I’ve been drinking both green and ripe pu-erhs for a few years but I can’t claim that I have the experience or refined tastes of the people at Verdant whose sample packs of Pu-erhs and Oolongs came in the mail yesterday. I steeped this teas using the Western method prescribed by Verdant (five 2.5 minute infusions) and while the tea is quite good for a youngish sheng, I wasn’t having the epic experience I was expecting from the tea—based on the comments of other tasters (some of whom are affiliated with Verdant). Maybe I’ve been drinking some pretty good shengs, or maybe it’s a case of having high expectations, but I didn’t have the aha moment I’ve had when drinking the best examples of other types of tea. This just didn’t outpace the other shengs I’ve had by such a degree that I would pay the steep price; while I would like to support the farmers who make this, I feel I can get a satisfying pu-erh experience for $30 a cake rather than $40 an ounce. I have enough tea for a couple more tastings, so I hope to be able to revisit this review soon.

David Duckler

I am sorry that this one did not live up to expectations! The Farmer’s Coop is probably the most polarizing sheng that I am importing. It really depends on what you are looking for in sheng pu’er. Having tried so many shengs (and so many terrible ones!) while over in China, I might be starting to get jaded towards the most eccentric profiles. It is easier to find a sheng of classic perfection- the sweet, deep, slightly camphory flavor, with developing mustiness and a lingering smooth aftertaste. I am always happiest with a pu’er when I am taken off guard by surprising flavors I didn’t expect. The farmer’s coop does that for me, and many others with its bizarre nutty and almost numbing taste, and green tea sweetness. not everyone agrees though, and even long time tea drinkers sometimes find this one lacking. One of my closest friends decided that they disliked this tea, until months later I pulled it out when the weather was just right, steeped it up in a gaiwan and didn’t tell them what it was. Suddenly, it was their favorite in the world!

You might try steeping it Chinese style if the larger pot brewing method isn’t working out. It generally yields more complexity in the gaiwan and yixing pot. Also, you can always try less leaves and longer steeps. I would assert that when this tea is tasted with other classic sheng pu’ers in mind, it might have the possibility to disappoint, but when you drink it without comparison, it strange and unexpected qualities come through, making it well worth the $13 an ounce. In the next few days, I may write a special section on brewing this one up and post it to the product page. In the meantime, I hope it gives you more the next time around.
Happy tasting!

Doug F

Thanks David, I fully acknowledge that I may be off on this one. The nuttiness wasn’t there for me and that could definitely be due to the steeping method or the amount of leaf I used. I’m grateful to you for providing me with the opportunity to try such unique teas and I will report back after I try steeping it Chinese style. Oh, and I’m sorry I got the price wrong. I must have been looking at the Artisan at the time.

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David Duckler

I am sorry that this one did not live up to expectations! The Farmer’s Coop is probably the most polarizing sheng that I am importing. It really depends on what you are looking for in sheng pu’er. Having tried so many shengs (and so many terrible ones!) while over in China, I might be starting to get jaded towards the most eccentric profiles. It is easier to find a sheng of classic perfection- the sweet, deep, slightly camphory flavor, with developing mustiness and a lingering smooth aftertaste. I am always happiest with a pu’er when I am taken off guard by surprising flavors I didn’t expect. The farmer’s coop does that for me, and many others with its bizarre nutty and almost numbing taste, and green tea sweetness. not everyone agrees though, and even long time tea drinkers sometimes find this one lacking. One of my closest friends decided that they disliked this tea, until months later I pulled it out when the weather was just right, steeped it up in a gaiwan and didn’t tell them what it was. Suddenly, it was their favorite in the world!

You might try steeping it Chinese style if the larger pot brewing method isn’t working out. It generally yields more complexity in the gaiwan and yixing pot. Also, you can always try less leaves and longer steeps. I would assert that when this tea is tasted with other classic sheng pu’ers in mind, it might have the possibility to disappoint, but when you drink it without comparison, it strange and unexpected qualities come through, making it well worth the $13 an ounce. In the next few days, I may write a special section on brewing this one up and post it to the product page. In the meantime, I hope it gives you more the next time around.
Happy tasting!

Doug F

Thanks David, I fully acknowledge that I may be off on this one. The nuttiness wasn’t there for me and that could definitely be due to the steeping method or the amount of leaf I used. I’m grateful to you for providing me with the opportunity to try such unique teas and I will report back after I try steeping it Chinese style. Oh, and I’m sorry I got the price wrong. I must have been looking at the Artisan at the time.

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I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

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