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Recent Tasting Notes
Thick, tasty, aged, and low-priced shu. It arrived as two 225 g bricks with layers of largely intact leaves are easily pried apart. Initial rinses have a faint fermented smell but that is gone after the 2nd rinse and replaced by an aroma of sweet creamed butter. Tea liquor is dark burgundy and clear. It’s very comfortable in the mouth and throat and quite warming. Along with notes of sweet creamed butter, leather, sweet bamboo, and damp forest there is also noticeable qi and mouth activity. Perfect evening tea.
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This tea was another I got to try out teas produced by puerhshop.com. It’s a little confusing, because I believe the teas labeled “MGH,” “American Hao,” and “Zenpuer” are all produced by the people behind puerhshop.com. This one was alright – drinkable, enjoyable even, but nothing special. Grassy and floral flavors in the early steeps, later developing a beany vegetal flavor. Thickness of the liquid was mediocre.
Flavors: Beany, Floral, Grass, Straw, Vegetal
Dry leaves have floral notes. Shiny yellow liquour with noticeable smoky flavor and some bitternes (expected for this age and pedigree), not sweet. Bring me about eight good infusions in a small gaiwan. Ifused leaves are small and mostly broken, few tips. Leaving aside our smoked nature is regular puerh. Perhaps it is a good gateway to Xiaguan world.
I’ve been wanting to sample more oolong since I haven’t had any in ages. I had purchased a few smaller samples from Puerh Shop, which seemed pretty reasonable, and they had small portions to buy/try. Therefore, I added a few of these to an order (a few weeks ago), and I’m now starting to get to the samples.
This Wuyi is the second oolong from the few that I had purchased. It has a nice roasted seaweed note, with a touch of peanuts. The mouthfeel is thick. This tea almost reminded me of pu-erh, but similar to a black tea, too. I didn’t like the first two steeps, but as the tea lightened up, I found myself enjoying the liquid more. Overall, I’d say that this was pretty enjoyable.
Flavors: Nutty, Roasted, Seaweed
The dry leaf reminded me of a spice cabinet full of sage, basil, and dried mint leaves; while the wet leaf had more of a minty and various spices aroma.
The flavor of the tea had progressed as the session went on. During the first couple of steeps, the tea had a nice minty/thyme flavor throughout; however, as the tea began to reach its stopping point, I tasted a lot of yeast/sage/basil notes. Overall, a very unique tea; which provided an interestingly tasty cup.
Flavors: Mint, Sage, Thyme, Yeast
I was curious as to whether Puerhshop can source a good black tea. This one is malty with notes of chocolate. Let my Breville brew this one. Put seven tsp leaf in the basket for 1 liter of water. I believe it steeped for three minutes. This is a nice inexpensive black tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
This is a fairly tasty brick with a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. That flavor was neither fishy or unpleasant but was actually somewhat sweet. There was very little bitterness to this tea. The fermentation was replaced by a sweet note. It was a dark and rich tea in the early infusions, almost syrupy in nature. There may have been some notes of chocolate in there, not sure. I got to the state where it had a very nice taste.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 12.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec , 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The tea was not finished at twelve steeps but I was.
I received a sample of this with my last order. I decided that it’d be swell to try to drink down my samples, for they’re getting out of control—kind of.
Anyway, I had randomly chosen this tea for this morning/early afternoon. I need to get some stuff done before friends come over for my “Journey of Tea” session. I have a friend who is starting out with tea, and he suggested a few weeks ago that I should host a tea party for a few others he knew, who’d like to get into the hobby, too. Although I’ve purchased samples of tea from companies/others in the past, for him to try, he has yet to trust himself with making tea. So, he occasionally comes over for a tea session.
Now, as for this tea, it is very complex. I’m getting many layers of flavor from this tea: earth, wet wood, honey, and lychee. The sweetness of the lychee really jumps out after the third steep. It meshes well with the wood notes; and gives the earthy minerals a more complex taste. Overall, I’m enjoying this, but I think I can only get a few more steeps from this tea. I’m currently standing at 11—it might last 15-16 total.
Flavors: Lychee, Mineral, Wet Earth, Wet Wood
This is a relatively nice tea for the price. There were some wet storage notes during the first two infusions, they were not strong. There was very little bitterness to this tea. A sweet note did develop to this tea. Considering what I paid I am happy with this tea. It’s by no means incredible but decent for the price.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.5g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I could have gotten a few more steeps out of the leaves.
I write this after my second tasting of this tea. I’ve wanted to be fair, I was excited to try this tea, but the sad thing is that I can find no redeeming qualities.
There is nearly no flavor to this tea – the only taste I’ve been able to coax out is one of astringent bitterness. There is absolutely none of the chocolate/malty flavor I’ve found in other 2016 Feng Qing teas.
