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Recent Tasting Notes
2002 Top Aged Yunnan CNNP 7542 Zhong Cha (raw)
Price:100g £8.95 ($13.98).
7g in Gaiwan.
Summary: This tea has an interesting aged taste, and has good longevity. Looking at the wet leaves I cannot see any black leaves, which leaves me to believe its age.
Dry: Dark brown; medium compression; dry dusty aroma.
Wet: Light porridge sweetness, dust, then hot fruit. Faint church-like aroma.
5s – Light brown. Woody-creamy. An aged flavour.
10s – Slight bitterness on the swallow contrasts with the mild woody-creamy body. Taste is smooth and interesting.
15s – More of the same.
20s – Some sourness, but still have that aged taste.
Flavors: Creamy, Wood
Dry leaf has a light musty aroma.
Wet leaf after rinse has a nice aged aroma.
First infusions tasted fine. Somewhat Light body but decent aged flavor.
Wet leaves are a mix of dark brown and olive green. small, broken leaves.
In my experience, this tea does not have the vitality, the oomph, the special character that good puer can have.
Its nothing like the 92 da ye loose leaf sheng from essence of tea, for example.
I keep returning to the conclusion that its more cost effective and satisfying to buy premium tea from well curated selections by reputable vendors than to hunt for bargains.
If I didn’t know the source I’d say I had drank a different tea than Rich. I wasn’t blown away by this tea. I definitely don’t think it was dry stored. There was a strong note of wet wood in this tea. This note usually means wet storage. This could still be a wet stored tea from 1997. This wet storage taste never completely went away, even in the tenth steep. I did not find any fruity notes like Rich did. I found mildly sour notes instead. There was indeed little bitterness to this tea and the sour notes could be the tea trying to age. I think there is an equal chance that this is a much younger tea than 1997 and wet stored. I don’t know enough about judging the difference in the tea liquid to be sure though. Younger. humid stored tea has a look similar to aged raw puerh. It would also have the notes of wet wood that were so prevalent in this tea.
I brewed this tea ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.
Flavors: Sour, Wet Wood
I was blown away by this tea. I don’t say that lightly, and I’ve already purchased 2 cakes just in case they get snapped up! This is the kind of tea I have been looking for, for a long time. First, I will say that to me this seems like the real deal, i.e. not a fake. I only purchased a sample, though, so I haven’t seen the wrapper. It is nearly 20 years old. I have wanted to try a non-humid stored aged tea that wasn’t hundreds of dollars, and this one fit the bill at $75 for a cake ($20 for a sample).
The tea looked like a shu, which of course it should being that old. The first steep poured a dark brown cola color. I thought, yay! This is going to be good, it is really aged. And wow, the flavor was amazing. It had the deepness of a shu, but was quite fruity, as you might expect in a Yiwu. There were no off flavors, so I suspect the storage was excellent. The first several steeps were very complex, with an amazing huigan. My wife kept saying she felt like there was an explosion in her mouth. It had that astringency and cooling methol type effect. It had flavors of fruit, a little earthy-ness, a very slight mushroomy-ness, and others I just don’t know how to characterize. I feel like this is why people go so hard for a good aged pu erh. Now I get it more fully. The tea lasted so long, I lost count of the infusions. My belly was making sounds like ocean waves, so I definitely had quite a bit. I had to stop, though the tea hadn’t given up all of its flavor. The fruitiness and huigan came more to the fore in the later steeps.
All I can say is, if you want to know what a good dry-stored aged pu erh tastes like, GET SOME OF THIS TEA. Now that I have raved about it, I hope it doesn’t disappoint. You know how that can happen. I looked so long to find a tea that was aged well and not super expensive. I would highly recommend this tea as an example of where your pu erh may be headed in the decades to come… if we live long enough to see the day!
Brewed western style. This is definitely one of the sweetest straight black teas I’ve ever had. It comes through in both the taste and the smell. Mildly malty, and smooth. I got almost a chocolatey vibe off of this one. The gran, who can’t tell the difference from one tea to another took a sip, and remarked on the sweetness as well which says something to me. Nothing harsh, with but a hint of spice as I continue the cup. This is one that I think I’ll pick up some time. Also, on my second steep, I added just a couple drops of vanilla extract to, and oh man, that’s so good!
I’ve been enjoying shopping for treasures at Streetshop88. I went hunting for ripes recently, looking for cakes under $20. To me, that’s my risk appetite for a cake that I haven’t sampled. This one was $20. It’s quite good. Fairly smooth, medium body, dark, with bittersweet chocolate notes. I caught some fruit in a couple of early steeps. The cake looks nice, you can see the golden buds. A good quality cake and I’m glad to have it!
