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41 Tasting Notes

74

Most people haven’t familiarized themselves with the processes that occur at the bottom of a pile of fermenting tea leaves. I had recently been introduced to the idea and this is my first experience with trying such a tea.

The brew is golden and sweet even from the beginning. Garrett suggests rinsing three times. That’s fine and well…since I like lighter steepings I often choose to rinse only once or twice if I’m making this for myself. There is kind of a sugary crispness that is present with this tea. For those of you only familiar with much stronger and muddy Pu’ers I would suggest this as a much nicer, sweeter alternative to that.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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17

As I read through earlier reviews some adjectives that others were using pretty much sum up this tea. People describing it as – fishy, seaweedy, murky and the like. I’ve tried this cake several times Gong Fu Cha and with different parameters to try to hone it in. It’s just a bit unruly for my liking. It really is murky and thick. I think it depends what you’re looking for in Pu’er. Fishy and murky generally don’t suit my tastes. This one takes several steepings to even start getting to something interesting and classic tasting.

Like it’s Sheng contemporary offered by Rishi I would be interested in seeing how this one ages but there really isn’t any reason to drink it right now in my opinion. With so many good and affordable alternatives out there I think this is one that I would maybe try once a year to see if it’s changed favorably. Nothing too special.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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46

This is a nice little brick of Shou Pu’er. Keep in mind this is very young! That being said, it doesn’t kill you with tang. It is going to be a bit stronger than some older shou’s but that’s to be expected. All around this is a really nice and predictable brick. Would make a good everyday pu’er for now and would be worth aging in larger quantities as well. Haiwan factory tends to make really consistent and quality pu’ers so I would trust this one to do well with time.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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27

This pu’er is kind of middle of the road. The leaf is really broken which is a minus in this scenario. It has all of that classic smokiness which is so common in Sheng pu’er this young. I don’t doubt that this tea could turn in to something really special but to me there’s not enough cool things going on with it right now to warrant that sort of time and monetary investment in it.

To it’s credit, it is a lot more interesting than I had originally thought upon first trying it. One needs to be really quick with the gaiwan when brewing this tuo cha. If you let the water sit for a second or two longer than it should you’ll end up with a pretty bitter brew. Only a few seconds for steeping until you really break it in.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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75

One of the older Sheng Pu’ers that I have ever tasted. This one possesses that old musty sweetness that only pu’ers of this age can. It really is quite a candy-like deliciousness even from the first steeping.

This is one of the nicest Pu’ers I have ever had, and I should have purchased a good half pound when I still had the chance.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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83

I had this tea on a winter afternoon at Dobra. It was a lovely version of the Big Red Robe. Not roasted as dark as one would think. That was the really nice part…it had all of the nice warming characteristics of a heavily roasted tea from Wuyishan Mountain while maintaining all of the interesting notes of lilac common to a much greener Oolong. All around very nice indeed. Steeped 10+ times and was still going just fine. Well done Dobra!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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67

This is a really nice little Shou cake. Only 100 grams and well worth the price. This pu’er is loaded with notes of ripe fig and black currant. I was truly surprised when I first tried this cake and was pleased to share it with such a wide variety of people. I have seen several people learn to love pu’er because of this cake. Great tea!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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68

This cake comes from the Mengku Tea Factory, so yes, it does taste fantastic! It actually brews up tasting much older than you would think. So that is a huge plus! That desired almost musty flavor is present and delightfully surprising. It has a classic flavor of sweet plums or figs and possesses none of the awful “fishyness” that can creep in to lower quality pu’ers. Well done Garrett and Mandala on finding this gem of a cake.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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55

I bought this brick because of the positive reviews on it and in hopes that it would age in to something great. Keep in mind that I am basing my review of it on what it tastes like now…the true value of it will be seen in the years to come.

This is an above average Sheng brick considering it is only 3 years old. The liquor is thicker than other green Pu’ers of this age range. It’s not overwhelmingly astringent which is a good thing, and while possessing some of that young “smokiness” that bricks of this age can have, it is not overbearing and I could see this turning in to something pretty nice considering the complexity it already possesses.

Hopefully this helps you know what you’re getting in to a little bit better. If you’re comfortable buying a young Sheng and letting it sit then I would recommend this brick. This one is probably not one that I would considering buying multiples of for aging, but lets see if time proves me wrong on that!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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I am a lover of everything good. Rivers, fields, plains, forests, lakes, mountains, valleys, deserts – people, tea, beer, cheese, wine. But mainly, more than anything, I love God. None of these other things are worth a cent without Him.

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