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Recent Tasting Notes
Its flavour seems lighter than some Yiwu cakes from other vendors at the same age. A dry fruit/honey aroma, sweetness and tartness are not so intense; however, they are gentle, delicate, and linger in my throat/tounge for an hour. Like the previous review, I can also feel a nice white wild flower at the begining time of the sip. The tea soup has almost no bitterness, astringency and smoky tobacco smell, impressingly, even with extended brewing time. In addition, most of raw pu-erh tea taste become worse if we (unintentionally) drink it at room temperature but Xi Kong remains more delicious for me. This tea is pleasing and I like it very much.
Lightly roasted, sweeter than savoury (honey), a bit of cinnamon & almond. The liquor aroma is as good as the aroma from the gaiwan. Its pretty nice if you like more of a dessert aroma to your yancha. Some fruit in there as well as Orchid. Its not super thick/glossy/creamy/oily but sweet & smooth.
The first four steeps were the nicest, after that the taste and aroma faded into drinking soft pearly water, which is still nice, & with camphor hints that was quite interesting. By the 7th steep I was on 1:30. I think I did 0/5/8/20/30/1:00/1:30, but with half the recommended, 3.5g/100ml, 90-95c. Final steep 2:00 @100c
Premium price but a lovely experience. Next time I will bite the bullet & do 7g/100ml and flash it with boiling water – I think it can take it, and a longer session will be greatly appreciated.
Flavors: Almond, Camphor, Char, Cinnamon, Fruity, Honey, Orchid
So now I know what it is like to have buyers remorse for those who buy YQH and do all they can to make it taste better than it is because of the price tag…
Tea Urchin is my go to place for high end stuff that makes e feel good, but this one did not do that. I should have read more about it online to know it wasn’t within my own preferences of a tea, but when there’s a group buy and you get deals… TRY EVERYTHING!
This particular sheng is in the medium to dark range for a sheng. Typically I like my raw tea to have essence of flower or fruit making it seem like it was a cake worth breeding with things that the bees like, not that the flies like; which leads me to this dark, damp wet hay. Some people really enjoy that taste, I do not.
I am in luck though, I can put 25g of this in the pu’erh TTB that is coming around :)
However, I need to find someone to swap the rest with because I won’t drink this… I’m becoming pickier with my sheng; but not my beengholes :P
p.s. for reference, I did steep this 14 times because it last and I love me some TU so it was hard hard hard to go ‘this is the first one I don’t want to hold onto’
Thank you Mr Mopar for this sample. This is another good raw. It was fairly bitter at the start with as I would describe it two bitter taste. One up front and in your face, another behind it. That stronger bitterness was gone in about four steeps. The second bitterness continued. there were some sweet notes in there too, but no longer the apricots of a young sheng. This tea has in that sense started to age I think. I enjoyed this tea and gave it twelve steeps in a small gaiwan.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 50ml gaiwan with 3.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The leaves were not done. If I wanted to I’m sure I could get another few steeps out of them.
Thank you Mr Mopar for this sample. This was an excellent tea. It was a punchy and bitter tea though. Bitter in a good way if you know what I mean. I steeped this tea twelve times and stopped because I had had a lot of caffeine. But I think it would have kept going for a lot more steeps. I think this tea is definitely worth buying. If I ever get around to buying from Tea Urchin it will go to the top of my list. This was good tea. There was a sweet note behind the bitterness too. A very complex tea in nature. You might call that note apricots, not completely sure.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.9g 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, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
I’ve had the Tea Urchin order in my pumidor for about a week, and decided it was time to start sampling. If this tea is any indication I’m going to be happy with the order. Though this is a 2011, it is tasting middle-aged: the flavors were more wood than straw, and the color was more orange than yellow. There is still quite a bit of astringency and acid, so I’ll enjoy watching it age.
The really strong first steep has lots of fruit, and hints of straw and veggie. Long, powerful finish. Somewhat chewy texture. Strong cha qi. 2nd steep is soft and sweet and bursting with flavor and cha qi. I really like this tea. Started noticing a bit of molasses, and less fruit or veggie in the 3rd steep. Turned astringent at the end of the cup. 4th steep is quite astringent, slightly bitter, but I still taste a bit of fruit underneath. I haven’t had this for an hour, but the cha qi is hitting me after less than an ounce. The next few steeps were still potent, with a bit of fruit poking out from underneath an astringent woody flavor. Around the 7th steep the fruit began to dominate the wood, though there is still some astringency at the end of the cup. At this point my steeps were lasting about a minute. Still good texture.
