The Essence of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

Thank you to the good tea friend who gave me this sample. This tea was strong, this tea was fairly smoky. I was getting notes of hay and tobacco along with the smoke initially. These notes persisted for a while. It’s hard to say exactly when they were no longer a factor, but at least six steeps. This tea turned into something nicer, it just took a while. By steep twelve it was fairly smooth. I did develop into something with a type of sweet note, although not the sweet note of apricots of a young sheng. I don’t think I will buy this but you never know. This might just have the characteristics of something that will age well, but that is a gamble. It might not age well at all. It had already aged somewhat. The tea soup was somewhat red although not as red as the tea I drank yesterday from Yangqinghao. After drinking a Yangqinghao it’s hard to give something else a good review. I did like this well enough to steep it twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan.

I steeped this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10g 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’m sure I could have gotten a few more steeps out of this if I hadn’t hit my caffeine limit for today.

Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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From the PU TTB: I think this might be the oldest sheng I’ve ever had. It starts out, well, frankly unpleasant. Overwhelming storage/musty old basement. Once it gets going, there is a tarty fruity sweetness; somewhere in that old basement, underneath the leather books and ossified apples, there’s a pleasant sourness. But the overwhelming note is camphor, even after numerous steeps. It does get a tad bitter when pushed. Some 10 or 15 steeps later I am tea drunk as hell. Upshot: I didn’t love it enough to want to buy more, but I am still drinking it and it’s not just for the buzz. Approaching 20 steeps and this tea is showing little sign of weakening. And it’s growing on me a little.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCY8U_DGgNW/?taken-by=curlygc

jschergen

Haven’t had HK Style yet?

curlygc

I think I have and I seem to recall that I didn’t care for it. I have to check my notes to make sure I’m not confusing it with another tea. I assume it’s similar to this one then?

jschergen

They’re fairly different as far as aged teas. That one got pretty humid and was then dried out heavily. More mellow than this one, if I recall correctly.

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Purchasing from different vendors has taught me about my storage preferences. I’ve had several sessions with EoT’s 2012 Qi Sheng Gu, 2012 Bao Tang, 2014 Long Lan Xu 2006 Wild Peacock, and their 2000 Green Peacock. They all share the similar aroma and strong initial flavor of smoky prune in their first 3 steeps. I’m not a fan. I can only assume this is a storage issue since the affects are the same across teas. This is unfortunate, as I’ve heard nothing but good things about EoT.

The tea soup starts out cloudy orange and gradually transitions to yellow, which I find interesting. The smoky prune aroma is a turn off and only begins to recede after the 5th steep when the leaves release a tingly/numbing sensation and subdued floral notes I associate with 2015 YS Bang Dong and some YS Jinggu teas. I’m a big fan of this characteristic.

I’m annoyed by the fact that the storage has dominated the flavor and overall experience of what is probably a lovely tea (and other EoT teas), so far. I hope to return to this tasting note with positive edits.

The Essence of Tea

Strange… the Wild Peacock and Green Peacock come from different places and have had different storage from the other teas. Maybe there’s one with this flavour that has influenced the others while being shipped to you, or maybe the flavour is coming from elsewhere in your tea brewing. Try airing them our for a week or two and see if it helps.

tanluwils

I initially suspected the Wild Peacock is responsible for this effect, but since the samples are sealed I suspect there is another unknown variable at play. I find I’ve been storing them separately for a few weeks now and that initial smoky aroma/flavor is just starting to wane. I’m happy with structure of this tea after the 5-6th steep, so I hope that comes to the fore as the storage smell/flavors dissipate.

mrmopar

Keep us updated as I have the Wild Peacock and another on the way.

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92

From the Puerh TTB #3. Thanks to EoT for the samples.

1st steep (10 s): There is a bit of spice in the nose. The taste is quite strong for a 1st steep. Smooth and sweet, with a rich blend of straw, toast and floral hints. The finish is also good; silky smooth and long-lasting. I’m feeling a lot of cha qi, but this is my second sheng of the day so the effect may be cumulative. 2nd (10 s): The tea is a medium straw color. Smell is richer; a hint of smoke? Really big and rich and super finish that seems to just keep getting bigger. Too big for my head!? Partly I think it is a powerful cha qi taking over. Between the finish and the cha qi it is hard to actually taste the tea. It is richer than the first cup, with wood and caramel flavors replacing the floral note. Also not as smooth; there is a bit of tartness and tannin, especially at the finish. This is the sort of tea that I’m tempted to just pound down and enjoy the cha qi, but I want to set a good example and review the tea since it was a donation to the puerh TTB and I was the one that required tasting notes for the donated teas. I’ll take a break then come back.

