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Recent Tasting Notes
Wireless was wonky last night when I tried to log this. This was sent by Tunes&Teas in a giant swap with dozens of teas I admit I’m having quite a hard time getting through and feel bad about (then again I have lots of Verdant and Butiki Teas I haven’t gotten to yet and a more recent swap on top of it!) But thank you Tunes! This shu was neither on Steepster nor currently on puershop.com It’s certainly not the silver tips of the same year and factory, nor is it likely the banna toucha, could be the tribute, but I’m going to trust Tune’s label and assume it sold out online and no one added it to the database (there is a 2010 of the same name).
I count myself lucky to have never experienced a “fishy” smelling or tasting shu, until yesterday. There was no mistaking that smell and at once I understood what other people referred to and why they are put off. I rinsed this twice and the third infusion was still a bit hard to palate nut was no longer fishy, but “mulchy” smelling, strong, thick and tasting a bit like coffee and cough syrup. I gave it another few infusions, it became palatable and got sweeter, especially as it cooled. But definitely not my cup of tea. Oh well.
This is the best packaged loose puerh that I’ve seen to date. Instead of the typical foil or plastic bag of the loose tea inside the box I was pleasantly surprised to find a paper bag instead. So in other words this 2011 ripe puerh has already had the chance to air out and is ready to drink now instead of a year from now after being opened. Overall this is a lot better than one would expect for its price range, the puerh is malty with a slight earthy edge but not earthy enough to have the companion sweetness that often goes with it. Reminds me of the early cheap puerh that made me fall in love with puerh but at a fraction of what I was paying for it back then.
Like all mini bricks which I dislike, I broke this one up to ensure better infusion. Overall this brews up a sweet and very smooth blend with a bit of depth in the taste which is hard to describe. If you like the old tea nugget puerh than you will love this one as it is the closest to a nugget taste for a non nugget puerh that I’ve yet to encounter.
Another free sample and one that I enjoyed. This is a more mild sheng puerh, which like all of the samples I’m given tend to blend together for the most part.
Tommy The Toad Thanks so much for this one!
To me…this smells like semi-burnt rice, pu-erh, and tangerine.
It infuses to a medium-dark brown.
This is better than I thought it would be. The Tangerine flavors are a nice compliment but not overdone. There is some sort of burnt rice flavor in there, too. The Pu-erh isn’t overpowering either. There are even bit of cocoa powder type flavors I am picking up right at the beginning of the sip.
The more I drink this the more I am liking it. Not bad at all.
I infused it for about half the time TTT did – at about 1 minute.
Smell: This tea smells very doughy. It is like a raw tube of puff biscuit right after it is popped. It has a slightly salty and peppery scent but the thick doughy scent is the most noticeable.
Taste: This tea is a lot fruitier than I expected. The doughy scent is a lot lighter than it smelled. The flavor is like fresh baked wheat bread.
Love the fragrance on this tea. It’s very subtle and stays great for a minimum of 8 steeps! Highly recommend!!
I purchased this cake because of the price, shape and name. Obviously this was named in honor of Panchen Lama Norbu not Nyima, otherwise, the PRC would never let it see the light of day on western shores. I digress and don’t want to cause any political arguments here.
Anyway, I can’t say how pleasantly surprised I was with the quality of this Puer. I wrestled with the mushroom shape trying to break a modest piece off. I got a little bit bigger piece than I wanted, but gave it a go.
Because I had more cake than necessary, it was important to keep the steeps as short as possible. This worked wonderfully. Over many, many, many steeps, I was rewarded with a rich, full-bodied tea. This tea produced an impressive depth of flavor; typical puer flavors of earth, leather and finally pleasant salted mushrooms. Nothing spectacular as far as flavor or aroma, just solid, hearty and healthy flavors. As stated earlier, I kept the steeps very short,therefore I never encountered a harsh or bitter note.
Overall, this puer exemplifies only positive qualities: price point, flavor, aroma, and endurance.
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Wow I find it amazing that I was sent a free sample of a tea that costs $95 a cake. So the question that I am sure everybody is wondering is if it turns out to be good enough to actually spend your own money on a tea this good. Quite honestly while it does appear to be a good tea, I highly doubt that it would be worth half its price. The taste is not really unique or different just a good drink now friendly young green puerh that does not have much harshness.
