Tea Urchin

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Recent Tasting Notes

I was hoping for a more aged taste based on what I could dig up on this tea, but honestly, wasn’t getting much love from this one. It’s not much of a bitter tea, although it has a teeth smacking astringent quality despite that (can feel all my teeth while drinking this one).

The aroma is incredibly honeyed and there is something like a waxy honey aftertaste, although the liquor itself has almost no sweetness until closer to the end of the steeps, and even then it is a more of a throat sweetness than a mouth sweetness. The color is less red, more deep yellow bordering on orange.

All in all, wasn’t feeling this one, it was too dry for me to enjoy what flavors might have been underneath (although that honey aroma is pretty nice, I have no idea how it can taste almost nothing like how it smells). Also not a huge fan of the hint of smoked leather or tobacco clinging to the edges of it.

Flavors: Astringent, Hay, Honey, Smoke, Tobacco

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80
drank Bulang 2006 Spring by Tea Urchin
16 tasting notes

Man, this is a nice tea. It’s the opposite of what I’ve been drinking lately – which has tended more towards sort of hostile, aggro puerh. This is rich and warm and smooth, but not in any way boring. It’s actually, it certain weird ways, closer in spirit to certain roasted balled oolongs. It actually reminds me a little of Tea Urchin’s Mu Zha Tieguanyin. It has this central rich sweetness, this glowing aliveness, that sorts of just enfolds you. Less flavor notes, and more this central throbbing sweet thick warmth.

Sadly, they’re out of it. Alas.

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92
drank Lao Man E 2014 Spring by Tea Urchin
16 tasting notes

Totally gorgeous. I think the bitter puerhs were my first puerh love – dig me some of that Bulang – but this is the next level shit. It’s a glorious bitter, somewhere between a quinine bitter and a burnt-rubber bitter (but good!) – just hanging out and glowing while all this other oceanic stuff – warmth, passing dairy flavors, all kinds of fruity junk – meld and change and pass beneath it. And that bitter flavor just hangs out up there, glowing a little, and just being so insanely beautiful.

mrmopar

LME kicks tail and this is a good one.

S.G. Sanders

Woah….this sounds delicious (I love bulangs, so this might be up my alley).

mrmopar

@S.G Sanders, think turpentine strong.

tanluwils

My only experience with LME is with my 100g Bing I received as a gift while visiting a Yunnanese friend/puerh vendor in Beijing. While not the same tea, your description is almost spot on. I picked up a complex, evolving bitterness that seems to be pinesol, gasoline, fresh kiwi, and something in between.

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drank Bulang 2010 Spring by Tea Urchin
282 tasting notes

I got this out after giving a little time to acclimate to its new home. I got 10 grams off this and it seemed to be loosely compressed and easy to get into. I put this in the gaiwan and rinsed it and allowed it to rest for about 15 minutes.
The wet leaf gave some hints of humid storage but not in an excessive way. I brewed it very quickly as Bu Lang tea is known for strength and bitterness. The brew turned out a nice golden color in the cup.
This is a strong Bu Lang! It seems to be oily and thick in the mouth. There is a pronounced bitter bite in this one. A bit of smoke that disappears very quickly. A hint of the old book and leather as well. I think the bitter and the old ’ horse tack leather’ as my friend KS says come through in this one. This is almost as strong and possessing the bite of a Lao Man E tea. For lovers of strong in your face teas this is one.

Flavors: Bitter, Leather, Smoke, Thick

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

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47

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Flavors: Cherry, Dried Fruit, Floral, Flowers, Marine, Mineral, Ocean Air, Round , Smoke, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Tannic, Vegetal, Wet Wood, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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33

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Flavors: Apricot, Artificial, Astringent, Barnyard, Bitter, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Mineral, Smoke, Spices, Tannic, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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53

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Flavor is mildly complex but too light and eventually quite astringent. Fuller body notes than the other Tea Urchin teas I’ve tried but still quite weak.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Caramel, Leather, Menthol, Plums, Rose, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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49

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Flavors: Black Currant, Blackberry, Cinnamon, Cream, Fruity, Lemon, Mineral, Pine, Sour, Tangy

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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46

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Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Cream, Fruity, Mineral, Raspberry, Smoke, Smooth, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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59

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Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Hay, Nectar, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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32

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Flavors: Artificial, Black Currant, Cherry, Citrus, Cranberry, Oak wood, Pine, Sour

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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42

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Flavors: Cream, Floral, Fruity, Fur, Hay, Menthol, Raisins, Smoke, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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44

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Flavors: Apricot, Artificial, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Red Wine, Umami, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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44

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Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Bitter, Cacao, Cardboard, Cherry, Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Hay, Nutty, Paper, Zucchini

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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WOW.
This is the first darker sheng that I have really enjoyed. The depth to this raw is quite strong, but it’s smooth at the same time. Easily brewing this over the normal time and temperature and it isn’t brewing bitter, just giving more strength to it. The hue is medium when most all of the sheng I enjoy are light and vegetable like, but this is more like old plant water with some small patches of astringency.

