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Recent Tasting Notes

84

This is a very good sheng. No astringency but it still retains some camphor and a little “bite” The first infusion was kind of weak, I guess I didn’t allow proper time for the leaves to re-hydrate. The later steeps are really nice and have the sweetness of an aged sheng. It gives many infusions before turning to just colored water.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
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98

This is a truly excepectional sheng with strong floral aroma across many infusions and superb meditative cha qi.

I was fortunate enough to have received a 10g as a gift of this rare, expensive tea.

before reading about it or knowing what it was, I dropped half of these dark, long, substantial leaves and iridescent buds in a standard competition tasting set.

Set and setting could not have been better: alone on a quiet evening by the fireplace, following a meditation session.

Heavenly fragrance, mostly floral yet also fruity emanating from the wet leaves.

I happily went through about 7 infusions, 10-20 seconds each, each time amazed that the aroma is still strong. Soft, gentle tea. evokes a calm and serene state of being.

Being a young sheng it was a bit drying to the mouth, and I had mild stomach ache for about 10 min.
I awoke refreshed and took the remaining tea to the office, where after reading the description of this tea, and its price, I proceeded to brew it countless times to make the most of these precious leaves.

I am very glad to have another session left of this heavenly sheng. It is by far the most intensly floral pu er I have tried, and evokes a very nice state of being.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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EDIT: I just tried this one again. this time in a competition tasting kit.
Its actually quite a wonderful tea, with a relatively aged, mellow flavor.
perhaps there was aftertaste in the water from the metal thermos I used last time, or my standards were too high because the last 2 teas I had before it were high-end shengs.
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Sorry, but I cant say I like this one. Something about it just doesn’t feel right. Doesn’t evoke the usual wholesome happy feeling in the body and mind that i’ve grown to expect from quality tea.
Its also thin and not as sweet as other shengs in its class that came in the same shipment.
On the plus side, leaves dropped in a warm pot emanate a pleasant, strong aroma surprisingly similar to clean shu pu er. After the wash, aroma is vaguely similar to fresh bread dough, also found in shu in my experience.
Flavor is tarry and slightly fruity.

Seems rather aged for its vintage, probably due it part to the light compression, or perhaps it underwent relatively wet storage or was made using aged mao cha.

Brewing params: the usual 7g in 160ml duan ni pot. boiling water. 3-20 sec infusion times. Used mostly loose leaves rather than a whole chunck from this lightly compressed sample.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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I have this once so far using 7g in same yixing pot as the Fu Lu Yuan Bing Cha, and hotter water and longer infusions.
also, 3 of the 7 grams were very broken leaf.
I brewed the fu lu yuan at home by the fire place and this one at work- so environmental factors favor the former.

I need to experiment a few more times to properly review this tea.
Right now, it seems like a much less complex, generally lower quality version of the Fu Lu Yuan. Same orange colored infusions.
bottom line: If you are looking for an affordable everyday sheng, I recommend spending another few bucks, as well as precious shipping weight on the lovely Fu Lu Yuan.

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Shipment of 10 sheng varieties just came in from royalpuer.

Lovely fresh fragrance of the dried leaves convinced me to start with this one. They did a great job at breaking up the cake. I received nice chunks with only a few grams of broken leaf.
dropped 7g in yixing pot.
smell of weal leaves after rinse: predominantly smokey flavor.
1st infusion tastes rather clear and somewhat mild. good thickness of tea liquid.

3rd or 4th infusion. I let it brew for 20-30 seconds. this was by far the best infusion, with thick, sweet, remarkably silky golden tea liquid that was a joy to gulp down. a few seconds after finishing the cup, a pleasant sweet flavor returned to the palate.

5th infusion- brewed for approx 1 min. some salty notes detected. sweetness and thickness declining yet still prominent. subtle orange fruit quality overall.

bottom line: a great value at approx $5 for 100g, tasting as good or better than other shengs that go for 2-4 times the price.
Well rounded with no astringency, dryness, or rough edges whatsoever.
Its not as strongly flavored or aromatic than the better sheng’s I have tried, but certainly complex and yummy enough to happily regarded as a good move to have gotten a nice stock of this one.
Its certainly much, much more flavorful and interesting that a benchmark 2009 vintage mengahi 7542. I have yet to sample the 2007 7542 for a fair comparison.

brewing recommendations: using plenty of leaf and long brewing times seems to bring out the best of this tea. it can handle long infusions easily.
will try even longer times in future to bring out more flavor.

