly intact and beautifully shaped. The leaves can be steeped at least 8 times without loosing flavor. The brewed liquor is champagne-like with excellent clarity. Good for aging or current consumption.
Flavors: Blood orange, Camphor, Champagne, Cranberry, Dates, Forest Floor, Medicinal, Summer
I brewed this last night and am just getting around to this now. This was really good tea. This was one where I wish I had not been so tired because it was easily worth twelve steeps. I thought it that good. I added a small amount of sugar to this tea. It brought out a discernible note of what I would either describe as peaches or plums, not sure which. This was a tasty, sweet puerh. It had little fermentation flavor, I would say only a little. I really didn’t notice it.
I brewed this four times in a 170ml Yixing teapot with 10.2g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. If I had not been so tired last night I would have steeped this at least four more times and I am guessing this would have easily lasted 12 steeps or more.
This is a tasty and inexpensive puerh from Puerhshop. I only drank this once, western style so I did not get the full gamut of flavors but it is good. It is sweet and somewhat earthy. I am not sure specifically how to describe the sweet flavors but they are there.
B brewed this twice in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 30 sec each infusion. I put the second infusion in a thermos to bring with me to appointments.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
I really wanted to try some Bulang so I decided to place a small order with puershop to pick up a few samples to try. They arrived this afternoon and I randomly chose this one as my first. One thing I noticed was that all of the samples had such pretty looking leaves. Long and twisty with some fuzzy tips. The kind that I love watching grow in my glass teapot.
Steeped about 5.5g in 120mL. Overall quite nice. The first two steeps give the lightest bit of stone fruit at the end of the sip, mainly tasting of generic vegetal sheng flavor, with a touch of bitterness. Much less than I’d expect from a 2013 though. Generally I steep my sheng with boiling water, but for the next steeps I let it cool off a bit and was rewarded with a much smoother tea. Definitely the way to go with this one.
The qi is surprisingly nice. Earlier I actually thought I was lightheaded from not eating but… no. I’ve eaten since then and after drinking another steep I’ve gotten the same feeling. Interesting.
Great price as well. It’s not the tastiest tea I’ve ever had. But it’s an easy one to sip, and considering the price and lovely qi I’ll definitely consider a full cake of this somewhere down the line.
Steeps – rinse, 10s, 10s, 15, 15s,