This was a surprise because I thought it would be just a normal sheng for drinking today, but I’m quite thankful for the depth that it had while being on the darker side to which I normally dislike. It’s pretty close to the 2014 You Le

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93

This company has some great puerh. I’ve always enjoyed a majority of their productions, and this pressing is no different. I’ve heard a lot of noise about this tea, and the tea gods smiled on me and some ended up in my gaiwan. The cake is heavily aromatic with a sweet floral character as well as some spice. A heavy dark wood note acts as a soft but stern base. I warmed my gaiwan up and prepared for brewing. The warmed cake becomes even better by giving off intense scents of plum, raisan, juicy blackberries, honey, and the same dark wood base. This tea has a lot to give and has some unique scents. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The tate begins light and very sweet. A thick oily mouth-feel followed by encompassing honey tones. The aftertaste is a long and lasting succlent taste with a slight bitterness. The tea carries a faint mesquite flavor in later steeping, and then morphs into an intense brown sugar note. Past that, a light floral note introduces itself, I beleive it to be lily or maybe even a subtle iris. The qi is spot on with an invigorating cooling sensation that begins at heart center as well as a good head buzz. The taste has a kicker huigan and slight kuwei. This is a solid blend, and I really enjoyed it. The only fallback is that the tea drops abrutly. The flavors, huigan, and sensations falter instantly while brewing. Nevertheless, this is still a great puerh. This is one of the teas that you go to the website to buy during the session; however, the tea is now sold out. That realization of a lost tea made me rather sad. I hear the 2016 blend is going to be released soon though…

Flavors: Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Dark Wood, Floral, Honey, Plums, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Sil

i had to put myself on puerh hiatus…but this is tempting..thankfully it’s sold out haha

Rasseru

I made it sold out :)

Rasseru

But yeah, most things I’ve had from TU have been great

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I finally took my taste testing a little more serious these past few days. I weighted out 15g of this tea and split it into 3 piles. Sunday, Monday, and today, I went through a session of this tea.

I find it to be easy to brew: Flash steeps provided a more clear liquid that was sweeter, but longer steeps (10+ seconds) began to darken and have a more deep vegetable taste. The leaf, at this point and age, is not as beautiful as it once was which stinks because the pictures of this from when it was first pressed are WOAH!

This could be a pretty good daily drinker with the ability to steep light or medium on the spectrum of depth or even the balance of sweet or roasted spinach. It’s really as simple as that. I don’t find this tea to be a showcasing one, but it’s certainly one I enjoyed drinking for the last few days which means something as I am probably hitting 100 different shengs this year at this point which means the bars keep going higher and higher and higher. Saying that this was enjoyable is a compliment most teas will no longer see anymore.

Oh the issue of trying so many things… so many become typical and I do not look forward to realizing that more this year.

Daylon R Thomas

A lot of teas in general started to taste the same to me after a while. That’s why I’m narrowing teas down to my favorites with the attempt of being pickier in purchase, or go by several suggestions of the people whose taste buds I know. Or can accurately simulate and imagine.

I’m so excited for tomorrow. I’m thinking about minimizing the blind tasting to four teas at most, with two being ideal. I’m also expecting some Shan Lin Xi if you want any.

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Have I got my sheng legs? This does taste better than it used to. It’s not as Caramel or floral as my really-very-good oolong.

It’s bitter, milky/creamy through the middle very leafy green. Had lovely stonefruit aroma, but the taste was pretty zappy. Tacked my lips together.

One thing I know is I liked this hot instead of 90. So dunno if that means anything.

Reviewing this like this because I really don’t know if my taste is changing (it is) or I’m forcing it to drink too-young sheng and my pumidor game needs upping

I enjoyed it. Ish.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cream, Green

moot

I wish I had my own puerh blending company, so I could call a cake, “Your Sheng Legs”

Rasseru

totally, you could level people up to sheng master grade

mrmopar

Or sheng mrmo’s way..

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70

Off my special diet today and enjoying some other teas I haven’t had in a whole month.. I have been having only 1 green tea a day. This tea was a bit of a disappointment for my first sheng in a month. It was very mineral, straw, and light apricot.

