The Essence of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes


This was a very interesting tea. I enjoy most of this company’s offering, and the ones I don’t still add up as an unique experience. This cake comes out and is dark and shows its age very well. I can see the tips are bronzed and the leaves have muddled; however, I can still place some dark forest green. The bing gives off a powerful eucalyptus and menthol aroma with the classic wood and leather aged scent. I warmed up my gaiwan and placed a chunk inside. The cake did not differ or expand in scents, for it only grew in depth. The warmed tea gave off a deeper leather and menthol aroma with the tang of tobacco in the background. I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The taste begins sweet and oily. A nice sugarcane and stone-fruit taste washed over my taste-buds. I can note some astringency lingering in the background. The brew still carries a green punch, but it is subdued by a drifting huigan. The taste becomes sharper and filled with wooded tastes and some light fruitiness in later steeping. The drink gives my mouth quite a dry feeling. The qi is pretty solid and really gets me moving; I can note a nice warming and rushing sensation filter throughout my body. This tea is pretty good, except there isn’t much complexity. I believe that this tea shouldn’t be drunk just yet. I think in a few more years it can develop into something truly worthwhile.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Leather, Menthol, Smooth, Stonefruits, Tobacco, Wood

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

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Another overdue review from Puerh TTB #4

I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This is just the type of tea I enjoy: lots of different flavors vying for attention. First steep (10s) was very rich for a first steep. Powerful apricot flavor with a hint of earthiness underneath the fruit. Very good mouth-feel, depth, and finish. I probably should have waited for the second steep, as the finish from steep 1 was still very strong in my mouth. But I didn’t. Second steep had a strong nose with hints of wood. The wood is more obvious in the flavor, along with a lot of smoke. Builds in the mouth to a huge finish. This is not for the timid! I’m also feeling the cha qi in my chest and shoulders, though not so much mentally, which is how it usually affects me. As the cup cools, the apricot comes forward and the smoke and wood recede a bit, though are still present. The cha qi has now reached my head and I’ll need to take a break after drinking 4 ounces. Powerful tea in multiple ways. After about 10 minutes, the finish was barely noticeable, and the qi had faded enough for another cup.

3rd steep: Tremendous. Apricot dominates, with wood underneath, and a hint of bitterness at the finish. The flavors are less separated than before. Still tons of cha qi. The tea still fills the mouth, but feels a bit more acidic in the mouth. In the 4th steep, the wood is dominant, and the smoke tastes a bit like ashes underneath the wood and fruit. This is more noticeable in the finish but is subtle enough so that it isn’t unpleasant. Strange rhythm: the odd steeps have been dominated by fruit but the evens were more woody. No idea why.

Around the 8th steep, it became very sweet. Taste is more like corn than apricot with some wood underneath. Less powerful, but no less pleasant or interesting.

Thanks very much to Essence of Tea, who donated the samples for the tea box.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

Sounds really nice


I have this one from the TTB (and a bunch of others too) that I need to drink and review. It sounds yum, can’t wait to try it.

Dr Jim

Remember to write reviews of the EoT and Misty Peak donations when you drink them (subtle hint #2)

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I woke up this morning knowing I needed a serious tea to power me for some cleaning that needed to be done. I grabbed this on because EOF is expensive so I made a dumb association with $ to qi.
This was quite nice. Chest warming and a mild head feel with a taste that mellowed out by steep four; became quite nice but I think that it does need a few more years. The mouth pucker is almost, ALMOST, gone. Probably only 2 years of some storage on this and it will be golden. The only negative aspect to this tea is that it is on the darker spectrum of sheng, to which people will continue to hear me say that I like my light sheng.

Ranting time:
Last night I had some friends over and we were talking about how one of my friends was kicked out of the church because he took a stance that homosexuality is not a sin… as difficult of a conviction that such a thing can be right now with things happening in the US and the church figuring out how to respond, it’s just beating me up. So, anyways, if only it was that simple!
My parents ended up joining us and it’s only around my friends that I discuss such things because I know that they will throw the: ’ I thought we taught you better’ and make me feel as if they ‘failed’ me…
My stance on not understanding psychological and biologic implications to life choices leads me to believe that this whole issue revolving around gay marriage is stupid. The condemnation has now put me in a position were I may not speak to my parents as much because they think that my thoughts are tainted and I’m not sure if I can channel my love for them to see past these negative comments that they spread to the rest of our family. Stupid ass drama that doesn’t need to occur; my thoughts do not change the way in which I act. Whether I think A or B is right or wrong, I’ll always treat people with respect and treat them as I would want to be treated.

