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Recent Tasting Notes
This is my fourth tea sample from Tea Urchin. The only problem I’m having is that they are all so good I want to order a cake of everything I’ve tried! Pu erh is an expensive passion. This was another high quality tea with a nice feel to it. It is definitely on the more mellow side and seems to already be exhibiting some signs of aging. Got a good number of steeps, each honey colored medium bodied with not much bitterness and some honey like sweetness. The cha qi was solid but not overpowering. Another solid tea from a great company. An added plus – the wrapper is adorable!
Wow, talk about bitter! This tea is not for the faint of heart. It is incredibly bitter, purposely made to be so. Will this bitterness translate into a well aged pu erh? Perhaps! But I would not drink it again for at least another few years. It does, however, have staying power, lasting a god number of infusions, and you can just tell that this is a quality tea. It has a nice feel to it, possesses medium body, and so far is not terribly stimulating. I’m not sure whether I want to buy a cake and age it, but I am considering it! I am not going to rank it because I just wouldn’t know how to.
A lovely tea acquired from Tea Urchin. It has a touch of fruitiness, the good kind of bitterness, and a well balanced young pu erh flavor that held up well to a good number of steepings. It seems like it would have the potential to age well, it just has that feel to it, though I suppose one never knows. The cha qi was really different, it wasn’t overly stimulating but rather facilitated a calm alertness. The only downside is the price – a cake comes in at just over $100. If it were half that, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. The sample came as a freebie with a recent order.
This is my first tea from Tea Urchin. I was very excited to try some teas from them, the company has a nice feel to it. Their wrappers are really fun (I know, don’t judge a book by its cover or a pu by its wrapper. Isn’t that how the saying goes?) Their teas are a bit on the more expensive side, so I was hoping for high quality in return. This particular tea is not one of their own, but rather is from the Langhe factory. This ripe pu erh didn’t disappoint. I’m going to have a hard time going back to Menghai ripes after this one. It is a exceedingly smooth tea. Rich, medium bodied, and not a hint of bitterness or any off flavors. It is just a fine tea! Creamy, very slightly woodsy, and clean. I have several other Tea Urchin samples I will review in the weeks ahead. But this is surely a good start.
I’ve been drinking Shengs for a while now, but other than a couple selections from Verdant tea, most of my purchases have been moderately priced cakes and samples; they’ve been enjoyable but I felt it was time to really explore the upper echelons of raw pu-erhs and from what I learned, Tea Urchin was the place to go. I bought four samples and Eugene generously threw in a fifth and suggested I start with the manzhuan. This is a young tea and I bought these samples with an eye to getting a cake and aging it.
The first couple of steeps were sweet and complex with that lovely eucalyptus taste and a fruity base. Successive steeps became quite bitter (as I expected) but still very rich and tasty. Quality Shengs also generate heat and energy in the throat and chest and this one was no exception. I was buoyed along during the day on a steady tea high.
With this sheng—and, I’m sure, with my other more expensive samples—I feel like I’m crossing the borderland from tea to precious elixir.
Quite frankly my dear friends I should not be drinking something I cannot afford. My love of sheng know no bounds and I had to at least try it. I probably used around 5 grams and the resulting liquor was pale and sweet very light. Do not let this tea fool you. After one tiny cup I went outside and tended to a tiny Korean Fir bonsai that has not been doing well. I was with it for maybe 30 minutes when I realized it was as if time was standing still. This tea was very mild in terms of flavor but it was knocking me to the ground in chaqi department. The body becomes very relaxed. When I returned to the tea I knew to go slow and really enjoy this incredible gem. The pale liquor was now a brilliant yellow-gold and the sweetness intensified. This tea truly creeps up on you in flavor and in its intensity. I started this session yesterday and I am drinking this as I write. Words cannot do it justice. At nearly 300 USD for a cake its by far the most expensive I have ever had. It is truly a magnificen tea. I love the way it makes me feel. I can only imagine buying this and aging it.
Quite frankly I knew I was in for a special tea. The dried leaves are the longest I have ever seen. The initial steepings presented an intense mouth feel and flavors that I can never describe. The later steepings became more subdued but still beyond interesting nonetheless. I have totally fallen for the world of Sheng. Beyond the flavor and aroma profiles you are dealing with teas which are mind blowing. Teas that take your mind and body to places you have never been before. To say I highly recommend this tea would be an understatement.
I have truly gone astray into the world of Sheng Puer after erichbenoit was beyond generous in sending me samples of the tea worlds finest treasures. This one is intense. Intense in aroma. Intense in flavor. My mouth is wet with its beautiful flavor. A flavor that seems to linger endlessly. The energy I am feeling is beyond description. This is serious tea. Very serious. As you can see by my typing skills being totally impaired.