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Flavors: Broth, Cinnamon, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Olive Oil
Basically peach Oolong :)
TU’s description is pretty bang on the money, lychee, peach, nuts & pie crust aroma, with a taste of peach and thick mouth. This isnt the thickest I have had though, I actually thought it a bit light – butttttt this is no bad thing – it doesnt have so strong a weird taste you can get when pushing oily dan cong, this just has peach & nuts flavour with floral lushness on top of that
its weird but this tea makes me think of ‘soapy’ but doesnt taste of soap – conjures up images of glossy pearlescent things like soap can be. So good!
Im on steep 9 and its beginning to lose its thickness but still such a lovely aroma and nutty floralness I just had to write this review.
and also bravo for the sample prices which are basically the same percentage as buying large amounts. A good policy and one which means I will definitely be trying more of their tea.
Flavors: Floral, Lychee, Nutty, Pastries, Peach
I have to confess that I’m not absolutely certain that this is the tea I’m drinking. I got this in a recent group buy and this tea and a similar oolong were unlabeled. This comes closest to the picture.
The dry tea is the most unusual I’ve ever seen (see photo in the Steepster description). It is a delicate matrix of dried leaves and stems. You don’t measure this tea in teaspoons: three grams was about 1/4 cup. In my initial steep, the flavor started out as vegetables, but then started to smell like molasses, then cinnamon, and I had a flashback to making raisin oatmeal cookies. This probably distorted my first cup since all I could think about was cookies.
The second steep and third had a distinctive spinach aroma, and while there was spinach in the taste, there were other veggies as well as butter. I was a bit disappointed since the picture suggests a more roasted tea (which I prefer) but the flavor was very green in style. Nothing against the tea; just not my preference.
the 4th steep(all steeps are 60 s) is a bit more subdued. I might be able to get more steeps but they would need to be much longer, and I’m probably over my caffeine limit for this afternoon.
I am working my way through several teas produced by Tea Urchin using 2015 material. Material from Pasha Mountain in Menghai is hard to come by so I am always on the look out. This Pasha cake is beautiful to look at – whole leaves were carefully pressed to form the beeng. Pleasant fresh smells comes from the material. The tea liquor is a clear yellow-gold color. I used 4 grams of leaf in a 60 ml shibo with flash steeps. Thick and smooth with only the lightest touch of bitterness. Vegetal with a definite buttery sweetness coming through. Coats the tongue and has a bit of a drying effect on the mouth. Qi hit me after the third infusion – a nice relaxing feeling took over and I decided to take a nap. I think this has possibilities but since I have grown accustomed to drinking sheng with at least 8 years of age on them, I’ll be drinking this one rarely as I wait for it to mature.
Yay! A pu-erh that I fully enjoy the taste of! Apricots, pleasant sourness, and straw are what I get. Old grass and apricots are more what I get, followed by fresh grass and an overall clean liquor. 15 sec, 10, 20, and that’s what I’m leaving for now. 2.5 ounces and 185 degrees.
The cha qi effected me at the second steep. First steep felt a little uplifting, but the second pushed a pleasant buzz numbing the center of my body. Then an odd sense of clear headed-ness followed, then a weird pressure like a headache. Specifically my occipital, jaw, and forehead. Hence me stopping.
Definitely an interesting experience, but I’ve had a few other Pu-Erh’s with the same apricot clean taste. Whatever type of Pu-Erh it is, I know that I prefer it and prefer whatever lighter version that I think it is. I’m glad I tried it, but I couldn’t see myself purchasing it. It’s good; I just am still in the comfort zone of oolongs, black, and whites. I will write more on this cup when I do more brews.
That should be two words though if when it comes to this tea. Absolutely amazing. Brewing this at work with no expectations and it brews at 7, 30, or even 60 seconds producing a wonderfully light and great tasting liquid. Aromoa might not be there, but when a tea taste this good and doesn’t give up after 15 steeps… you have a winner. This is a bit darker than how I classify CLT sheng being light but has the same integrity with zero bitterness; even at a minute and yes I tried it.
Why oh why do I keep trying TU stuff? It keeps making me look past others and looking for more TU. Stuff is just really really good.
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Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Honey, Leather
I really love this tea, and don’t drink it often. It’s one of those special ones I bring out when I want to finish with a great tea, have had a bad day, or want to share something amazing with a friend. This looks like a roasted tea, and honestly I don’t know if it is, but there is no “roast” flavors attached to it at all. It has a light floral note in the aroma mingled with a honeyed sweetness. Some teas are too sweet in the mouth, but this one has a woody (cedar) flavor with a wild honey sweetness. What really gets me about this tea is the feeling of calm and appreciation that flows through me as I drink it. My mind loosens, and I feel open to the world and people around me. I haven’t done this yet, but taking this tea into the forest would prove quite the experience. I highly recommend this tea.