I like raw pu-erh teas that are closer to green teas. This one is okay but I prefer more fruity notes.

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93

Really like this sheng. Its fruity and pleasantly sour. With a slightly thick mouth. The strength of taste isnt too strong at first, and I have had three cups during extended lie-in butnow im buzzing. Its a bit too strong for me, as with other Tea Urchin teas I have tried they seem to hit me quite hard.

Slightly camphor nose & a comforting fruity & vegetal that I seem to like from Yiwu, although this one isnt as round as the snake blend, but there is something soft about it. I sometimes get creamy from this as well – its something like milk, not taste, but in its structure and feels in my mouth. Nice stuff, but im currently balancing on the edge of it falling into sourness, which isnt my preference with this milky-structured (to me) sheng.

I freally really dig the wrapper art as well :D

Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Fruity, Milk, Pleasantly Sour, Sour, Vegetal

Kirkoneill1988

the wrapper looks cute

Dr Jim

IMHO this is the best value in Sheng.

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Used 7g with boiling water in a 100mL gaiwan. It was quite good, especially steeps 2-5 or so. Got some kind of creamy vegetal or hay notes. It got more and more drying as I went past steep five though, so I think next time I’ll try this with either 200 degree water or a bit less leaf. I suppose I could go and try it both ways. Also, after reading Tea Urchin’s description, I think I may have increased steep times a little bit too quickly. Definitely is good though :)

Flavors: Creamy, Hay, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

This is excellent bang for the buck.

Matu

Yea it does seem like it’ll be great once I get the brewing figured out to my liking. Got one of the last few cakes ;)

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The Trails of LBZ, Case 10 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)
Eye candy before reading https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXhClmxYAJ/

First I just need to reiterate as I do many times that I wouldn’t drink all these ‘top notch’ teas if it wasn’t for the amazing tea community. Many times I am surprised with random acts of kindness that I myself am use to being the sender and not receiver. There’s something special about teamail, especially when it’s something you want but can’t afford currently. This time, someone from Instagram hooked me up. A huge thank you to this person as it provided happiness as I went through the samples sent to me. This type of generosity is not just found by those who spend hours online talking about tea and sending it out. The tea community is very welcoming to trade with many people so please never shy away thinking your cupboard wouldn’t interest someone as many times it’s the idea that helping anyone out is an invitation that has been waited upon.
On to the tea.
I could easily sum this up as: Worth the price. However, that would be prior to shipping and what not. A 5g session, which is what I had, runs $8’ish and I firmly believe that what it provided was well worth that tag; speaking in which 5g brews out 20+ steeps while a glass of wine doesn’t refill itself.
The first three steeps were not bitter, but it was easy to tell that the leaf had a little unfurling to do before the smoothness of the session began; but I will make the comment that the lip smacking sweetness is gone by steep four as it begins to mellow out. Once I got this leaf down to where it brewed out something similar on each brew, I began to notice how gentle each sip was in the way that you describe the higher end rice used for sushi versus everyday rice; if you know what I mean, imagine the difference of ramen noodles versus handmade noodles (good ones).
It wasn’t long until I started to taste a combination of squash and a dry sweetness like grape/apple skin. While dry ended teas are not my thing, the flavor of this one made it acceptable in the way that a great yancha also does. It’s hard to say if the look of the leaf or the taste is more appealing as the leaf is just beautiful.
Going into the later steeps it mellows out and provides a thinner soup base texture; this may be due to the drying of my mouth and wetness making contact, or a possible increase in viscosity as it brews. I found myself playing with some steeping time as it went on to see how 45 seconds would do and it didn’t bring out any bitter notes which was awesome; but if it is brewed longer there comes a tart like sweetness at the end of each sip rather than a minor grape/apple skin taste.
It’s the clarity of this leaf that leaves me considering a purchase, but I’ll wait for a group buy and jump on 25g as that would be 5 sessions; and if I find friends who would share near me it would be what… $2 a session if 4 people join in. While it’s not as powerful as the 2009 stuff I had, or as remarkable, it has that purity to it that I found in Last Thoughts, Midas Touch, and spring Bang Dong (which I suspect will double in price as I drive the market to it… :P )

Grateful to have tried this once, online banking will disagree with me by the end of the year : )
https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXhUpaxYA_/ Bath time.

Rich

I don’t see a 2015 LBZ at Tea Urchin? Is that really what you meant?

Liquid Proust

It’s the 2015 maocha from LBZ

Rich

Ah, got it. Thanks.

Liquid Proust

I’ll share with you, :)

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