Tears are shed as I lose my family because of my own thoughts which now define me…
p.s. that friend who was kicked out was a pastor and it was done via email; for real?


Dude, I know exactly how you feel. I grew up in a Southern Baptist household and my best friend, of 14 years now, is gay. He also used to be an active member of my parents church. In fact, we met at this church (lolz how times change). There were many, many times that I had serious conversations with my parents that inevitably devolved into arguments because my parents were incapable of understanding at it’s root that it’s just not a choice. Eventually, things came to a head when their church pastor spoke out one Sunday around the same time the US was legalizing marriage for the LGBT community and started saying things like, “Real Christians will vote against this.” I don’t like people thinking for me, and I sure as hell am not going to sit and listen to some pastor telling me that the person who has willingly been there for me and been the best friend I could ever ask for was going to Hell, solely for being gay. Fuck you, breh. That’s not what my Christ teaches. So I started looking around and I now consider myself part of the Presbyterian Church of USA (PCUSA, not to be confused with the archaic PCA). Their beliefs are more in line with my own, and they consider spirituality and religion to be a very personal journey, to be defined by free-thinking individuals under the tutelage and guidance of the church who focuses around the ministry of Jesus more than some Old Testament verse that is surrounded by controversy and misinformation, even amongst scholarly circles.

Whew! I didn’t mean to blow you up, I just say that to say, if you wanna talk about it, I’m all ears. I’ve mostly retained my faith through the whole ordeal, but it’s definitely caused me to view differently how I integrate my religion and spirituality into my life. :)


don’t worry Andrew, we love you just the way you are! :D


AS Christ drew the symbol in the sand and asked who among you is without sin? I ask you those who are withut sin cast the first stone. Then said “Those that condemned you are not here. I condemn you not”. As the Bible said “Judge not lest ye be judged”. It is to be judged by God not any of us here on earth.
God made us and loves us for who we are. No matter what. Else fore, why would he have sent his son to save us all. Jesus was asked how much do you love them. He said this much an spread out his arms to be nailed and crucified for us.
He loves us all as we are.


I’m sorry you are going through this, LP. I have been surprised and touched by religious people here treating me with kindness and respect. A friend and I parted ways not too long ago because he was always fast to tell me that my ‘lifestyle’ was an abomination to God. I have been told and have told others that God created us in His image so did not create anyone who is imperfect. Thank you LP and thank you, too, mrmopar for being kind, generous, decent, caring, open minded people.


I wouldn’t give up on them. My long experience with conservative religious people is they are likely to change a stance when confronted with someone they love, given time. The key is an issue that is close to home, not just a hypothetical moral dilemma. When one’s own child is gay, that hits home more than someone else’s child. Look at Dick Cheney, if he can become an advocate for gay rights, nobody is a lost cause.


That’s a great point mr mopar


Christ died for everyone! :) there are far worse things out there. And I’ve been guilty of one of them. But Jesus loves me and died for me. Remember this, if god did not care about you, me or anyone, Christ would never been born. Keep your head up! Enjoy the good things of life that’s what god likes. When we do that and care about others. I care about you.


If you need to talk to me, send me a message


I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but your comment struck a chord in me. As a gay female who is, incidentally, an atheist and someone who cut family ties early in life… well, I’m often dumbstruck by the willful ignorance and disrespect that I see people direct at one other as if doing so were a badge of honor. It’s a wonder that anyone has the unmitigated gall to tell others who & how they should love and to pass such harsh judgments upon their character and worth as people is… wow. Just… wow.

That said, it’s always reassuring when I see people such as yourself who, despite what personal dilemmas may come of it, choose tolerance over bigotry. I can’t speak to reconciling theological morals and family dynamics, but I do hope that open minds and open hearts prevail.

Liquid Proust

@Teazilla The most important part is keeping dialog and not being exclusive with conversations. Why people won’t discuss comes out to what I find to be ridiculous answers… as if they have the plague or something.

@Kirk Nobody should dismiss someone because of their thoughts. If I acted on my thoughts in a way that harmed someone sure, but meerly just saying I believe this or that shouldn’t be enough to put me in a category of people someone can’t talk to.

@mrmopar exactly… and I had thought that the Golden Rule stretched beyond all people as a simple practice, but I continue to learn it doesn’t :(

@whiteantlers I never let the people speak or act for me which I believe causes some disconnect with religion nowadays. People tend to associate the actions of one for the whole group; it’s understandable, I helped a friend work through prejudices that kept her from religion all together because of a tragedy (sister was raped by a pastor on church grounds). This is the same reason that any type of people get prejudged to do or act a certain way which is wrong. Everyone is different and at the least deserves their chance.

