Tea Classico

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Recent Tasting Notes

100

This tea caught my eye due to its wild origins, and something said take the plunge. For me, it exists in the sweet spot between gaoshan oolong (with all its lingering resonance and rich mouthfeel) and heavier Red Jade Taiwanese red tea (deeper and more robust). Really the best of both worlds.
http://www.teaclassico.com/Red-Tea/taiwanese-red-tea/tengjhih-wild-red-tea.html

Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Herbs, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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94

This one is definitely a keeper for me .
Totally agree with previous reviewer’s tasting note.

Here is the link for this tea :
http://www.teaclassico.com/cnnp-menghai-tea-factory-7542-2003.html

Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 110 OZ / 3253 ML

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98
Good energy and excellent finish – the sweet wood and camphor notes with hint of old books.

Great traditional storage and high grade material all together making this cake one of my favorites.
Here is the link for this tea :
http://www.teaclassico.com/Yunnan-Puer-tea-Pu’er/Sheng-puer-tea/cnnp-zhen-cang-pin-treasure-collection-2000.html

Flavors: Brandy, Camphor, Dark Wood, Mineral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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96

For me personally Tea Classico is one of the newer “go to” puerh vendors, especially if you are looking for aged raw puerh at decent prices. I ended up buying 2 cakes from them last year, this being one of them and the other one was the Tong Qing Hao “Chi Cang” 1997. Both are great teas in my opinion, however I prefer the CNNP 2000 a little bit more. I decided to have a tea session so here are my thoughts.

I used 14 grams of tea in my 250ml teapot. A quick 5 second rinse and I check out the wet leaves. The leaves display a rather enticing oily sheen. The aroma is woody with that “mineral” background, reminiscent of wetter stored puerh. According to the description page this has been dry stored in Hong Kong for 13 years. Even though this has been dry stored you still get the aroma of wet storage, although nowhere near as prominent as White2Tea’s Hong Kong styled puerh, nor Tea Classico’s Tong Quing Hao.

First proper steep at 10 seconds. Liquid comes out a dark red/orange. Sipping the brew slowly I am greeted with the Hong Kong “mineral” taste, sweet wood and mild camphor notes. The liquid is not that thick but it feels “slippery” and oily in the mouth. Very, very smooth.

Second steep at 15 seconds and now the liquid looks pretty potent with it’s dark red appearance. Sipping it I am still getting that mineral taste and sweet wood, but there is a strength and robustness that I find difficult to describe. It reminds me of drinking a fine Cognac or Scotch. No bitterness or astringency. I begin to sweat a little on my forehead. Good energy. Excellent finish – the sweet wood and camphor notes dancing all around my mouth.

I check out the leaves and have noticed how the leaves have spread out and filled my teapot. My feeling is that the leaves are of excellent quality, most of them being unbroken. They still display that lovely oily sheen.

Third steep and the mineral background is starting to fade away and the sweet wood and camphor notes are the main focus of my attention. It is not losing any richness/robustness. Starting to develop numbness on the tongue which I always enjoy, followed by the cooling affect when I take a deep breath in.

I continue to steep this way past a litre and it delivers powerful brew after powerful brew. Really good durability. For a puerh only aged 14 years it really is a remarkable little beast. My feeling that the storage has been impeccable. This is a great puerh in the sense that it has the perfect balance of dry and wet storage flavours. This may be a problem for some folk who don’t enjoy that “mineral” taste, however you would be missing out as the mineral flavours don’t last that long.

For me the puerhs greatest asset is it’s strength and the quality of the leaves. I could drink cup after cup. From a price point is was not inexpensive at $219 per 357 gram cake, however take into account current market prices and it really was a good deal. I say it was a good deal as sadly it is out of stock, and has been for some time. I am so glad that I got a full cake of this when I did as it has turned into one of my favourite puerhs. If anyone would like to try a sample then send me a message. I could only give out a couple of samples unfortunately as I really would like to keep this for myself.

Many thanks to Tea Classico for giving us a chance to taste an excellent aged example.

Flavors: Camphor, Mineral, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 14 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
JC

I haven’t tried them yet, I need to set some money/time to order from them.

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97

Really solid performer . 250g of perfectly aged sheng with great body and taste for $83 .. So what else can you ask for?