I have bought a number of solid ripes from Streetshop88. I decided to give one of their aged raws a shot. This is a middle aged 7542 that sells for $33 a cake, so I had my doubts. That’s not much more than a new 7542 after all. Well, as far as I can tell, this is the real deal. It brewed a nice bronze color. The broth was clear, the leaves were in good shape, and I was able to get lots of flavorful infusions, as you’d expect from this tea. There was no humid storage flavors. It tasted its age. This is probably the best bargain I’ve seen for a quality factory tea that is more than 10 years old.
One mighty fine earthy pu’er here.
This tea brews dark and strong. The aroma is not distinctive from other pu’er teas though. Really enjoyable taste for a strong shou but it is a bit dry. The steeping on this is much easier because it doesn’t take much to break up the leaf for a nice clean steep. Most appealing to this tea is the color and the pure earthy taste that comes with every sip. If it wasn’t for the dry mouth feel after a sip this would be fantastic. It isn’t impossible for a strong shou to be earthy and leave a semi honey like flavor in the mouth after which would be more appealing, this one just leaves a dry earth instead of wet earth after taste.
More Streetshop88! On my last order, I asked my wife to choose a tea based on how she felt about looking at it. Sort of an ESP kind of thing. This is the one she chose. I ordered a cake knowing nothing about it. It turned out to be a pretty good tea. It is very light in flavor, but quite smooth. The cake is really nice, it has a pretty wrapper which uses very thick high quality paper. I like that. The leaf quality is very good, big leaves. The soup is medium brown, no fermentation flavor. There is not much complexity, but it feels nice and my wife likes it. If you’re looking for a light safe non earthy ripe pu erh to try, I think this is a good one. Anyone know what company this is from the picture?
I bought a sample of this tea with low expectations: a ripe cake that purports to be both organic and from LaoManE? I had my doubts. But I thought I’d give it a shot, I’m the curious type and I couldn’t resist. As for being organic, who knows. Probably not, as we all suspect the organic label on Chinese tea is often not for real, and in fact, I don’t see the word organic on the picture of the label. But as for being from LaoManE, it very well may be. The tea is interesting, and quite bitter. The kind of bitterness you would expect from a LaoManE tea. And it is interesting to taste this level of bitterness in a ripe pu erh. I wonder whether the bitterness will age out, or if it should already have been aged out since the tea has been fermented into a ripe? Underneath the bitterness is a smoothness, if that makes sense, and a hint of that plum flavor and earthiness, though these other flavors are hard to detect because of all the bitterness. It is hurting my stomach like a young sheng. I may buy a cake of this just to see what happens to it. Maybe I’ll stick the rest of this sample into the Pu-erh Traveling Tea Box for this round to see how others like it. You can, of course, buy a reasonably priced sample from Streetshop88 like I did.
It had been quite a while since I last drank this tea. Rich expressed an interest in it but I could not give an opinion because it had been too long since I drank it. This tea is good. It has a lot of flavor. I thought it might have lost flavor in nearly two years of Long Island storage but it doesn’t seem to have lost flavor. There was a moderate amount of fermentation to this tea. More than I remembered actually. However, this went away by the fourth steep. This tea started as a fairly bittersweet tea. It had a fair amount of natural sweetness to it (not meaning sugar sweet) and a fair amount of bitterness. The bitterness went away and I was left with a tasty, somewhat sweet ripe puerh. I steeped this tea eight times and I think it would have gone twelve steeps had I not had enough caffeine already.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 170ml teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse then let the leaves rest for ten minutes. I know more time is recommended to let the leaves open up but I didn’t have the patience to wait any longer. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Sweet
I decided to buy a sample of this tea from Streetshop88, in part because it is a ‘gold award’ winner. I wonder what gold award it won? Maybe it is smack talk. But Streetshop was kind enough to offer a sample for sale at my request. It wasn’t that great, but definitely pretty good. Maybe I’d give it a bronze award. Smooth, medium fermentation. Good flavor and nice broth.
This tea is really yummy. I think we have Allan to thank for discovering it. Very smooth, great flavor, deep and rich. Some fermentation funk permeates all steepings, but I suspect it will fade and this tea will turn out top notch. I’m going to get a tong, the cakes are only 100g and reasonably priced.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This is amazing.
It’s everything I love about ripe puerh….
Mineral notes (which always come out as baked-good…almost baking powder/cream of tartar notes to me)…. raisin like, sweet and so deep…
Yes. This is a definite ‘add to cupboard when you can!’ type tea….
