Organic Ancient Phoenix Puerh

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Pu-erh Tea
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Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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From Butiki Teas

Our Organic Ancient Phoenix Puerh originates from a sustainable farm on Wuliang Mountain in China and is handpicked by the Yi tribe of Yunnan. This Shou (ripe) puerh was harvested in 2011 from organic ancient trees. The tea is pressed into cakes using only skilled hands and a unique fragrant wood. Organic Ancient Phoenix Puerh is smooth and rich with raw cocoa, oak, and sweet tobacco notes. This high quality tea can handle a substantial amount of infusions.

Recommended Brew Time: 1 minute for the first infusion. 10 seconds for each additional infusion. Adjust steep time by color of tea.
Recommended Amount: 1 piece of tea for 4oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 212 F (boiling)

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12 Tasting Notes

674 tasting notes

It’s no secret that I’m a Puerh loving woman!
There is something about Puerh that takes me to a place so far beyond myself and expands my vision. Yes it’s tea, but there is a bond with the earth that is mystical.
Ever changing and without end.

This tea was interesting to look at. Pressed into quarter sized coins and simply beautiful. It smelled promising making me remember being a child playing in the mud and making canals for small handmade wooden boats in my backyard. I chewed on sour grass.

After 1 quick wash I did a 1 minute steep in my clay gaiwan. The Puerh Coin had remained pretty solid and the liquor brownish and mild tasting. Not bad tasting, spicy like cinnamon bark and sweet. I was not overly impressed.

The second steep on would be…10 seconds!

What a color change! The liquor would never be brown again! Such a beautiful auburn color that little more red tone and it could be mistaken for a Sangiovese!
The flavor was richer and had more pepper than at first. My lips tingled…my mouth tingled with the spice and then it drifted away before hitting the back of my palate.
Later the flavor changed to a sour, french roast coffee bean taste. The tannin increased. This was not something I cared for.

By the 4th infusion a mellow comforting sensibility began still with sweet flavor and juice but astringent. There was a little earth, a little pepper.

I thought about how Puerh makes me think about the earth in so many ways. By earth I mean the ground itself! How the dirt or mud smells. Shivering on a riverbank wrapped in a towel. The taste of dirt and melting M&M’s in my hands as a kid. Boots and puddles.
The scene in A River Runs Through It…and expansive beauty!

By infusion 5…the Puerh had become really delicious. A fine creation somewhat like building a thatched home and moving in. All is right and comfortable. The flavor was smooth and sweet. The pepper and spice and juice and earth had harmoniously blended into a oneness. It was worth it to come to this place and I can’t imagine stopping short of this part of the journey.

I am sure that I have more steepings to go. The liquor has not weakened.


Poetically written. :) I think you picked up a lot more notes than I did, but I am a mere novice in puerhs. I agree that the first few infusions leave something to be desired. Perhaps we should think of it as a rinse. Puerh lasts too many steeps to worry about wasting an inferior cupful or two.


Solidly put. I’ve been drinking at least….40oz or so already. It’s still going strong enough to taste good and not watery. I should have a Pu-erh bar like in the Wild West! All dirt and dust don’t you think? The steeps would last through many hands of poker! LS and Whiskey too!


Deal me in!


I’m sure I’ve posted this before, but if you haven’t heard already Winston Churchill used to put whiskey in his LS.


Which I will try should Bonnie send some samples my way!

Butiki Teas

Bonnie, your description totally brought me back to my childhood. My grandfather’s house had a huge lake in front of it and the lake emptied to a creek. My brother and I would play in the creek and get all muddy. I think I will now forever associate puerh with those childhood experiences. I agree the first infusion is not quite right. I was having difficulty finding a time that would get the first infusion correct. I tried even 2 minutes, but even then it is not enough so I decided on 1 minute. I love this puerh from the third infusion on, I just wish I could figure out how to make the first infusion just as great.


I wouldn’t worry about it. It is what it is. Maybe a second wash is what I’m thinking. You didn’t say to wash it…and I did that but it should have had a second one I think. Then, maybe it would have opened up earlier. What do I know though. I love the unique shapes you find in the tea offered. Like Butiki “Designer” tea!


Scott…I worked on getting your samples ready today and will mail them off tomorrow. I thought people drank Whiskey alongside the LS! And smoked cigars!~ (that’s smoke)

Butiki Teas

Hmmm, a second wash might be helpful. I’m going to give that a shot and see if it helps.

