Tea Urchin

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

annnnd this session was completely different I had shorter steepings which helped the “soapy” taste vanish but the liquor was no longer a darker reddish hue and now it was a deep honey. It didn’t help that I used 3 different types of water (spring, alkaline, filtered tap) in the same session but this time I had none of the dark fruity tastes and mianly just a generic sheng puer slight sweetness.

The only things that have held constant through all steeping of both session is it bubbles every steepings, not tea scum per say but definite bubbles maybe higher sapponin content? and also none of the steepings were ever bitter. Another interesting twist is that I read on yunnan sourcing this area has some “Camellia Taliensis growing in Jing Gu’s red soil has prominent large fat leaves and hairy white buds. Tea from this region is well-known for it’s beautiful appearance, and tea sellers have been know to blend this tea with Yi Wu tea to make it more beautiful and bright in appearance while at the same time bolstering it’s sweetness and thickness.”

so maybe this species has isnt own unique characteristics? and maybe that’s why it’s a cheaper price?

Flavors: Hay, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Jiāng Luo

very far from a controlled experiment but I think “spring water” has had the best result with tea I just buy the cheap generic jewel 2.5 gal and they seem to taste better than my filtered tap or this extremely expensive “alkaline water”

Stephanie

interesting

mrmopar

If you are overstocked with this let me know I will work a swap to try it.

Jiāng Luo

I only have a few grams left not sure if that’s worth your time

mrmopar

You might be surprised. How much did you end up left over?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Your what hurts?

Too much confusion drinking this tea. The leaves look very dark and the liqour looked to be from puer at least 3-4 years older??? Every steep baffled me I will have to come back to this one. I can say it was on the dark fruitier end and VERY minerally almost metallic. Strange after every cup my brain couldn’t register anything flavor wise so I slammed cup after cup. I can also be certain it had a Very nice longevity as a result but I would say next time use more leaf but keep flash steepings the whole time longer steeps had a soapy taste. Nice silky feel and thirst quenching rather than throat drying.

?Glad I got a full oz sample no way I can figure this tea out in one go.

Flavors: Mineral, Stonefruits

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

Interesting, sounds like a challenge

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Light, no bitterness or astringency what so ever, grassy/sweet hay, slight “grass fed” butter flavor and hint of waffles in the aromatics , lasting flavor and feeling on the outer sides of the tongue.

A great value if lighter grassier teas are your thing not a favorite of mine personally but definitely indicative of older tress from a spring flushing.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Butter, Hay, Sweet, warm grass

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

Sounds really interesting. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

This is VERY good! Thanks for the sample Marzipan

Stephanie

Aaaaand Steepster ate most of my note…SIGH

DigniTea

I also enjoyed this one quite a bit. Glad you had a chance to try it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I got this sample as a surprise from Stephanie. Thanks so much!

I was really excited because Tea Urchin has been on my list of companies I want to buy from at some point. The shipping is a bit cost prohibitive though. I love their website and their puerh wrappers are awesome!

This tea is very juicy, but not really fruity…more juicy in texture than flavor. It’s also really delicate and floral sweet. There’s a touch of tobacco, but overall it’s very smooth. Very enjoyable. Someday, I will have to take the plunge and order from Tea Urchin!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Lang He Tea Factory is known for producing fine ripe puerh. Light fermentation which results in it being free of that fishy flavor common in more heavily fermented shu. This is one of the finest Lang He products I have tasted. Clean, smooth and sweet with very high purity of flavor. The 2010 Tea Expo award winner is built upon a foundation of high quality material and it offers high quality flavorful sips through the session. Creamy chocolate notes frequently reveal themselves. This is an easy drinking tea and the moderate price makes it a good candidate for daily drinking. A bit difficult to find for I’ve not seen it listed anywhere except Tea Urchin.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
tea123

I normally find that shu has less complexity that sheng. Did you find that this has more complexity with it being lightly fermented?

DigniTea

I cannot say that this one had more complexity. I agree with your assumption, sheng will yield more complexity due to the natural aging process. I think we’d be hard pressed to find ripes with unusual complexity. That said, this LangHe is a very fine example of quality shu!

