2012 Yunnan Sourcing "Autumn Mu Shu Cha" Raw Puerh

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Roughage
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200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 7 oz / 195 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

From the same families as our spring 2011 and 2012 production but entirely Autumn 2012 harvest material!

“Mu Shu Cha” (母树茶) refers to the mother tea trees of Mengku where the oldest and most primitive Yunnan Large Leaf varietal tea trees still flourish. Our Mu Shu comes from 100-300 year old tea trees growing near Bingdao village in the south of Mengku county of Lincang.

This tea cake is an intense cha qi filled experience for the drinker. It is powerful with some astringency and bitterness, that is moderated by it’s old tree origins. First flush and picked fairly early in the growth stage makes this tea a pungent and floral affair. Even with just a few months of aging as mao cha we have noticed a distinctive “兰香” orchid aroma and taste. A strong tea that will likely cause tea drunkenness in even the most seasoned lovers of young sheng!

Stone-pressed in the traditional manner.

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5 Tasting Notes

290 tasting notes

I’ve tried this tea a couple of times now using different steeping parameters and am totally not getting the experience that Yunnan Sourcing claims. It is quiet, delicate and not at all the intense tea promised. Perhaps I need to load the teapot with a lot more leaf or to steep it for a lot longer, but to me this tastes practically like a green tea. The dry leaf is loose and whole, pale green in colour and smells of freshly mown grass. The liquor when steeped has a lightly floral aroma. There is a little astringency but overall it is a smooth tea with a slightly floral aroma. The astringency does develop on the tongue in the aftertaste though, which is good. I should add that the tea itself despite disappointing my expectations is very pleasant. I could drink a lot of this at one sitting but I am really not sure about the ‘intense cha qi’.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Add more leaves and steep time…


That’s what I was thinking of doing. I have enough of the sample left to load the pot full and steep for longer. I’ll see how that goes.

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42 tasting notes

Dry leaf – SWEET, FRUIT, GRASS: natural honey, fragrant wood, bittersweet green, fresh grass, slight notes of apple pie spice, notes of dried fig. In pre-heated vessel – raisin, prune, cacao, slight herbal/dill note

Smell – EARTH, GRASS: hay, damp earth, stable, bittersweet green

Taste – GRASS, WOOD, EARTH, FRUIT: Arrival – musty hay and grass flavors, some pine notes, musty raisin. Development – bittersweet green, wood, lemongrass, savory sweetness of grits, underlying dark fruit in base, heavily roasted coffee grounds, oily. Finish – woody, some dried fruit, a little charcoal smoke, wet earth, mineral. Aftertaste – cherry wood, soaked raisin, floral. Website claims “orchid aroma” – I would agree – similar notes are present in orchid aroma dan cong.

Overall, no “big” flavors, although admittedly this is sort of an awkward age to be reviewing this tea. The main flavors were bittersweet green and musty raisin. It did need quite a bit of leaf and long steep times to really provide a full experience, as noted in other reviews.

The bitterness that was noted in other reviews has certainly died down. In fact, the main thing I noted was the smooth, oily experience this tea provides.

Not quite sure what else to say. Personally, I kind of like being smacked in the face with flavor and am happy to take the good with the bad – “smoothness” is not a quality that I prize too highly; I want personality! However, this tea is just very understated and does not provide a tapestry of flavors that weave in and out. It does have some personality – oily, raisiny, some lemongrassy bittersweet sensations, but it doesn’t assert itself with gusto.

So, if you’re looking for a smooth operator in the pu’erh realm, maybe this is your guy. I would recommend giving it a few years to come in to its own a bit more.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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206 tasting notes

I didn’t care for this one. It was quite astringent and lacked flavor. It did hold up, though, and the leaves looked like they were good quality.

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286 tasting notes

Read a couple of taste notes before trying this one. It seems to be a little “finicky” to brew as others seem to have experienced. I used a little more leaf than usual to brew with. It brews a light yellow with a mineral floral aroma. It has some astringency with a punchy flowery type of hit. It has a little thickness to as you drink it. I think in terms of some other ones this is not a bruiser tea but a little note that lets you know it’s a sheng.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 14 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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