The Essence of Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

87

In the mood for some aged sheng, I decided to prepare a steeping of this tea. I use about 6 grams in 100 ml of water. Since this is a loose leaf the leaves are intact and beautiful to look at. The colour of the dry leaf ranges from a copper-like colour to a dusty black. The wet leaves radiate an immense wood, wet forest floor-like character with hints of spices in the background. The soup is a dark red with very little cloudiness. It’s thick in the mouth with a smooth texture. As the nose suggests, there are notes of wood and spices. Nice hui gan with an apparent qi. Excellent tea. 87/100

Note : On my third steeping, I think I could have gotten away with much less leaf. Perhaps 4-5 grams would have been sufficient.

Flavors: Earth, Spices, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Dry – Sweet floral with bittersweet/tart notes that resemble fruits.
Wet – Honey, very apparent apricot, floral notes, ‘wild’ oomph, plum, orchid, vanilla?, cream?, spices.

Liquor – Golden to a Red Gold hue.

Gong Fu Style in thick porcelain Gaiwan 6-7gm 5oz *

1st 2secs – Honey, apricot, floral-fruity notes with a thick body up front. As it washes down, it has a thicker texture/fuller body with apparent tart-fruity notes and very faint but pleasant bitterness that lingers through the very nice Huigan.

2nd 3secs – Tart-Fruity notes that resemble passion fruit, apricot and other floral fruits up front. As it goes does down, it develops a very apparent thickness and active mouth feel (wild oomph?), that lingers through the sweeter and bittersweet playful notes that precede the fast and pleasant Huigan.

3rd 4secs – Tart fruity notes with very apparent floral, bittersweet apricot and passion fruit notes up front. As it goes down, it becomes thicker and has a very energetic mouth-feel that lingers through the bittersweet and tart fruity notes and through the honey notes that become very apparent in the Huigan. At this point it started developing very pleasant and complex notes that resembled spices.

4th 6secs – Honey sweetness that quickly turns bittersweet/tart with floral-fruity notes that resemble passion fruit and apricot. The broth becomes thicker once again as it goes down and covers the tongue with very pleasant and complex tart/bittersweet notes which in turn become very sweet and lingering in the Huigan.

5th 7secs – Honey sweetness with a gentler take over by the the tart/bittersweet floral notes that once again resemble floral fruits like apricot, plum and passion fruit. As it washes down it still wears a thick and active mouth-feel that accentuates the tart/bittersweet notes and wild character of the tea. A very fast huigan and gentle ku. Very pleasant and playful finish with notes that resemble spices.

Final Notes
This one was VERY pleasant. Honestly, my best experience with Wild Puerh by far. To me it started as a very aromatic experience that needs to be acknowledged as soon as you start pouring water and even when you are pouring out the rinse. This is the type of tea that will temp you to drink that rinse. As I started to drink the first notes I noted were the tart/bittersweet notes that resembled several fruits and later I noticed the thicker Honey notes that balances the broth very well.

As I kept drinking, I started to note the hints of spices in the tongue and later on it became more apparent (cumulative sensation). I stopped taking notes after steep #5 because I just wanted to enjoy it. Thanks Sammerz314 for the opportunity to try this beauty.

If you have time visit my blog
http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
Boiling
Sammerz314

One of my favourites =)

JC

With all the reasons to be!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

I decided to go back in time with this 1960s Guang Yun Gong that I picked up from David at the EoT. The dry leaves have a dark (almost black) colour with a red shading to it. The dry leaf also seems to have a subtle spicy aroma and a large amount of twigs, probably more than in modern bings. I don’t mind this as I find it adds to the teas visual appeal. A quick wash of the leaves releases a beautiful aroma of spices, woodiness and bell peppers, an aroma that brings the 1979 Aged Beauty to mind. Very pleasant nose indeed. As one would expect, the soup has a dark reddish colour. The soup has a pleasant sweetness, which is consistent with the wet aroma, and mouthfeel. The soup seems to leave a long lasting lingering sweetness in the back of the throat. There is also an instantaneous hui gan. The cha qi is very apparent as a single cup of 40 mL has put me in a state of bliss. In conclusion, this tea is a joy to drink. It’s an example of what we all strive for when aging our own puerhs. Of course, this tea isn’t an everyday tea. At a whopping 5 pounds/ gram, this single steeping has set me back almost $50! However, I do think its worth to try. Easily a 90/100

Parameters : ~5 grams/100 mL brita filtered tap water
15 second steeps

Edit : You better believe I will be steeping these leaves 20+ times LOL!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

This stone-pressed sheng from Bangwei Village is a delight! It is full of beautiful, high quality leaves which give the appearance of having been carefully folded and twisted lightly – although I know this is highly unlikely. They are very large with a greenish brown color. The dry leaf suggests smells of the earth and green grass – a very light and pleasant aroma.