3rd steep (20 s one hour later): Light straw aroma and flavor. Less nuanced. Sweet, with a hint of bitterness underneath. 4th (30s): More wood than straw. A dark richness that’s hard to identify; not quite earthy. spice? (another review suggested nutmeg, and that is close) Finish and cha qi still dominant. Later steeps were mellow and rich and slightly spicy.

I liked this tea a lot, at least in part because it presented so many different facets. After the first cup I was thinking approachable. After the second I was thinking tea drunk. The third and fourth suggested the need for more age, and I’m now on about the 7th cup and it’s just really pleasant. Smooth, full flavor in the mouth, a finish that is still going strong, and a nice buzz from the cha qi. What’s not to love?

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

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69

I’ve tried this for the third time today and I have about 5g left.
Initially and each time, I was disappointed with this tea as it takes off very slow. The first 3-4 steeps have you wondering how this could’ve ever passed EoT quality control, it’s thin and flat, yet bitterish, leathery and sour – like many of the forgettable low-quality productions from the times of the pu-erh craze (2006-2007). Gradually, however, things gets better and signs of maturity like notes of old books and woody sweetness (no red fruits though) start to come out. Around the eighth steep the flavour profile is fully developed and the tea is round enough to satisfy.

Unfortunately, although it never was really smooth to begin with, later steeps also produce more adstringency and the mouthfeels becomes somewhat gritty. Nevertheless, this one gave me a few decent cups.

To conclude, I think the price of 144USD is too high, considering that 149USD can get you something very “proper” in the matured pu-erh depatrment. Yes, I mean W2T’s HK Style.

Edit: After 10-12 steeps I wouldn’t speak of Qi, but I found its caffeine-level to be just right. I’m alert yet not agitated.

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
tea123

Interesting review :)

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90

From the Steepster Puer TTB round 3

A really nice mellow sheng. Notes of apricot fruity, herby with a hint of spice and floral with a slick texture. The pu’er is also sweet and with a light dryness that tingles a bit making it a pleasure to drink for texture. Later steeps are more herby sweet and very nice. Great young sheng and totally ready to drink now. Lots of qi in this one too, I was flailing around at around steep 5 or 6.

That price though, it’s pretty high, but this pu’er is pretty good. This is my first try at Essence of Tea btw.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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99

From the Pu TTB

Very mellow, thick, and sweet. The early infusions have notes of mushroom, minerals, herbs, and green wood and a slight floral touch. A well balanced tea with a strong qi that became apparent by the third steep. Great mouthfeel as well

Later infusions taste very warm and clean with a nutmeg note and nice creamyness. Under the influence I noted that it tasted like “drinking liquid candle light”

A super nice young sheng; I don’t know how it could be much better. I experienced some sticker shock upon seeing the price, but I do think this is the best young sheng I’ve had

Flavors: Green Wood, Herbaceous, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutmeg

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

I want this one..

Rasseru

Another shop where my wallet pulls me past whenever I look at it – mostly due to me wanting to try some authentic Bei Dou Yi Hao.

mrmopar

I agree. I have had some of their other stuff. Pretty good. The exchange rate is killer to your wallet though.

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83

2006 Bingdao Peacock – Essence of Tea

Price: £0.60 ($0.89) / g
£180 ($267.06) / 400g cake

Note: I got a 16g sample of this with my order.

Summary: Grainy, vibrant orange fruit flavour with a medium, well integrated smoke. It fills the mouth with its immediate expanding thickness. Let down by being astringent from the start and overwhelmingly bitter and harsh after only a few brews. It’s like a xiaguan tuo has been made thicker – a xiaguan tuo on steroids…

83/100

Dry: Dark brown, some silver leaves. Bumpy piece. Faint concentrated herbal – different to smoky cheese. Med compression. Smells mildly fresh.

https://www.instagram.com/p/pMiY1IDuWN-6vUi02JvDKrLTAqjOF6gJtX80

Wet: Med smoke, mellow concentrated herbal, some peach.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_pmQaNIDmTx-8kAw8-Z5FNVwJr9oICZjOnH940

Rinse: Light/med orange/golden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_pNMmeoDvr7QA90IYA9BPGcTbUbrNaNY-rRnI0

10s – Med orange (not golden) The first sip reminds me of a Xiaguan tuo: grainy fruit with a lot of smoke behind it. Interesting. This is tasty, but then I am a fan of Xiaguan tuos. Bitterness is kept at a reasonable volume. i.e. not too high. Fruit is vibrant and obvious. It has a freshness to it. There is a slight astringency to this, so I’m guessing the material is not the best.

15s – Med orange (not golden) Fruit and smoke are well integrated. The flavour is grainy, bitter fruit riding with smoke in a simple, friendly, stimulating way. Liquor has some thickness to it. It leaves the mouth slightly dry and smoky.

