183 Tasting Notes
Just revisiting this mini tuo. I have a 2007 version, which I need to check if I can find again because this is getting better, I bumped the score up a bit.
I’ve had them stored in a cardboard cylinder container for +-2 years and it is doing well, the rice is pretty strong still and the tea is even smoother, specially for a mini tuo. I love the scent, it is just satisfying and almost calming to have that floral/nutty rice scent.
Flavors: Bitter, Green Wood, Honey, Nutty, Rice
Dry – Aged floral bitterness, wood with sweetness, very faint dried fruits, some medicinal notes, raisins, tamarind shell.
Wet – Aged/slightly decayed wood but with a deep sweet fruit background, rich like dried dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs), dark sweet notes (molasses, caramel — the sweetness that inherently has a bitterness to it).
Liquor – Amber to reddish amber (Aromatic of dried fruits and bittersweet notes)
1st 3secs – Bittersweet woody and fruity, some bittersweet notes that resemble a very gentle tamarind with some shell pieces up front. It feels rather thick and as it goes down it is smooth and maintains the thick and rich notes with the same bittersweet-floral and woody note from the start.
2nd 3secs – Bittersweet floral/fruity and wood front that still somewhat resembles mellow tamarind(shell) to me which transfers to a richer/thicker body and notes and a lingering mouthwatering sensation. If well slurped it is more bitter up the front in a very pleasant and huigan enhancing way.
3rd 3secs – Bittersweet floral/fruity, woody front that transitions into the rich woody sweetness that resembles dried fruits such as raisins with a slightly herbaceous sweetness appearing as it washes down. Gentle camphor present.
4th 4secs – Bitter woody that becomes bittersweet woody with floral notes and a dried fruit background. As it goes down, it is still very smooth with apparent bitterness, combined with the rich dried fruit notes and hints of molasses.
5th 6secs – Bittersweet, wood, floral notes with apparent fruit background, the fruit and wood notes still combined continue to resemble a mellow/gentle tamarind note, it is almost an acidic fruit note. As it goes down, the liquor is very smooth with only minor astringency after it has completely washed down.
6th 7secs – Very similar to most previous steeps, some more astringecy seems to chime in, but still has that thick and rich body with plenty of that bitter to bittersweet note that keeps reminding me of a gentle tamaring note. The liquor continues to be aromatic.
7th 9 secs – Bitterness and bittersweet notes, wood, floral and fruits notes reappear with more energy again. After the liquor goes down the bitterness lodged in the throat and the huigan is very pleasant.
8th 10 secs – This one was cleaner steep with a bit weaker bitterness, but still very pleasant overall, mostly sweeter.
9th 14 secs – This one appears faded again in the bitterness aspects but still wears similar notes. Time for bigger steep time adjustments.
10th 25secs – Second wind; the bitter and bittersweet notes returned with most of its previous profile, a bit more floral and juicy than the richer and filling body it had before.
11th 35secs – Richer again, bittersweet as opposed to the weaker flat bitterness with less wood and more fruit notes. A very pleasant and lasting/lingering huigan.
12th 45secs – Still holding up for the most part, you can tell this one still has a few more steeps in it.
13th 1min – Returned some of the initial notes of bittersweet, plenty of floral and fruit with some astringency present. Very smooth still, specially in the 13th steep, it has some faded rich notes.
14th 1min 30secs – Good bittersweet notes, floral, some fruit and again astringency.
Very infusable, I feel like it has a perfect balance between the wood/floral/fruit bitterness with sweetness ratio. It has plenty of aged notes together with ‘I can age more’ character. This is not a complex tea, I didn’t get changes along the steeps, maybe something being more up front at times than others. I liked it a lot but this is also the type of tea that takes me two days to get through, not only because of the how infusable it is, but because it can be a bit boring after the 6-8th steep of the same notes. I would still recommend it.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Raisins, Sweet
Dry – Old decayed wood house, musky tree, wood-bitterness, dried leafs.
Wet – Sweet, coffee like bitterness, musty decayed wet wood, molasses.
First few (1-3) steeps Have a sweet front but wear a very robust mustiness that can be either very pleasant if you like it or off putting if you don’t that develops pepper like woodiness and slight spicy astringency and woody bitterness. The final notes recover the sweetness with a refreshing camphor.
In the Middle (3-6) Here is where the real good stuff shows up with mostly the sweeter notes and maintaining most of its woody characteristics with out being unpleasantly musky or decayed wood-bitter. The sweetness has some thickness and the bitterness make it seem more like a molasses than sugary which is very nice and almost malty in some sense.
Final steeps The notes start getting weaker, but the sweetness shines more here; with most of the wood bitterness and musk notes gone the sweetness is more like a raw sugar than molasses like, it doesn’t hold much complexity but it is still satisfying.
I like this one as an every day drink, the mini bricks have an undeniable musky, sometimes almost fishy scent that at least to me require a few days out of the container and a good two rinses to get rid of and even then the first 2-3 steeps will have plenty of it.