The tea liquor is bright and juicy with a nice lively mouthfeel. Smooth to the taste with all the sweet, earthy notes one would expect from a high quality sheng. There is a lovely hint of sweetness throughout. This is my first experience with EoT. Recent notes by Sammer314 led me to order several different 10-20g samples last month and I look forward to enjoying more “tastings” with these high quality puerhs.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Sammerz314

Drinking this tea at the moment. This tea has a “pure” taste that I cannot describe. I find several other EoT teas have this clean pure taste. Misty Peaks tea also has this character.

DigniTea

Haven’t tried the Misty Peak teas but I definitely get something special in this one. I should say a big thank you since it was only due to your frequent notes on EoT that led me to order several samples. So, Thank You!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

I Decided to go with the classic 7542 this morning. This tea is a 1991 sheng that I was lucky enough to pick up from David at EoT. During the breaking process, I immediately notice how beautiful the leaves are… most are intact and very few, if any at all, are chopped. Wonderful craftsmanship. The wet leaves produce a beautiful dark red broth… a colour that brings a sweet cup of Port to mind. A primary woody aroma with fruity and spicy notes emanates from the bowl. A very pleasing nose I must say. Signs of traditional storage is apparent from the nose. In the mouth, the broth is smooth, has a thick body and has an aged sweetness that lingers in the throat. There is a strong chaqi with this tea as only a few cups (40 mL each) have seem to put me in a meditative state. An excellent example of an aged 7542. Definitely think an 88/100 is a fair assessment.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

This tea brings about a wonderful experience. I began with 4.2 grams of leaf and arrive at a beautiful orange-red liquor. At first glance, this liquor seems to display wonderful solidity. The wet leaves produce a pleasant aged-like aroma. Again, I often find it difficult to relate familiar scents/tastes with characters found in tea. I will say that there is some spiciness in the immediate aroma…perhaps accompanied with buttery-like, woody notes. The buttery -like note within the aroma is definitely new to me. Upon a sip, I find the liquor isn’t as thick as the first glance suggested. However, I still consider this a very nice tea. There are some spicy notes accompanied by an aged woody character… within seconds a cool mintiness joins dance. This tea has, what I sense as, a strong qi and very pleasant hui gan. Excellent tea which seems to display excellent storage conditions. Easily an 85/100 in my books.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

In light of Canada’s hockey victory, I’ve decided to treat myself to a steeping of this wonderful 1980s Menghai Yiwu Spring Buds 7532. This is another special tea that excites the soul. The wet leaves release a sweet wood-like character and a soup that is remarkably clean. Its colour brings cherry wood to mind. On the palate this tea has a pure, sweet woody note with a thick body to it. This tea is also pretty dynamic as there seems to be a peak of sweetness near the end of its profile. Clean, sweet, dynamic with a pleasant hui lian. Very good tea in my books.

Flavors: Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

Lucky dog, not the team they are good but you to be able to drink this. I have a 98 that I will probably finish today. I have one of these 7532’s aging. I can’t wait to see how it evolves in 5 to 10 years.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

This is a fine tea. The wet leaves don’t produce a particularly impressive aroma but do produce a soup with a beautiful medium amber colour with little to no cloudiness. This tea has a remarkably smooth body with floral and honey notes that brings upon a noticeable qi. There is a soft Hui Gan which arises with time. I’d say the prominent feature of this tea is its smoothness, a term that I feel is sometimes loosely used. This bing was definitely worth the money.

Edit : Very nice citrus notes

Flavors: Flowers, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Impeccable. That is the single word I would use to describe this tea. Easily among the best young puerhs I’ve had, if not the best. The prominent feature of this material is a wonderful lone note of honey, a note which the wet leaves grace the drinker with. I enjoyed this aroma for a good two minutes or so. The leaves brew a graceful, surprisingly clear, dark amber – a colour suggesting more age to it than there actually is – colour. Beautiful. The soup is smooth with just enough body to coat the mouth with a fine Hui Gan sensation – all this while the notes of honey tickle your taste buds.
I will definitely be steeping this tea for the rest of the day.