Flavors: Cedar, Honey
This was an interesting one. I dont have any experience with sheng blends. It wasnt bitter like a straight raw that I am used to, more like an oolong. Creamy taste, and the bitterness when even a second or so too much was more in line with dan cong oil bitter, rather than fresh leaf sharp bitter.
It tasted muted, not like there is no flavour, more like if you messed up a landscape oil painting, you would get dull greens and browns, rather than the lively bright greens and distinctive sharper flavours of sheng I am usually drinking.
cha qi is nice as well. I am relaxed and dont feel my heart racing a lot. I like this tea!
Yes to the cream notes. I didnt seem to get as much honey as has been described, my opinion is its also a bit.. doughy? like bread mix? cookie mix? a little nutty in there as well. deep slightly bitter leafy Leafy taste, for sure, this flavour is sitting on my tongue. Olive oil? not really but its a bit like this, a hard one to place.
An interesting tea, this has spurred me on to try more blends out. I am thinking something was blended to make the tea less lively? Its a subject I need to look into, anyway.
Thanks for the sample Rui! :)
edit* changed score because I really like this one. Cant stop thinking about it now :)
Flavors: Bitter, Cookie, Cream, Green, Nutty, Olive Oil, Sweet
Having this one from the Sheng Olympics buy. I am brewing heavy, almost 12 grams as the new tea vessel is 200ml. A bit more leaf than usual.
Starting out I gave this one a rinse and a good 30 minute wait to brew it. I did inhale the wet leaf and the honey sweet and grassy aroma was there.
Good notes on the storage as this is right. The sips bring a bit of the light tobacco to the table that goes sweet almost instantly. The liquor is think in the front part of the mouth. The feel is good and it brings the salivation in early.
Sipping and pausing between sips it still goes on. It does have a bit of the drying aspect if you pause long enough. This is likely to be the tea not stored wet. No mustiness or off flavors and one rinse got it going good. Some stone fruit notes similar to an apricot as well.
Flavors: Drying, Grass, Honey, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tobacco
I’ve had this several times. First session it was fairly sweet and reminded me of pecan pie, but without the pecans. Quite similar to the TU description of brown sugar. Next session was a bit more astringent and woody, with some fruit and spice: also quite enjoyable.
Both sessions had a big rich flavor with tons of cha qi and a big, long finish.
From the Sheng Olympics.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about this tea, but after tasting it, I have to conclude that the buzz is mostly about the buzz. Sorry, I know this is steepster rather than punster but I couldn’t resist. The cha qi is amazing. I rate puerh according to taste and cha qi and this one got a 100 for cha qi. The taste, however, didn’t excite me.
The taste is mostly a mix of straw and leather, starting out mostly straw but ending with leather. In the middle steeps it began to be astringent, with a bit of ashes in the taste. By the 6th steep, the taste was dominated by the astringency, and 25 minutes after I finished, my mouth was still puckered. It was an interesting tea, but not one I would invest in, since I have a few other teas with comparable cha qi whose taste I enjoy more.
BTW: I liked the 2007 version much better, so it is possible this is just going through an awkward stage.
If you have this, go get 6g right now and try/retry it.
I drank this all day at work and it was amazing.
At first this was like a dancong which was interesting, but then those undertone floral notes vanished and the light sheng came through. Why should you try this though? Well, this tea kicked my ass. I fell out of my chair once at work today which was the first time ever as well. This tea is a strong relaxing tea. Drink and feel your eyes become heavy.
10 second brews. 90c. 6g.
Absolutely wonderful, but it is a different feel than the 2011 Bang Wei that had me GONE
Third tea of the 2016 Sheng Olympics.
I am working rather slowly through these teas, only pulling them out when I have enough time to spend with them. The second tea I tried was the 2007 version of this, but to be honest I was a little under-impressed with that tea. It was nice, but seemed to my tastebuds to be rather one-dimensional and like many other aged shengs I have tried. I didn’t end up writing a note for it simply because I really couldn’t come up with that much to say.
This one is another story altogether. It is sweet and fresh and earthy, and while it still has an aged flavor, that note doesn’t entirely dominate the tea. It is very well balanced and leaves me feeling refreshed on a deep level. This is one I would definitely buy, where as the 2007 I would not. This is an excellent tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Sweet, Wood