The description says “lightly fermented” but there is no hint of any fermentation. Though after brewing the leaves are a mixture of medium brown and green. Strange that such leaves produce less flavor than a spent lipton bag.
The bing itself is loosely pressed (perhaps too loosely, 10-15 grams of leaves had fallen off the bing) and completely lacking of any fragrance.
I can’t imagine that aging will help, it seems to be as stale and lifeless as it could possibly get already.
Bought this a few weeks ago from Puerhshop. This is an excellent tea. It was cheap too, only $8 for a 100g bing. This was slightly bittersweet at the start with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. The fermentation flavor was not of the unpleasant or fishy sort. It had clearly been properly fermented. I find that Puerhshop productions are usually good tea. They are not always spectacular but are good. This one was nice and sweet after a few steeps and not horribly bitter before that. There were some complex notes in there but I wasn’t really paying to close attention. I was just enjoying this tea. This is one for which I give Puerhshop high marks on.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml teapot with 11g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 445 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The leaves weren’t done at twelve. I could have gotten a few more steeps out of them but I was at my caffeine limit for today. This is definitely one I recommend if anyone is putting in an order to Puerhshop. At $8 it is a steal. They could have priced this one at $20 and I probably wouldn’t have complained.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
Continuing my extensive (two stop) tour of cheap 2005 sheng this weekend, we come to this tea from PuerhShop. My worry, after my previous Puerhshop experience, is that this tea will have had storage inside a bucket of DampRid and essentially turned into a pile of dust.
Fortunately, this was not the case. The storage was dry, but only in a clean and still punchy sense. This may have been a blessing after yesterday, lest my GI tract suspect I have been plotting to murder it. The tastes were rather variant, which made sense when turning out the pot post-session, as there were green leaves, red leaves, big leaves, small leaves, stems, and a partridge in a pear tree included. As befits an old recipe.
I oversteeped it once, which rewarded me with a harsh brew, but it recovered well. I got spiced plum flavors once, when I slurped vigorously. I recommend slurping therefore, especially if you’re around people who be highly affronted. Viva le slurp revolution!
Of the 4 PuerhShop teas I tried this was definitely my fave. Worth a sample if you like ‘em dry. Bang for the buck, I preferred yesterday’s, but I could easily see others feeling differently.
Overall this was a good tea. That is not to say it had zero negative notes. The initial note of this tea was a sweet fruity note, perhaps apricots or stonefruits, perhaps something else like nectarines. Starting around steep three I also noticed a subdued sour note to the tea. It only lasted a couple of steeps and was not very strong. With a sour note there is always the possibility that it was my taste buds. There was very little real bitterness to this tea. A little crept in after the leaves had opened up around the third steep but it was never very strong. I have generally had good results from the Puerhshop house labels and this is no exception. I liked it overall. The Puerhshop website also says pesticide detection on this tea was negative so that is a good point. Puerhshop tests most or all of their teas for pesticides not sure which. I think they test the finished product where I believe Yunnan Sourcing tests the maocha before it is pressed.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec , 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The tea leaves were not particularly watery at twelve steeps. I could have gotten a few more steeps out of them but I had had enough caffeine for today. In the end there was good and bad to this tea, but the good I think outweighed the bad. All twelve steeps were sweet in nature. Only a couple had that sour taste and it was not very strong, I had to really think about it to determine it was a sour note.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Sour, Stonefruits, Sweet
A smooth and mellow shou with little fermentation flavor. Woody with a slight almond note and what I would describe as doughy or yeasty taste. Not terribly complex, but a solid/unoffensive daily drinker at a bargain price.
Flavors: Almond, Smooth, Wood, Yeasty
Brews a dark yellow-orange. It’s hard to believe that 2009 is now seven years ago! This tea has aged fairly gracefully in that time. Theres a strong citrus note accompanied by light acidity, some camphor and mint, and a smooth round flavor and mouthfeel like wild mushrooms. Light bitterness and even lighter astringency. Overall its a fairly nice tea, but a bit thin and one dimensional. If I had a cake I don’t know how often I’d be drinking it.