Side Notes : I believe the darker soup is due to the fact that this tea was stored as loose maocha for four years, hence, able to age much quicker. Also, despite how much I am enjoying this tea, I feel I would be remiss to not mention, what I feel to be this teas single downfall, the price! This bing sells at a whopping 85 british pounds! If it weren’t for this, I’d definitely own a tong.

Parameters : 6 grams to 120 mL of water. 5-15 second steeps.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
oOLuckyStarOo

Tastefully written! :)

JC

I love Wuliang Wild Arbor. Great note!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

I don’t know if this is my exact brand of Alishan, as a student gave it to me. But, I drink a tea that is just like this one. It is a lovely green oolong, and is brimming with floral notes. I drink it all day long, just keeping the leaves in my cup. They are so large when unfurled that they rarely get in my way. The first steeping gets a little astringent, but the third steeping is my favorite tea! This is the tea that got me hooked on oolongs.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

This is a unique tea. The taste is very nice. I can not say how much it has changed over the years. what makes this tea unique is the strong caffeine jolt mixed with the calming energy that develops in aged teas.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

This is a very good example of an aged liu an. It starts off with a little wierd taste from storage (not bad just different). But when most teas are starting to fade this tea is just waking up. Becoming quite tasty. The durability of this tea is impressive. I have had pots of this tea last almost a week with extended brewing. there are very few aged liu an teas available online this is a good one.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank 2010 Mansai by The Essence of Tea
53 tasting notes

I may have spoken too soon last time when I mentioned that I was feeling a tendency towards shu pu’er, because they last couple of teas I tried were both shu, and they were hardly worth writing about. But I’ve also been doing a lot of homework on pu’er over the last several days, trying to learn all I can about it, and seems that “terrible” shu is relatively common.

From what I’ve read, shu/shou/cooked pu’er was developed in an attempt to mimic aged sheng. So it goes through a sort of speed-fermentation process to achieve this. Sometimes this goes over well, and the resulting product is ready to drink. But there’s also a chance that the fermentation goes off, and the result tastes like bad fish. Sometimes the “bad fish” shu will benefit from aging in the sense that it will sort of “air out” and the weird “off” flavors will mellow, but just how much shu pu’er benefits from aging after that is highly debated.

Really, a lot of aspects of pu’er seem to be highly debated or at least conflicting. I can already tell that reading about it is only going to get me so far… that’s why I just dropped $60 on a handful of assorted samples from puerhshop.com. Most of them are sheng, since I am honestly a little leery about shu since my last two encounters with it have ranged from “meh” to “ew,” but I realize that those off-flavors are not present in every shu, and there are certainly ones out there that I adore.

But the more research I’ve been doing, the more I’ve been intrigued by sheng. It seems that sheng holds a lot more possibility for variety than shu, and while there are certainly times when I just crave shu’s dark earthiness, I am intrigued by what’s out there in the sheng-world.

But enough rambling now, this tea. I didn’t even know I had it, and I must have gotten it in a swap or something because I’ve never ordered directly from EoT. I had a little sample amount of it stashed in an old Adagio sample tin.

This stuff actually reminds me of a white tea or maybe a green tea; rather clean and clear and crisp. A bit dry, and very easily turns harshly astringent if brewed a bit too long. I’ve read that dryness/astringency are characteristics of young sheng that subside with age, so maybe that would change with time? I suppose I won’t ever know since I only have this tiny sample size, but being such a novice to all this, I can’t help but speculate. With short steeps though, this is really a nice relaxing afternoon tea.

Looking at the leaves I’m noticing a lot of stem, like maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the mix is stem. I’m not sure if that’s normal in a tea like this or not, but it’s an interesting note. The leaves are fairly broken, and there are a few buds mixed in with more mature leaves. The assorted shapes remind me a bit of looking into a bowl of chex mix. The color of the leaf is very nice, a sort of olive green mostly, but a few leaves are tinged with a lovely rusty reddish-brown.

Just another chronicle in my journey to understand pu’er!

Michelle

I feel like pu’erh is one of the deepest subjects in tea (no pun intended) but also one of the most difficult to master/understand. Still, it’s fascinating!

Grace

Good luck on the journey, there is soooo much to try!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I found some of this tea in my cupboard. I remember ordering a small package of this tea at summer, appareantly I’ve tasted it once before. I feel bad of drinking this now, as this isn’t clearly anymore at its prime.

