26 Tasting Notes


For me personally Tea Classico is one of the newer “go to” puerh vendors, especially if you are looking for aged raw puerh at decent prices. I ended up buying 2 cakes from them last year, this being one of them and the other one was the Tong Qing Hao “Chi Cang” 1997. Both are great teas in my opinion, however I prefer the CNNP 2000 a little bit more. I decided to have a tea session so here are my thoughts.

I used 14 grams of tea in my 250ml teapot. A quick 5 second rinse and I check out the wet leaves. The leaves display a rather enticing oily sheen. The aroma is woody with that “mineral” background, reminiscent of wetter stored puerh. According to the description page this has been dry stored in Hong Kong for 13 years. Even though this has been dry stored you still get the aroma of wet storage, although nowhere near as prominent as White2Tea’s Hong Kong styled puerh, nor Tea Classico’s Tong Quing Hao.

First proper steep at 10 seconds. Liquid comes out a dark red/orange. Sipping the brew slowly I am greeted with the Hong Kong “mineral” taste, sweet wood and mild camphor notes. The liquid is not that thick but it feels “slippery” and oily in the mouth. Very, very smooth.

Second steep at 15 seconds and now the liquid looks pretty potent with it’s dark red appearance. Sipping it I am still getting that mineral taste and sweet wood, but there is a strength and robustness that I find difficult to describe. It reminds me of drinking a fine Cognac or Scotch. No bitterness or astringency. I begin to sweat a little on my forehead. Good energy. Excellent finish – the sweet wood and camphor notes dancing all around my mouth.

I check out the leaves and have noticed how the leaves have spread out and filled my teapot. My feeling is that the leaves are of excellent quality, most of them being unbroken. They still display that lovely oily sheen.

Third steep and the mineral background is starting to fade away and the sweet wood and camphor notes are the main focus of my attention. It is not losing any richness/robustness. Starting to develop numbness on the tongue which I always enjoy, followed by the cooling affect when I take a deep breath in.

I continue to steep this way past a litre and it delivers powerful brew after powerful brew. Really good durability. For a puerh only aged 14 years it really is a remarkable little beast. My feeling that the storage has been impeccable. This is a great puerh in the sense that it has the perfect balance of dry and wet storage flavours. This may be a problem for some folk who don’t enjoy that “mineral” taste, however you would be missing out as the mineral flavours don’t last that long.

For me the puerhs greatest asset is it’s strength and the quality of the leaves. I could drink cup after cup. From a price point is was not inexpensive at $219 per 357 gram cake, however take into account current market prices and it really was a good deal. I say it was a good deal as sadly it is out of stock, and has been for some time. I am so glad that I got a full cake of this when I did as it has turned into one of my favourite puerhs. If anyone would like to try a sample then send me a message. I could only give out a couple of samples unfortunately as I really would like to keep this for myself.

Many thanks to Tea Classico for giving us a chance to taste an excellent aged example.

Flavors: Camphor, Mineral, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 14 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

I haven’t tried them yet, I need to set some money/time to order from them.

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drank Tuo Cha 1990 by pu-erh.sk
26 tasting notes

After initially sampling this last year I was so impressed that I had to get a whole 250 gram Tuo. My review score may seem very high, however I only reserve this score for what I consider to be the better puerhs I have tasted. A day off from work today and I decided to chip away a big 14 gram chunk and steep it in my 250ml teapot. Here are my notes.

I use boiling water throughout…this tuo breaks up quicker than the Wild Quarter brick I recently reviewed. I sniff the wet leaves…deeply rich aged aroma, sweetness but there is a robust strength there too. I already have a good feeling about this tea session.

After the quick rinse I do my first proper steep at about 15 seconds. Already the liquid has become a lovely dark red/orange. I let it cool down for a minute or two and slowly sip the brew. Clean, smooth, clear and precise. Liquid is already thickening up very nicely, a trait that I always enjoy in my puerh. Rich, robust aged taste. Numbing sensation already beginning to develop on my tongue…I take a deep breath in maximising the cooling affect.

Second steep I decide to push the puerh at 30 seconds. Colour of the liquid is now basically dark red. The same rich, robust aged taste. Noticing some pleasant sweetness at the back of the throat, however there is a pleasant tartness there as well, probably due to the slightly longer steep. The tartness is not bitter or unpleasant, it complements the sweetness and creates a rather interesting taste sensation at the back of the throat. Liquid has now starting to become really thick creating a lovely coating in my whole mouth. Bursts of sweetness, tartness and deeply aged flavour=YUM.

I continue to steep this with varying times past a litre and am rewarded with the same great taste. I honestly have nothing negative to say about this puerh. It is exactly what I expect a good quality aged puerh to taste like. It is an old puerh, but still has the tamed strength of youth. You can do what you want with it…if you want a milder brew 10 seconds is good, if you want a more powerful, flavourful brew 30 seconds or more.

