Tea Urchin

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

88

I used 7g in my 100mL gaiwan with boiled water. I could tell this was a quality tea.

Early steeps were light in flavor with notes of straw, apricot, and burnt sugar. Though the flavors were pretty light, the mouth feel of this showed its power. It made my tongue feel fat and tingly, and the feeling traveled down the throat and warmed through my chest. As the session went on, the sugar flavor died out a bit. Got straw, apricot/stonefruit flavors, and a pungent flavor which showed the power of the tea. Mouth feel was thick throughout the session and continued to travel through the body. I would probably consider buying a cake of this if it wasn’t sold out. Darn sample-tease lol.

Flavors: Apricot, Burnt Sugar, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Straw, Thick

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

There’s a reason this sold out roughly 3 days after I told everyone to drink it :P

Matu

All your fault LP ;)

Liquid Proust

It was literally all luck… the 2016 Sheng Olympics was all me just reading and getting lucky.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Drinking a tea from my wishlist is always a treat :)
Been wanting to try this for awhile for two silly reasons: it says wild and it is from Tea Urchin.

The leaf is a bit darker then the pictures would suggest, but I’m here for the taste. It has a mild texture, almost a buttery tgy feel but not quite there. The taste is a mixture of green and lightly oxidized oolong to the point that its more like a creamy green. Some nice notes throughout but the loss of the crisp taste from steep one goes by steep two so the sharp notes become mixed in which makes it lose its delicacy (though it’s still nice). I’ll be honest in saying this is probably a tea better about a month after its done rather then later because I’m pretty sure it lost a freshness aspect in the taste that should be there; I could be wrong on this.

Fun tea for sure!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Used 4g in 60mL gaiwan with boiled water.

Had to be pretty careful with steep times early in the session, as this tea can get bitter pretty easily. This tea went for a pretty good number of steeps, probably around 15 as mentioned on TU’s site. Started out with bitter hay/herbal notes with a sweet honey huigan and decent cha qi. As the session went on, the flavors flip-flopped, and honey sweetness came more to the front with a mouth-drying (not particularly bitter) finish. I thought this was pretty good, but the mouth-drying effect did get a little bit intense in the later steeps, so I might try the 2009 version they have and see if that has softened any.

The tea had a thick mouthfeel throughout the session.

Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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’

MzPriss

If someone has “buyer’s remorse” with YQH they can send it right to me – I will give it a loving home right up until it goes down my neck and I will savor every drop.

Liquid Proust

I know of at least four people, but that only surfaced after I made a remark; seemed like they didn’t want to because nobody is making those comments.

MzPriss

Well bless their hearts. Teji is my favorite thing right now.

Grill

I’m sorry but “do all they can to make it taste better than it is because of the price tag” is pretty insulting. Why would I even want make stuff up? I’ve spent countless hours talking to people, reviewing and discussing these teas not to spread misinformation but to educate myself and other on what they are all about. On top of that I sampled up nearly half a cake out of pocket the last few months to people that asked about trying certain cakes.

Also to label the whole brand as overpriced, hyped or whatever is shortsighted. You have 3 reviews posted here on steepster, maybe you tried more Idk but there were 39 different teas being offered by Mr Yang and Emmett. Imagine trying 3 teas from any vendor, not loving them and then saying well they all must suck cause these did, seems a bit silly no?

You and others didn’t like them? That’s cool, there are plenty of teas I don’t like that lots of people love. I respect their opinion and they respect mine, like Cwyn said in her blog post, no one can tell you what tastes best to your taste buds.

I don’t want to make it sound like you attacked me personally cause you didn’t. Just like you said you speak for people with buyers remorse, I believe I speak for the people that are very happy with how they spent their money.

boychik

Me three. Love YQH , haven’t tried all of them but whatever I’ve tried was top notch.

Liquid Proust

@Grill it actually isn’t insulting because if you read it in context it is in regards to those who experience buyers remorse. In regards to the amount I’ve tried; that’s the way things are realistically as I give a band 3 songs or a tv show 3 episodes before I decide to give more time to it (which is what money is)

There is just no way I’ll find an old leather taste to be appealing, but I’m always up to keep trying which is what I have been doing. I am the same with White2Tea: I’ve tried over 12 of their raw teas and I’ve only liked one…

Liquid Proust

Thought about the English language and realized that you could say that my comment could have offended you… but it wouldn’t be me who did it but rather those I have spoke to who explained that they too like me couldn’t find a way to enjoy the YQH samples that they had tried. Considering it all comes down to opinions it’s pointless to argue; we know Bernie is a better canidate then Trump, Honda makes better cars than Ford, wheat bread is better than white, Star Trek is better than Star Wars, oh and oolong is the best type of tea. I suppose I don’t realize that people don’t know me so reading my comments are tough. I’m just some dude drinking tea and spilling thoughts from the top of my head. No expectations at all. However, maybe I should review what I say and how I say it. Either way, I come to Steepster without much rereading or monitoring so that could be what I look into changing next for myself.

MzPriss

Um no. Star Wars > Star Trek.

Liquid Proust

Data was hands down the best character on tv of all time. The entire human idenity is his character. Now that’s just one element of Star Trek. I suppose I’ll clarify: Star Trek TNG > Star Wars 4, 5, 6, and that recent remake where there is a larger Death Star in it but this time it blows up planets before it’s destroyed. TNG is hands down 110% more intellectually stimulating than Star Wars.Anyone who starts and finishes TNG will have gained an experience that just… It makes life better.

