pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou
Ye, he has the 1995 Green puerh and the 1995 Big leaf green puerh (PR). Both have similar names but are very different. I find the Green puerh to be smoky with a smell of chorizo..while the big leaf green has a sweet tobacco aroma.. which I prefer over the chorizo. Both are unique in their own way. Is the Golden melon ripe? I haven’t had it.. nor have I had the ripe Banzhang. The Bamboo fragrance is pretty nice.. not crazy about the Da Xue Shan.. although its strong aroma is impressive. Is the aged maocha you mentioned the aged sheng that is sold for $15? If so, thats a pretty good value buy! Have you tried his Hong Kong style aged brick?
Yes, it is the $15 dollar one. Now you reminded me of the price and I’m even sure I’m getting more of it LOL. I’ve had both of the 1995 and I agree with you taste wise, I don’t have any of them currently and that’s pretty much why I have such a hard time remembering. I tasted the Hong Kong aged cake, a friend of my bought it and gave me about 10-15gm piece. It was pretty good, I’m not sure it is a cake I would continue to buy but it did come with a wooden box to store it which is cool to have it you buy bricks a lot (they are a pain to store). It had a very clean taste for a ripe, it had no fermentation taste to it and was mellow the whole time. If you like clean ripes then I’d recommend it, if you like thicker ripes then go for others.
I love the hand made Golden Melon, it is one of the sweeter and cleaner ripes I’ve had while still having some body to it. I would call it a bready/yeasty ripe. The Ban Zhang ripe is a thick, bitter(pleasant), and somewhat savory of front, then slowly develops sweetness (its a weird one).
I forgot to add that the Aged Sheng is a wetter storage Sheng so it has woody notes up front. I just love the aftertaste. When I restock I can send you some of what you haven’t tried.
I thought the HK style brick is sheng, isn’t it?! If im not mistaken, its just stored in very wet conditions (HK style). I wasn’t too impressed with it either.. its nice but I’d rather stick with the aged sheng for $15 (opposed to $100). Might consider the Melon and Banzhang some day. The aged sheng is definitely wet stored. If I am not mistaken, its from 2001.
As I said I received a piece of the brick, but unless I was given the wrong one then the brick is a ripe. But, as you said its ok, just not for me, nice experience though. The melon is great and so is the Banzhang ripe. The sheng is wet stored but I like the aftertaste it builds up.
Having a 2010 Xiaguan “Bulang” sheng. I have found these “tribute” tuochas to be fairly nice. They seem to be made from good raw materials. Of the ones I have tried from Xiaguan they carry very little of the “smokiness” that they are usually known for. This brews a light amber in the cup. It has a little bitter bite with some citrus thrown in. It has a very good mouthfeel that you can feel all over. It gives up some sweetness on the end. It is not a terribly strong sheng as I had hoped for a little more punch from it. At least it has stayed true brewing for three days now so it does have some lasting power to it. It is a warming sheng to drink on these cold winter days. I would recommend it if you want a smooth non astringent or smoky offering from Xiaguan.
2012 EoT Bangwei sheng this morning. 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.
2011 Xiaguan FT Tibetan Flame Mushroom (Baoyan Jincha) to start the day, yum. Leaf quantity is hard to judge though since the compression is so variable in different parts of the mushroom.
“Jin Se Zhen Ming” Ripe Pu-erh tea cake of Menghai, a YS selection from 2005. I started in on this one yesterday and am finishing up on it today. Very earthy taste but brews bright red and clear. Dry finish, with a hint more tannins than most of the pu’ers I’m familiar with. Enjoyed it with food more than by itself.
The cake itself is visually interesting in that it is packed lightly, the golden hue is evident, and the leaves are a bit more intact compared to most shou bing. If most of the shou bing are in the lower range of a keyboard, to analogize, then this is definitely mid-range in color and thickness of liquor, all the while have a strong fermented taste.