Preparation
1 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 4 OZ / 110 ML

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100

This 7542 is the real deal. Way better option than young ridiculously priced teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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86

Picked up a sample of this about a month ago, letting it air out since then. The tea is described as Hong Kong dry storage, which actually means the tea still has some musty flavor. About the right amount, in my opinion. Brewed up 6 grams of the looser leaf included in the sample.

Tea is indeed musty on the first three steps or so, very minerally, a touch salty. Lively spot on the tongue. Brews up nice and dark brown, like coffee. Yum! Green tea flavor starts to creep in, not much bitterness in this. Starts to fade after 8 steeps or so and I increase the steep times up from the flash brewing.

This tea doesn’t have the wild leaf or anything particularly special to note except for the excellent storage. Tuos take forever to age due to the tight compression, and without humidity this one wouldn’t be as good as it is. Still at $74 for a 100 gram tuo, I don’t think I want to spring the cash for more, I can find similar leaf and storage for a lot less.

Edit: after airing this for about 7 months in one of my small crocks I think this has greatly improved. Most of the humidity has aired out. I still get the mineral rock taste, but more sweetness too now that the humidity isn’t overwhelming the cup. Upping my rating from 80 to 85.

Photos on my blog http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Plums, Wet Rocks, Wet wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 75 ML
Cwyn

I have the photo to add, but either the new iOS 8 for IPad or the photo software on Steepster isn’t loading the photo, it just spins. Will try again another time.

Sarsonator

I gave up and had to just do it from my laptop. Kind of annoying tho!

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86

This early 1980’s tea, if the date is to be believed, is the oldest puerh tea I’ve had so far. Got me a 20 gram sample pack for $25. Broke off 5 grams for tasting in a 70 ml Yixing. Brewed up red and brown, and got dark brown in later steeps. Tasted of wet earth and minerals. Wish I could get a full cake of this! The tea has traditional Hong Kong storage, so you will want to air this out good, and if you don’t like a bit of musty in your tea, then you might have to take a pass on this. But it is really good, well worth ordering at least once!

Full review in my blog at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Mineral, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
jschergen

Sounds like a winner!

You’ve been coming around to traditionally stored stuff!

Cwyn

As you can see, not a moldy tea in the blog photo. I think your Ding Xing Hao cake is a braver drink than this.

apt

god I really want that pot. hopefully he’ll reserve one for me. maybe no tea buying for a couple of months would justify that purchase

Cwyn

Wait, what? Did you say pot? I’m missing something over here. :P

apt

the 70ml Yixing from Tony

Cwyn

Oh that. Lol. Hope you get one, the coupon gets the price below $100.

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82

Oh my, yes it WAS. Can’t resist a Big Zhong. Bought 20 grams of this, and cakes are available for $129. We are getting to the point now where aged tea is really more affordable than the high end new stuff. 8 grams in the gaiwan and 125 ml water.

Still steeping this a day later. The liquor is mostly orange, but a darker red ring shows around the edge of my cup. This is really just turning into aged tea, the next few years will be quite interesting. According to the description, the cakes were stored in HK a few years, and then dry stored after that. There is a slight humid flavor, however much of the tea I’m drinking lately is much more humid than this is. A bit of smoke, but not much.

Great deal on an aged plantation cake if it’s your cup of tea.

The more naughty version of this review plus pics at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com.

Flavors: Apricot, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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80

I rinse the leaves to open them up, and then steep it for a short time, under 30 seconds. As I wait, I notice the floral notes, but it also smells like honey to me.
The taste is pure and earthy, with hints of apples and florals… not as strong as jasmine or rose, but equally enchanting. There is a sweet after-taste, still of honey.
This is a beautiful, delicately perfume-y oolong which I would be happy to serve to friends. It’s not strong, weird, or frightening. It’s a great pick-me-up

Flavors: Floral, Honey

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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85
It is dark and rich, but it isn’t bitter at all, which is a pleasant surprise! I don’t need milk or sugar. What surprises me is the smokiness. I didn’t detect that in the smell, but it definitely has a light smoky, nutty flavour which reminds me of the Lapsang Souchong from Tea Classico. But it’s not only smoky… there is the richness of dark berries… blackberries, currants, grapes. The after-taste is like a burnt caramel… a little sweet, a little smoky… rich.

Flavors: Berries, Black Currant, Caramel, Cloves, Molasses, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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100

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Flavors: Honey, Orchids

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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