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3229 tasting notes

I think this is sipdown #7 today, although I’m not quite sure, LOL.
I’ve had these tuochas for awhile, & that first 1 minute steep is a little on the watery side for me. I gave the 2nd steep 1.5 min, 2 for the third, 3 for the 4th, & 4 for the 5th steep.

Leather, Oak, sweet earth, & semolina are the tastes I received.


7? Good job!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Cavo! Of course, my Mandala order came, so I had to add 5, LOL.


Might not be the right puerh…these disc just got released on the website a couple of weeks ago. They are flat and not a tuocha shape!

Terri HarpLady

These are the ones from a year ago :)
They were the flat ones in the photo.

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2802 tasting notes

Going through my pu’erh box this afternoon, I found this sample disc from mercuryhime which is ancient, oh well, at least it’s had more time to age… :)

I’ve been trying to make an effort to drink more of my pu’erhs. Shu is especially nice s an after lunch drink, where it seems good for your digestion and it’s early enough that I don’t have to worry about the caffeine keeping me awake. This disc is good because it doesn’t have any post fermentation flavor that you sometimes pick up with shu. I am getting mostly cocoa in my cup & I will enjoy a few more steeps of this today. Farewell Butiki…

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

Hmm, are you sure it’s the disc? If you’ve had it for a long time it can’t be because she just released these on the website recently!


Yes, I know a disc when I see it. :-P I think these were different because they are ancient phoenix pu’erh and the ones on the website are 2012 Ancient Puerh Discs. Perhaps it’s a different batch.


Ohhh! Did not mean to impune, heh. There must have been discs I wasn’t aware of at some point :-O

Butiki Teas

Stephanie-These were different discs that we sold, I think in 2011 maybe.


Stephanie, no worries!

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525 tasting notes

I want to thank Butiki Teas for sending me this wonderful tea. I really didn’t expect such a generous amount. Thank you!

The dry tea is so cute. It’s whole dark leaves compressed into a thickish coin shape. I could tell from the smell and appearance that it’s a cooked puerh before even reading about it. The smell was woodsy and puerh-y. haha, I don’t know how to describe that particular odor. :)

The first brew is a bit light, which is to be expected, but I could tell it was going to get better. This tea is warm and smooth. I can detect leather and wood with a cocoa aftertaste. Hmm… I’m on the second steep now and it is so much better. More cocoa. I’m loving this aftertaste! I suppose one might even say this is a bit tobacco-y, which I’d only know because dad refuses to quit smoking. :(

As the cup cools, I’m tasting something bright like lemon. Refreshing!

I sometimes think puerh is the cabernet of tea. I hate cabernet. I really like this puerh. :) I’m rarely if ever in the mood for puerh, which is a shame since this one is so good. I can’t imagine wanting this tea too much as the weather gets warmer either. Then again, my desk at work is right under the air conditioning vent so maybe I’ll have good cause to drink this at work. :)

Listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra radio on Pandora. :)

Dylan Oxford

I’m curious what it considers ‘like’ TSO? Symphony X, maybe some Blind Guardian? I eventually gave up on Pandora and moved to Slacker due to Pandora’s definition of “similar” being so dissimilar to my own.


This is going on my wish list for Butiki when I can afford tea again!


Dylan, I didn’t pay too much attention but I got some Bond and Apocalyptica. There were some softer pieces that didn’t fit but I liked them anyway so it was not a big deal for me. I also have an old school RnB station that Bow only plays the same ten songs over and over because I do diligently liked and unliked everything it played. I’m pretty happy with Pandora but I’d be interested to try out your Slacker.

Bonnie, do try it! Very nice puerh for sure! And I love the handy shape!


oh man, the typos!


Oh this sounds very nice!

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506 tasting notes

I haven’t been much in the mood for puerh lately (been in a black tea phase) but decided to kick myself back into eclectic variety.

These really are very good Tuo Chas. I don’t care if the puerh nerds say that mini cakes are sub-par (could’ve fooled me). They try to tell me that sheng is better too, but nothing has yet compared to the rich full-bodied flavor of a cup of shu for me :)

On a side note: sorry guys if I don’t log as often as I used to. I still check in with steepster everyday, but I don’t have any new teas atm (just sipping through the oldies but goodies) and school work is consuming my time. I’m also stressed about applying for graduate school this year. If I don’t get into my preferred school, there will be complications. But besides that, applying at all has me a trifle stressed.


Good luck with the applications!


School definitely comes first :) Good luck with your applications!

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, good luck with school, & with the application too!