With all of that said, it becomes more and more pleasant in the middle steeps and flat sweet in the last few ones. I would recommend using the container for other teas and moving this ripe to a box or open container to get the best out of it.
Flavors: Decayed wood, Molasses, Musty, Sweet
Thanks to Yang-Chu for this sample.
Dry – Vegetal bittersweetness that resembles still green wood adn some sweetness.
Wet – More intense vegetal- ‘green-wood’ bitterness, faint smoke and mellow tobacco appears with gentle sweet and refreshing notes.
The initial steep is very mellow/subtly sweet front that seamlessly turns into a good brothy middle with vegetal notes and a good mouth feel that hints of thickness. The huigan is mellow and pleasant.
Following steeps (2-4) are a bit more robust by comparison, but still mellow in the Sheng spectrum. There is still a subtle sweetness up front that transition into a more savory and broth like character with the middle being more decisively tobaccoey and green-wood bittersweet and a mouthfeel that transitions from thick into a more puckery astringency. The huigan still develops a mellow sweetness and a refreshing sensation.
Later steeps don’t offer much in the ways of taste though you still find some of the initial traits of tobacco, green-wood and faint smoke playing around in a ghostly way. The thickness in the middle followed by a slight astringent sensation is still enduring well. Mellow Huigan.
This one is good I liked it for a mellow session, It didn’t offer much in complexity or in presence, at least in the flavor. However, it has a very good body that even is there even after most of the notes have dissipated. If you like mellow/subtle traditional notes with focus in body this might be something to look at.
Flavors: Bitter, Green Wood, Sweet, Tobacco
Dry – Sweet, plummy, woody-vegetal(green), faint floral.
Wet – Sweet, plummy, Thick(in brothy way), savory-bitter, wood-raisins, honey, tart berries and stone fruits >> Later develops a bit of tobacco notes.
1st 4secs – Sweet, thick, vegetal with corn in butter notes, followed by melon/white peach sweetness and very mellow floral (with vegetal) with a tongue numbing thickness and mouth watering bitterness.
2nd 7secs – Sweet, thick(but meh), some vegetal notes but mostly sweet followed by a melon sweetness and a gentle bitterness that waters the mouth(very apparent, yet not aggressive, it lingers for a long time and lodges in the back of the tongue), some astringency. The aftertaste reminded me of the aftertaste of clementines.
3rd 7secs – Sweet, thick, vegetal, bitter floral followed by melon sweetness, stone fruits, the bitterness lingers and lodges, mouth watering, mineral and flroal notes and slowly becoming tobaccoey-herbal.
4th 9secs – Sweet, thick, bitter, astringency, vegetal… perhaps better balanced than previous steeps. All the notes are there but none over take the other.
5th 11secs – Mostly the same profile as before, not as balanced. The ‘brothy’ character was more up front in the beginning, but this tea is definitely in the fruity spectrum of Puerh bitterness with vegetal and floral notes (very faint tobacco).
6h 15secs – (The collapse steep) I’ve had three sessions with this tea and they agree this is the range when the tea collapses. The notes are there, but they all are weak, phantoms of what they were.
Did up to 10-11 steeps
The three sessions were experimenting with temp and time and the results where roughly the same, the 6th ended up being the subtle or not so subtle decline in notes. The mouth-feel was nice the whole time and the huigan was particular with an almost citrus note, but it lacks longevity, after the 6th it mostly delivers bitter notes and ghosts of everything else. I’ll come back to this one later.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Honey, Plums, Stonefruits
Dry – Woody bitterness with some decayed wood and hints of smoke, hidden sweetness in the back, raisins.
Wet – Woody tobacco bitterness with tart/unripe fruit bitter-sweetness, some smoke and some richer notes: raisins? and a fruity floral back.
Liquor – Amber with a good balance of sweet and bitter notes, in a very traditional way.
At first taste is straight forward Sweet up front and then immediately transitions to the bitter-decayed-wood(aged sheng) side of things. What I love about it is that withing its range of ‘harshness’ it becomes somewhat thick and smooth in a sort of oily way when it travels through your tongue and slowly develops astringency after it washes down.
In later steeps the liquor guests smoother and the thickness lingers a bit longer in the tongue and the astringency only appear a few seconds after the liquor has washed away with some herbaceous notes. The huigan continues to be sweet and obviously floral with some herbaceous/hay notes.
This is the type of tea that if you like strong traditional notes it will satisfy your craves of traditional taste, but end up in a pleasant lingering sweetness that lodges in the throat with hints of floral notes due to the very dry storage(not badly done).
This tea is very good, it has some age to it, but it also hold some edge due to the dry storage. The floral and honey notes linger in the mouth with vibrant energy even though the initial taste has some age. This is a great tea if you are looking for something that will age a lot more and retain some of the floral/honey traits and may easily become a favorite if you want those traits.
On the other hand, 1999 is an age where you expect a lot of richer and ‘darker’ notes in your tea. I was expecting to get the sweet woody-tart notes that remind me of raisins and dates and even some of those molasses/lightly-burnt sugar notes, but they are not here. So if you are looking for those traits you will most likely dislike this one. Recommend a try though.