2012 MGH 1204 Grade 7 Ripe, free sample from my puerhshop order, It was just 1 square from one of those chocolate bar style bricks. It’s got a lot of fermentation funk still I think, It is still fairly young, but right now It’s got a strong funky smell that won’t quite wash out even after like 5 rinses, sort of like a cross between mildew and motor oil. Kind of hard to tell if the tea underneath that funk is any good or not, but the leaves are pleasantly large and whole.
Drinking a 2010 LBZ sheng this morning. Enjoying this tea very much.. instantaneous strong hui gan with a very nice qi.
2009 American Hao 0906 sheng, this is a yiwu and bulang blend, something I’ve never seen before. It’s fairly pleasant but not that strongly flavored, mellow and smooth with an oily texture and light sweetness. So far not getting the wood that reviews mention, nor much recognizable yiwu taste/armoa, a nice bit of honey scent though. Overall not bad, not super special, but then again it was super cheap.
2013 Zenpuer 1307 Shu (made of 2009 fermented material). This brick/leaves feels very weird, super dry and light, feels like charcoal to the touch.
I’ve had some similar Puerhs before, not my favorite. To me they taste too much like they were exposed to the environment and have an ‘aged’, but no so pleasant(at least for me) taste. Did you like it?
not really, up front it had a hint of mildew or something funky that I really hope will air out, but under that it was just kind of thin, and even a little burned/charcoaly taste i think (but that could be my imagination). The spent leaves still look and feel dry and burnt and crunchy (and super twiggy and mulchy).
I think the problem is that the leaves are way way overfermented. From the look of them, this looks like the dregs of the fermentation process, all the leftover useless bits, the over-fermented burned out pieces, and tons of stems, and other unidentified compost that’s sorted out in the grading process, except here instead of throwing it away, someone’s gone and decided to make a brick out of it.
I’ll reserve final judgement till it has some time to air out, but right now I’m shocked that this is one of puerhshop’s higher end bricks.
Sounds like one needs “complete detachment” to enjoy it. Only kidding. It sounds quite unpleasant. I hope it changes dramatically for you, or you have an enjoyable tea to follow it with.
Sounds about right. I like loose Puerh and I like pressed Puerh. But making a pressed Puerh from an already aged Maocha means that it will be steamed again (the older the wetter it needs to be), I feel like this takes a lot of flavor off it and ultimately takes a toll on the overall texture of the leaves. It is like leaving a paper out and it rains, once it’s dry again it will be crumbly like leaves in the backyard.
And the charcoal hints it maybe they tried to dry it up faster by roasting the bricks OR they were so wet, that as you said they went from fermented to composted.
I’m not sure the pressing is solely where it went wrong, semi-aged tea is pressed later all the time, lots of people do that for various reasons, and this stuff wasn’t all that old (2009 material pressed in 2013). It looks to me that this material was dregs to begin with, what’s left over after you sort all the usable tea out of your fermentation batch.
Ironically I followed this with the Xiaguan 2007 tibetan flame brick, which while also being made of terrible looking no-grade leftover mulch was actually pretty good (difference being it’s not fermented i guess)
I’m not convinced that’s its only (or even primary) problem, but it getting worse in the steaming/pressing could explain why puerhshop has it in the first place, ie: he tasted and bought it loose and then sent it off to be pressed, from where it returned worse off. (Though most of his shu bricks are pressed with semi-aged material i think)
I agree with you in that the pressing isn’t the only issue, but I still believe it made it worse. Its not uncommon for cakes/bricks to be pressed from loose aged material, but usually those are left overs that mostly non-locals buy to be press their own cakes and although is not an uncommon practice not everyone knows how to do it properly. I’ve had cakes that look like pressed dry mud and others that look like they visited someone’s backyard with a rake and shovel and picked all the dried leaves up.
But as you mentioned maybe the material was highly fermented which would make the process of steaming and pressing the cake not that much easier or favorable. I’ve had that ‘charcoal’ taste before, it is usually due to material that is stuffed into mini pomelos or oranges.
this one definitely fits the backyard with a rake category.
not sure if it actually tasted charcoaly, It’s mostly the dry leaves (and even wet spent leaves) that felt to the touch like charcoal or burnt paper or something.