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273 tasting notes

Ah, Steepster, I have neglected you of late. Life does not run in smooth paths and the bumps have thrown me off kilter for a while. Still, I am back and I shall try to post once a week, because that is what I think I can manage. So, excuses aside, I wish to thank Bonnie for sending me this tea. I have been carefully hoarding it ever since. Yesterday seemed like the right day for me to appreciate it, so I chucked it into one of my Yixing pots and brewed away. I gave it a full minute for the first steep and ten seconds for the next two, before increasing the steeping time gradually over the day. I think I managed a good eight or so steep from this one before it became just hot brown water and they were all good. The dominant flavour seemed to be cinnamon and cedar with an undertone of cocoa. There was a slightly metallic tang to it that I have noticed with other shu puerhs, but it was not an unpleasant flavour, just slightly earthy. Two thumbs up.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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81 tasting notes

Thanks to Bonnie for this sample.
I loved the coin-shaped individual package.
Bonnie wrote to rinse 20 seconds in boiling H2O, discard water.
Steep 1 min in 4 oz boiling H2O.
Additional steepings should be 10-15 seconds each. This is good sweet or as a latte.

I made some boiling water, and enjoyed this throughout the day.
I did get a nice calmness. I did some more productive uncluttering of paperwork and spent time with my son.
I will have to investigate more Puerh’s in the future.
I took Bonnie’s advice and added some milk and a bit of agave.
Not much more I can say.
Sadly, this is the last sample I had from my goodie bag from Bonnie, so I just wanted to say “Thanks!”

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4833 tasting notes


OK, so I have a bunch of huge tins for tea storage. Not your typical 2 or 4 ounce tins. I’ve got a lot of those too, but what I’m talking about are tins that hold a kilo of tea. Big. These are left over from my previous tea blending days. When I closed the business and started tea reviewing, I turned those big tins into my tea storage for my smaller teas, I’d keep the teas in their original packaging and I’d separate the teas into tea types: Black Teas, White Teas, Green Teas … etc. You get the picture. Well, when I received this tea way back when from Butiki, I stashed it into my Pu-erh tin and forgot about it.

(Confession Time) Because that’s what I typically do with Pu-erh tea. My earliest experiences with pu-erh have left me very scarred and it takes a lot for me to find the courage to brew a pu-erh. Even though now I’ve learned how to best brew pu-erh for my palate’s liking, and I actually LIKE pu-erh tea now. Those memories of my earliest experiences have left me scarred and so when I think ‘pu-erh’ – I think EWW!

Yes, I actually like pu-erh.

(insert laughter)

Anyway, when I heard that Butiki was planning to leave the tea world, after pouting a while, I decided to search through my teas and see if I had any teas from them that I had not yet reviewed and came across this pu-erh.

I wasn’t planning on buying more tea from them because … I’m a tea reviewer. My purpose (or it was until I decided that after March 31st I wasn’t going to be a tea reviewer any more) is to help promote teas that actually exist. I want to help the world of tea … I want to help the tea companies out there promote their product (or if I don’t like the tea, I want to help them see the error of their ways and fix it.)

But I needed a tea to say goodbye with to Butiki because they have been one of my very favorite tea companies for several years. I could always count on them for yummy teas. I felt confident buying from Stacy because she seemed to embrace what I was about as a tea blender back when I started. She tasted the teas before she sent them out there into the world. She believed in the product she offered. If she didn’t like it, she wouldn’t sell it. I dug that. I really did. Because that was what I was about when I was selling tea. If I didn’t like a tea that I created, I wouldn’t sell it. I would start over with the tea until it was something I was proud of. I wouldn’t put my label (my name) on a tea if I wasn’t happy with what I created.

Wow, this is a long intro to a tea review, isn’t it? My review of this tea isn’t even this long.

Anyway … this tea review was to serve as my goodbye to Butiki Teas. That is, before she went off to create teas like “Lime Marshmallow” and “Boomstick” and “Chocolate Chili Truffle” and how the heck do I resist those flavors?

Answer: I don’t.

Anyway … so this tea. Let me talk about this tea a moment: Sweet! A sugary sweetness. The sweetness is stronger than the earthiness, especially in the earliest infusions. Hints of spice. Later infusions had deeper flavors, sweetness with notes of leather and cacao and wood. A very pleasant and complex tea.

I didn’t like the third infusion though. I don’t know why. It was like … nope. And then it got dumped. The fourth infusion was better than the third. Mushroom earthiness, molasses-y sweetness, smooth, mellow and really nice.

A really good pu-erh. All except infusion 3. Don’t do the three. Infusion three can be like a mid-rinse. Yeah. That’s the ticket.


You are a puerh drinker at heart! SHH, I won’t tell on you..


welcome to the dark-er side….

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