20s – Heavy bitterness and too astringent. However, I like it as I like the bitter fruit in a Xiaguan tuo.

5s – Med orange. Bitterness goes under the tongue and rings. Smoke has partially cleared. There is an orange fruit note in here, which presents itself in a vibrant and juicy manner. Shame it carries heavy bitterness. Mouth is very dry.

10s – Light/med orange. Watery, bitter and some base sheng.

25s – Med orange. Lots of bitterness and astringency. The orange fruit note it still there.

Flavors: Grain, Orange

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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82

2014 Long Lan Xu raw Essence of Tea

Price:
25/25

82/100

Summary. A very good, fresh raw pu-erh with a strong body and very long finish. Flavours are sweet raisins. Emits strong energy. I’m impressed.

Dry: Dark brown; few silvery leaves. Very light, bright concentrated herbal. Med compression.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fP26AoDqqolH2bXPtAiLSgd2m9w8Pt6K-B5o0

Wet: Light smoky, med bright concentrated herbal, fresh green. Slightly deep base to it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fQ3UUIDs89XZFKPyt_2is-uUGnU7JxUwY8Dg0

Rinse: Light golden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fQi5coDsTN0rPqdxhzaWZ79SOziAgTl4zDp40

Note: This is my first time using the my new handmade cup from Pottery West :)

10s – Light yellow. Flavour is sweet raisin with a lingering sweet raisin finish. The body is lacking. 75/100.

15s – Light/med yellow. Body is there now, and it has some strength. It does not stick around. This has the fresh concentrated herbal flavour, but it is not overbearing. The finish does have a slightly astringent grip. 78/100.

20s – Light/med yellow. Intense body and the flavour lingers for a long time after the swallow. It has a s strong base, which gives the sweet raisin flavour some depth.

25s – Med yellow. This is one powerful and strongly flavoured tea. Noticing a sparkle in the finish. The transition from sip to finish is quite heavy. I’m feeling strong energy from this tea.

30s – Good form and a long lingering finish.

35 – No multi layering, but very good power, body and finish.

40s – Med yellow. Thin. A lot of bitterness, med smoke, becoming base sheng, but still going.

Cheese pairings:
https://www.instagram.com/p/_feuuQIDpqZQ4rtbmloKzq6zU7YwxVfrJD01w0

Picos blue– Not so good. The cheese swamps the tea with it’s roqfort like acidity. 2/10
Dorset blue – The bright bitterness is clouded by the mellow creaminess, but the beefiness is too much of a contrast. 6/10
Yorkshire blue – Very good. The mild creaminess goes well with the bright bitterness and allows the tea flavour to be tasted. 7/10

Flavors: Raisins

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tanluwils

I like how you take notes! I’m eyeing this cake, so was quite informative.

kevdog19

Get a huge kick out of the “Cheese pairings”… this is the first time I have ever seen this haha. +1

tea123

You reminded me that I got one of the cheese names wrong. Corrected it now.

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75

2006 Wild Peacock raw – Essence Of Tea

Price: 14p ($0.21) /g
Note: I received 20g of this free with my order.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_XTdEDIDnLYpury_I17Y9MzV4mg4C6yb-tgCk0

75/100

Summary: A tea with heavy smoke; average base material showing slight almond notes. Characterised by a strong wood/ash note in the beginning. Body is ok. Finish is smoke-heavy, but it’s ok. Not a long brewing tea. ~5 steeps. I’d have to partially disagree with James of teadb with this tea. I think the smoke would put me off if this was my first tea.

Dry: Smoky cheese – same as other EoT teas so far. Very dark brown, flat piece. I received one chunk, leaves and dust (to get the 20g I assume). Later the aroma is that of a black bin bag (unused of course). Very high compression, similar to that of a Xiaguan tuo. Looks similar to 2000 Green Stamp…

https://www.instagram.com/p/_XVwNBIDr1GbtV8GrGbew2bargU1crrL7By-I0

Wet: Med electrical smoke. Faint log burning smoke. Later raisins.

https://www.instagram.com/p/XoZUEIDtxcCp8wWyjQedAz4434XNlqos8vII0
https://www.instagram.com/p/
XoeqAIDt7811ZoS54kCnxWTcFAVuOMaBGllw0

Rinse: Bright, clear light golden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_XWsDkIDtWi4mCQFSpMpgcmIqnMyRHdDk3Y1o0

10s – Med golden. Watery, soft wood.

Rest for 8 minutes 58 seconds. Watching teadb’s latest video – a review of this tea.
http://teadb.org/2006-eot-wild-peacock/

15s – Darker med golden. Ok the first sip: soft, no bitterness, rounded. There is a strong note in the body like a wood burning note. It stands out. That note remains solidly in to the finish, finally appearing in the throat as a dry, thick wood/ash note. It is sweet, rounded and friendly, but lets keep an eye on that wood/ash note. Not oily; medium thickness.

