2012 Yunnan Sourcing "Cha Tou Sheng Yun" Ripe Pu-erh Tea Brick

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Baked Bread, Camphor, Cedar, Drying, Dust, Forest Floor, Mineral, Nutty, Sour, Spicy, Wet Earth, Yeast, Bitter, Caramel, Coffee, Earth, Grass, Heavy, Milk, Nuts, Oats, Sugar, Thick
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Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 5 oz / 155 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thank you very much, derk!  I wanted a dark puerh a couple days ago, so here we go.  Just what I wanted!  I wasn’t sure if I should go with two teaspoons here, but what the heck, I love the deepest...” Read full tasting note
    84
  • “Oof, yesterday. I tried to keep my spirits up but I was beaten down. Searching my aresenal for comfort, I tried letting the F-bombs fly in a phone call with a friend, music, a nap (sleep never...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is the first Cha Tou I have ever had. When dry it smells very dusty, after the rinse I get a nutty aroma similar to Nutella with a hint of dried fruits. The liquor colour dark brown with an...” Read full tasting note
    79

From Yunnan Sourcing

“Cha Tou Sheng Yun” (茶头圣韵 aka Cha Tou Sage Verse) is our Cha Tou (Tea Nugget) ripe pu-erh brick and our third production (our 1st production was in 2009 and is sold out.)

Cha Tou is a kind of tea nugget that forms naturally from the pressures of compression and heat that occurs during the fermentation process. Typically during fermentation process to make ripe pu-erh there is a pile of tea about 1 meter high. It is kept wet to allow the fermentation process and the pile is turned every few days to allow for an even degree of fermentation, moving the tea from the bottom of the pile (where it is hotter and wetter) to the top of the pile where it is cooler and drier. The “cha tou” are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together. The best cha tou are ones that have not been over-fermented and are smaller in size.

We drank more than 10 different “cha tou” before deciding on this one, we think the best of them all! The tea was fermented in 2011 at the Jinggu Tea Factory in Simao. It is creamy and smooth, already having lost some of its post-fermentation funk it’s tea liquor is a clear and deep red-wine color. Aging this for just a few months to a few years will bring out more complexity and smoothness. Like all good cha tou ripe teas this tea can be infused more than 20 times!!!

This tea was compressed in a Kunming tea factory using a hydraulic press. A high degree of compression is needed to get these little tea nuggets to stick together. 250 kilos in total were produced.

Net Weight: 250 grams per brick
Fermentation time: August-September 2011
Harvest Area: Jinggu County of Simao Prefecture

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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3 Tasting Notes

84
3310 tasting notes

Thank you very much, derk!  I wanted a dark puerh a couple days ago, so here we go.  Just what I wanted!  I wasn’t sure if I should go with two teaspoons here, but what the heck, I love the deepest darkest puerh.  The puerh looks like nuggets but the description says “brick” so that is odd.  They are VERY slow to unravel like they look like big oolong pieces.  I think I have only had a “nugget” type of puerh once before but they looked much smaller than this.  The flavor is perfect and smooth.  And because they are slowly unraveling the steeps can keep going and going.  The steeps were ridiculously consistent – especially if these nuggets held almost the same shape the entire session. But breaking them apart with my fingers, they aren’t really nuggets at all, and should have really expanded into those smaller leaves.  To really look like that PUERH DIRT I love.  Very odd.  This never really happened with another puerh for me before.  So looking at the description, it does call them “nuggets”. " The “cha tou” are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together" during crazy compression using a hydraulic press and can be steeped 20 times!  So that explains it.  Not really any distinct unique flavors, just a very tasty ripe.  I do love the variety of flavors derk noticed! Derk mentioned vanilla cola which is probably why I wanted to try this. Sadly, no vanilla cola for me here. And it seems to have mellowed out a ton since Togo’s tasting note. (Togo, I would love read how this is aging for you!) Not distinct enough for me to be a favorite, but I’m glad I used two teaspoons.
Steep#1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug// 26 minutes after boiling // rinse //  2 minute steep
Steep#2 // 10 min after boiling //  2-3 min
Steep#3 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep#4 // 3 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep#5 // just boiled // 15 min
2021 sipdowns: 40 (This + Teavivre – High Mountain oolong)

derk

You’re welcome :) I’m so happy when a tea can be rehomed to somebody who enjoys it!