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This is the cheapest Sheng-pu’er I’ve seen anywhere. Tuocha itself had a stingy, sweet aroma remindin me of mint. Leaves look quite good, pu’er looks like what it should be. Leaves are quite large, and for most part whole. It tastes like it smells, sweet, slightly stingy mint. Piece of tuocha broke up almost immediately when I added water, so I was quite careful with this tea. With a short steep this tea was quite enjoyable, a bit boring but much more than I was expecting for. I tried to steep a little longer, but bitterness scared me away quickly, I didn’t take more than three brewings. I should try to drink this again, and get over my disgust for bitterness, I feel there might be more in this cake than I initially thought.

I bought ten of these for a particular reason, I am planning to experiment with aging. I’m gonna hide one of these in a really humid cottage, one in somewhere dry, one in a normal shelf… Maybe I put one in a spiceshelf for a year.
Then, after 5-10 years I’ll have a pu’ertasting, and the effects of aging can be tested (?). Of course, this isn’t a high quality sheng, but I didn’t dare to sacrifice anything good for this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Nathaniel Gruber

Sounds like a fun experiment. Yeah, it would be too bad to ruin some really high end Sheng with improper aging.

Jesse Örö

Yeah. Aging is a difficult subject.
Almost all other aspects of tea can be easily experimented, like brewing time, zisha types… But aging!

Nathaniel Gruber

Very intriguing! You’ve inspired me to find some affordable Sheng and tamper with the aging parameters.

Asaf Mazar

Its been 2 years. have you snuck a tasting in to check up these cakes?

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92

This is an interesting cake. It smells first rather heavy, after rubber and typical fresh sheng, but when you unwrap it, it gets lighter and much rounder… The first magic happens when you pour hot water, rinse and smell again. Wet tobacco and a very special smell appears which cannot be described easily, it reminds me of something very ancient.. The second magic comes when you make the first infusion. I was careful first and used colder water cca 80ºC (5g/80ml), given the smell I expected heavy smoky tones and astringency, but to my surprise none of them were really present in the first cup. The cake was pressed rather tight but according to the wrapper it was 5 years and 5 months ago and you can really feel it. The tea broth is beautifully dark golden, it tastes mellow, somewhat tobaccoish.. In the second and third infusions I identified dry cherries and it was really nice surprise as I really like the smell of cherry pipe tobacco. This tea has a nice huigan, too, which can be experienced more in the third and later infusions. Nice tea.
To read the whole review see my blog:
http://teadropping.blogspot.com/2011/10/2006-shuangjiang-mengku-rongshi-qizi.html

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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67

This tea is sometimes considered cooked (Shu) Pu erh, although it actually should be considered another type of Hei cha (black tea), a larger group of tea where Pu erh, too, belongs. While Pu erh is produced in Yunnan province, this Tibetan brick is produced by Ya an tea factory in Sichuan.

This is a very interesting brick. I’d read many reviews even before tasting this tea myself so I expected many things. And yes, the tea is really sweet, and it has nothing to do with the common Shu taste..

The smell resembles a special mixture of wood leaves and nuts, maybe chestnuts, the color is light brown-red, very transparent.. it is good for digesting but does not have that strong effect on stomach, nevertheless, having something to eat before is recommendable. I really like this tea although it will probably work as a good breakfast or after-lunch ritual during the colder days in autumn for it does not have that cooling effect required by these hot days, rather the opposite.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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89

One of my first encounters with sheng tuo and I guess I couldn´t choose better. The taste is fruity, smooth, but still strong, especially when steeped longer. It has beautiful golden color and nice smell, resembles dry apricot. This is how I imagined good sheng for daily drinking could taste. I cannot rate excellent for not being able to compare much, so I need to leave space for bigger impression, but still, this tuo is absolutely worth trying.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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97

The fruity flavors of this tea have grown and the sharpness that was more present a few months ago has now mellowed out into a smooth, sweet sheng puer.

More description and photos at my blog www.chaxicollective.tumblr.com

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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97

This Puer is one of my favorites, it’s sweet but strong. it has a slight melon flavor that i find in a lot of raw puers. I only use a small amount and it seems to last all day. it’s a great morning puer and it’s even perfect for a hot day.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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