97

Wow! Now, this being my first pu-erh, I was a little nervous, because so many times people say that it’s an acquired taste. What are they smoking? This is awesome! I liked it right away. It has a brisk, oolong-like, taste. It has very appealing color, too. It’s sort of blush, like apple cider. In earlier steepings, I noticed a faint earthy, sort of mushroom-like, background. It wasn’t musty, though. It was still sweet, and floral. I can sort of taste the sweet tobacco flavor, too, but it doesn’t have that sharp bite. It’s very smoothe. In mid-later steepings, just when I thought it was done, judging by the lighter color, it was not giving up! In fact, it took on a honey, raisin-like flavor that is soooo good. It’s now taking on an even more floral, plum, tangy, somewhat citrus, flavor. It just keeps getting better! I can probably push it even further, still. I guess, we shall see. ::sip sip:: mmmm

::Edit::
So, I got to around 20 or so steepings (lost count), and the flavor is still there. I have to steep so long the water cools, now. That’s my fault, however, because I’m not very skilled at gongfu cha, yet. Some of my steepings were too long, and tasted slightly bitter. I was over-focused on the color. Now, that I know that it’s OK for it to lighten, and it’ll still pack a flavorful punch, I think I probably could’ve managed 30+ steepings out of this. I’ll have to chalk that up to live and learn, I spoze. Definitely worth the experimentation! Plus, there’s still plenty left. This is a very delicious, and flavorful tea. I totally enjoy it better than oolong.

The only thing missing in the experience, is that intense cleansing, centering feeling I get from drinking sencha. It’s more fun, though. Due to the fact that it requires so many steepings, and some skill, I can’t call it the perfect tea. The perfect sheng pu-erh, however? Definitely maybe. Even though, I haven’t experienced anything else to compare it to, I can’t imagine it being any better.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
David Duckler

Hi Chad! I am really happy that you like the Artisan Revival. This is one that I am tempted to get a tong (stack of seven bricks) to age just for myself. Having played around with steeping a lot on the sheng pu’ers, I have some suggestions to get the most out of them. I have definitely done 30+ steeping on this tea. First, I use what seems like a lot of leaf. Usually enough to fill the gaiwan 1/4 of the way up. This is a light fluffy tea, so 4 grams, which is normal, looks like a lot. I do this so that I can do really short 1-4 second steepings and experience the way the flavor changes (which you describe really well!). By steeping 20, you have to do maybe 10 seconds. Steeping 30 up to 25 or 20 seconds. I also use boiling water on this sheng pretty often because it is so resistant to bitter or drying tastes. To keep the water hot for those long steepings, I pour boiling water into the gaiwan saucer to act as insulation. It actually works pretty well, and gives you more temperature control.

As an aside- if you love the cleanness of sencha, you might enjoy any of the green teas I just imported from the spring picking in Laoshan. They are so far North in China that they have a lot of similarities to Japanese tea. Clean, yet full bodied, rich and sweet. I have a mini-article on the region on the Verdant Tea website.

Nathaniel Gruber

You’re right, most people will tell you that it is an acquired taste, but this is perhaps one of the finest Sheng Pu’ers that have been brought in to the country. You’re spoiled, my friend. :)

Chad

That may be true, Nathaniel. Although, I believe that’s part of the point, for me, when it comes to tea, anyways. To spoil myself, a little. It’s a healthy and affordable luxury, and a fun hobby. I just started, not long ago, and so I’m exploring what’s out there. I chose this tea, partly, so I’ll know what I should look for and expect from a great pu-erh. Besides, I was too nervous to try anything else, that might be unpalatable to me.

I have to admit, I thought your reviews seemed a little biased, at first, but now, I see why. Both of the teas I’ve tried from Verdant are in a whole different class to themselves.

Chad

Thank you for the tips, David. I appreciate the advice. I also loved the sample of Spring Tieguanyin you sent along, and will most likely order some. The handwritten note was also nice to see. I appreciate the little things, and enjoy the personal touch. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about tea. There is such a vibrant community of really nice people. I’m glad I tried Verdant Tea, and I’m certain that I’ll be a return customer. I watched all of your videos on Youtube, and I think that is a big part of what encouraged me to try gongfu with a gaiwan. Your videos were very informative, detailed, and easy to follow. I watched them over and over, and really enjoyed them. Many thanks for your effort and care.

Nathaniel Gruber

Good to hear. I 100% agree…I tend to spoil myself with tea as well, and why not?
For the record, I am very biased towards Verdant Tea, but that comes after trying literally hundreds of other teas out there and knowing the quality that Verdant has brought about in contrast. I’m lucky and spoiled ;) to be able to work with them.

David Duckler

Thanks for the feedback Chad,
I am glad you enjoyed the videos. I have a whole new Youtube series planned to start on as soon as spring (and the tea scouting season) have wound down a bit. You are right about the tea community. The people is one of the main reasons I got into the business. Tea people, especially in China, are just so kind and gracious. The interest in America is encouraging as well. I only hope that tea can overcome the stereotype of being too complex or fancy for most people, so that it can be enjoyed for what it is.

cultureflip

It’s true. You will be hard pressed to find much better sheng than this without spending a fortune and a lot of time. Nice pick!