MzPriss

I need to dig into my sample of this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I believe this is my first experience with a Baotang tea. The quality of the material used in this cake is excellent. Baotang is a village in Mengsong township, Menghai. Apparently, in Baotang the trees are large & ancient, growing in biodiverse, organic gardens. Beautiful leaves produce a bright and clear gold tea soup with a crisp vegetal aroma and taste. Pleasant but not impressive at this point. Very soon the leaves open up and begin to produce a much more interesting cup of tea – increasingly thick in the mouth with a nice bitterness that turns into a pleasant lingering sweetness. Moving through five quick steepings, the cups become increasingly mellow and smooth. I was left with a lingering mouthfeel and a good mellow feeling. I like this tea!
Update: Seems to be enjoyable for 6 steepings and after that it fades.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 85 ML
Stephanie

Sounds good to me :D

tea123

I’ve heard a mention of biodoverse before. I’m thinking of buying that one soon.

AllanK

I had a sample of a Tea Urchin tea recently and I thought it excellent. This sounds good too.

DigniTea

I find that I can always count on TU for hi quality productions because they are able to source very fine raw material. I am a big fan.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Nahan 2014 by Tea Urchin
1056 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample Marzipan!

I really enjoyed drinking this tea all day at work. It is definitely my kind of young sheng. Bold, punchy, strong cha qi and nice pleasant bitterness to sweetness balance. Creamy and floral too. The only thing that would have made it more perfect is if it had some fruity notes and a little bit more sweetness. I enjoyed the heck out of it though and would happily drink it again some day!

I had a crazy busy day at work and I’m serious, the tea definitely helped me! I get like a calm energy from sheng sometimes that is super perfect for stressful days at work where I need to be energized but not jittery or overwhelmed. Very centering/balancing :)

DigniTea

This cake is made from high quality material and was probably produced with hope for aging potential. Even as you describe your experience with the tea, it speaks of promise and will likely be a great tea one day. Meanwhile, it sounds as though you had a very interesting session with it. I have a sample myself but I’ll wait 6 months or so before I try it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Yiwu 2006 Shun Shi by Tea Urchin
1056 tasting notes

I may have reviewed this tea before under a slightly different name. I’m a little confused about it!

ANYWAY a sample of this tea was part of my Christmas gift from Marzipan

Stephanie

Steepster appears to have mangled this one. Alas!

Sil

mangled?

Stephanie

Yeah my note is incomplete…steepster ate a big hunk out of the middle

Sil

OH haha well it doesn’t look mangled at least..

looseTman

Did you share this issue with Jason?

cookies

I had the same issue. I posted about it in the Steepster Bug Thread.

Stephanie

This is the 3rd or 4th note I’ve had this happen to. I’ll email him later when I have time. Thanks guys!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89
drank Nahan 2014 by Tea Urchin
169 tasting notes

I was a bit nervous drinking such a young sheng as I prefer a tea that isn’t too powerful. The initial two steeps surprised me by being mild and subtle, though with a strong, silky feel in the mouth. There was also a very strong cha qi

The dry leaves were very dark, almost black. Yet the tea was a light straw color. After a few steeps I noticed that the wet leaves are now green.

The power only became apparent later, as the 4th and 5th steeps were very strong and woody. I wound up shortening my steeps, which produced a very approachable tea. The dominant flavor is still wood, but it isn’t overpowering. By the 8th steep, the cha qi and taste are both still quite strong. Wood isn’t my favorite flavor, but this tea is otherwise very much to my taste: it was smooth and flavorful, with reasonable complexity. I suspect it might age well, given the power, but I can’t really predict that.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Yiwu 2006 Shun Shi by Tea Urchin
169 tasting notes

This is a very interesting pu. The first steep smells like a shu, but has the amber color of a sheng. The taste is a mix of shu and woody sheng. I’m not a big shu fan, but this is pretty good. The second steep has: less shu flavor; lots of smokiness. Powerful woody flavor. Smooth but very powerful. 4th steep: Moving back towards shu, but balanced on the edge with an aged sheng character as well.