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Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Hay, Honey, Wood
Just a quick cup a work.
The dry leaves smell sweet, bitter(chocolate, but not really at the same time) and refreshing piney. When wet it has a more apparent bitterness combined with a robust malty and sweet brow sugar-molasses scent and the refreshing pine.
The liquor can be from a range of a deep yellow to copper-amber and finally a reddish copper in stronger steeps. And the taste matches the scent of both the dry and wet leaves with plenty of sugary sweetness followed by plenty of malt, cocoa-like bitterness and pine-woody notes. I prefer the Spring offerings, but that doesn’t make this autumn ones less pleasant or desired.
Great tummy warming and throat refreshing tea for this chilly weather.
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Flavors: Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Pine, Sugar
Dry – Sweet, nutty(corn), some mellow floral notes, thick-cream, peach/apricot/apples.
Wet – Sweet, fruity, sweet-corn, thick/buttery, berries/apricot, musky melon(sweet woody notes/raisins).
Liquor – Pale Gold color with mostly sweet scent.
Initial Steeps are very mellow with sweet and nutty notes. It has a very apparent smoothness up front that becomes very thick as it goes down. To me it has a savory base when is going down and returns to the sweeter side one it washes away bringing the fruit notes to the front.
Middle Steeps (4-7) Are very similar in taste still with no real ‘collapse’ in taste which usually happens around the 5-6 steep in most young Sheng. The liquor is still very smooth and maintained most of its characters with only a slightly less thick body and some astringency forming (started as full but feels medium bodied now).
Final Steeps The liquor is still fairly smooth with some cumulative astringency and some ‘ghostly’ notes from what was very apparent in the initial steeps.
I liked this tea, I feel like it holds up pretty damn well, but to be fair that has to do with the fact that the tea is not that complex to begin with, it has very good notes but in terns of complexity I would say this one is very easy going and straight foward, although the wet leaves hints of a bit more complexity.
I found it to be a calming Sheng with no aggressive Cha Qi and good thick body, I loved how it was satisfying to drink a Sheng during Winter. Also, even though I felt like it was getting thinner past the 6-7 steep, allowing it to rest for a few hours allowed me to get 3 more thick steeps, granted they were mostly flat sweet with ghostly notes of fruit.
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Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Sweet, Thick
Dry – Sweet, Bitter floral, Fruits, some vegetal/faintly tobacco, fresh.
Wet – Very sweet scent, fruity, creamy and somewhat buttery in scent, vegetal, bitter-floral with some tobacco notes.
Liquor – Yellow, very faint green hue.
Initial steeps are very aromatic with matching taste. The liquor is immediately sweet with balancing ‘tart’ fruity notes and a very pleasant creamy/buttery character up front. The initial thickness/buttery body becomes smoothness as it goes down and develops bittersweet-floral notes and minor astringency. Some tobacco notes are present but only faintly, though it becomes slightly more apparent as you continue to steep.
Following steeps (4+) the body still has a good thickness, but feels rather smoother than thick (changed from creamy to buttery if that helps). The initial notes are very similar, with some savory notes appearing in the middle like steamed vegetables and tobacco/medicinal notes, but never overtaking the initial nots. The astringency is still present at the end, but still remains pleasant.
Later steeps tend to be a bit lighter, but not departed from the initial notes with only shifting of the notes, appearing floral-bitter, fruity with thickness upfront and becoming more mellow and sweet and smooth as it goes down. The astringency is more apparent, it doesn’t bother me yet, but it might be a bit too dry for some people past the 8-9? steep. Still very pleasant mouthfeel.
I really liked this Puerh, it offers a filling and satisfying thickness.The notes were always mellow and gentle, even though it is a young Sheng. I usually lean towards Aged Sheng and ripe during Winter season, but it delivered what I go for this time of the year. The Huigan is pleasant, sweet-fruity with floral notes and the thickness sensation seems to linger as well.
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Flavors: Butter, Floral, Fruity, Sweet
Dry – Earthy and woody, very straight forward, very faint medicinal.
Wet – Earth, strong earth-wood and medicinal bitterness, thick, some musky scent, mellow smoke. (Evolves into a more creamy, earthy, licorice and sweet scent).
First two steeps are earthy with strong bitter earthy-woody notes with a medicinal base and very apparent creamy thickness and a sweet Huigan.
In the following steeps the medicinal root notes take the front with tobacco-wood notes and faint smoke. As it goes down it is mellow, thick/creamy and sweet with camphor. Oddly enough, even though it is refreshing it has a lingering thickness almost oily/buttery.
Later steeps (pushing the same day and continued the next day) are still thick with earthy tobacco/medicinal notes and very smooth, thick body. The buttery/oily body linger with sweet and refreshing Huigan.
This was very pleasant, I’ve never had a ripe with such apparent oily body. I’ve had creamy/thick ones which in contras seem more residual on the tongue but this was sort of slippery on the tongue :P
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Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Licorice, Medicinal, Sweet, Thick, Wood