Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2006

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Pu-erh Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 oz / 152 ml

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From Teavivre

This Raw Pu-erh Cake Teavivre choose is from the representative Pu-erh production area Fengqing. Fengqing is the original place of the world-wide famous Dian Hong Tea. And it is also a classic place of Yunnan Pu-erh. It is a place in Lingcang which is one of the four famous Pu-erh production areas. The taste of Fengqing Pu-erh is mellow and sweet, deeper than Pu-erh in other production area. And it usually has the flowery flavor of Dian Hong Tea.

This Raw Puerh Cake is special for the two seasons resource from the same Arbor Tea Trees. Some are picked on March which we called “Ming Qian” or “Chun Jian” leaves. This is the best tea leaves in Spring Tea because it contains more nutrition and tastes mellow. Some are picked on September which we called “Gu Hua” or “Paddy Flower”. This is the best leaves for Autumn Tea because the aroma is stronger lasting longer. The Autumn Tea (Paddy Flower Tea) also has special flower fragrance. This Raw Puerh Cake is made by the two kinds of tea resource which were carefully blended by certain proportion.

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12 Tasting Notes

447 tasting notes

This was so gross. Even after multiple rinses, it smelled like liquorice and dirty socks to me. I tried a few steeps, even drank some, and while it tasted less foul than it smelled, it wasn’t worth continuing.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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3091 tasting notes

Thanks to Angel & Teavivre for a sample of this tea!
(I wrote this review earlier, but for some reason it didn’t go through. I’ll try to recreate it)
This is the taste of fall: dried straw, lights smoke, dried fruits, raw shrooms. There’s also a bitter greens edge to it, which I rather enjoy.
I steeped 5G in my 125ml yixing, combining 2 steeps to a mug. The first round made me want to take a nap, with a powerful head energy, watery eyes, & lots of yawning. The 2nd round was fairly astringent. Round 3 was lightly sweet & woody, reminding me somehow of sassafras root, with a head clearing peaceful mellow vibe, & I’m on round 4, with is sort of a sassafras/licorice combo, with a nice sweet aftertaste.

Today I celebrated 31 years of freedom from active addiction…unless you count tea, tea wares, gardening, & food, LOL.


Way to go! I still struggle with one at times myself…


So proud of you, Terri!


Congratulations, that’s quite an achievement.



Terri HarpLady

thanks you guys!

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593 tasting notes

Sunday Tea and Books time!

The Tea

Many thanks to Angel of Teavivre for sending me a sample of this. I haven’t tried many pu’erhs, so it’s lovely to get some more exposure to them.

Upon opening the packet, the leaf smelled of tobacco, leather, cedar wood, raisins, and earth. There were some broken up leaves in the packet, but instead I took a large unbroken chunk that was probably about 1/2 the packet’s worth and put that in a 100mL gaiwan. I did a rinse for 15-20 seconds, then let it rest for about 2 minutes in the hot gaiwan before steeping.

I brewed up a big pot of hot water – about 1.25 L – and put a tea cozy on it to stay warm. Over the next 1.5 hours, I steeped the leaf a whopping 13 times to see how far it would go.

The first 3 or 4 steeps were all a dark amber colour, and tasted smoky and bitter. Not the bitterness of beer, but a bit thinner and sharper, like it was coating my tongue. The tobacco impression lingered all throughout. I also got hints of cedar wood and birch bark. However, as the steeps progressed, the tea became more fruity. These steeps ranged from 10-20 seconds.

After the first few steeps, my mouth felt coated, but it wasn’t tongue-curling astringency so much as a fuzzy feeling all throughout.

I have to say that I think steeps 5-8 were the best, as the smokiness remained but the bitterness faded away. Instead, that stonefruit note came increasingly to the fore. These steeps ranged from 20-25 seconds.

However, steeps 9 and onwards were quite weak, with a significant drop-off in flavour from 11-13. At this stage, I had progressed from 30 second steeps to 3 minute steeps, without much appreciable increase in flavour.

The Book

This was a hard one to try and compare. The smokiness and bitterness and tobacco scent/flavour all had me stumped. I’m still not sure I can think of a character that fits this tea, but my husband and I were rolling the words around, and we both felt pretty comfortable that if we could think of a fictional character, it would have been someone from a Western/cowboy novel. Maybe one of these days I should pick up Lonesome Dove or something.