A handful of these little guys showed up in the mailbox today. They are cute little flat disks. I told my little boy (5YO) that they were candy. His excitement was short-lived.
Anyway, I tossed one into my Yixing pot,and gave it a quick wash. The dry tuocha aroma was unremarkable. With the addition of hot water, the tea comes to life. I was surprised to see the cake break apart so quickly, but this doesn’t seem to affect its endurance. I’m on number 6 or 7 steep, and this tea is showing no signs of waning.
The aroma of the wet leaves is fairly typical puerhy. Leather, wet soil, barky are my first impressions…all favorable and not overwhelming. There is a hint of ….hmmm… maybe soapiness, in a nice way. A slightly refreshing aromatic ending. Maybe they say this is the date, but its kinda soapy for me.
As for the taste, this one is smooth. In my opinion, this relatively thick, deep mahogany colored liquor is one of the smoothest and mellowest I’ve tasted. This attribute is the high point for this tea. What it has in smoothness, it lacks in depth of flavor. From steep to steep, there is a certain monotony in this tea. An expert would refer to this as “lack of rhythm”. With an undoubtedly pleasant taste, I am not too disappointed. I just would like to be able to decipher an evolution of flavors. This tea leaves me with a reasonably clean finish, but without that certain numbing pleasantness we can see in really good Puerhs.
The positive: clean, pleasant flavor, good endurance, nice aroma.
The negative: lack of rhythm.
Overall a nice tea and well worth drinking. Also the quality/price ratio is very high.
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This review is going to be done in my new yixing teapot from teavivre so some of the points I’m making will be about the teapot.
Dry smell: This tea has a very nice dry smell. It has no fishiness. It is lighter and sweeter smelling than various other puerhs I’ve tried. It has a light aroma of wet tree bark and a dough like smell.
Taste: This tea has a nice dry flavor. I can sense a woody flavor and also a wet earthy flavor. It is a lot darker flavor than I expected. Although it is not sweet like it smelled, it has no astringency and is very smooth. I can still taste what I sensed as the doughy smell. It tastes like a cracker. This is a nice smooth Puerh and I’ll be ordering more soon.
Wet smell: The wet smell is a lot like the dry smell, it is just lacking the sweet scent. The pot adds a deep earthy smell
What the pot does: I drank this tea a couple times before I got my yixing pot from my gaiwan. I was somewhat skeptical of how much the yixing would actually affect the flavor but there is a notable difference. It gets rid of the natural sharpness the tea has and flattens it out. I can tell it is absorbing some of the flavor because it is slightly lighter, and I am very excited to see what the pot provides after it is fully seasoned.
This tea is extraordinarily drinkable; it has a kind of “creamy” texture. I don’t like this type of tea as well as the “rawer” green puerh variety, but as far as it goes it is quite delicious and flavorful, and makes one think of what an ideal Darjeeling tea might taste like…with absolutely no bitterness or tannins.
I’m guessing that this is typical, run-of-the-mill, puerh tea, hence, its agreeable price. The taste is “earthy” but not disagreeable. No bells or whistles, and quite mild in body. The brick itself is extremely dry and brittle. The physical effect is nice; it’s quite drinkable — one could do much worse for an everyday puerh tea! By the third infusion, this has the feel of a very satisfying puerh tea, but still nothing to write home about. I consider this a “value” tea, rather than a stellar standout.
“Aroma” is right, but it’s funky…quite fishy and maybe a little smoky….not exactly inviting. The tea is quite drinkable, but for all its “aroma” has hardly any flavor. Seems mild in effect also. Every time I steep a pot it’s like I’m standing outside of a fish-processing plant. Hard to believe anyone really enjoys this smell. Tea is brownish red in color, which gets deeper by the potful. I find that as the day wears on, I’m not looking forward to drinking more….it’s a little bit like drinking sewage. It’s basically a caffeine delivery vehicle.
This is without question the blandest puerh tea I’ve ever tasted. There is nothing disagreeable about it, but that’s only because there’s nothing there! It seemed weak in every respect…I tried steeping it longer than normal but it made little difference.
Yet another sample and a bit too small for me to be able to give a true review of it as I normally use a bit more ripe puerh at a time. Despite brewing light it has a smooth edge to it. Even though this ripe puerh was said to be made with really premium leaves I can not really tell that much of a difference. Sure it is a good puerh on its own merits but if you expect this one to be special or above the rest then you will be in for a disappointing cup of tea.
