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Recent Tasting Notes
This was a tasty tea. It had a moderate amount of fermentation flavor left. I would say the fermentation flavor began to dissipate after the second steep. By the fifth steep it was gone. It was fairly fruity in nature. Can’t say I noticed fruit loops like Rich’s review, but that is not far off. The write up on puerhshop.com specifies dark cherry, dried plum, and raspberry. That is also a reasonable interpretation of the fruity notes. I didn’t notice the mushroom notes that Rich mentioned but I wasn’t looking and could have missed them. Overall, I liked this tea. Not incredible, but really good for the price, I think $14.95 or so.
I steeped this eight times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 8g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 5 min. There was a noticible fall off in strength and flavor both around the sixth steeping. I would say that this tea had about two or three more steeps in it had I wanted to push it. This was a good tea to try and I hope it ages well.
In the early steeps this tea was thick and rich with a lot of fermentation flavor. It was somewhat bitter in the first steep. Luckily, this began to clear up by the second steep. The main note for the first three steeps was earth, but not in a bad way, but potent. Starting around the fourth steep the tea broth began to clear and lose this earthy character. It began to take on chocolate or cocoa notes. I added a little bit of sugar which accentuated these notes. Overall I think Rich’s review was accurate as well. I didn’t buy this because of his review. I already had it but thought to try it because of his review. Overall I thought this tea a solid performer that might age well.
I brewed this seven times in a 220ml Gaiwan with 8.2g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. I would say that this tea had about three more steeps in it. It was fairly played out by the seventh steep. I was very light tea by that time.
There are some ripe teas that I find have a very special texture. I think of it as kind of velvety. This is one of those teas. It’s flavor is not terribly deep, but the quality of the broth is really nice. It is a semi-fermented ripe, meaning the fermentation process was stopped about midway through. It is a high quality tea for sure. There is some bitterness, but it is integrated well, with a smooth base underneath. Not the most potent of flavors, but I liked it nonetheless.
Another tasty nugget from Puershop. This little tuo is cheap but pretty good. It is a little sweet with a fruity date like note, kind of light. A good one to try if you want to sample this kind of flavor profile. For those of you like me who like it strong, you will have to add lots of leaves. This one doesn’t give a whole lot, but it is nice.
Another ripe tea today from Puershop. This is a very light ripe. The first steeping was really tasty, with perfume notes. However, it went downhill from there. It lost most of its flavor. It is almost like a light black tea. Interesting to try, but I’m not digging it. It’s one of those ripes I will put away and taste in 10 years to see if it gets any depth to it.
This is a really interesting tea, and quite different from your typical ripe pu erh. It is fairly light and bubbly, if that makes sense, not very earthy. Burgundy colored. First steeping was really different, very fruity with a touch of woodsy mushroom. Second steep was much more mushroomy with fruit in the background. The fruity flavor is not like dates, but rather like Fruit Loops. Later steeps continued to be more fungi tasting. Overall, this is an interesting tea, though not my favorite.
This is another uniquely flavored tea, no apricots or smoke. It has no bitterness either, really. Some sweetness and a very mild, relaxing feel. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon. I lost count of how many steeps I got… at least 10. It’s unusual for me to drink that many consecutively without getting bored and switching to something else (even if I switch back later). Short attention span!
I admit that I went ahead and ordered a cake. It’s not expensive, tastes good, and made me happy.
It brews up to a lovely golden color. Goldie loved it and it has the Sarsonator Seal of Approval, too!
This is an excellent puerh with a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. The first few steeps were thick with earthy goodness. This began to dissipate by the fourth steep and was gone by the fifth steep. Around the fifth steep I began noticing a sweet dates note or two. I didn’t really detect much in the way of chocolate notes but I may not have been paying close enough attention. There were a lot of sweet notes throughout all eight steeps. Earthy sweet notes first, thick and sweet, and the later cleared sweet notes. The one thing I will say about this brick is that it had more fermentation flavor than a 2005 brick should have. The 2010 Hong Yun Brick from Menghai Tea Factory had much less fermentation flavor than this brick.
I steeped this eight times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 9.1g leaf and boiling water. I brewed it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, and 2 min. I would say there were about four steeps left to this tea had I wanted to save the leaves.
Flavors: Dates, Earth
This tea is excellent, not as good as something like the 2008 Song of Chi Tse, but excellent none the less. It is a step below a top Menghai Tea Factory production but is quite good. It had a moderate amount of fermentation flavor left but not too much. There were some complex notes to it including chocolate and sweet notes like plums or dates. I added a small amount of sugar to it which I am sure added to the sweet notes but they were there none the less. Considering the price of only $18 this tea is a great value. I will see how it ages. CNNP makes an excellent puerh and this is no exception.
