99 Tasting Notes

93

Another excellent Sheng from Eugene and Belle. The soup is a beautiful golden hue. The smell of the soup is a really pleasing floral smell that reminded me of wildflowers. The taste is incredible, simply incredible. This Sheng has a unbelievable taste of grass mixed with butter. Like the Wan Gong 2014 Spring that I drank last night, this is one extremely smooth Sheng. Absolutely no hint of kuwei or astringency at all. Again, way to go Eugene and Belle!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
Stephanie

I’m totally falling in love with TeaUrchin!

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92

Another excellent Pu’er from Eugene and Belle. In their words “… this Wangong cake is a stand out processing from the 2014 spring harvest” and are they ever correct. The color of the soup is a beautiful golden color. The smell of the soup is an excellent floral and grassy combination that is a delight to smell. The taste is quite simply amazing. To my taste buds the soup has a very well balanced floral and grass flavor with just a hint of honey that comes out at the end. What really surprised me is just how smooth this Sheng is. After seven steepings there was absolutely no astringency and just the slightest hint of kuwei. My favorite part of this Sheng is the energy it exhibits. Here I am twenty minutes after my last sip and my tastes buds are still excited and I can actually still taste this wonderful tea.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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92

Another tasting note. This is the second Pu’er I have brewed using boiling water instead of 200 degree water. I am blown away by the difference 12 degrees makes. This tea went from excellent to incredible. This time around I noticed a buttery smell to the soup that was not present during my last steeping. Also, there was a touch of butter to the taste of the soup as well. Again, if you love Sheng Pu’er, you really need to give this tea some serious consideration.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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92

This is just a tasting note/book review. I just returned from vacation and while on vacation I read a copy of the English translation of “Pu-erh Tea” from the Appreciating Chinese Tea Series which is an excellent book by the way. The most important thing that I learned from this book was that I was steeping me tea incorrectly. So today I decided to put the techniques that I learned from the book into practice. Let me just say, I was BLOWN AWAY. Those techniques turned this excellent tea into an incredible tea, they really did!!!! I still want to know what that secret 20% is.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
DigniTea

Are you going to share these “special” techniques?

SWApilot

They really aren’t that special I guess. The big ones were using boiling water instead of 200 degree water and shortening my steeping times a bit. I am really amazed at how much those two changes alone have improved the depth of flavor on this tea.

DigniTea

OK thanks. Probably a good idea to vary time a bit more than I do and maybe even play with temp since I always default to boiling.

TheTeaFairy

SWApilot, who’s the author of this book series?

SWApilot

It was written in Chinese by Wang Jidong and translated by Chen Zhufen and Liu Qingling. If you go to Amazon search “Appreciating Chinese Tea Series”. The trick is finding the English translation version unless you can read Chinese,

DigniTea

I’ll keep an eye out for that one. Here’s another great book on puerh: Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic (Culture, Place, and Nature) by Jinghong Zhang from Yunnan University. Bought it after seeing it mentioned several times in another tea chat room.

SWApilot

Thanks, I will look for it!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks to both of you, always on the lookout for good tea books. Now that I’m getting more and more into pu’erh, I can use all the help I can get!

SWApilot

This is why I love the website so much. You meet a bunch of great people who genuinely care about helping others grow their passion for tea!

TheTeaFairy

What you said SWApilot…so much truth.

And thanks for the link Dignitea :-)

mrmopar

Agreed on the community aspect. That’s why I have stayed around here a while.

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90

Another excellent Sheng from Eugene and Belle at Tea Urchin. I have to agree with Stephanie and DP’s review on tea Urchin. The soup is a very nice golden color. The first few steepings produced a very nice vegetal taste with just a hint of kuwei and astringency, and I do mean a hint. Later steepings transitioned to a much sweeter taste with a nice honey undertone. To keep the tea as strong as I like it I did have to increase my steeping times on the later steeps. Over all, an excellent Sheng that is well worth the money. Well done Tea Urchin!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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92

This is my first sample from Eugene and Belle and it is a gem!!!! The smell of the leaves is that of green hay (my grandfather was a hay farmer) with a slight floral accent. The soup is a very light honey in color and smells like green hay mixed with flowers with a bit of smokiness thrown in. The taste is excellent. It is a very bold fruity/floral mixture with a beautiful huigan and absolutely no astringency. The energy of this tea is incredible, long after drinking this tea my taste buds are still excited and I can still taste the tea itself. I will be ordering a bing of this gem!!!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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92

Another Sheng Yiwu snob alert!! Here is Eugene and Belle’s description for this tea: " This cake is a special Yiwu blend that we made to celebrate the birth of our son Miles, the dragon baby. When he was 5 months in the womb, he visited the mountains where this tea was made. The leaves are 80% Gua Feng Zhai, 20% secret :) Completely hand made, stone pressed & double wrapped, this cake is a gem." The soup starts off a very pale gold in color that by steeping four turns into the color of raw honey. The smell to me is a combination of butter and hay that is very pleasing to to the nose. The taste is a very sweet with a beautiful floral undertone. There is just a hint of kuwei with a very nicely balanced astringency at the end. This tea is not cheap, but it is worth every penny I spent on it. I just want to know what the secret 20% is!!!!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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92

This is my first Tea Urchin tea and it lives up to its name. Eugene nails this one on the head: “Our 2013 Spring Bulang blend has all the hallmark bitterness of Bulang kucha, but with a complex mid-range and a delectable sweet top note & huigan.” The soup is a beautiful light gold and to me has a beautiful smell of butter. The taste is perfectly balanced between sweetness and bitterness. My favorite part of this tea is how it’s energy keeps the taste buds alive long after I am done drinking it. This is an excellent Sheng and if you love Shengs you really need to give this tea a lot of consideration. Well done Eugene and Belle!!!!!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
TheTeaFairy

The cake’s wrapping is spectacular!

SWApilot

In case you would like to know about the wrapping:

“Each cake is wrapped in hand-made Dai paper, with a linocut block print by the artist Elaine Su-Hui. The colorful splashes are inspired by the ceremonial headdress worn by Bulang women.” and “Inspired by the pom-pom head adornments worn by the Bulang women during tea tree worshiping and ancestral ceremonies.”

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85

This is just a tasting note. I steeped this tea 8 times tonight and it took until steeping four or five for the true flavor of this tea to come in and stabilize. For me the astringency and kuwei are backwards. For this tea, the astringency is at the front and the kuwei plays a backing role. It is still a really good tea, I just wish the kuwei played the leading role.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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85

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Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Bio

I have been a tea drinker almost all of my life. In 2008 I was able to accompany my wife to a conference she had in Shanghai. At one of the dinners I was introduced to the Nectar of the Gods – Pu’er and I have been hooked ever since.

“The liquid of tea is like the sweetest dew from Heaven”
Lu Yu (733-804), Chinese Sage of Tea

Location

Corinth, TX

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