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17 Tasting Notes

93

Chawangshop has a lot of bargains for an attractive price. It’s one of them.
This brick has an extremely strong flavor of dry/wet leaves (one of the strongest aroma I’ve ever smelled from pu cakes) and typical floral character of Mengku. I feel notes of different flowers and honey and it reminds me smelling the most beautiful wild flowers. The taste is smooth and sweet with overwhelming scent of meadow. BaHu puerh is pretty light to be refreshing and very easy to drink.
Highly recommended!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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90

Aroma: strong, reminds me dried apricots and other ripe fruits.
Taste: smooth (yes, almost silky), full in the mouth, sweet and dried apricots again.
Aftertaste: very sweet (typical Bada sweetness) and pretty noticeable.

Very pleasant tea. It’s an excellent example of aged Bada puerh. Recommended for everyone! Especially if you like cookies with dried apricots :)
P.s Chawangshop offers this pu for a very decent price, even lower than Taobao.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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72

It’s definetely strange example of Youle. I’m not sure how to rate this pu because it’s almost bland. It’s not awful but very weak and strange, especially for it’s age. Sweet and mild taste reminds me Bada, but in a more “feminine” way.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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92

I think that it’s one of the best-valued YS offers.
Very potent and thick cake with hints of vegetables and mushrooms. Little bit of tobacco, strong qi, but no bitterness at all. Definetely great aging potencial! It’s a pity that so good cake is gone!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
EJC

I’m hoping they’ve yanked it for aging. In January, there were something like 79 of these available, then suddenly a few weeks ago ALL of them vanished from the international website. ALL OF THEM. Even the samples.

I smell trickery. Delicious, delicious trickery.

godric

Even more than 79 cakes. I remember approx. 80 separate cakes and more than 10 tongs in stock. I guess that some reseller or tea collector bought all the stock. Maybe because of “Hobbes effect” :)
Anyway this pu is great, but…. there is a lot of great offers and bargains from other areas and vendors.

EJC

“Hobbes effect.” I like that. Especially since that’s how I found out about this cake myself. Smart guy, that Hobbes…

I hope you’re right and the tea’s been bought by someone who intents to resell it in a few years. Until it does, do you know of anything of similar quality for the price? I’ve got about 15 samples of sheng sitting in my tea cabinet at the moment, but nothing has knocked my socks off like this bad boy except an aged cake I bought from Verdant a while back.

godric

Last year I tasted a lot of YS offers and yes, 11 WuLiang was the the best-valued YS offer. But there are some similar shengs in terms of quality and price from other shops.
I.e. great Mengku pu from ChawangShop:
2011 Mengku Wild Arbor Raw Puerh Cake – i reviewed this cake already and I really love it (thick, beautiful leaves, flavourful).
2009 Ba Hu Cun Qiao Mu Raw Puerh Tea Brick 250g – extremely flavourful and tasty, I’ll review this brick later. It’s the best young pu brick I’d ever tested.
Both offers are much cheaper than YS Wu Liang because of Lincang raw materials, but have excellent quality for the price! I was happy to buy several cakes and ten bricks. Very pleasant shop with lots of inexpensive young and aged shengs.
Or try MGH puerh from Puerhshop. Cakes are pretty expensive but the quality is awesome. The best-valued offer from Puerhshop is MGH 1105 Mangfei – thick, complex and very sweet. Almost all MGH offers are very tasty but not cheap. But cheaper than similar quality shengs from YS (i.e very tasty and unique 2011 MGH 1106 Autumn Mangzhi costs $39/400g and 2011 YS Autumn Mangzhi costs $36/250g)

I’ll post reviews about many products I’ve tasted.

Best regards

EJC

Thanks for the suggestions! I haven’t been to ChawangShop yet. Can’t wait to check them out.

I walked into a tea shop here in NYC a while ago and laughed at how much they wanted for their pu. I feel like there are two distinct markets – one for folks who have a little patience to research and age their own teas, and one for folks who don’t want to think about it. A friend of mine let me try some tea from a bing he bought in one of the aforementioned shops and it was passable, but when I asked him how much he paid for it he said (proudly) “Under two hundred.” Sheesh! Slap me silly with a wad of cash. I can’t imagine ever spending that much for a single cake.

godric

You are welcome.
That’s why there are forums/blogs/steepster where you can share your thoughts about the most favorite pu. I.e I like to hunt for bargains and I rate not only the taste and flavour notes, but the price too.

