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Recent Tasting Notes
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,
This is a relatively good puerh. It’s not amazing but good. It is sweet with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. It has a slight taste of what has been called wet wood, just barely there. It has some other notes to it that I don’t know how to identify. It was a good value from Puerhshop. It was not expensive.
I brewed this tea once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 30 sec.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet, Wet Wood
This tea is sweet, earthy and fairly tasty. I don’t know that it is real LBZ material. The Puerhshop web page says that the market went bust in 2008 and it was possible to make a reasonably priced ripe tea from LBZ. They could be telling the truth, they could be lying. In any case I wanted to try this tea. It’s good, just not incredible. I also think that all LBZ materials are not of equal quality. This is definitely not of the very highest quality. There are a variety of sweet notes to this tea but I am having difficulty identifying them.
I brewed this tea four times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 9.8g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, and 15 sec. I don’t know if I will go back to this tea or make something else later.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
I got one of these for Christmas in the cutest, tiniest box imaginable! Isn’t it adorable? http://instagram.com/p/w-Q8STRh4u/?modal=true
So yesterday afternoon I had a lovely session with this tea http://instagram.com/p/xPipVdRhz1/?modal=true
The leaves were dark and glossy http://instagram.com/p/xPiz0kxh0L/?modal=true
For a somewhat woody tasting shou I had a really nice time drinking this. It was clean with some sweetness and no funk. Very nice :)
Sipdown Boo :( While I’m definitely happy to get a sipdown in, this one will be missed. I really do want to buy a full cake because it’s just a complete delight. But 357g seems like so much tea. I can’t help but wonder if I’m still going to love it 6 months from now, as taste seems to change quite rapidly. I’ll have to try the other two moonlight whites puerhshop has available and see if this is worth the purchase. Maybe I can make do with samples here and there.
I had to take a picture of the gorgeous leaves that drew me toward it in the first place http://instagram.com/p/wzblQzRWE7/
Oh man this is goooood! In all honestly I was sure I wasn’t going to like it as I’m not fond of whites or greener oolongs which the description said it could be considered either. I only picked up a sample because the leaves looked so pretty. But Lord, am I happy I did. It tastes like liquid honey.
I wasn’t sure how to go about brewing this one so I did two rinses and brewed at a low temp (175º) for 20 seconds. Beautiful. Just pure honey. Crisp light colored liquor and mild scent.
Second infusion – same temp. Accidentally forgot about it and brewed for 45 seconds. Liquor looks like light amber maple syrup. A bit greener tasting with lots of honey. Omg.
Third infusion – Tried it at a higher temp probably around 185º or so for 45 seconds again. Beautiful. Going to have to pick up a full cake of this for sure.
Fourth Infusion – Almost boiling 45 seconds again. Much deeper color. Honey is still there but I can taste more tea at this temp/this infusion. A little fruity and green. Kind of like a Gui Fei. Still zero bitterness even with the high temp.
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Flavors: Dried Fruit, Sweet