20s – Med golden brown with an orange tinge. The body consists of raisins: some sour and astringent. The smoke is thick and doesn’t move; it is even peppery. Is the tea well integrated with the smoke? No, but it has a bite to it which I like.

20s – Med golden brown. Lost that orange tinge. Heavy, rounded smoke. Tea is weakening. Heavy smoke can be tasted after drinking, but it’s not to bad if you don’t mind smoke.

25s – Med golden brown. Base material is average, although it does have a slight almond note. Drying my mouth.

35s – The smoke is slow moving, while the tea is faster moving.

50s – Med golden. Flat, bitter, even sour…

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

Love your reviews. I wish I could write as well.

jschergen

Very interesting and quite a bit different than my take. You got a lot of smoke and I don’t remember any at all! Hard to tell where the differences are coming from… Given that half of the cakes are stone-pressed and half are hydraulic pressed and they’re all mixed together, it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s a few consistency issues with the cake.

Kirkoneill1988

awesome review! is it possible to inbox me with the link to this tea?

Kirkoneill1988

thats the only tea ill most likely buy a cake of. rest are way over priced for young puerh cake/tuo/brick

tanluwils

If it was highly compressed, I suspect it was machine pressed. I would agree with jschergen on consistency issues as I’ve read several contrasting reviews of this tea. Hopefully I won’t be too shocked by my order!

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76

2004 Private Order – Essence of tea

Price: £7 ($10.54) for 25g (28p ($0.42) /g)

8g in gaiwan.

76/100

Summary: Heavy smoke has become rounded and smooth, and the flavours are ok, but there is nothing special here. Average tea, heavy smoke has been aged, that’s all. Bacon smoky.

Note: I can’t find this for sale anymore.

Dry: Dark brown, flat chunk, med/high compression. Looks like 2000 Green Stamp… Smoky cheese aroma.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-11RCbIDvHX0H58ZiACf0hNrLE4J53f3t5IBg0

Rinse: Med golden brown.

Wet: Med smoky. Electric smoke and log burning smoke.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-19FqAIDuxyak_ED3waJ6ZnmXPQv4Qz6TpSlc0

10s – Med golden brown. Faint log burning smoke. Aftertaste is log burning smoke. Body is ok. Thin.

15s – Dense med golden brown. Another sheng from Essence of Tea with the bitterness worn down, and the smoke has softened. Both components are well integrated, but it is lacking bite. Thicker.

25s – Dense med golden brown. Slightly astringent grip; slightly drying. Log burning. Not as good as 2000 Green Stamp. A tiny hint of Beef Space Raiders….

30s – Med golden brown. Smoke is staying strong, but the tea is fading.

35s – Med golden brown. Very strong, thick smoke: it has softened, but it is still very heavy.

1 minute – Med golden brown. The smoke is well rounded and heavy, but the tea underneath is average.

1 minute 20s – Less dense. Med golden brown. Watery, base sheng with a tonne of smoke still.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
JC

I wouldn’t go as far as saying not recommended but I do agree this tea adds nothing to the collection :P

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Thick, oily in the mouth and throat, astringency peaks in the early steeps but is still evident mid-session. Pretty sweet with stonefruits, a familiar profile for good quality young gushu. Body is above average. If I were to criticize, it’s less dynamic than I had hoped, but it could be in part due to my lack of focus. Overall a very enjoyable clean and active tea.

At ~$0.50/g it compares well to other 2015 productions in the same price range, especially if you value body/texture. There is excess moisture in my sample, but it may be in part due to the air-tight bag it’s been sitting in.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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84

2000 Green Peacock – Essence of Tea

Price: £0.34 ($0.50) / g £98 ($144) / 357g cake

Summary: A very good aged tea which comprises a tart fruit note with softened smoke. It has a lot in common with the 2000 Kai Green Stamp and has greater longevity. However, it is let down by overpowering smoke and astringency that come after a few brews. It also has less depth of flavour.

84/100

8 grams in gaiwan.