I personally think the leaves are not particularly high grade, however my feeling is that the storage was impeccable. There is not too much to say except I think this is an excellent example of drier stored puerh, that is ready to drink right now. I could attempt to age it a bit more but I don’t really see the point. It has the perfect balance of aged and youth.

Price wise it is not inexpensive at a cost of 165 euros per 250 grams, however it is a fair price for a puerh of this age. I consider this to be one of the best aged examples I have tried, only being beaten slightly by EOT 1991 Private Order. I would love to keep this and save it for special times but the reality is it does not stay on my shelf too long before I want more of it. Definitely worth at least one sample to try. I have a feeling that the price will shoot up at some point and I will kick myself for not getting another Tuo. Anyway I have said enough…for me this is puerh heaven.

Many thanks to Peter at pu-erh.sk for this excellent example of dried storage puerh.

Flavors: Camphor, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 14 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

Is this ripe or raw?


Hi Allan. This is raw.


Hi DarkStar,thanks for the excellent review, I too like it. I was wondering if you could possibly do a review of the other tea you mentioned as beating this – EOT 1991 Private Order…

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It has been quite a while since I have posted a review, however I have managed to find some spare time this evening to write up a few notes on this aged puerh.

Besides the 2002 White Whale I don’t really have that many bricks in my puerh collection. I have had a 25 gram sample of this for a while now, courtesy of pu-erh.sk, but have not had an opportunity to dedicate an entire evening to tasting this. Tonight I decided to brew up a big 12 gram chunk in my 250ml teapot and here are my notes.

This puerh is tightly compressed and takes a good few steeps for it to break open. To put things into perspective I have already drunk a litre of this and it could easily go on for another litre or 2. Highly durable.

Smelling the wet leaves I am finding it difficult to describe what this smells like…to me it has a good aged aroma, probably drier storage as I am not getting any of that “mineral” aroma you can get from wetter storage. This makes a good change for me, as lately I have been drinking a lot of wetter stored puerh.

No issues “punishing” the leaves with boiling water…in fact I found boiling water to be the best way to slowly break this 12 gram chunk apart. First few steeps start out a little thin, but by the third steep the liquid has become a beautiful, clean, dark red colour. Slowly sipping this it reminds me of drinking a good Yiwu…there is a lot of warmth and comfort. The liquid tastes clean and crisp, with a hint of sweetness and a gentle aged flavour. I am not detecting any hints of spicy camphor. I find the gentle aged taste very pleasant, however not overly complex or exciting.

You can be generous with your steeping times on this one. Sometimes I steeped it for 10 seconds, other times 30 seconds or a bit longer. Longer steeping times means a bit more powerful brew, however it never tasted bitter or obtrusive. I am feeling some Qi, not the aggressive type or “drunken” type but more a feeling of calmness in my mind and body. Very relaxing and again comforting.

It has a pleasant finish, the gentle aged taste sits there on your tongue and at the back of the throat. I think the puerhs greatest asset is its comfort and longevity…you can steep this over and over again.

Overall I think this is a very good example of an aged brick, that would appeal to novices and veterans alike. As I have said I don’t think it is overly complex, but is perfect to just sit and relax with for a good few hours. From a price point I think it is fair…a 300gram brick is 99 euros. When you take into consideration how many steeps you will get out of it you will realise this is a good deal. A 25 gram sample is only 11 euros so it is definitely worth trying out at least once to see if you will enjoy it. Definitely recommended.

Many thanks to Peter at pu-erh.sk for yet another really good aged example.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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This puerh was a bit of a strange one for me. I recently added this to the Steepster database with intentions of adding a tasting note, however my tea session just did not go well. I was brewing this in a gaiwan and simply was not feeling the love…I had a hard time controlling some astringency that is still present and for some reason my taste buds just seemed a bit “off”. I thought giving a rating based simply on this one session would be premature and a little unfair.. So I decided to revisit this one tonight. This time around I have used my new 150ml yixing to see if my session would be a different experience. Here are my notes…

A word of warning first. In spite of its 14 years of age this is still a very powerful, robust puerh that still has a lot of youth left in it. I would say further aging is mandatory. Careful monitoring of steep times is also mandatory…brew this too much and the soup comes out too powerful and astringent. I would strongly suggest 7-10 second steeps for at least the first half a dozen steeps, possibly more. If you manage to conquer the steep times you will tame this little beast and end up with a rewarding puerh experience.

I pick away a healthy 8 grams worth of leaves and place them into my 150ml yixing. I decide to do two quick 3 second rinses…soup is already starting to look amber in texture. I smell the wet leaves…hints of smoke, malty richness, robust, deep aromas. Smells pretty potent! First proper steep at 7 seconds. Resulting liquid is dark amber which appears fairly thick in texture. I slowly sip my first steep…strong, very rich and heavy, nice thickness, woody smokiness, fairly complex aged flavours, mild astringency.