The Tea Urchin web site says that this tea was stored as maocha for 5 years, the pressed and aged, which accounts for the shu flavors. I’m not going to give a numerical rating because I haven’t been enjoying shu lately and this tea leans in that direction, even though the Tea Urchin lists it as a sheng. I suspect that someone who enjoys shu might find this very interesting. I probably wouldn’t buy more, but I’m glad I bought the sample.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C
mrmopar

Very earthy in my tastes as well.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank Man Sa 2011 Spring by Tea Urchin
169 tasting notes

This tea is apparently no longer available, so I couldn’t post the description or photo from the web site.

Drinking this tea is a bit like taking a long journey. The trip starts out gently, with a mild floral taste, but then becomes woody and astringent (though not at all bitter). Around the 6th steep, a hint of cooked vegetables (peas) appears briefly, but the tea then becomes gentler, with a smooth straw/hay flavor.

I enjoyed all the various tastes, though the first was probably my favorite. I’m still enjoying it, though it’s running out of steam (at the point where my 3 gram sample has produced about 20-25 ounces of tea). My rating is a blend of all the different flavors: the best cup was probably a 91, and the worst about an 85.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C
Cheri

Sounds delicious. Too bad it’s not available anymore.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

This tea was somewhat disappointing. First, the “Silver buds” name is largely marketing. There are certainly buds, but not a high percentage (though that may be due to the luck of the sample). It may just be that my palate is not refined enough, but I don’t detect the brown sugar, honey, etc. in the description. I just taste a somewhat bitter wood, with a hint of anise that comes and goes. There is nothing bad about the tea, but it just doesn’t appeal to me.

I won’t pretend to judge the ability of this tea to age, but for everyday drinking, I found it rather ordinary.

I tend to prefer lighter, more elegant sheng, so it is possible that someone who likes more powerful teas would find this to their liking. I steeped at 200 degrees, then tried a session at 185, with similar results.

DigniTea

Sorry to hear that. I’ve not tried this one but generally I’m a big fan of TU products – always found them to be high-grade leaf and quite flavorful.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Another delicious and complex young sheng from TeaUrchin! Lots of floral notes, a little fruit in later steeps…I like Yiwu sheng :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

One of those teas that instantly knocks your socks off and I wasn’t wearing any to begin with. Used a thin walled gaiwan, rinse and 10 minute stroll to feed the birds then steeps of 30/30/30/30/40/40/40/50/50/60/60/70/70/90/115/130/145/160 and so on. Liquor was thick pouring and on the tongue, with flavors starting out floral and then turning sweet. Not a trace of astringency, a slight bitterness but you have to be paying attention. The spent large leaves are all whole and uniform and as I looked in my strainer not a piece of broken leaf to be found. A most amazing tea, will be buying the whole cake next time.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Ooooooh! Another sample from my Tea Urchin gift from Marzipan :D

I’ve never had a sheng quite like this one before. It reminds me of Silver Needle white, sort of hay like and a little sweet, with a floral shengy vibe, and mousse-like creaminess! I keep thinking of it as flower custard :D

YUM!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Most young sheng is coarse and powerful. This one is elegant. I have trouble calling out specific flavors because the flavors are so well integrated, but straw and wood are obvious, with hints of flowers early and black pepper and anise in later steeps.

There is a lot of cha qi, so I’m getting very relaxed. The first two steeps had very little astringency or acidity, and no bitterness. Later steeps have some acid and astringency, but still only a hint of bitterness. The finish is excellent, and much of the complexity comes via the interaction of the finish with the aroma and taste.

I really like this tea. I have no idea how it will age, but it is really great for drinking right now. I got it as part of the recent Tea Urchin Sampler set.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Above standard raw puerh, has a soft dry sweetness with all the prerequisite flavors of hay, pine nut, kelp. Hui gan much in present with a solidness on the tongue and that seeping of sweet coming off the parotids. Used a gaiwan one rinse and a rest then steeps of 20/25/30/35/35/35/40/40/40/45/45 after that it became a blur, as I needed to do some chores around the house since the cha qi was coming on strong. The spent leaves were all uniform and quite green with flecks of brown.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
BigDaddy

Used my yixing this time and it still performs exceptionally.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

This tea starts out with a light straw flavor with hints of spice, then gradually shifts to a more woody taste. Each steep is elegant and balanced, with some astringency but hardly any bitterness.