I brewed this 4 times in a 200ml glass teapot with 7.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. The tea had many more steepings in it but I have to wake up tomorrow morning.
Flavors: Chocolate, Plums
This is an excellent tea with very little fermentation flavor. It is actually 2010 tea pressed in 2014 so has aged a bit. I was a little skeptical about the description of this tea on the puerhshop page. The page describes coffee and cocoa notes as well as plum and black currant notes. This is actually not far off although the specifics are open to interpretation. I definitely got the coffee, cocoa, and plum notes. I think I get the black currant notes in later steeps although I am not sure. In any case it is an excellent and complex tea at an excellent price.
I steeped this 6 times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. It did not get appreciably weaker even in the sixth steep. It is an excellent tea at an excellent price.
Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Plums
I’m striking out on teas today. I got a sample in my order from puerhshop.com, and I was hoping for something nicely aged. This had an unpleasant bitterness and no really pleasant flavors to speak of. There was some earthiness. Not overwhelming, but not very good either. I’m really sad because I’ve been trying to Shou all day and I’m not getting anywhere LOL.
Maybe I should brew something I know I like and make sure my taster isn’t off!!
This is an interesting one. It’s still young and has quite a bite at the end of the sip, but it’s also creamy and thick, and has a very interesting sweetness lurking about. Wasn’t expecting that!
I’m really liking this, but I think I need to pick up some older shengs. I already have quite a few young’uns around and maybe I need to expand my horizons!
I became aware of this fine tea through tea notes written by Hobbes a few years ago. Vibrant and fresh aroma from the wet leaf. Nice whole leaves. Clear deep yellow tea soup. Mild and smooth taste with a definite mushroom note. An appealing understated complexity which continued to evolve throughout the tea session. The tea liquor coats the mouth and provides a nice lingering aftertaste. Lots of staying power with these leaves. I rinsed twice and then started flash brewing – enjoyed 10 steeps and it definitely has more to give. I am very happy with this tea and glad that I was successful in tracking down this interesting tea with almost ten years of age on it.
I ordered a few of these with my order a while back. I love rice pu-erh. Speaking of things found in pu-erh….Should I mention the five inch long hair inside the paper wrapper around the pu-erh? Erm. Ah well, boiling water anyway. This tuocha is actually small unless I’m accustomed to using way too much pu-erh. The flavor is very deep and the cup is very dark (enough leaf anyway!), but there were only really hints of the rice flavor. I’ve tried a really nice one before that had a ton of sweet rice that was almost like kettle corn in every steep. Not a bad tea, but I couldn’t really get that hair out of my mind of course.
Steep #1 // just boiled // rinse // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Tea #3 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
(Note: This is a long review since this is the first puerh I’ve really honestly tried, so I’m rambling quite a bit while I figure it all out. Apologies beforehand.)
So let me start out by saying that I know nothing about puerh (despite reading most everything here on the discussions) other than it’s something that I want to try some day because nearly everyone seems so into it. I’ve had an awful experience with a Chocolate Orange Puerh (DavidsTea I think) and an nearly equally bad experience with a sheng puerh (also DavidsTea come to think about it), but I chalked it up to (then at least) knowing even less than nothing about puerh. Lol! But the experiences have definitely made me rather gun shy about delving into it again.
Months later I’m starting to consider dabbling in it once more (I just got Mandala’s Ripe sampler), because come on, it’s just tea, stop being a coward. And since this box came with a handful of puerh samples, I set them aside for dubious (and slightly almost distrustful if I’m being honest) consideration. Closed my eyes and grabbed one as my next tea and this one came up. Probly not exactly the smartest choice since I couldn’t find anything on how to brew this aside from KiwiDelight’s gaiwan gongfu session. And since I’m being a coward about using the (/hides/) 4 assorted gaiwans I now own (don’t judge. They have the benefit of being pretty. >>;), I just ended up using my brew basket.
So I faked it and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t send me flailing away from ever wanting to try puerh again.