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94

Another real bargain from Chawangshop. I really like pu with a strong character and I like to hunt for them. Yes, it’s pretty unique sheng: decent price for an aged cake, outstanding aroma/taste of boiled prunes, unusual pu area (Mengma).
Very similar to aged Xiaguan tuos, but more interesting for my taste. I’m not sure but I think that it’s a purple puerh. Hard to say because leaves are almost black :)
What a wonderful smell of brewed leaves after ending tea session! Love it, just an example to me how good aged sheng can be!

P.s I recommend to do few rinses with boiling water before brewing. It helps to remove all odours of wet storage. But then you should brew tea with water slightly cooler than usual to get more flavour and more delicate taste.
Nov 2011

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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92

Probably one of the best (and safe!) buys. If you are going to make an order at Chawangshop (or taobao maybe) I recommend to try this pu. Highly recommended to anyone. At this price, it’s a steal!
I didn’t expect that cheap Mengku cake could be SO good. I tasted a lot of Mengku young shengs: different vendors, different villages, different prices. This cake is a winner!
When I smelled the sample, it was outstanding! The strongest “floral & honey” aroma. When I tasted the soup, I was surprised again… Beautiful scene without any doubts! Reminds me a lot of a mix of the best of Mengku, excellent Nannuo and good green tea.
Thick and potent for a Mengku sheng. Definetely more “beefy” than most of Mengku. I can only imagine how good is pure Xigui gushu. Maybe I’m wrong but I believe in aging potencial of this cake.
One of my everyday choices. Usually I blend it with something different: something nutty (jingmai) or something solid as a rock in terms of taste (menghai/bulang) or something fruity (some autumn youle/yiwu). Everytime the result is great!
Nov 2011

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
Pepík

yeah i odered this tea…and its really good price for 500g tea cake, nice and strong flavour taste !!

godric

If you like this Mengku cake, I recommend you to try another great Mengku from Chawangshop – 2009 Ba Hu Cun Qiao Mu Raw Puerh Tea Brick. I’ll review BaHu later.

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98

Love it. From many young shengs I tasted for last year it’s the best one. My personal favorite.
If you are a fan of yiwu, especially GFZ / GSZ / Mahei, you have to taste MGH 1103. Strong aroma (fresh grass & flavorful flowers), great mouthfeel and long lasting anise-like aftertaste. I can feel it for a few hours after ending gongfu session. The taste is very grassy and masculine (no flowers, sweet, but not too much!). This pu is strong and thick (almost oily). I know how good is aged Mansa pu, but I can only imagine how good can be really EXCELLENT young Mansa in future.
P.s Don’t overbrew and don’t use boiling water! Another hint is not to use yixing teapots. MGH 1103 is “too sharp” to be rounded by the effects of the clay. Use gaiwan instead.
Aug 2011

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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99

When I first tried this pu I thought that it was a joke. I had strong feeling that i drink a tea from a chunk of very old board. It was extremely woody!
After airing and storing for a few months I’ve loved this cake. Now it’s one of my favorites.
The taste is very woody and reminds me a lot of excellent FuZhuan and good aged sheng.
Keynotes: extremely woody (with camphor hints), sweet and longest aftertaste.
It’s a very unusual pu and I don’t recommend it to beginners. But it’s a great experience for every tea drinker and you will love it or dislike it at the first sip.
Sep 2011

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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86

Very good sweet Menghai shu with chocolate notes. Not the best but very good pu. Recommended as inexpensive “everyday shu”.
Nov 2011

Preparation
Boiling
SusaCraw

Just opened this tea after having it in cupboard for several years and am thoroughly enjoying it. Very rich complex flavor. A Chinese visitor recently told us this tea gives you energy and warmth and it is true!

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88

Just an example of good menghai shu and it’s my favorite YS ripe pu.
Main notes: chocolate, walnut, little bit of spice and bitterness (in a good way!). Very similar to the best Dayi offers but much cheaper.
Recommended.
Oct 2011

Preparation
Boiling

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