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Comments

David Duckler

Hi Chad! I am really happy that you like the Artisan Revival. This is one that I am tempted to get a tong (stack of seven bricks) to age just for myself. Having played around with steeping a lot on the sheng pu’ers, I have some suggestions to get the most out of them. I have definitely done 30+ steeping on this tea. First, I use what seems like a lot of leaf. Usually enough to fill the gaiwan 1/4 of the way up. This is a light fluffy tea, so 4 grams, which is normal, looks like a lot. I do this so that I can do really short 1-4 second steepings and experience the way the flavor changes (which you describe really well!). By steeping 20, you have to do maybe 10 seconds. Steeping 30 up to 25 or 20 seconds. I also use boiling water on this sheng pretty often because it is so resistant to bitter or drying tastes. To keep the water hot for those long steepings, I pour boiling water into the gaiwan saucer to act as insulation. It actually works pretty well, and gives you more temperature control.

As an aside- if you love the cleanness of sencha, you might enjoy any of the green teas I just imported from the spring picking in Laoshan. They are so far North in China that they have a lot of similarities to Japanese tea. Clean, yet full bodied, rich and sweet. I have a mini-article on the region on the Verdant Tea website.

Nathaniel Gruber

You’re right, most people will tell you that it is an acquired taste, but this is perhaps one of the finest Sheng Pu’ers that have been brought in to the country. You’re spoiled, my friend. :)

Chad

That may be true, Nathaniel. Although, I believe that’s part of the point, for me, when it comes to tea, anyways. To spoil myself, a little. It’s a healthy and affordable luxury, and a fun hobby. I just started, not long ago, and so I’m exploring what’s out there. I chose this tea, partly, so I’ll know what I should look for and expect from a great pu-erh. Besides, I was too nervous to try anything else, that might be unpalatable to me.

I have to admit, I thought your reviews seemed a little biased, at first, but now, I see why. Both of the teas I’ve tried from Verdant are in a whole different class to themselves.

Chad

Thank you for the tips, David. I appreciate the advice. I also loved the sample of Spring Tieguanyin you sent along, and will most likely order some. The handwritten note was also nice to see. I appreciate the little things, and enjoy the personal touch. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about tea. There is such a vibrant community of really nice people. I’m glad I tried Verdant Tea, and I’m certain that I’ll be a return customer. I watched all of your videos on Youtube, and I think that is a big part of what encouraged me to try gongfu with a gaiwan. Your videos were very informative, detailed, and easy to follow. I watched them over and over, and really enjoyed them. Many thanks for your effort and care.

Nathaniel Gruber

Good to hear. I 100% agree…I tend to spoil myself with tea as well, and why not?
For the record, I am very biased towards Verdant Tea, but that comes after trying literally hundreds of other teas out there and knowing the quality that Verdant has brought about in contrast. I’m lucky and spoiled ;) to be able to work with them.

David Duckler

Thanks for the feedback Chad,
I am glad you enjoyed the videos. I have a whole new Youtube series planned to start on as soon as spring (and the tea scouting season) have wound down a bit. You are right about the tea community. The people is one of the main reasons I got into the business. Tea people, especially in China, are just so kind and gracious. The interest in America is encouraging as well. I only hope that tea can overcome the stereotype of being too complex or fancy for most people, so that it can be enjoyed for what it is.

cultureflip

It’s true. You will be hard pressed to find much better sheng than this without spending a fortune and a lot of time. Nice pick!

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Profile

Bio

I’m relatively new to loose teas; started about 9 months ago. Already, it’s becoming an obsession.

My favorite is Japanese tamaryokucha sencha & kabusencha, from Mellow Monk. I really enjoyed a recent pu-erh, from Verdant Tea. Their oolong is quite delicious, too. So far, Verdant’s teas are the only ones which even approach the flavor complexity, intensity, refinement, and versatility of Mellow Monk’s. Both, have excellent customer service.

I love using my kyusu, because it’s quick and easy. However, lately, I’ve began experimenting with gongfu-style preparation, using a gaiwan. I’m making some progress, but I still have a lot to learn. I’m always open to suggestions, or advice. So, feel free, and don’t be a stranger.

I’ve tested this method with my favorite Mellow Monk teas, and was simply blown away. The more teas I try, the more I keep coming back to the Monk. Also, the more things I compare it to, the more I find to enjoy in it. It took me a short while to acquire a taste for it, but now that I have, there’s simply nothing to compare it to.

Lately, I’m falling more in love with a bold, and intense grassy note, and have been adjusting my steep times & temps accordingly. This is another one of the many benefits of, and testament to, the versatility of Mellow Monk’s fine teas.

I’ve been receiving some interesting suggestions from other reviewers, and I’m looking forward to trying these other teas.

So far, everyone on Steepster has been very kind, and welcoming, and I look forward to participating in the community.

Location

Tulsa, OK

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