I’ve had the tea twice. In my notes from the first session, at 190 degrees, I raved about the cha qi. In the second session, at 200 degrees, my tasting notes were similar with respect to flavors, but I noticed only moderate cha qi. I’m not sure if this is due to the temperature or just my mental state at the time of the tasting.

I enjoyed this tea, but it didn’t excite me the way some teas do. At the price, I’m not sure it offers good value, though it seems that you really have to pay for Yiwu tea these days.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Lang He 2010 Yu pin by Tea Urchin
1056 tasting notes

I got a Christmas present in the mail today from Marzipan! She got me a bunch of TeaUrchin Samples! SQUEE!

Stephanie

WTF Steepster ate…half my tasting note? sigh I wonder if anyone else can’t read past the "

Anlina

“I got a Christmas present in the mail today from Marzipan! She got me a bunch of TeaUrchin Samples! SQUEE!

Anlina

Oh crap, it broke my comment too. Anyway your tasting note stops displaying after the less than three heart. Less than signs sometimes, randomly break comments, tasting notes and forum posts. I’ve emailed Jason about it, but it’s really random. If you edit and save your note again, it may work.

Cheri

There’s a ?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

Like going from a steely Chablis to a refined Montrachet. Soft smooth buttery, lots of oak but there is one thing that Montrachet doesn’t have. Sweetness from the very 1st steep. I’ve never experienced this before probably cause I’ve never had a raw pu erh this old. It also has a gentle smoke, no astringency, and lasted forever. Used 7.5 gm in 100 ml gaiwan. I was all over the map with the steeps though, settling on 30 seconds to give a nice golden clear soup. This was added to my order as a sample from Tea Urchin and I thank them tremendously.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank 2012 Yi Bang Spring by Tea Urchin
1056 tasting notes

Having some really delicious sheng today while cleaning and prepping the house for thanksgiving. We are cooking for 11 people tonight! My husband is smoking a turkey, and we are making spicy collards, maple roasted Brussels sprouts, and dinner rolls. Oh and I made apple pie! My MIL is bringing scalloped corn and a pumpkin cake, and my mom is bringing fancy baked mashed potatoes with cream cheese in them (around here we call them party potatoes!)

Anyway I’m very thankful for all my wonderful steepster friends. Hope you all have a safe and warm holiday and tummies full of delicious food and of course TEA!

Tealizzy

Yum! Sounds like an amazing feast!

yyz

Sounds fabulous, have fun and have a great Thanksgiving!

Fjellrev

OMG smoked turkey. I really miss it! Sounds like a scrumptious meal.

boychik

Hope you are having a wonderful time with your family!

Terri HarpLady

My Son in Law smoked a Turkey today. I’m not a big turkey fan, but it was delicious!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

Just blissing out to some of the best Sheng on the planet and listening to some of my favorite music from 2014: Hiss Golden Messenger, Cloud Nothings, Alvvays, Mastersons, War on Drugs, Real Estate, Popstrangers, Future Islands, First-aid Kit, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Against Me and on and on.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

As I ascend into the rarefied air of truly upper echelon shengs, I marvel at the power of the ancient wild tea leaf to concentrate such a variety of flavors (citrus, teak wood, soy, vanilla) and to release such a transforming energy that, in one sip, swept away the cold, rainy Monday morning and replaced it with my own little tea Utopia. This tea should come with a warning: do not attempt to operate a computer or motorized vehicle after drinking this tea. Do not shop for this tea under the influence; hundreds of dollars will disappear as you stockpile the 2013 version of this tea. It’s worse than going to whole foods when you’re starving.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML
boychik

Wow, this tea sound amazing. i should drink it before going to bed ;)))

Doug F

I swear I lost an hour bound up in a tea euphoria.

mrmopar

They have some outstanding teas for sure.

TeaBrat

Looks like they are sold out of it!

Doug F

Yes, you would have to go with the 2013, which sounds equally as good.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.