Ming Qian Chun Jian (Bulang Mountain '08 Sheng)

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Edit tea info Last updated by JC
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From The Phoenix Collection

2008 Sheng Puerh pressed into 400g cake.
“Ming Qian” refers to the first picking of tea before the Qing Ming Festival and “Chun Jian” means Spring Buds.

This cake was aged in a man made cake by David Lee Hoffman.

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3 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

Thank you JC for this generous Sample Sheng!

I took a look at the review by Amy Oh and JC before my own preparation this morning. Amy’s was a 20-30 second steep time and JC’s was short 2 seconds…increasing gradually like Ravel’s Bolero.

I ’m choosing to play a little between the lines.

After one rinse. I steeped an even amount of leaf to water in my Gaiwan (5 grams leaf to 5 oz water) for 12 seconds.
The flavor was savory like artichoke, just short of bitter and thick at the back of the throat.
As I moved back from the glass cup, I noticed a strong wild honey scent and put my nose back to the glass cup.
The scent wasn’t there.
When I went back again to the cup, the honey returned.
I held the cup and moved it around in front of me…the wafting aroma of wild honey magically perfuming the air. Tea magic. Look for this!

My second steep at 10 seconds was dry but had the same big flavor and umami finish.

I lowered the timing down further to 6 seconds and lowered the temperature to 170 degrees. Not so good of an experiment. The tea was too bitter, blech.

Back to boiling water I went, and a 20 second steep (which was where Amy Oh liked it).
Now the flavor was herb butter, savory and sweet. Delicious, rich Umami! Full and substantial with the lingering after the swallow that we wait for…and want for.
(Made me think of having a grilled steak with herb butter. Even the liquor looked like melted golden clarified butter!)

This Sheng is delicious!

Some young Shengs are harsh, too smoky, too one note.
This (don’t kill me JC) is like a good Gyokuro.


Thanks JC


Glad you like it. I like this Bulang because its an Early Spring picking it can be mellow and complex. But it IS a Bulang, so Strong Bitter/Floral and astringency can be achieved.


Did you smell the honey when you drew away from it? Did you get shocked at the gyokuro or did you know what I meant?


LOL! I know what you mean! That’s why I love early Spring Sheng! I wish I had more of that Kong Shan from Zhi Zheng. THAT one was PURE honey. I love smelling the tea and the tea ‘caramel’ that thickening left over in the serving pitcher after a pour.


We’re nerds!


Ha i think i fit in this crowd!


Yes indeed!

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2816 tasting notes

Thanks to JC for sending me this one! I’m sorry it has taken me so long to try it.

I broke off a small chunk of the tea and decided to steep it in my yixing teapot. This tea has a lovely aroma. At first I was thinking it smelled like an evergreen forest.

Steep #1: It’s been a while since my last sheng. I steeped this for around 30 seconds and was surprised and how mellow it is, you can never tell with younger shengs. The tea liquor is only slightly bitter in the finish and I am also picking up on the fruity notes which are quite pleasant. I have a slight tingling on the tip of my tongue. :)

2nd steep: 30 secs?? I am getting the vegetal notes, perhaps I steped this for a little too long because the 2nd steep is more bitter than the first, still it is good though. Woodsy and a bit of smoke. It seems very invigorating on this overcast day.

Not sure if I will be able to write more on this tea as I have so many things to do this morning… It is really good! Might consider getting a cake.

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I’m glad you like it!. You are not wrong, Bulang has fruitiness to it but the mountain is know because you can get perfumy floral notes, bitterness and smoke, if you choose to ;). If you want to get only fruity do many short steeps. Bitterness and floral longer steeps.

What I loved about it is that the stronger steeps have an amazing sweet aftertaste. Also, I still have some teas you sent me to try!

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183 tasting notes

Finally back to steepster! Work has been draining me endlessly, but it was worth it when I saw my received shipping notice! ‘Tea christmas’ as my friend named it. I ordered several Puerhs from David Hoffman so I’ll probably keep posting as I drink them :D

Gong fu Style – 5grams 5oz Gaiwan

Dry Leaf – Bittersweet floral and fruity with hints of earthiness.

Wet Leaf – Bittersweet floral with ripe melon/peach scent, reminds me of a ripened peach on the verge of being rotten but is still good.

1st Steep – 2secs – The steep is sweet and bitter with lively floral notes. There’s a strong fruity flavor that is reminisent of dried peach/plum, it has some bitterness but wears no astringency. The aftertaste is ripe honeydew melon sweet and lingers for a long time.

2nd Steep – 2secs – Bittersweet scent with peach/plum fruitiness. The steep is more fruity and floral sweet with some slight broath like smoky taste, as it fades it becomes sweet and clean. The aftertaste is very sweet.

3rd Steep – 2secs – This cup is incredibly sweet and clean with just hints of bitterness and still no astringency present. The dried peach/plum taste is very present and lingers in the palate, it is very fruity and floral at the same time the smokiness is very faint in noticeable. Once again the aftertaste is very sweet.

4th Steep – 3secs – Sweet and fruity with floral notes. As i keep sipping down the peach/plum taste becomes very apparent, the slight bitterness just enhances the sweetness and balances it. The aftertaste here is more reminisent of ripe honeydew and has hints of camphor freshness (I had noticed something in previous steeps but wasn’t sure).

5th Steep – 4secs – Sweet and floral with some bitterness and just a hint of astringency that is very pleasant. As I continue drinking the bitterness and the sweetness opens up for the dried peach notes that have been very present from the begining. The aftertaste continues to be very sweet and refreshing yet lingers in you mouth and throat for a long time.

I was able to get 16 steeps by increasing 1 second per steep up to the 8th steep and then adding 2 seconds per steep in the following steeps. I’m pretty sure I could get more, specially if you like cleaner steeps (still very sweet and enjoyable just not so fruity/floral or bitter). Bulang Mountain killing it again! This cake is a dream. Edit Spelling


This sounds amazing! Also welcome back! :)


I loved it! And I recommend it. It feel great to finally have so time to enjoy some tea.


Yum JC, great comeback review!


I was looking at some of TPC’s tea list and just sent him a msg via his contact page requesting for samples. Is that list updated regularly? Do you have any more recent notes on this cake?


I haven’t taken new notes. I did retry it a few months back. but I can give you a sample so you check if it is up your alley with the added age.


I think this would be good to try since I have limited experience with bulang tea. Hopefully I can make a purchasing decision before tea prices spike.

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