2003 Farmer's Cooperative (Mt. Banzhang) Wild Arbor Sheng

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Edit tea info Last updated by Spoonvonstup
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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68 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have to admit I'm somewhat new to the world of Pu-erhs. My first taste of Pu-ehr was the Kim Fung Brand. I knew when I bought it that it was going to be very different. I am now trying to...” Read full tasting note
    97
    chasmargate 293 tasting notes
  • “Today this tea is completely kicking my head in. After a good 18 steeps on the wang shu over the past day and a half, and today's on again off again rainy day pattern, I wanted to take things...” Read full tasting note
    91
    jimmarks 323 tasting notes
  • “Another Sipdown, from *Sil*. I drank the last of this from my cupboard awhile back, so it's nice to find a sample in my collection of teas from *Sil*. This is a savory sheng, with strong...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2859 tasting notes
  • “Woke up with a cup of Zhu Rong and now I'm a few cups into this and it's really helping wake me up nicely. This is a nice, creamy, sweet and slightly smoky sheng. There are hints of spice and...” Read full tasting note
    91
    Kwinter 169 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2003

Dry Leaf: Very dark, large curled leaf, unbroken with longer stems. Loose hand-pressed ball of tea.

Aroma: Smoke of a campfire deep in a wet forest of redwood and eucalyptus after fresh rain.

Tea Color: Small floating down gives this Chardonnay color a darker opacity that turns orange in sunlight.

Taste through early steepings: Immediately creamy with a tingling sweetness like the finest spring Gyokuro. Assertive notes of toasted walnut and hazelnut linger in the throat. As this continues steeping, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom spice with mucovado brown sugar play across the palate.

Taste in middle to late steepings: The intriguing muscovado sweetness carries through even as the intense tingling texture subsides. The spice of early steepings slowly moves towards baked apple. Very late in steeping, the texture of licorice root comes through across the tongue accompanied by notes of malt and barley.

Steeped Leaf: Enormous dark green leaves that are thick and strong with abundant buds and long stems.

http://verdanttea.com/gallery/farmers-cooperative-sheng/

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68 Tasting Notes

86
82 tasting notes

Very Good tea with a very smoky character in beginning steepings, and mellows somewhat on later steeps. Smoky flavor reminds me alot of a black tea or a smoky green tea..very light, but noticeable! I pick up more of a sweetness than an earthy flavor profile and a dry/puckering (astringent?) mouthfeel… which is not quite as characteristic for most pu-erhs! A very smooth pu-erh that would be very nice for someone being introduced into the world of pu-erh’s! As always …an excellent tea from “verdant” teas,..they have never disappointed me yet ;)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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97
2 tasting notes

I’m very tempted to give this a perfect score, but seeing that this is my first tasting note, that’s probably bad protocol.

David generously sent me a sample of this and the 2008 Xingyang Shu nuggets as an introduction to Pu’er. The 2008 Shu was a fantastic horizon-expanding first, but this… I’ve been drinking this pretty continuously for two straight days.

With the 2008 Shu, I could see why a lot of people are turned off by Pu’er. My friend tried the Shu with me, and it was his first Pu’er as well. He simply described the smell as “fish” and the taste as “tree”. Overall: “best cup of tea I’ve ever had”.

With this Sheng, however, I can’t imagine why anybody would dislike it. The aroma it puts off reminds me of the aroma inside of a sauna. It’s just this excellent, warm, cedar-ish scent. I don’t really know how to describe the taste. I suppose the taste is pretty similar to the scent… Just imagine wood, but not in the musty, moldy, or damp sense. More like if someone were to refer to a nice Scotch as “woody”.

My favorite part of this, though, is the aftertaste. It realllly lingers in your throat, and you can taste it as you exhale. It’s surprisingly powerful, considering that the upfront taste is pretty subtle.

I know my review isn’t very useful. I’d say just try it for yourself!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I think your review is quite good and my right brain understands the sauna and the exhale. Keep writing your way!

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90
11 tasting notes

This pu-erh has been sitting in my tea cupboard for a few weeks now as I am the resident tea brewer for my office cube, but it turns out most of my co-workers favor green and oolong tea; drinking tea is not quite the same without drinking buddies, but it’s Monday morning and I have been thinking all weekend about having an assertive savory tea to start the day. So there.

I am brewing this gongfu-style, with a new yixing pot for pu-erh (only used once before). Cleansed the tea leaves twice and brewed it subsequently for: 30s, 45s, 1m, 2m, 3m, 4m

Early steepings: Mellow earthly sweet taste with smokey woody scent. The color is a robust brown color. The flavor is complex as you might expect from a “sheng” or raw pu-erh: gentle taste at the first sip, transitioning to mild bitterness and then transforming to a smooth sweet taste that lingers.