Dry: Smoky cheese (Bavarian cheese) just like 2000 Green Stamp. Dark brown with light brown leaves. This is not as compressed as 2000 Green Stamp and not as dark.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAAK59-oDlsWX3N40QXAHs6S2JqmfGhPFJdpCI0

Wet: Med wood smoke, some electric smoke, straw.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BAAWSCrIDqD9C8kTsUc2lROGbPkPgJdMUOUE_g0
https://www.instagram.com/p/BAAWVHzoDqNOV798lfebA7oFKukTf_bGtLK-xE0

Rinse: Very clear light gold.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BAALq2XoDn9ecu5x2dIY0Lg5wryFqXM9HkNue40

10s – Light/med gold. An aged fruity woody note with a gentle tangy edge. Smoke is barely noticeable. The sweet wood note stays long into the finish and long afterwards. It is currently very lightly flavoured. 84/100

15s – Light/med gold. Light soil in the background. The fruit note is mild and sweet, then it turns slightly sour and becomes very light furniture polish. There is a slight dryness to the fruit as if it has been cask aged. Mild aged flavours: very light furniture polish and old wood. Smoke is minimal. 85/100

20s – Light brown. Slightly later arrival for the brown-ness than the 2000 Kai Green Stamp, but here we are. Medium dark smoky base, but soft. The fruit note stretches out across the whole flavour profile, instead of being a small part of it like in the 2000 Kai Green Stamp. Nice tang in the fruit, slightly astringent finish. Yet, very smooth. 87/100

25s – Med orange/brown. A lot of smoke. So far the smoke was minimal and well integrated. This is not so well integrated. Medium astringency and strong dark Xiaguan-like smoke. However, the fruit it strong enough to be tasted, but its being overpowered by the smoke. There are some aged flavours: light furniture polish, but these are difficult to taste because of the smoke. 80/100

30s – Med orange/brown. Astringency is a minor problem here. The fruit note goes long into the finish. It is a smaller part of the flavour profile now and has a tart bitterness which causes the mouth to salivate, and then it becomes sweet. 82/100

35s – Med orange/brown. The fruit note is losing vibrancy. It showed a grey/clay side here. The smoke has lessened, but was thick in parts. Slightly astringency. Thinner. 80/100

45s – Med orange/brown. Smoke first, then fruit. Mild astringency. Fruit has slight furniture polish. Leaving the mouth quite dry. This is lasting longer that the 2000 Kai Green Stamp, which makes it better value for the number of brews alone.

1 min 15 – Med orange/brown. Some stewed black tea, light furniture polish for the fruit. Background smoke bites into the finish. Slight astringency.

1 min 30 – Med orange/brown. Smoke, light furniture polish. Slightly harsh, but drinkable. 78/100

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kirkoneill1988

lovely review

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84

2000 Green Peacock – Essence Of Tea

82/100

Price: £0.34 ($0.51) / gram

7g in Gaiwan

I got this tea sent as a replacement for the 2000 Green Stamp that had ran out.

Dry: Smoky cheese (Bavarian cheese) just like 2000 Green Stamp. Dark brown with light brown leaves. This is not as compressed as 2000 Green Stamp and not as dark.

Wet: Med/strong smoke, dark fruit, mild aged flavour.

Rinse: Med golden. I wouldn’t say brown.

10s – 1st sip and I’m thinking, this is not as good as the 2000 Green Stamp. Very soft lingering finish. Wet wood flavour with hot wood shavings. Soft fruit. This is a worn out tea, but not so much that it has lost it’s flavour. It has perhaps lost its bite.

15s – Light brown. Interesting. The flavours, wet wood and hot wood shavings, swelled into a smooth finish. This is not as thick and definitely not oily like 2000 Green Stamp.

10s – Light brown. Very smoky. Very nice fruity, burning log flavours. It is not as pronounced as 2000 Green Stamp.

20s – Med brown. This tea is the component of a tea’s bitterness and smoke ageing, and currently it is too smoky, the smoke has not yet transformed into a rounded soft, warming flavour, and the bitterness which gets a little astringent has not aged into as smooth drink. Right now the smoke and bitterness two separate components that have not yet blended into the 2000 Green Stamp.

25s – Med golden brown. The colour show this has not aged as much underneath. This is not leaving an oily residue in my mouth like the 2000 Green Stamp, nor has it got the same quality of finish. This has a slightly drying, astringent finish. This gets harsh like plantation tea.

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
The Essence of Tea

If you have a little more of this tea, I’d encourage you to try it again. I’ve compared it a lot side by side with the Kai Yuan Green Stamp. Initially I didn’t think it would be as good, but with some familiarity with both teas, this came out as the clear winner. I found it thicker, richer and more vibrant than the green stamp, with a much better lasting aftertaste. If you have some of the Green Stamp left, it might be worthwhile to compare them side by side. I think you might be surprised.

tea123

Thanks for the comment. I do have more of both teas and will be trying them again. As for a side by side comparison, unfortunately I only have one Gaiwan.

The Essence of Tea

Great, I’m glad you’ll get another chance at both teas. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this comparison.