1st steeping – 6g/8oz/30s – (measured on my scale but which was about 3 small-ish chunks) dropped in the basket. I can’t resist saying that the pieces kinda looked kinda like the clods of dried grass I’d pry off my shoes after cutting the grass the day before, back in my younger days when I still had to cut the grass. XD;
Nearly every brewing session/review I’ve read rinses first, so I brought the water to a boil(ish), poured while counting to 5, pulled the basket and eyed the liquid. I didn’t drink it (though I’ve read people doing that just to see), I probably should have just because why not, but I didn’t. Just sniffed it before dumping it out. It smelled earthy and slightly mushroomy and kinda spicy almost. Not at all the fishy smell I was fearing.
So I did a 30s brew on this, pulled the basket and wasn’t too surprised to see that, while there were loose leaves, there was still bigger chunks stuck together. The brew is surprisingly dark (dark clearish amber) and the smell is mushrooms and earth (and if I’m being honest very slightly fishy, but clean and not sour, turn-your-stomach rotten sort of fishy). I have to say that I hesitated big before taking a sip. What if it tasted fishy or rotten or any of the other ‘ugh’ stories about puerh I’ve heard? But I told myself to get it over with coward, and took a sip.
Wow. Earthy and mushroom-y (which is super odd, but at least I like mushrooms, though possibly not as tea) and, after a moment and a second sip, holy cats, chocolate. Dark, kinda bittersweet chocolate. But there none-the-less. Which, despite drinking teas with apparently chocolate notes, I’ve never really been able to figure it out. This note is fleeting and doesn’t really linger, but it’s there for me. It is a bit astringent the longer I sit and sip at it. And my tongue is kinda tingly too. (is that normal or did I find another weird quirk for me?)
2nd steeping – 45s – Wow. I thought the first brew was dark, this one is even darker. Reddish brown instead of amber brown. Same sort of mushroom-y smell. Same sort of taste as the first brew though I’m not really finding that chocolate note in there this time. Just the mushroom and a bit of earth.
3rd steeping – 1min – I think I should’ve tried this first this morning since it just keeps going and I’m getting the urge to want to try something else. But I’ll stick it out. Same smell on this one but taste wise it had an unpleasant metallic tone to it. I actually ended up pouring this one out after a few game sips because I couldn’t get past that taste. Ugh.
4th steeping – 1min 15sec – Last one because I’m pretty tired of drinking this already. Lol! I’m pretty sure it could go for another few rounds still since when I poured the water in, it turned dark almost immediately. Brew has gained a sort of roasted mushroom smell now along with the earth. Metallic taste is gone (or almost, I can kinda taste it lurking in the back) and this is drinkable once more. Huh.
So an interesting experience for this. Good, but interesting. Lol! Definitely a type of tea to start first thing and expect to drink all day, or else set aside for the next day/later. I’m wondering if this tea might be better with multiple short steeps instead of adding time each steeping. I snuck a taste on the 4th steeping at the 30sec mark and it was pretty tasty. Better than I think the end 1min 15sec steeping turned out. Honestly the very first steeping has to be my favorite out of all of these. If I were so inclined, I might try this one again with just straight 30sec steepings the whole way, but I’m not so inclined since this has to go back into the box so the next person to try. Lol! I might (one day) just buy this from puerhshop myself since I guess I can always store it away if I get tired of it, right? Probably the bottom cabinet of my curio cabinet would be best, though I have no idea if that’d be a good place for it honestly.
Last one to try from the Unflavored TTB!
Method: gongfu with a gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 10, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60.
The aroma of the wet leaf evolved. Piping hot, it smelled of earth and bitter chocolate. After cooling a bit, chocolate-covered fruit: pomegranate, acai, strawberry, banana… And after cooling even more, raisins galore! Purple raisins. The liquor was rusty red, clear, and full-bodied. I tasted earth, coffee, and some chocolate mostly. Around the third and fourth infusions it had a thick mouthfeel and was more coffee-like This pu’erh didn’t last long – it pooped out after only the fifth infusion. Overall, especially taste-wise, it was ok.
Story time! My mom and her coworkers, who work in NYC, occasionally go out to lunch. They went to a Japanese restaurant yesterday and had a mysterious tea with their meal. This morning, I finally told her that that tin of “Yunnan black tea” she bought for me from Chinatown nearly two years ago was actually ripe pu’erh, and then I showed her this tea. She said that’s exactly what she had at the restaurant, recognizing the coffee smell and color resemblance. Everyone had doubted if what they drank really was tea. The waitress said it was but didn’t say what kind, and her Japanese coworker, who loves drinking tea, said with a straight face that it was Japanese tea. (lol we think he didn’t want to admit he didn’t know). I joked that you never know what tea you’re going to get at a Japanese or Chinese restaurant in America. I NEVER got pu’erh before though.