Thank you SO MUCH Dexter for sending this to me to try… It’s even better than I had hoped! :)
oh dexter. can we buy more please? when you get to being allowed to buy more? I pulled this one out randomly today because i always try to take time for at least one puerh when i work from home because even if it gets busy, i generally have time for a few steeps in between meetings. Today i christened my new pot that i picked up from the tea festival with this one. I’ve only had a couple steeps so far, so more to come if life doesn’t get busy..but i really love this. It’s rich. i have no other way to describe it.
it’s smooth…and deep…and rich…and just downright satisfying.
sneaks over to ebay
mmmmmm delicious! working from home today so i’m trying at least a couple of the samples dexter sent my way since i have time to enjoy them…sort of haha
there are malt notes in this tea and some underlying chocolate notes that are very faint i had a couple steeps of this one and it was thoroughly enjoyable. This would be one that i would consider picking up if i place an order through streetshop88 :)
This is a fairly tasty, and fairly malty flavored black tea. The malt is prominent. I also get another note that I think can be described as baked bread. There is a third, sweet note too. No time for a long review as I have to go to work.
I brewed this one time in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 2 min.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet
First time sampling it I decided to just go forth and use my zishi.
I don’t use gaiwans for shou anyway.
Used my ~90 ml zishi dedicated to shou and around 6 grams of leaf.
The cake had very light compression for me. I easily broke my sample from the cake without use of a cake-tool.
Very beautiful leaves. Had a strong aroma too.
Used two quick washes after adding the leaves to my warmed up pot.
First steeping was a bit fishy and bitter but I could tell it was just waking up. The true flavors were yet to come out.
The second steeping I was getting hints of creamed wheat with a Bittersweet Malty aspect going on, still little fermented taste but nothing major.
The chaqi was very warming in the chest and stomach.
I felt alert and energized but was perfectly content sitting listening to peter tosh and sipping this delicious tea.
Can’t wait to try this with company and see what they think of the taste.
To me it’s a winner.
Perfect price, smaller sized cake, decent delivery speed minus customs in my case, and a great taste.
Flavors: Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Malt, Wheat
When I saw Dexter’s Instagram post on this tea I just had to try it. In a short phrase, I will buy this again. This was an excellent black tea. The notes of malt were quite subtle and there were chocolate notes in there too. I added a small amount of sugar to this tea which I think intensified the chocolate notes for me. It reminded me a little of Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha, just a little. The chocolate notes were not as strong but this was an excellent tea. I am glad today that my work schedule tomorrow does not relegate me to decaf and low caffeine green tea for I was able to enjoy this tea. For several days I had been drinking decaf teas even in the afternoon and it was annoying.
I steeped this four times in a 230ml glass teapot with 4.2g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, and 3 min. Even after four steeps the tea wasn’t finished had I wanted to continue. I am sure I could have gotten at least two more steeps out of it.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
Of course there are two listings for this tea. It wouldn’t be Steepster without excessive duplications! :P
This sample is from Dexter, thank you! I have enough for one more pot, or a “terrible treatment” in my thermos. Haha.
I really like this one. Especially in later steeps when it starts getting so fruity. It’s still steeping up pretty dark although I’ve done 7 or 8 steeps already. Every time I go into the kitchen I flick the kettle on and do another cup. :) The only downside, and I think this is because it’s such a tightly packed puerh, is that there are lots of “bits” that need to be strained out. The Huron I had yesterday didn’t need to be strained at all, but then again it was a loose tea.
And I think I might prefer this one.
Thanks so much for sharing! Hopefully I’ll be able to come off hiatus at some point this year so I can pick up a cake. :)
From Dexter, so I can decide if I want to buy a cake or not. :) Thank you!
I have an online meeting this morning, and a tea setup on my desk. So of course I had to take advantage and try to gongfu a tea while taking minutes. :D
1 quick rinse, because it was pretty compact. Then it rested FOREVER while my fancy kettle boiled.
1 steep, IDK about 5 seconds. Maybe I’ll drink this. Hmm. Oh hey that’s pretty good. I have coffee lingering still, but the tea is pretty sweet. There’s a bit of that musty-fishy smell in this rinse/steep still, but it’s super mild.
2 steep, whoops I got distracted. BLACK TEA. Smells yummy though. Kinda fruity. There’s a bright bitterness at the end of the sip.
3 steep, distracted again. I accidentally mixed 2 and 3 in my milk jug.
4 steep, … I got busy with typing. But I’m drinking all the tea! Yum yum yum.
? ? ? How many steeps did I get? I honestly have no idea. But so far, so good.
(CRACKLES! http://instagram.com/p/yXXRHbR5A9/ )
Edit: I’ve gone through just about 2 litres of water drinking this today, with about 1 cup of waste product… WHOA.