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88
drank 2012 Bulang by The Essence of Tea
281 tasting notes

From the Puerh TTB #3

This tea had the most powerful cha qi I’ve ever experienced. So much so that it was difficult to take meaningful notes for this review. This is my second review. I took a 5 gram sample and split it into two parts, tasting one immediately and the other after it sat in a small zip-lock bag for a few months. This is the second review.

1st steep (10 s): Very strong for a 1st steep. I’m already feeling the cha qi. Flavor is leather with hints of spices and wood. The spice is especially obvious in the nose. Full-body cha qi. Unfortunately it also seems to be affecting my stomach. in the next few steeps, the spice became less prominent and the flavor became more smoked meat than spice. Rich and fairly strong. The taste is sharp and more tannic, with some bitterness. the 4th steep (30 s) started sweet and ended bitter. At this point I took a 1 hour break because I needed to clear my head. The next day I continued, and found good flavor though not terribly special.

Rating is difficult. The flavor is more bitter than I like, though I keep reading about “good bitterness,” I’m not really a fan. On the other hand, I love complexity in teas, and this one was very interesting. Each cup had multiple flavors and each cup was subtly different from the others. If I had to complain it would be that the powerful cha qi prevented me from fully appreciating the subtlety of flavor. I found myself just sitting and meditating for 5-10 minutes until the cha qi wore off sufficiently for me to brew the next cup.

In my internal notes, I rate separately for flavor and cha qi, both on a 100 point scale. I set the scale too low initially so had to give this tea the same cha qi rating as W2T’s Last Thoughts: 110 on a scale of 100. My highest rating.

Thanks again to Essence of Tea for contributing to the travelling tea box.

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

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88
drank 2012 Bulang by The Essence of Tea
281 tasting notes

I recently exhorted people to write reviews of the TTB teas, so realized I need to set a better example. Hence, this review. In fairness, I’ve been inundated with other teas: two group buys from Liquid Proust, and one from Emmett, and two groups of samples I wanted to get through before Black Friday. However, it is now after Black Friday, and I’m out of excuses.

This is a tea I set aside before I sent out the box. I’d never had Essence of Tea puerh before so I was looking forward to trying some of their teas. The first steep caught me unawares, as it’s been a long time since I’ve had any Bulang, and this was a really powerful example. I was initially a bit put off by the earthy, slightly meaty nose, but the taste was great: very complex with earthy/leather flavors and a long, slightly sweet finish. As the cup cooled, the aroma changed from earthy to spicy. The second steep (10 s) was similar to the first steep. Very complex. I’m really starting to notice the cha qi. I was feeling light-headed when I prepared the second steep, and now I’m feeling it throughout my body: Very relaxed and detached. The mouth-feel is thick; almost chewy. The finish is so powerful that there is no obvious change in taste when I swallow (or even a minute later). The 3rd steep (20 s) has a rich meaty nose. The taste is wet wood with slight bitterness on the tongue. 4th (30 s): Wet wood with increasing bitterness but still interesting and enjoyable. I’m still working on the 6th steep but the trend seems to be for the flavors to become more woody and somewhat bitter. I would say that the tea peaked during the second steep. It is still good now but less exciting. I realize that I need to clarify that the bitterness was not excessive and I suspect many reviewers would have referred to this as “good bitterness”. To me that’s just a contradiction in terms.

I was surprised to see that this tea was only 3 years old. I would have guessed closer to 10. I guess that’s the effect of Malaysian storage. I’m not a fan of bitter teas, and marked this down a bit because of the bitterness. However, I really loved the complexity and the subtle change of flavor from cup to cup and even within the same cup as the tea cooled. Someone who likes “good bitterness” might really love this tea.

Thanks again to David and Yingxi at Essence of Tea for contributing this tea to the travelling tea box.

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

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85

2008 Mr Feng’s ‘Selected Trees’ – Essence Of Tea

Price: £0.60 / g £15 for 25 g.

Dry: Med brown with some grey leaves. Med compression. Sweet wood, but they all seem to smell like that from my Essence Of Tea order so far.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-eooW_IDm4t1_lbZJ-c5K88mkOKdGCG5VdII00

Wet: Concentrated herbal, quite smoky, dark fruit. Yiwu-style sweetness.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-epRahoDoKgmvYbGroSiAJSbzjA0zoiq_JeXk0
https://www.instagram.com/p/-ezvKLIDsw7AscJCWkNlzAeNPb3NbcJNRKyAk0

8 grams in Gaiwan.

Summary: Power house of bitterness, but of high quality material. Full flavour in the mouth unlike the Mengku 2007 Mu Ye Chun light flavour. Gives good energy. This tea does not have a lot of character, and for a 2008 tea it has incredibly strong bitterness, something which surprisingly is not mentioned in the description.

Rinse: Very clear, light golden.

