Six Famous Tea Mountains ( Yunnan Sourcing)

Recent Tasting Notes


Method: Gongfucha with 8 grams of tea to 140 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is a Zisha pot that I’ve dedicated to Sheng Puerh. It has a pour speed of around 5 seconds, so subtract 5 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time.)

Upon looking at the cake, you can tell that it’s got some age on it. It’s darker than most of the other Sheng in my closet. The leaves are a very dark grey with a slight brown-ish tinge and have a moderate amount of small silver-gold buds streaking through the cake. The smell off the dry leaf is still fairly gasoline-ey, even after 10 years of storage, but there’s also a smokey tone underneath it.

1st Steep (10 seconds): The Color is a light honey-orange. The Smell is odd, I’m getting smoke, but it’s also a more colorful aspect that I just can’t place. The Taste is surprisingly delicate, mineral-ey, smokey, lightly fruity, but altogether far more delicate than I’d expect. The Aftertaste is clean and smooth, but there’s a smoke-ey mineral taste in the finish.

2nd Steep (15 seconds): The Color’s a bit darker, more like a moderately dark amber. The Smell has more mineral-ey fruit in it and much less smoke and a bit more of that petroleum scent. The Taste is mineral-ey with that “aged” taste, it’s actually quite good (I’ve had this tea earlier this year, but it was unbearable in it’s harshness). The Aftertaste brings in more of that petroleum bitterness, especially in the finish.

3rd Steep (15 seconds): The Color’s remained much the same, but the Scent has taken on a much lighter tone. It’s not sweet, but it’s far more mellow, like the scents of the last steep without the harshness thrown in. The Taste is also significant;y more appealing. It has a full mouthfeel that coats the entirety of the mouth and a taste that seems younger than it probably should be, minerals and petroleum covered in smoke (I swear it’s not as horrible as I’m probably making it sound! :) ). The Aftertaste brings some not-so-subtle astringency to the mix, but it’s not enough to make me turn away from it.

4th Steep (20 seconds): Color’s the same, still a beautiful amber. The Smell hasn’t dramatically changed either, but the Taste hits you right on the middle of the tongue, a smooth mineral bitterness that’s a world apart from simple “bitter”. The Aftertaste has some astringency still, but it too has evolved into a more refined aspect other than simple “astringency”.

5th Steep (30 seconds): The Color’s actually holding up remarkably well, most teas would have altered their color by now. The Smell is a sort of sweet bitterness; it’s not harsh, it more delicate than you’d expect. The Taste hits you at the top of the throat, and guess what, the smoke and honey are back!, which isn’t what I was expecting at all, but there mixed in with the mineral-ey-ness off the tea. The Aftertaste lingers on the middle of the tongue, a slight bitterness with a moderately tart astringency.

Summary: Not a bad Cake. I’m thinking that the Zisha clay took off some of the harshness. This is definitely not a daily drinker, nor is this something that I would encourage someone new to tea to drink. It’s quite harsh, even with the Zisha softening. I’ll brew this every now and again, but definitely not once a day, or even once a week, probably not even once a month.
It does evolve though, which gives me hope for it’s future. I’ll drink this when I feel the urge to be punched in the face with the bitter Fist of a Thousand Tea Cakes!

195 °F / 90 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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Whoa. Smokey. This has a pretty strong smoke aroma.

The cake was really tightly compressed, but I managed to pry off some leaves. I have a bit of a headache, so I’m not feeling too poetic, but I can say that I like it. It’s good.

And now I am gonna finish watching Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil and then possibly chop my own head off if I can’t get rid of this headache.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 2 OZ / 73 ML

Hope you feel better!

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I received this from a great tea friend to try. I have always been intrigued by this companies productions from the “heyday” of the good puerh production. I used 10 grams in the Gaiwan for this one. Gave a 5 second rinse to start things out. I did a 5 second brew 3 times and put it all in the cup ( my gaiwan is about 3 oz. ).
It brewed up a pretty nice aged color to it, a darker hue of yellow. Almost a light bronze to it. It has a bit of smoke in the brew. It gives some notes of bitter and sweet mixed.The leaf seems to be a mix of chopped with some whole in there if you dig around a bit. Aroma does have some touch of floral to it. later steeps have less smoke and color to them.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Smoke, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I was feeling in need of a perk-up earlier, so I decided to pull out one of the many YS Sheng samples I haven’t tried yet. The dry leaf is predominantly in shades of gray (50? no not quite, heh), with strands of beige & olive, & an aged but sweet hay aroma.
Warming the leaf brings out a sweet creamy barley shroom soup essence…hmmm…!

I’ve been through several steepings, but I can tell there are still quite a few to go.
This starts out with a very appealing taste that I can’t quite pinpoint. It’s fruity & sweet. It kind of reminds me of fruit loops a little bit, ha! In fact, for a moment I was afarid that my cast iron kettle, which I had combined a few steeps in, was contaminate by somebody brewing some flavored blasphemy in it, so I poured a few steeps directly from my yixing into a cup, & the taste continued down the sweet & fruity path! Yay!
A little tart, definitely sweet, a little floral…I’m really enjoying it, & would sit here & continue to steep it out, but I’ve got somewhere to go.
I’ll take this back up tomorrow…

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This tea begins with a strong aged flavor, I don’t know how else to describe it. It is strong but not bitter, a little rough around the edges. It got much smoother during the later steepings and the aged taste was somewhat mitigated. For this one I experimented with an idea borrowed from Sarsonator, maple syrup. It had never occurred to me to use this in tea before she had the idea. I found that sugar alone did not dull the strong aged taste in the early steepings. I eventually used a little sugar for raw sweetness, and a couple of drams of maple for the flavor. This did a nice job of taking the edge of a still edgy sheng. This tea has made it into my pumidor and I will age it there for a few years in the hopes it improves. I will have to try a young sheng from the Six Famous Tea Mountains for comparison but this is my first taste of this brand.

There were a variety of strong notes in this tea. The ones on the list that come closest to describing them are tobacco and decayed wood, although that is not a truly accurate description.

I steeped this six times in a 200ml glass gaiwan. I used 6g of leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, and 30 sec. This was not good enough in my estimate to keep the leaves for further infusions later, but anyway I know I will want a shou or perhaps an oolong.

Flavors: Decayed wood, Tobacco

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

You know, A… I don’t usually maple my shengs. I normally use it in black teas and sometimes flavored teas, when maple would work well with the flavor. But the next time I get an unruly sheng, I think I will try some maple and see how that goes. :)

Oh, and I think the idea may have come from TerriHarpLady originally. MzPriss calls it “Terri Style”

Terri HarpLady

LOL. I don’t know if I can take credit, but I do like a little maple in my smokey teas sometimes, it really enhances the burnt caramel flavors, & occasionally in some flavored blacks.
I’ve never tried it in sheng, but one of the things I love about our tea drinking is the experimental element, where we get to find out what works but for us, & enjoy it!
I enjoyed your review, Allan!

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