@Cwyn I still have a lot in me, but it’s really hard when your mother gets on the phone with your family to tell them that her son (being me) is going to hell… just not the kind of thing I would like to be said around my family because of my thoughts. It’s really awkward at family events now; especially the time I told my mom I was Baha’i and she believes anyone who is non Christian is atheist so everyone kept saying they were praying I’d find God again…

@Shade I hope people can get past private affairs of one another as well so we can communicate without such anger and disgust. It really takes a lot out of someones day to think about the private life of two people who are attracted to the opposite sex and then bash them; it’s as if you’re missing life that can be lived by following a passion instead of tearing another one apart. I don’t get it… I mean, I tell people oolong is the best type of tea and I believe that but if they say otherwise I say cool and then it’s to the next topic.

@All Every year my beliefs change because I encounter new people and learn new ways to view things. As Kahlil Gibran explains things, you really have to travel around the mountain and not just up and down it to figure out the angles. The coolest part about all of this is how much dialog I have with those who drink tea about these matters or I get to speak to those I never would be able to because of the internet.

Thanks for your thoughts all :)


@lquidproust your right! you’ve been so kind to me and i appreciate that. you are a good fellow and friend :)


@liquidproust ive done terrible things in my life and to have people be friends with me. it’s such a blessing.


Kirk we all have done things we are not proud of. It is a learning experience on this world. The Golden Rule will always apply. It can take some people a while too learn it. I know it did me.

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I love a good Jingmai. I had my first taste awhile ago and ever since I’ve been in love. I opened this bing up and took in a whiff. The leaves have become very dark and let out a distinct smoke and lingering red fruit aroma. The crisp leaves give off a sharp leather tang along with some pipe tobacco. This a stenchy and potent tea. I warmed my jianshui up and placed a generous amount inside. The scent deepened into some dry wood along with a mild eucalyptus aroma. This displays a lot of classic aged scents. I’m hoping there is some unique body though. The aromas were good but no overly intense sensations. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The body is smooth with some drying feeling. I experienced some slight creamy tones with a brief huigan. The brew keeps a nice and smooth body; however, I note some astringency and bitter wood in later steeping. The fiery orange liquor smells of soft wood. This brew becomes a decent mix of sweet and sour tones with a good amount of age behind it. The brew keeps this consistency and develops no complexities. The huigan dissipates quickly and is delayed. The qi is extremely slow moving until after the session it washed over me with far reaching heat head waves and a nice serene and relaxing sensation. Altogether, this is good daily drinker, but it displays nothing a superb 10+ yr old sheng should display.

Flavors: Dark Wood, Eucalyptus, Leather, Pleasantly Sour, Red Fruits, Smoke, Tobacco

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

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Taste started out soft, sweet and fruity (not quite apricot, but close) with a good finish. My whole body is feeling the cha qi. Decent body: I’m feeling some thickness on the tongue. I’m noticing a bit of acid under the flavor, and a bit of what I think is smoke riding on top of the fruit. Very interesting.

The 3rd and 4th steeps were balanced between sweet and bitter. Flavor is more woody than fruity, though I see hints of fruit. Still lots of cha qi. I reduced my usual steep times for the 5th steep, and found that the astringent woody flavor receded while the fruit came forward. I preferred this balance, so did relatively short steeps. Still going strong at #8.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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Puerh TTB

I had high hopes for this tea – I love everything about jingmai teas. Unfortunately, this tea is all smoke and age. Great underlying flavors and amount of aging for 15 years, but there’s so much smoke that the tea is overpowered, even after 11 steeps. I can’t, in good conscious, say that this is a “good” tea or that I would ever try/buy it.

Flavors: Smoke

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Working this one up tonight. I bought this after tasting a sample of it a while back. Mengsong material is usually pretty decent.
I grabbed 11 grams out to start with and gave it a rinse and a little sit time.
Wet leaf you can pick some hints of floral but subdued and there is some smoke in there as well. The tea brews a nice aged golden color in the cup.
It starts out fairly thick and seems to rattle around in the mouth a bit. It is a pretty strong brew with the mintyness and camphor and bitterness rolling around in there. It is not as strong as a Bulang area tea but it is quite strong. Letting the cup cool a bit the bitterness can really come to the front. I see this one doing quite a few quick steeps as I am already 8 in and the leaf keeps giving. The aged profile of this will make you think it is a few years older than it actually is.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Floral, Mint, Smoked

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Better than the 2008 Bulang? ;)


I never had the chance on that one. It was gone away I heard good reviews of it though.