10s – Light golden. Sweet. Very clear tasting. Mild bitterness. I feel like a cool breeze has gone down my throat. Very mild flavours though. Bit like a Yiwu.

15s – Med golden. Strong bitterness and tart sweetness with some smoke. The after-taste is dry bitterness. This reminds me of Pu-erh.sk’s 2014 Naka. It is a youthful, bitter sheng of quality material.

5s – Light golden. Very bitter and energetic. Smoke is clearing slightly. Consistency is thick just as the description says.

10s – Light golden. This tea has a solid body, which is like a rainbow of bitterness.

7s – The bitterness is softening.

The bitterness can be tasted minutes after drinking.

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kirkoneill1988

awesome review

Kirkoneill1988

it wont let me see the pics

Doug F

Ditto on both counts.

tea123

Create an Instagram account, and then follow me. You should be able to see them then. Thanks for the comments.

Kirkoneill1988

account name?

TeaExplorer

tea123 — Your account is set to “private”. Nobody can view your pictures unless they send you a request via Instagram and you then approve it.

tea123

Yeah, let me know if you want to see.

Kirkoneill1988

those pics were awesome!

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90

Wow. Deep, dark body reveals intense sweet fruit. Intense, oily and powerful delivery. Just a few thoughts on first trying this.

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

I liked this one too.

tanluwils

Lots of buzz around this tea. Too bad it’s sold out. :(

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86

This tea was something powerful. I opened the package and was struck by a very prominent camphor scent. This aroma was fresh and intense. I broke off a chunk and placed it into my warmed gaiwan. The aroma deepens to an all encompassing camphor with eucalyptus. I could feel this scent begin to cleanse my body. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The wet leaves reminded my of the leaves of a eucalyptus tree. This session is largely composed of cooling sensations with an underlying of wood tones. The flavor was incredibly peculiar. The brew begins as cask wood and alcohol. The term “bourbon barrel” comes to mind. The drink carries a prominent menthol and camphor flavor that fills the mouth and follows through to the stomach. The drink emits a cooling sensation that encompasses the body. The qi is quite powerful and centering. The feeling begins in the temples and encroaches upon the body as a whole. This is a very “now moment” tea. The tea sips begin with a peppery kuwei and a dripping pleasant huigan. The mouth feel is nice and lubricating with a smooth filling. The aftertaste leaves a whisp of smoke. I love the mouth action this brew brings to the table, and there is plenty of hair prickling. However, there is a heavy bitterness present in the brew, as is with all other bulang. The leaves are large and unbroken with buds and some large stems. This cake runs in line with the classic Bulang material characteristics. The sips contain nice tantalizing kuwei, a sharp swift bite, light cask wood, and finish with a lasting slight huigan. The unique part is the storage, which added the menthol and camphor like tones. This tea is a prime example of how strongly storage can affect your puerh. I would compare this to the non-Malaysian stored version of this Bulang this company offers.

https://instagram.com/p/8gVFR9TGcn/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Alcohol, Camphor, Eucalyptus, Menthol, Oak wood, Pepper, Smoke

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

Drank this as well today!

jschergen

This sounds really good.

mrmopar

Very nice one. Going to have another!

Haveteawilltravel

I’m not keen to the menthol tones. It was a very well done tea, but it’s not for me. It’s definitely something to experience though!

mrmopar

I like the brash teas sometimes ;P

The Satanist

Have you ever had the 2008 Bulang from crimson lotus?

zacherywolf7

Bought a cake of the malaysian stored one on a whim. It was marshy and peaty, your bourbon barrel is my islay single malt :P. Really strong bitter taste. Might drop the temperature to 200. Definitely a Bulang that stands out.

Haveteawilltravel

hahah that’s awesome :) I feel the storage differences really made this Bulang become something special.

Haveteawilltravel

I have had that ripe. I believe my review is up on here. I remember it being pretty good.

boychik

I think The Satanist meant Bulang Tribute from CLT, no?

Haveteawilltravel

I thought that too… I have some of that as well, but I’ve yet to try it. How is it?

boychik

I love it. I have a cake. It’s very drinkable despite being young . I think because it’s a blend

Haveteawilltravel

hmmm I’ll have to try it. I’ve been eyeing it lately too…

The Satanist

The 2008 imperial grade Bulang shou ripe puerh

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Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #3

After drinking the Green Peacock yesterday this just seemed to be the next one for me to try. The first thing that is easily noticed is that it is much darker, though I am not intending to compare the two as they are different but that is what I will do. The mouth feel isn’t as smooth or lingering as the Green Peacock which is one of my favorite parts about pu’erh. This is a tea that the first six steeps did not appeal much to me because the slight bitterness needed to be pulled out and the deep taste of sheng was a bit stronger than I like. For those who like a stronger sheng this would be a great option, but people like me who want a cotton candy that has been fermented and looks like leaf this is not that.