Did you know that Elmore Leonard started out writing westerns before he moved on to crime fiction? I’ve only read one of his novels – Out of Sight – but I’d love to read more.

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171 tasting notes

Backlogging and based partly on my memory

This is, I believe, a sample I purchased from Teavivre at the end of last year (2013).

I used my standard raw pu-erh brewing parameters while steeping it: 150ml gaiwan; start water temperature at near boiling and work my way up to boiling; 15’ rinse, 30’, 45’, 60’, etc. Stevia added.

The tea liquor had a nice clear, yellowish color, with the standard raw pu-erh aroma.

The flavor was what I have come to expect from a quality raw pu-erh, although it is not a flavor I particularly like or can get excited about—too fishy, sour, or like bitter greens (I got that phrase from yyz’s review).

Although the wet leaf was largely whole, I noticed that there were a lot of long stems amongst the wet leaf, mostly stems attached to leaves (perhaps that is standard, I haven’t analyzed the wet leaf of enough quality raw pu-erh teas yet).

Overall, having had a number of pu-erh samples from a a few companies over the last 6 months or so, I find Teavivre’s pu-erh to be quality—the leaf is more or less whole, the flavor of the tea is clean, and the tea liquor has a good aroma. This tea is no exception. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to pu-erh (having been drinking it for about for about 8 – 9 months), especially raw pu-erh, so I don’t have much here to say about this particular tea. I was able to get four good steepings out of it, and it could perhaps have yielded a fifth. Although I did not find anything ‘stand-out’ about this tea, I think it is a tea I could drink on occasion as a kind of tonic for my digestive system.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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5583 tasting notes

In an effort to trying and actually get through some of my puerh samples, i figured i should try to have 1-2 today, since my day is pretty much shot thanks to work stuff. I like this one, for much of the same reason i really love wild Monk from mandala…that smokey taste in the background of a smooth tasting brew. I’m not going to wax poetic about this one, but it’s one that i could see picking up a cake of, in the future when we have a proper place for me to have mountains of puerh!

Thanks for sharing this one with me Cavocorax

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273 tasting notes

Method: 6g, 6oz, 195 degrees, rinse-10-15, sheng yixing

Aroma: I wish I could smell the chocolate others described. This smelled like very lightly smoked apricots.

Flavor: I like to give my shengs a 10 second rinse, then let the leaves rest for a minute or 2 before brewing. The leaves seem more open this way, and I get stronger flavors sooner, usually. This tea was different. The first 2 steeps tasted good, but the flavor was weak. This tea has less sweetness and tastes more brothy, so I wanted to really taste those flavors

I did a 3rd and 4th steep at 15 and 20 seconds. These were better! There’s a light bitterness. Not much. It’s enough to give a little kick at the end of the sip! Thanks to Angel at TeaVivre for the sample!

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

Sheng machine, you.


I am, indeed!!!! Yay!!!!


Color me jealous. I thought about doing a sheng day today, but my stomach has been a little upset, so I figured it was best to leave sheng alone.


Aaaw sorry Cheri! I hope your stomach feels better. I’m not done shenging yet. My Mandala order just arrived! LOL


My Mandala order is here too Sarsy!!! Life is good! I got a Tea Hobbit order as well. Exhausted happy teaplet me.


If you do not have energy to sheng tonight, then we shall sheng tomorrow!!!!


I know I can for sure do a cup of SB, but shenging might be beyond me tonight – but dude – we have a SHITLOAD of new sheng.


I know, right???? So much sheng, so little time!!!!

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183 tasting notes

Thank you Teavivre, from this sample!