Taste is interesting. Slightly nutty, with strong oily taste and texture, with some burnt notes. Has definantly been an interesting tea, now tasting slightly weird, little off. Leaves do look ok, although not as nice as one would expect of Shifeng Mingqian… Hard to say as I don’t remember taste of this fresh, now I tend to think that this isn’t probably what its claiming to be. Nevertheless, tastes good, longjingish and looks beautiful in a glass.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I just had a session with this tea.
My overall feeling is that this is nice tea, tastes like something I’d expect to pu’er from ‘90s to taste. Smooth, thick, slightly woody. Old tree deep inside of a dense forest, standing on it’s own in the middle of a forest opening.
Taste is quite simple, little too smooth for my taste. Presence of this tea is quite heavy, slightly disturbing in a way. Like that huge tree is blocking the sun, or something like that.
I’m currently looking for an affordable pu’er with at least a couple of decades of age, and this is one I am considering. I also have a sample of EoT Grand Yellow Label, waiting to be tested.
If you happen to have any suggestions of oldish sheng cakes that are around the same price category with this one, please hint me!

Joni Selinheimo

The name is Small Yellow Label. Excuse me but. “Whut?” o.0 You have so become the verbal son of Eetu. A poet. Just what the world needed. Another poet. xD

cultureflip

hey there, not sure if youre looking for sheng anymore but try the 2000 sheng from lifeinteacup.com i havent written anything on it yet but its good, cheap and not heavy or murky, its still got some youth.

Jesse Örö

Thanks for the tip! Life In Teacup is a good source, I’ll try that out.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

1.6 grams in 50mL tiny porcelain gaiwan (lots of broken bits because I was prying a bit off of one side and it got a little messy)
Water 205 degrees

Flash rinse—did not save—and only noticed later that a bit of water was left, like a grandpa-style ‘root’, that got incorporated into the first infusion, which is….strong. Campfire smoky gym socks strong. Still only a hint of bitter, but very powerful stuff.

2nd infusion, 10 seconds then poured, still very strong smoky umami stuff, but the sweet is able to show up at the front of each sip, and the aftertaste is spicy and herbaceous and bitter and still smoky.

3rd infusion, poured in, replaced kettle on stand, and poured out, less than 10 seconds: still very powerful stuff. I am so appreciating this lovely little gaiwan right now, the fit and the pour and the function for these fast infusions are just excellent. The tea is still transporting me back to childhood campfires, with a bit of sweet here and there.

4th infusion, same pour in/kettle/pour out, between 5 and 7 seconds, can’t be doing much more than rinsing what is already sweating out on the surface of the leaves, and still it has a powerful kick. A little more sweet apparent, though.

Side note: simply because I was in the mood for it, I started my day with some Tie Guan Yin, couldn’t exhaust those leaves with the time available before leaving for work, and am working on some more infusions after the leaves were stored int he fridge for the day, drinking one infusion of this to a couple of the puerh. It’s astonishing how clean and refined the flavor is in contrast to this rambunctious smoky pu!

5th infusion, still crazy-smokey-rambunctious, ham and campfire and sweet and bit of bitter herbs. 6th is settling in a bit, but I can see that it’s going to take a lot of infusions and a kettle full of water at 40mL per infusion to tame these leaves. 7th similar, the smoky veil is showing a little more of what is behind it, but still, powerful smoke.

If overwhelming, outrageous flavor now is a good predictor of aging well, this should be fabulous. But the kettle is empty and I do have to get some sleep eventually, so I’m setting the leaves aside for more tomorrow.

Took this tea out of the fridge again after 2 days (previously up to 8 infusions): starting the first few infusions with a meal of cheese and crackers, and like any good puerh, the tea cuts the richness well. And the strong cheese also helps mellow the smokiness of the tea.

By the 16th infusion, the tea is tasting more strongly of herbs and sweet anise, with the umami nearly gone.

The 25th infusion is still strong and deliciously herbaceous, astringent but not truly bitter. Very pleasant stuff.

Up to 30, and brewing by my thirst—some flash infusions, basically sweet water, to wet the palate, then a few more substantial, slower, showing persistent flavor beyond simple sweet water, amazing stamina this stuff has. Saying uncle at 32 infusions, that’s enough for now.

I am very encouraged to think of what this tea will be after it has settled a bit and the wildly smoky start has softened.

(Rating here is tough, because the early infusions were pretty rank, but they’re not representative—I think—of what this will be like in the future when I will want to be drinking it. Nor did the first day’s wildness fit well with the wonderful mellower later infusions—those would rate very highly indeed. So no rating for the session now, as a whole).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

76

Not my favorite Guafenzhai but very good overall score

Strong huigan and qi – hope it progresses with aging!!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I have a GFZ from Tea Urchin that is mind blowing….

Login or sign up to leave a comment.