Flavors: Camphor, Citrus, Medicinal, Mint, Mushrooms
Overall I liked this cake. It did have an unpleasant note in the first steep. Whatever it was, could have been my taste buds, it was gone by steep two. There was a fair amount of bitterness to this tea early on. I’d say it took four or five steeps for the bitterness to steep out. The note that was left was nice, what I would describe as a semi sweet note. Not quite apricots but then again this is a tea that I think has begun to age. The tea liquid was more orange than yellow but it still had some yellow in it. I never came up with a description for the note I liked in this tea. Not sweet in the sense of sugar mind you but sweet as far as raw puerh goes, but not tremendously sweet, mildly so. Some might say apricots but I am not sure about that. I really did like this tea though. Puerhshop’s house brand is usually good in my experience but I have more experience with their ripe teas. This one I think is on the cusp of becoming something nice given another five years of aging.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 mini, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I think if I wanted to push it this tea would go at least another four or five steeps but twelve is enough for me.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
This is a nice enough tea. It has started to age but is not there yet. There were notes of tobacco and leather in the first infusion but none thereafter. There was a dominant note that was certainly not bitter, but I’m not sure I would call it sweet either. In fact I’m not sure what to call it. What there was none of was wet storage flavors ot smoke. You would expext some smoke from an Xiaguan but none here. I wish I had a name for the main note, it was not unpleasant. The tea’s color had changed just a little, not very much. I felt no qi from this but another reviewer found qi in this tea. Then again I often fail to find qi in a tea I know should have some. Overall this was decent but not as good as the raw I drank yesterday from Puerhshop.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. This tea I am neither going to recommend or not recommend. It wasn’t bad and may improve. It seems to be on the cusp of becoming an aged tea. I will drink it again in two years and see what I think of it then.
Flavors: Bitter, Leather, Sweet, Tobacco
Drinking another tea from my Puerhshop order this morning. This tea is quite nice, although not as good as what I drank yesterday. This one had an aged flavor coming through. Not entirely sure how to describe it. It was not quite leather and tobacco but I’m thinking it was getting ready to become those notes. It was very smooth. There was a sweet note hiding behind the aged flavor. The aged flavor lasted some six or eight steeps and then I was left with a nice sweet note. Not sure how to describe this sweet note. Not really the apricots of a young sheng but sweet nonetheless. The color of the tea on this one was orange in color, indicating it had aged somewhat but was not all the way there. I didn’t really pick up much qi from this, maybe a little. I didn’t notice any smoke or wet storage taste in this one. I think Puerhshop is strictly dry stored material. I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a wet storage note from a Puerhshop cake but I don’t know for sure. Overall this was a nice smooth raw cake with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste and a sweet note after the aged note had faded. There was I think a little bit of astringency but not too much.
I steeped this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The tea was not done at twelve steeps but I want to move on to something else.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
Bought this a couple weeks ago from Puerhshop. I have not tried too many of their raw teas and this one was somewhat expensive at around $88. It also claims to be ancient tree material about which I in a sense can’t comment. How do you prove it is ancient tree material. It is supposed to be Bingdao material. What it was was really very good, really just short of the best raw I have ever had. I’m not sure what I would call the best raw I’ve ever had but this one was very close. It had very little bitterness, a little crept in around the third steep once the leaves had opened up but was gone by the fourth steep. It had no off flavors of any sort, no storage flavors. Certainly no wet storage flavors. I would say it was predominately sweet tasting with apricots and stonefruits as the main notes. I also performed something of an experiment with this. The first time I steeped my kettle for the first eight steepings I used Iceland Springs spring water. For the second time I filled my kettle I used filtered water from my Zero Water filter. While the Zero Water filter did a surprisingly good job the spring water was better, just not by a lot. This tea also doesn’t have any unpleasant aftertaste to it. It really didn’t have a strong aftertaste but what was there was pleasant. Again this was the best raw tea I have had in quite a while. Puerhshop has some excellent teas, but because they also sell a lot of cheap bargain teas they do not have the greatest reputation on Steepster. This tea if people try it could change people’s impressions on Puerhshop. It was that good.
I steeped this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The tea was not finished but I had had enough. There was no indication the tea was getting weak in the twelfth steep. It would have gone at least four or five more steeps had I wanted to continue.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Stonefruits, Sweet
Picked this up in a recent Puerhshop order. It is a nice tea. Overall I think it rates quite high in general. It was not quite spectacular but was quite enjoyable. There was a little bitterness at the start. And there was some fermentation flavor. The fermentation taste was neither unpleasant or fishy. It lasted around four or five steeps. A sweet note did develop with this tea, although I am not sure what to call it specifically. Didn’t really notice notes of chocolate with this one. There was no smoke or wet storage taste. This tea had apparently been dry stored. I think most of Puerhshop’s offerings are dry stored. In the end I only gave this ten steeps because I was using a large tea vessel, a 200ml glass test tube steeper that I got in a recent stash sale and wanted to try out. I think it is a little too big for puerh in general though so maybe in the future it will get used for black and green teas.
I steeped this ten times in a 200ml glass test tube steeper with 16g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. There were a few more steeps in the leaves but I had already run two kettles full of water through this tea steeper.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Sweet
Brewed this one up western style this morning. I buy mini tuocha specifically for that purpose. This one is fairly good. It has a fair amount of fermentation flavor. That flavor is not fishy or unpleasant. It is sweet with little bitterness. It is good for a mini tuocha puerh tea. I can’t say that it is likely high quality leaves but it tastes good just the same. I bought twenty of these so I didn’t get a lot. I would buy them again.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 buttons or about 15g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 20 second rinse. I steeped it for 30 seconds.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet