I chose this tea as my free sample in my last order. It has a clean taste with notes of spice and wood. Interesting, but not really a flavor profile I’d crave.
“For those who don’t know me, I have a very deep cynical streak (the title of my first CD was ‘Cynical Serenity’). I also have trust issues, especially when it comes to...” Read full tasting note
“This is so good, I really wish I got more when it was available. My stash is getting painfully smaller every time I drink it. If it comes in again, I’m getting more for sure. Aromatic,...” Read full tasting note
“This is my first experience with puerh of any sort. After rinsing, the aroma is reminiscent of seaweed, which unfortunately is not pleasant to me in a culinary sense, and the brewed...” Read full tasting note
“Here we go. As always I start with shortest steeps possible like 5 sec and slowly increase the time. This shu is amazing. Clear amber color, leather smell but not strong. Very easy to drink. I...” Read full tasting note
Master Han, who wild-picks his tea in the depths of Mt Ailao National Forest Preserve as part of the Dongsa Farmer’s cooperative, is making some of the best pu’er in the world. His strict dedication to crafting each batch uniquely to the leaves picked leads him to innovate and bring out the best of his land. This is the first batch of shu pu’er he has produced, using aged leaves picked in 2002, then pressed in 2012. This technique leads to an extremely clean, rich and sweet shu pu’er that he is proud to share.
As the tea steeps, the steam wafts sweet raisin aromatics with mossy forest undertones.
The liquor is perfectly light and clear, with the green plantain and olive oil flavor distinctive to Master Han’s Black Tea and his Qianjiazhai shu pu’er. The tart notes in the tea are reminiscent of a blend of hibiscus, elderberry and rose. Herbaceous hints of coriander and fennel sneak into the aftertaste.
The musty and aged quality of this tea is so refined that it moves away from earthy and more towards the satisfying smell of old libraries. The more you sip, the more a camphor-like aftertaste and cooling sensation build up in the back of the throat. The aftertaste continues to build and get sweeter and juicier the more steepings you enjoy. It is exciting to see Master Han innovating and trying new things even when he has an established tradition of sheng pu’er. May future years bring more of this precious pu’er.
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Included in my 5 for $5 sampler, as I attempt to broaden my horizons past flavored tea and tisanes.
My first thought: oh, a vintage. I followed the brew instructions but was unsure about the very, VERY earthy scent. Sure enough, the flavor was equally earthy, not neccessarily in the best way. Perhaps my palate is not refined enough. Either way, I get the appeal but won’t be reordering.
My amazing Teaplet Sarsita provided me with a sample of this. I knew it was her favorite shou and now I see why. It’s DELICIOUS! There is absolutely no fermentation taste left, just a smooth sweetness with a nice wintergreen breeze blowing through it. It’s nice and relaxed and I’m enjoying it very much. Thank you Sarsy xo!
As I prepare for all 7 of the deadly sins to attack my holy temple of taste buds, I remind myself that I have committed to re-steeping this tea six times to experience the difference between steeps with pu-erh tea.
I am not a fan of pu-erh at all, but this tea has milder version of stomped on hay from some random barn. I’m really hoping that the next few batches will lose that taste and smell and give me something I can describe as tea. As of now I understand the shameful feeling that comes with cheating… sorry my dear oolong, I’m just ‘experimenting’ right now.
Here’s to hopes that steep two may turn out better!
That was the first steep at 4minutes and no wash because I had no clue what I was doing…
The steeps after that were 20 seconds each. This brews very smooth and I can actually identify an earthy taste mixed with honey and I really enjoy it. I look forward to my new adventures with pu-erh. This tea is quality from the way the leaf is pressed and unravels over steeps to the beautiful honey taste that accents the earthyness quite well. This will forever be the tea that I ruined at first but made me realize I have have been brewing pu-erh wrong for quite some time.
Sorry for my massive absence T_T I got back to work full time a couple of weeks ago and the site isn’t the easiest to use, for posting notes, on my phone…
Aaaaaaaaaaand: I came down with a really heavy cold on Thursday so I haven’t really been able to appreciate much tea over the past couple of days. However, it did make me really crave shu puerh, so I thought I’d give this one a try…
I dunno what it is about Verdant’s teas, but they’re always exceptional. Maybe I just have a similar palette to the Ducklers. Or maybe the teas really are just that good. Who knows.
Either way, like I said above: I have a pretty heavy cold, so I didn’t really want anything that was overly nuanced or delicate. I also didn’t want to use anything that I only have a little of, in case I really didn’t enjoy it and ended up wasting precious tea. Given I have a new 500g brick of this, sitting in my puerh box, I thought I’d give it a go. Plus, my cold is starting to lift somewhat, so my sense of smell is slowly returning.
I didn’t get any pile smell at all from this puerh, which was a very pleasant surprise! It still smelled earthy, granted. But far from unpleasant. I pried off 4g and loaded it into my pre-warmed Yixing Gaiwan (thanks again, Stacy!) and then gave the tea two quick rinses with boiling water. Then came the first infusion…
To my surprise, the infusion smelled like raw honey. I was really impressed. I can also definitely see what they mean by a “raisin” like scent – it’s definitely there. On the palette, it was exceptionally smooth and had a really thick mouthfeel. It was also really sweet, and that honey note actually carried right through. I did also get the elderberry note, along with the herbaceous after-taste, that they mention on the site. I can understand the olive oil suggestion, too – with the thickness of the mouthfeel and that honey-like sweetness, it’s a clearly recognisable note.
I probably won’t get as much out of this tea as I will on a day when I’m not all sniffly, but I really enjoyed it. It was delicious and just seemed to get sweeter and sweeter the more I drank it. Fantastic tea.
Flavors: Honey, Olive Oil
I picked this up about 18 months ago because I am a fan of Master Han’s productions; however, I never tried it. Having seen a recent tea note on this ripe tea, I was reminded of it so this morning I went looking through my shu tea cabinet and I’ve steeped it about 6 times today. It does not disappoint. This really is a high quality harvest and production – there definitely is something special about small producer, hand processed tea whether it is shu or sheng! Very easy to drink. Sweet and creamy with fruit and nut overtones on top of the woody traits found in most shu. All in all, a very smooth and enjoyable ripe tea. One worthy of being in a good puerh collection.
It’s cold and rainy here, and the list of my usual teas has been becoming boring lately for some reason…maybe the change in season? So I decided to try a new to me tea tonight! And I also wanted shu for the weather..but not the usual suspects lol. Something rich, something warm, rich, comforting! Also had another ridiculously busy day at work with more overtime hours (think I have maxed out my allowed banked hours for the year now) and my head has been hurting on and off today from the cold, rainy weather outside. So this one has to be tried!
A disclaimer – I had some garlicky pasta for dinner lol, so hopefully it doesn’t impair my tasting! Also am replacing the Brita filter and just cleaned the kettle, so this is made with tap water and hopefully not too vinegary water lol. I rinsed the kettle and reboiled it and threw that bunch of water out, so we should be good!
The dry smell is a bit musty, a bit earthy..not overly strong smelling, but definitely a shu pu-erh, in a good way! I did a 25s rinse (steeping Western style), and the leaves smelled a bit fishy still, so did a second 15s rinse and the wet leaves open up to this strong, woody scent! Heady! Mmm a wet forest, perfect for what I want tonight :D so the actual steep was for 30s, the liquor is fairly dark, and there is a smooth woody scent to the cup.
As for the flavor, yes, that darn garlic from my dinner is interfering a fair amount lol, but I can discern a light earthy flavor, not too strong, certainly not overpowering or fishy to me! There is a hint of that olive oil flavor I know from that awesome black tea that Master Han made, what was it…oh, Master Han’s Yunnan Black! Yes, that is definitely in there..but the earthy woodiness tones it down and mutes it. It is a bit musty, but in a good, damp wood way. And I detect a hint of sweetness somewhere in there, kind of in the middle of the sip to the end of it, maybe the fennel making an appearance. I also get a slight linen aftertaste for some reason, I like it, but maybe it’s the mustiness lingering.
Overall, this is tasty and warming. This is such a pure tea, it feels fresh and cozy simultaneously. It is exactly what I needed tonight – grounding, relaxing, comforting, just what I needed. Now I’m even more excited for my incoming Verdant order, which consists mostly of the new pu’erhs they just released! Now that I have experimented with more pu’erh, I am excited to get back to the ones from Verdant, previously the shu’s were a bit much for me with their bold flavors, but now I can appreciate them :)
Anyways, a tasty tea! Not sure how to rate it since the garlic is interfering, so rating subject to change :)
ETA – I resteeped this tea!! Landmark moment lol, I hardly ever resteep anything anymore. I am quite enjoying the calming sensation from this tea, and how it warms me fully, even my emotions. I would consider ordering this again just for the good vibes I get from it! :)
Flavors: Wet Wood