Another sample so once again this review is based upon a single session. Nothing really stood out to me as that remarkable of this tea as it is more of a standard young sheng that one can drink young without being overwhelmed with harshness. The only thing that stood out was when I forgot about in infusion that the result was stronger but still very drinkable.
Another free sample from PuerhShop so this is based on a single shot brew. I flash brewed it in a gaiwan with pretty good results. Overall the tea comes off as a light and sweet brew that comes off as being closer to a green tea than sheng puerh. Also for people that have a sensitive stomach when it comes to sheng this seems to be a very stomach friendly sheng.
2006 Dayi 7572, this one has a sweet aroma from the dry cake and after the first rinse it turned into a slightly sweet mushoomy type aroma that is very nice it takes you to the edge of a damp forest after the rain at dusk and you smell the sweet forest floor covered with mushrooms and other strange things. 1st infusion you are walking into that forest and dusk is now night and you can taste the woods and earth and mushrooms. 2nd infusion and your nearing the middle of the forest and the woods are getting thicker and the mushrooms are huge and and it’s much darker about midnight now. 3rd infusion you decide to have a sit down on the forest floor for a while you are surrounded by a ring of mushrooms and its very dark, you hear a sound in the distant but you don’t mind you are peaceful and calm, you loose yourself for a while as you close your eyes and drink in the forest….bliss. 4th infusion you open your eyes and you see that its not quite as dark as before you know that dawn must be near so you stand up and start leaving the thick dark forest, its light enough now that you can find your way home. 5th infusion you’ve made it out of the thick forest into the outer woods it is dawn now and you can see you house through the sticks and shrubs you take one last look back at the dark forest and as you turn back around you are at your table and you realize that you did not just have a walk through a Dark Damp Forest from Dusk till Dawn, You just spent an hour with a really great tea that’s all. I’ve heard a saying before that went something like “each cup of tea is an imaginary journey” This Tea was an amazing Journey!I’ve had this similar aroma and experience from many puerh and its always strangely enjoyable, this is what tea can do for you if you let it :)
At the time of my first purchase I had no Clue about this “Golden
Flowers” so I was like WTF is this in my Tea? I later learned
about it and realized that I love it, Before I knew about it I wouldn’t
keep the first purchase in the house My only though was to get that
Fungus as far away from Lance as possible(gave it to my brother)
because I didn’t realize it was harmless to him too,
I thought it may damage his lungs
because he isn’t well (long Story) but that is a thing of the past and
now that I know we can both enjoy the Fu Zhuan.
It’s nothing spectacular but I enjoy it a lot it has a very earthy
flavor and It does kinda taste haylike to me, I use it when I make
my Butter Tea and use it for other recipes also.
This Tea looks like something you would not want to drink, it is
full of stems and sticks and the leaves really look old and crusty
but it really is not bad, This particular one has less “Golden Flower”
but still tastes pretty good. Very smooth and kinda hard to
actually describe the taste it almost has a raw/green puerh taste
but brews up like a ripe puerh tho I personally wouldn’t even call it
a Puerh myself it is something else. The Gold dust is good and not
scary at all you guys should try this one. This one has very little “Golden
The saga of the sore throat continues. I put absolutely no thought into this tea selection; it was the first thing I pulled out of my pu’er box. I just needed something hot on the throat, no more. It satisfies that purpose well enough. The taste is pretty unremarkable though. It’s not bad; it just tastes like very standard sheng. It’s pretty docile though, doesn’t seem as dry as some other sheng (which is good, the last thing I want is any more dryness in my throat). It does get pretty repulsively sour if left oversteeped though. Ever since coming across that weird strong sourness in another pu’er I tried, I seem to be very aware of it in other sheng, and I really don’t think I like it. It’s not like lemon-sour, it’s a savory sour, like vinegar or curdled milk. I wonder if that’s just a standard sheng characteristic (and I’m odd in finding it unpleasant) or if it’s something that can be avoided. I need to go back and try some of my favorite sheng with this newly-developed palette and see if I can find the sourness in them.
On a random note, I went to the farmer’s market today and picked up some radishes. Really spicy radishes. So I find myself wondering, what kind of tea would pair well with radishes? Hmmmm..