Not using a rating because I’m inexperienced with sheng pu’erh and don’t have the proper palate. Gongfu method with 4oz gaiwan. 10 second rise. Steepings time were 10, 15, 3, 30, 45, 60…

The dry leaf aroma consists of mushrooms, smoke, sweet spices, and peppercorns. After the rinse, the aroma was savory. I picked out sauteed mushrooms, BBQ’d London broil (medium rare), honey, and honey mustard BBQ sauce. I thought I felt my stomach rumble…

The liquor has a pale peach color and is clear and full-bodied. The first infusion was earthy and sour and had a hint of mushroom. At the second infusion, the aroma resembled cherries and the texture became creamy. Still could only taste earth and sourness. The texture went back to being clear for the third. Sourness waned a little, fruity note appeared. I could have probably gone for more infusions for the sake of the review, but I had to stop at the fifth. The flavor notes – earth, sour – pretty much remained the same. I tried my darndest detect flavors beyond what I was already tasting. Props to me for smelling those weird notes in the aromas (I have a crave now).

2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1695 tasting notes

Sample sipdown!

I decided to brew it gongfu style because I have a teensy Japanese soy sauce dispenser that holds 3 oz.

As per their website for the paddy flavoured tea (because this one is no longer)…
Dry, the tea smells really sweet and carby.
2 rinses – A bit smoky, as well as sweet and carby (like cooked potatoes or pasta or something).
20s – Umm. Huh. I don’t like this at all. It smells sweet and carby with a tinge of smoke, but it tastes extremely astringent and bitter, a bit fishy, and just. No. Like a green darjeeling that’s been boiled and oversteeped.
30s – Even stronger and more astringent and bitter.
40s 5s – Nope.

Ok, I’m calling it quits. This is not a tea for me, the flavours are not good. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong (entirely possible!), but I do not like. It was my first raw puerh, too. I have a couple others that I’ll eventually get to. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 7 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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309 tasting notes

I had this tea two days ago and never left a review. I definitely picked up the chocolate notes in the dry and brewed. It did have that slightly smokey pu-erh taste. Somehow nothing stood out with the taste but I’m still new to pu-erh teas. I think this tea deserves another chance before I rate it as I was pretty distracted on the day I had it and never noticed if there was any change in my cha qi either.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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406 tasting notes

This tea provided a pleasant accompaniment to my afternoon.

The dry leaf smelled of a powdery chocolate smell with a hint of sugar and raisin as well as a hint of sweet aging straw. The tea never developed the sweetness apparent in the smell.

I brewed this tea 12 times after the rinse and used half a sample packet. ( 10, 20, 25, 30,35,40,45,50,60,80,120,180s). The broth was a brownish red tinged gold.

The first third of the steeps were dominated by a coffee like bitterness created by tones of leather, dried bitter greens, dry fall leaves, dark cocoa and charred dried aged wood. This was tempered by unsweetened cream, plum, warm lemon, and a hint of vanilla orchid.

In middle steeps the leather and bitter greens slowly dissipated and the wood developed a charred aged cedar tone. Honey became apparent underneath the fruit. Tones of sultana and licorice appeared briefly among the cocoa, charred wood, fruit and cream.

The later steeps were dominated by plum charred cedar, cocoa, honey and hints of vanilla orchid.
The tea produced a bright tingling at the front of the mouth and a warmth in the throat.

Thanks Angel I enjoyed this tea very much and appreciate the opportunity to really begin my education in puerh teas!

Once again thanks to the ever generous TeaVivre for their generous samples.


The flavors and aromas you get from this tea is astounding. Do you have a background as a tea sommilier, or did you get some other kind of training to be able to identify the flavors so distinctly?


Thanks. I actually don’t have any formal training. Informally I grew up in a very multicultural environment and have had exposure to a wide variety of environments. I started cooking by taste when quite young and my mom and I used to go on wine tours from when I was a young teenager. Some of the vintners used to lay out samples from their entire production and I guess my education in discerning tastes and tones began there. I’ve generally had a pretty good sense of taste though! I have travelled a lot as well and it is sometimes interesting how different culinary traditions combine the same ingredients and obtain very different results. Or in some cases use small amounts of a simple ingredient to create a bold transformation in flavour.


Thank you for posting here about your tasting history.

I don’t feel I have a very good sense of taste myself, but it may be in part due to my racing mind, and my hope is that in slowing down I will be better at discerning flavors. I’ve already slightly better at it; I hope my ability to taste continues to improve as I continue to slow my life down.

I also appreciate that last sentence you posted, as it reminds me how the right changes in the right place at the right time, no matter how small, can transform lives.

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