Later steepings: The taste starts becoming smooth and brisk, with the same satisfying sweet aftertaste. The tingling mouthfeel is very very good.

For lovers of sheng pu-erh tea, this comes highly recommended.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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80
4 tasting notes

This Pu-Erh was fascinating. I liked it. I want to give it another, more thorough tasting. I’m not sure how many grams I loaded into my steeper, but the first steeping had a very smoky flavor. It was full bodied, and delivered exactly what I anticipated. The second steeping was close to the first, only a little fainter. The third steeping disappointed me, a little, as it seemed to “fall off.” Still, I rated it highly, because of the first two steepings. They held the sort of earthy, smoky flavor I expected. I think that if I procure a gaiwan, load up a little more tea, and brew it in the “gong fu” style, then it may deliver the sort of Pu-Erh experience for which I’m looking. I’ll try that, then update my notes.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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86
22 tasting notes

This tea has a very dark brow color and is very twiggy looking. The leaves are all crumbly and folded. It has a musty, earthy, alfalfa scent. The scent reminds me of a old hay loft.

1 Tbsp / 8 oz water / 2 minutes / 208 degrees fahrenheit

Rinsed twice and the leaves started smelling more woodsy and kind of like burning wood.

The liquor from the first steep was a light golden brow color and was very clear. It still had a musty scent and smelled slightly like cedar wood.

This is a very smooth tasting tea. It still has that pu-erh taste to it but its so smooth. It has a smokiness to it. It tastes like drinking a campfire. The aftertaste is a bit peppery tasting.. Never experienced that while drinking tea.

I think next time I brew this I’m going to use a bit more. I think this tea would be better if it was a little stronger, purely my opinion though.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85
1018 tasting notes

Oolong Owl confession: I have a whole bunch of Verdant Teas, unopened. Many of them pu’er and oolong. I have the tendency to save stuff for the “perfect” day to sample, sometimes forgetting about it.

So I found this tea in the bottom of my box of sheng pu’er. I probably was going to review it on Oolong Owl, but looking at Verdant, this tea isn’t available anymore, and I don’t like to review teas people can’t get their hands on. Anyways, I had a late night last night, trying to watch my calories so I’m feeling drained, so I thought it is the right time to sample an 11 year old tea.

11 year old tea! YES! Mt. Banzhang tastes rustic – kind of musty, light spice and hazelnutty. Big cedar notes too that are pretty tasty. Really neat sweetness at the end of sip that is kind of fruity, with each infusion getting sweeter and cleaner. As per instructions, I only used 3 grams, and with 4 second steepings, this tea certainly has lots of flavor!

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84
7 tasting notes

I’m on my fourth steep of this sheng and am really enjoying it so far. The amber color, along with smoky earthiness, is a nice change from all the sencha I have been into lately.

I was hesitant about whether or not I would like this tea. When I was in China a few years ago, I bought some oolong and jasmine green tea, along with a yixing, gaiwan, and other tea accessories. What won me over was the oolong – light, floral, and slightly sweet. Because I had a sizable purchase, they threw in a tiny brick of pu’er that didn’t interest me at all. I associated it with black tea (or the way I would end up drinking black tea) – oversteeped and bitter to the point where it would make me nauseous.

Every once in a while, like when I was sick with a cold and needed to take a break from coffee, I would tear off a big chunk of pu’er and put it in a tea ball to steep for a couple minutes. The end result – gut wrenching. I figured I was given this dried up tea because no one wanted it.

Fast forward six weeks ago when I had the killer flu. During this time, I miraculously lost all interest in drinking coffee and started drinking tea. I wanted to learn more about the varieties out there and became addicted to researching what and where to buy. I came across Verdant tea through Steepster and decided on giving the Wild Arbor Sheng a try (now that I broke all my bad steeping habits).

I’m happy to say that this tea offers a dynamic profile unlike the other teas I usually drink. It’s a full dose of earth, if that makes sense without sounding gross. It really does change my perspective on pu’er teas.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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97
2 tasting notes

Today I jumped into the world of Pu’erh. And what a magnificent world it is. I was not expected the whoof of strong, earthy smells to come out of the bag when I unzipped it. It’s a great aroma, and I’m so glad it stuck around after the steeping. I only steeped it very shortly as I was scared to make it too strong. Even with about 10 seconds of steeping the tea turned out with a good, wooden taste that lasted throughout. It went down smoothly and was a pleasure to drink. For my second steeping I’ll be trying longer times to make the tea even stronger.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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