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Recent Tasting Notes
This puerh was a bit of a strange one for me. I recently added this to the Steepster database with intentions of adding a tasting note, however my tea session just did not go well. I was brewing this in a gaiwan and simply was not feeling the love…I had a hard time controlling some astringency that is still present and for some reason my taste buds just seemed a bit “off”. I thought giving a rating based simply on this one session would be premature and a little unfair.. So I decided to revisit this one tonight. This time around I have used my new 150ml yixing to see if my session would be a different experience. Here are my notes…
A word of warning first. In spite of its 14 years of age this is still a very powerful, robust puerh that still has a lot of youth left in it. I would say further aging is mandatory. Careful monitoring of steep times is also mandatory…brew this too much and the soup comes out too powerful and astringent. I would strongly suggest 7-10 second steeps for at least the first half a dozen steeps, possibly more. If you manage to conquer the steep times you will tame this little beast and end up with a rewarding puerh experience.
I pick away a healthy 8 grams worth of leaves and place them into my 150ml yixing. I decide to do two quick 3 second rinses…soup is already starting to look amber in texture. I smell the wet leaves…hints of smoke, malty richness, robust, deep aromas. Smells pretty potent! First proper steep at 7 seconds. Resulting liquid is dark amber which appears fairly thick in texture. I slowly sip my first steep…strong, very rich and heavy, nice thickness, woody smokiness, fairly complex aged flavours, mild astringency.
Steeping this further up to six steeps and I notice that I am beginning to sweat profusely from my head and also around my moustache/beard lol. Body is beginning to feel fully energised. Smokiness is beginning to die down a bit, replaced by some really excellent camphor notes. Some cooling on the tongue, not that much vibrancy in the mouth but I am experiencing a very long, complex finish. Liquid still remains nice and thick. This session is going a million times better than my previous experience.
I push this further up to about 10 steeps. Still this puerh is delivering on taste, however now I am beginning to notice some sweeter notes further adding to its complexity. This puerh has excellent durability. 10 steeps no problem…I push this past 15 steeps and still it refuses to quit. After 3 hours I finally decide to end my session. I think this powerful puerh has got the better of me…the leaves remain in the yixing for tomorrow.
So, overall this was a pretty special experience. No puerh has made me sweat as much as this one. It is difficult to believe how much power this puerh has. If I had to compare it to another puerh I would say that its tasting profile is fairly similar to white2tea’s 2002 White Whale. I personally think it has a little less smokiness and has more complex aged textures. Don’t quit at 10 steeps…you would be missing out on it’s returning sweetness which was a very pleasant surprise. From a price point I think £105 per cake is a fair price to pay considering how many steeps you will get out of 8 grams. At the moment this is an excellent, complex puerh that in 5+ years may be incredible. I am so glad that I did not write this one off…it deserves patience and full attention, not only with its durability but also those damn steeping times :) If you want to experience a puerh that has a great balance of aged and youth this one is definitely one to consider. Many thanks to EOT for this complex, powerful beast.
Flavors: Camphor, Malt, Smoke, Wood
I decided to get a full cake of this from Essence Of Tea about a year ago, and to be honest when I tried it I didn’t think too much of it. I felt it was good, but it did not excite me. It had a very good relaxing QI, but I felt it lacked a little on flavour and taste. I have never been disappointed with any of my purchases from David and knew that this puerh’s quality would eventually shine through. So, I decided to let it sit and have stored it for a year without going back to it. Tonight I felt like some semi-aged puerh and felt like revisiting it to see if there have been any changes. Well, I can happily say there are some BIG positive changes. Here are my notes…
I carefully used my puerh pick to get a nice 8 gram chunk from the cake. For tasting I have used a 130ml yixing and waited 5 minutes for the boiling water to cool down a little. A quick rinse and I smell the wet leaves…very malty, with balm-like qualities. The malty character is quite strong and dominates the aroma…it almost reminds me of when I used to live very close to a beer factory 20+ years ago. I am also detecting a mild aged aroma there in the background.
I do another quick rinse and then do my first proper steep at 15 seconds. As David states on his website this puerh starts out a little thinly and then begins to thicken…this definitely rings as true. I sip the amber liquid and smile…the year of storage has done wonders for the taste. I prefer savoury/bitter over sweet in my puerh, and the first thing I notice is the rich savoury/salty/malty taste. It hits my tongue at 100mph and dominates the first sip. There is the flavour that I felt was lacking a year ago.
Second steep for 30 seconds and now the amber liquid is really starting to thicken. Sipping the brew the mouthfeel is more robust and dense, the salty/savoury quality is still shining through very nicely. I am beginning to notice some interesting vibrancy on the tongue…a tingling sensation followed by a lovely coolness when I take a deep breath in. The QI I remember from this puerh is starting to develop nicely, relaxing my mind and body. This is the start of a great tea session.
2 hours later I am still sipping this wondrous brew and began to lose count of how many steeps I had done. It is still delivering on flavour and is still rich and robust. The salty/savoury overtones are still there however not as prominent, but I am now getting a nicely aged taste which is very pleasant. The QI has taken over and I am glued to my chair. Yet another amazing puerh experience.
So, overall I am stunned as to how much this puerh has developed and changed over a year. I personally think that this puerh is going to be perfect for long term storage. I would like to see more of the aged taste coming through in another 4-5 years. This puerh is great to drink now, but I think it will be exceptional with more patience and time.
From a price point I think this is a really good deal. I remember paying £72 for a cake of this a year ago and now checking on the EOT website it is still £72. I am really tempted to get another one and let it sit for 10 years. I am not the most patient person in the world, but this puerh deserves patience and time in order to reveal its full character. Many thanks to David at EOT for giving us a chance to try out this amazing, complex puerh.
Flavors: Malt, Thick
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
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.
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.
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Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Honey
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!
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.
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.
I decided to sample this bing this morning. The compression is a little tighter than EoT’s 2012 Bangwei but still low enough to break off full intact pieces. I use about 5.2 grams to 100 mL of water. A subtle floral aroma with hints of citrus emanates from the beautiful wet leaves. The liquor is of a golden amber colour with little to no cloudiness… a very clean tea. Taste wise, this tea is very clean and pure with a soft sweetness (a sweetness than I generally associated with the Lincang area) that tickles the taste buds. I’d say the overall mouth-feel is well balanced. There is a nice hui gan and calming chaqi with this tea… pretty nice overall experience. 81/100
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.