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From the Puerh TTB #4

I’m trying to lead by example in producing reviews of the donated teas. When I got the Essence of Tea donation, I immediately pulled 4 grams from each, packed the rest into the box, and headed for the post office. The samples then sat in a box waiting their turn with all the other samples. They finally made it to the head of the line.
1st steep (10s): This is amazingly well-integrated. No rough edges. Delicate nose and flavor, but the flavor builds in the mouth. Good finish. The cha qi kind of stuck up on me: at first just a feeling of well-being, but now my entire body feels energized, yet at the same time relaxed. 2nd steep (10s ) Rich nose of leather and a hint of smoke. There is a really full body in the mouth, and sweetness that extends into a long, tasty finish. Much more powerful than the first steep but still perfectly smooth. This is what I picture a fully aged puerh tasting like. 3rd similar to the 2nd but more woody, with camphor appearing.
This is the style of tea that I enjoy: not too harsh or bitter, but with complex, interesting flavors. I’m usually not a fan of camphor, but the subtle hints of camphor I noticed here just add complexity and interest. The cha qi was obvious, but not to the point where I needed to take a nap, though perhaps too strong to want to drink this tea at work. The overwhelming feature for me, though, was the absence of rough edges. This is one of the few puerhs I’ve had that I didn’t feel was too young to drink.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

Definitely trying this one!

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Drank this for three hours while working on some computer maintenance :)

Solid smell of smoke when just examining the dry leaf. Brewed this one hardcore for two steeps and tossed, left alone for 8 minutes and came back to it. Liquid has a nice middle color to it telling me that it wasn’t going to be light nor would it aggravate me with a strong taste. I ended up tasting a mixture of storage on this tea which was really odd. The one thing I noticed most was how dark the leaf became after my 3 hour session. Almost a amber hue to the leaf as if it was either dark leaf in the beginning or the storage did this. Unsure of both accounts because the taste was a bit hard for me to determine. Does this mean I don’t know my stuff or I was correct that the storage taste is mixed which makes it hard? I don’t know :/

It was an enjoyable session, but I would have prefered the other Peacock raw I’ve had from EOT over this one.

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Lately, I’ve been exploring affordable semi-aged teas and I’m quite happy with this one. It’s a great example of clean wet storage. Dried leaves are a dark purple tone and largely intact. Wet leaves have a sweet forest aroma after the rains. This is an easy-going tea. There are no off-putting flavors to speak of and the tea soup is clear and an attractive deep orange. It has a straight forward flavor profile of sweet forest floor(peat?), sandalwood, ripened plums and dried stonefruits. It’s very smooth, warming, has good energy, and develops just enough astringency (accompanied with fruity sweetness) in later steeps to keep the drinker’s attention.

Having had sessions with this tea before and after it’s acclimatized, using a gaiwan and nixing teapot, I’ve come to appreciate its reliability—which I attribute to well-sourced leaf and careful storage. Now that it’s lost some of that initial awkward storage flavor/scent (smoky/stewed prunes..yuck), I can enjoy it on a regular basis!

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From the PU TTB: I much prefer this one to the Green Peacock. Soft, with a hint of sweetness. No musty old basement to this one, which suggests it’s been well stored. And the mouthfeel is absolutely smooth/creamy/lovely. I’m eight steeps in and feeling a wonderful relaxing qi, and so far not much in the way of bitterness. This sheng is right in my aged sheng wheelhouse and I am gutted it’s sold out :-(

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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

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.


Haven’t had HK Style yet?


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?


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.


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.


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

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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?

200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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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.

5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Interesting review :)

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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.

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

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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

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

I want this one..


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.


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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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…


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

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

Rinse: Light/med orange/golden.

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

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2014 Long Lan Xu raw Essence of Tea



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.

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

Rinse: Light golden.

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:

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

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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


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


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

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2006 Wild Peacock raw – Essence Of Tea

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


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…

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

Rinse: Bright, clear light golden.

10s – Med golden. Watery, soft wood.

Rest for 8 minutes 58 seconds. Watching teadb’s latest video – a review of this tea.

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

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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


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.


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


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


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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2004 Private Order – Essence of tea

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

8g in gaiwan.


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.

Rinse: Med golden brown.

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

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

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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.

205 °F / 96 °C 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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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.


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.

Wet: Med wood smoke, some electric smoke, straw.

Rinse: Very clear light gold.

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

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

lovely review

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