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Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #2
It was about one week before this TTB was announced to have a new round that I asked someone here about Berylleb’s Peacock teas because I have enjoyed the style quite bit. As I was about to buy four samples, a few weeks later, I noticed EOT provided two for the TTB :)
This tea is potent from the first steep which is nice right now because I need the strength. The tip of my tongue gets a slight sweetness during the taste of the liquid and as it goes down the sides of my tongue to my cheek experience a passing camphor taste which is quite enjoyable. I’m not sure which portion of the cake I had as it was broken off nor how it was stored for the last 2 months…. and I don’t care, if a tea taste good than it taste good. I’m looking forward to trying the purple peacock now!
Now I’m window shopping….
https://www.essenceoftea.com/tea/puerh-tea/2012-eot-qishenggu-400g-puerh-tea.html has my attention :)

Daylon R Thomas

“My attention :)” was the first thing I read based on how this was posted. I couldn’t help but think of Katie Perry’s “Kissed a Girl” lyrics. But then my changed them. “This peacock pu-erh’s-GOT- my attention! I drank dark tea and I liked it! The taste of smooth camphor notes. I drank dark tea just to try it-I hope that Oolong don’t mind it. It smelled so wrong. Mouth feel so right. But drank it only tonight. I drank dark tea and I liked it. I liked it!”

Daylon R Thomas

The taste of the smooth camphor notes. It needed the the.

Kirkoneill1988

i love camphor :D

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90

Puerh Tea TTB. This tea is one that I at first, because of the coincidence in the name, took to be a shou puerh. It is a tasty young sheng instead. Only after drinking it did I find out the nature of the linguistic coincidence. Huang Shan Shu is the name of the village from which the tea is sourced, not shu in the sense of shou. It is a quite tasty sheng. It had very little bitterness to it. There were the traditional notes of apricots and stonefruits in this tea. It was sweet. It is also mildly astringent. There are no notes of smoke and I didn’t get any camphor. Overall I would rate this among some of the best sheng I have drank. It seems to have some qi as I am feeling quite relaxed after twelve steeps. Stopping now because of the caffeine but I’m sure this tea would have gone a few more steeps.

I brewed this tea twelve times in a 60ml gaiwan with 5g 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. This is a good tea to drink now because of a lack of bitterness. I don’t know how it will age as I have heard that bitter teas age better.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
tea123

I’m not keen on lots of astringency.

AllanK

The astringency wasn’t too strong in my opinion.

mrmopar

I been eyeballing this one.

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90

Puerh Tea TTB. This is the first tea I am drinking from the box. The first couple of infusions were light yellow in color with the taste of a totally non bitter young sheng. At first I was unsure if I was really drinking an aged tea. After about the fourth steep the leaves had fully opened up and it took on the color of an aged sheng, a dark amber brown. I noticed that Grill mentioned storage taste in this tea. I did not find what is commonly called wet wood or wet storage taste. There was a spicy note however that was quite strong and prevalent throughout the first eight or ten steeps. It never completely went away even after fifteen steeps. It did however mellow out. There was a flavor in the middle steeps that I just call aged flavor. It crept in but I don’t know how to describe it. This tea was smooth despite the spicy taste. I think I would even say there was a taste of camphor in there. I am currently feeling the effects of this tea’s qi. I would not use the term tea drunk but it is quite relaxing. This is definitely a tea I will want to look into buying, don’t actually know how much it costs.

I steeped this tea 15 times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. Even so it took several steeps for this tea to open up. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, and 3.5 min. The tea was pretty much played out at fifteen steeps but I probably could have gotten one or two more steeps out of it.

Flavors: Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
tea123

Interesting review.

Rich

I wonder if some of the storage flavors dissipated after the sample aired out? It’s been opened by a few people at this point.

AllanK

I did not get a note of wet wood but it is possible the spicy note was a storage note. Typically I find the note of wet wood where there is wet storage taste.

jschergen

Spiciness is sometimes associated with Malaysian storage. I got it a bit in the Green Stamp they used to sell.

AllanK

Interesting the Essence of Tea website says this was stored in Malaysia.

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Another EoT sample from the TTB – Round 3. This tea was pretty simple so this wont be a long flowery review. Sweet and fruity, decently thick ( thicker than the green peacock). Durability was pretty good, session wasn’t all that dynamic but honestly wasn’t expecting fireworks here. This is something for the price that I’d buy a couple of brick of as a tasty cheap daily drinker type. Falls right in line with a couple of other teas I’ve had in this price range and would love to have it in my rotation and I can see why it sold out so fast. Hoping this comes back up for sale soon.

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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