MzPriss

Nope. Best TV character of all time is Bobby Hill.

Tea and Cheese Lover

TNG or TOS or DS9 or VOY > Star Wars

MzPriss

Voyager was not better than pretty much anything, except possibly Enterprise. DS9 was meh. TNG was MIGHTY but still not better than Star Wars, but close. Because Worf.

Tea and Cheese Lover

I have nothing against Star Wars. A good action movie, but Star Trek always intrigued me. I haven’t seen enterprise and am on season 4 of Voyager right now. TNG was my favorite. DS9 was close. What it lacked in “exploration” it made up for delving deeply into spiritual matters on many levels, and different types of ethical questions as other series. VOY and TOS are tied for me so far. To keep things on topic, I like watching Star Trek while drinking tea ;)

CWarren

Gives Battlestar Galactica an honorable mention before hopping back into his Tardis, (yep, I threw the Doctor in there too).

MzPriss

The Doctor needs to be everywhere.

Gooseberry Spoon

Data is just the best. God now I got to go watch The Most Toys again and wonder…

rosebudmelissa

I’m a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars (and Doctor Who), but Stargate: SG-1 will probably always be #1 for me.

DharmaTea

I’m with you on the YQH MzPriss. I dunno how people have “buyers remorse” with samples but am pretty sure anyone with cakes could find a new home for them fairly easy. Especially when there are price changes coming and declining inventory. Thanks for your comments and reviews Grill. I learned a lot from you and James and appreciate the time and effort you put into it. While I like some of the YQH line better than others my only regret is that I couldn’t get more… As they say, there is no accounting for taste. peace

MzPriss

@DharmaTea – Teji WAS my fave. Now I’ve had Dingji. I echo your thanks to Grill and James. I would have been so very, very sad if I had never had any of this tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
Cwyn

Was this tea from mrmopar’s storage or is it newly acquired?

AllanK

I believe he just received it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

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.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Rui A.

One of my favourite young shengs at the moment.

AllanK

This one was pretty good.

Rasseru

Yeah I really like this one also. The peacock blend as well

Matu

I’ve got both of them (cake of the peacock and sample of the snake) on the way to me in a TU order and I’m looking forward to them :)

tanluwils

Man, this is one of those popular teas that I probably should try at least once. Too bad TU’s shipping is ridiculous… :(

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML
DharmaTea

Great notes and a good tea. It’s nicely layered and you describe it well. I did get a hint of that LaoManE aspirin bitterness at the back of the mouth in some steeps with sweeter fruitiness in front that was really nice. Also appreciated your description “long powerful finish”, well put. Lots of activity after drinking, assuming thats what you meant.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Shi Ding Baozhong by Tea Urchin
193 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Broth, Cinnamon, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Olive Oil

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98
drank Old bush Ba Xian by Tea Urchin
175 tasting notes

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

Dr Jim

You didn’t miss any time digging into the box.

Rasseru

I got impatient

Dr Jim

I’m drinking the Yiwu Snake right now, but I think it needed more time to rest from the trip.

mrmopar

I felt the same about the Snake Dr Jim. It didn’t hit me like it should. Nice leaf though.

Rui A.

Yes the Snake Blend is one of my safety valve teas: when I get tired of drinking teas that I am not enjoying I go for one of these safety valve teas to release the pressure builty by not sipping a good tea.

Rasseru

i jumped the gun a bit and tried the peacock, its similar and I get a milky body. I think I really like Yiwu tea from what I have tasted.

I am going to buy a whole cake of both of them I think

Rui A.

I still have to try the Peacock tea. So much tea so little time in a day to sip it.

Rasseru

yeah its weird how you might say rounded body, but there is definitely a few characteristics that my brain picks up on in milk that these yiwu teas have so my brain thinks milk. could taste it straightaway, like hot milk. I want to investigate more blends as I have enjoyed every one I have tasted

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
kevdog19

Very interested to hear about the rest of their pressings. Good review

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Holy Shit.
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.

Doug F

Yes, this was a good one.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Honey, Leather

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92
drank 1986 Lishan by Tea Urchin
1 tasting notes

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

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

Rui A.

You are most welcome. It is a young sheng that gives me a break from some more bitter or astringent young shengs.

Rasseru

totally agree

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.
Nice tea

Flavors: Drying, Grass, Honey, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Another sipdown.

I’ve already reviewed this tea, but decided to add a review because the tea is a bit of a chameleon and wanted to capture this session.

The first steep had sweet straw and tropical fruit (or apricot?) dominate the nose and the taste. Very pleasant. Good long finish. After a few sips I notice a darker element lurking underneath. Medium-light body; no bitterness. Good cha qi. 2nd steep: The taste is now more woody, with less fruit or sweetness and a moderate bitterness ppears, especially in the finish. The fruit and straw are still there; they just have to share the stage. I’m really starting to feel teh effects of the cha qi. 3rd steep has a strong new flavor I just can’t describe. I want to say vegetable, but it’s like no vegetable I’ve ever had. 4th steep: Really good, but i’m getting tea drunk.

Every steep of this tea was different from the last in some way, yet with recurring themes. Like a good symphony. very complex and interesting. I rated this an 89 before but am bumping my rating up a notch because I am really enjoying the tea. Wish I had more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
KiwiDelight

How interesting to compare tea to music!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.