Togo

I drank it today and it hasn’t really changed all that much. It is maybe a bit less “dusty” and better integrated, although I remember that was only a problem in my first session with it, at which point I suspect it was quite dried up.

I agree that it doesn’t have many distinctive flavours, a very subtle tea indeed. The acidity (sorrel/oxalic acid as mentioned in our notes) may be a bit more in the background as far as the flavours are concerned, but the constrictive and numbing sensation that accompanies it is very much there.

tea-sipper

oh cool, thanks for seeing my note and being on top of retrying this. :D

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928 tasting notes

Oof, yesterday. I tried to keep my spirits up but I was beaten down. Searching my aresenal for comfort, I tried letting the F-bombs fly in a phone call with a friend, music, a nap (sleep never came), a disgusting amount of pizza, half a 22oz bottle of double IPA. Nothing worked. Bring in the shou — a freebie from Yunnan Sourcing.

First time with cha tou, or ripe puerh tea nuggets, or what’s left at the bottom of the fermentation pile, or trickle down tea.

Dry leaf smells nice — malty, damp sweet earth, vanilla cola. Some camphor comes out when warmed, baked bread, cola impression. Long rinse (because tea mountain dregs) yields baked bread, forest floor, camphor, almond.

I used only 8g in a 190mL pot expecting a beast of tea. The tea is warm and spicy, earthy and oxalic acid tart, Togo mentions sorrel. Rather light flavors of forest floor, baked bread, nutritional yeast, camphor. It’s drying early and catches strongly in the throat. Later it’s dusty, nutty and woody cedar. Light bodied no matter how much I push it.

Overall, it was an okay first foray into cha tou. I was expecting something a bit heavier with fuller flavors and bigger body. I’m not sure why. I wonder if more years of storage will smooth out the prominent sourness. In its current state, nothing about it makes me want to recommend it to others. However, it did bring some comfort. Hail Tea.

Now if I can embrace what made me so happy earlier this week, everything will work out.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Camphor, Cedar, Drying, Dust, Forest Floor, Mineral, Nutty, Sour, Spicy, Wet Earth, Yeast

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 6 OZ / 190 ML
ashmanra

i notice it says Not Recommended, but your review was fairly positive toward the tea.

As for the day, hope you have better ones soon. I have been a bit up and down as well. I am hoping a Bao Zhong session is going to make things sunnier.

derk

Thank you. I hope your session brings what you need today.

Not Recommended — because the body is thin and flavor quite sour. The throat catch is not the most pleasant. There are better shou out there.

ashmanra

Gotcha. I don’t know puerh as well as I wish. I thought it odd that this shu has sheng in its name. I haven’t run into a sour shu yet. I do have one that I absolutely can not drink after 2 or 3pm because I will be UP ALL NIGHT.

Martin Bednář

It’s sad it is thin, because if the flavours were more present, it looks as a nice tea!

I should drink some pu-erh again…but I feel so rushed!

tea-sipper

I hope you feel better, derk.

derk

ashmanra, to be fair, it’s not a bad tea. There’s no fishiness or fermentation funk. I did brew the last 2 grams western this morning. It was better that way! A bit thicker and nuttier, less sour. As far as ‘sheng yun,’ YS translated it as ‘Sage Verse.’ Seems like it has nothing to do with sheng pu. And yeah, I can totally get wired from some shou!

Martin, maybe it would help you slow down?

tea-sipper, thanks. I’m good just needed a full day’s rest in bed followed by some sunshine and chainsaw action today.

Martin Bednář

derk: I would like to, but unfortunately I can’t. There are too much duties to do, I have to take care of my family a bit as well (every mornings — I have to cook lunches and doing the shopping). And indeed there are many stuff I have to read at least. Hopefully it will settle down soon.

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79
615 tasting notes

This is the first Cha Tou I have ever had. When dry it smells very dusty, after the rinse I get a nutty aroma similar to Nutella with a hint of dried fruits. The liquor colour dark brown with an orange undertone, a bit like yixing clay.

The taste is surprisingly subtle and balanced. The notes that come to the fore at certain times are bitter, earthy and sour. There are flavours of coffee, oats, caramel, aluminum. In the finish and aftertaste, I also notice additional notes of sorrel and sugar. The mouthfeel is great. In the initial steeps it’s mostly milky, coating and very heavy. Later on the liquor becomes increasingly mouth-watering, active and foamy.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Coffee, Dust, Earth, Grass, Heavy, Milk, Nuts, Oats, Sour, Sugar, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 12 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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