Steeping this further up to six steeps and I notice that I am beginning to sweat profusely from my head and also around my moustache/beard lol. Body is beginning to feel fully energised. Smokiness is beginning to die down a bit, replaced by some really excellent camphor notes. Some cooling on the tongue, not that much vibrancy in the mouth but I am experiencing a very long, complex finish. Liquid still remains nice and thick. This session is going a million times better than my previous experience.

I push this further up to about 10 steeps. Still this puerh is delivering on taste, however now I am beginning to notice some sweeter notes further adding to its complexity. This puerh has excellent durability. 10 steeps no problem…I push this past 15 steeps and still it refuses to quit. After 3 hours I finally decide to end my session. I think this powerful puerh has got the better of me…the leaves remain in the yixing for tomorrow.

So, overall this was a pretty special experience. No puerh has made me sweat as much as this one. It is difficult to believe how much power this puerh has. If I had to compare it to another puerh I would say that its tasting profile is fairly similar to white2tea’s 2002 White Whale. I personally think it has a little less smokiness and has more complex aged textures. Don’t quit at 10 steeps…you would be missing out on it’s returning sweetness which was a very pleasant surprise. From a price point I think £105 per cake is a fair price to pay considering how many steeps you will get out of 8 grams. At the moment this is an excellent, complex puerh that in 5+ years may be incredible. I am so glad that I did not write this one off…it deserves patience and full attention, not only with its durability but also those damn steeping times :) If you want to experience a puerh that has a great balance of aged and youth this one is definitely one to consider. Many thanks to EOT for this complex, powerful beast.

Flavors: Camphor, Malt, Smoke, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Terri HarpLady

Interesting Review!
I haven’t tried any teas from EOT…yet :)

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I got a cake of this last year firstly because I am a big fan of puerh from this region and secondly because I was curious to taste a semi-aged example. When EOT was still based in the UK they manged to get a few examples of Malaysian stored puerh, and this was one of them.

Due to time constraints I don’t have much time to do a long review like I normally do, so I will keep this tasting note pretty brief. Dry leaves smell nice and sweet, material appears to be of a good quality. 9 grams go into my 150ml yixing. Boil the kettle and let the water settle for a minute. Quick rinse and I smell the wet leaves…aroma is rich and sweet…I think I can also detect mint there as well.

First proper steep at 7 seconds. I slowly sip the brew…clean, crisp and pure, light woody textures amongst a sweet background, hints of pleasant bitterness. Very, very nice. Second steep at 10 seconds. Liquid appears a bit darker with reasonable thickness. Getting the same taste sensations as the first steep except there is some astringency, more minty notes which creates a rather pleasant cooling affect on the tongue when you take a deep breath in.

Third steep at 12 seconds…now tasting some aged camphor notes, still getting some pleasant bitterness however for me the sweetness is far more prominent. The Bulang’s robust nature has been tamed somewhat…overall my impression is that this is pretty “gentle”. I am enjoying the long, camphor and light woody sweetness in the aftertaste that remains between steeps. I am feeling the aftertaste far more on the tongue than at the back of the throat. I would also say this has some decent QI…I am feeling positively relaxed, warm and a little sleepy. I have a few more steeps and my tea session comes to an end.

As much as I enjoyed my session with this my personal feeling is that this puerh is seasonal in that I could see myself drinking loads of this in Autumn/Winter rather than Spring/Summer. It has a warm, comforting nature that is perfect for those cold Winter nights. My only “negative” feeling is that I am not a massive fan of its astringent properties…I think this needs a few more years of aging before it becomes ultra smooth. I was pleasantly surprised with its gentle character, yet behind this there are a lot of complex taste sensations.

My conclusion is that this is an excellent example of a semi aged Bulang. From a price point this costs £88 per cake which I think is pretty fair considering its not easy to find a Bulang of Ancient Tree material. I think with another 5+ years of aging this could be an exceptional puerh. Many thanks to EOT for another great example of Malaysian stored puerh. This was one of my favourite cakes out of their Malaysian stored selection, only being beaten by the impeccable 1991 7542.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Sweet, Wood

0 min, 15 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Puerh is a subjective experience. As such my review is personally from subjective thoughts, feelings and tastes. I have been itching to try out this puerh. It would appear that this puerh is like the spread “marmite”. Some people love it, some people not so. The deciding factor in purchasing a sample was basically because I needed a new yixing. I have a really decent lao zhuni yixing that I use for younger puerh, but have been on the lookout for a decent quality zini yixing for aged puerh. My eyes lit up when white2tea announced they had some lao zini yixings for sale…I ended up getting one of these teapots which I have decided to dedicate to aged puerh. Whilst ordering the yixing I thought this would be a good time to order some of the 90’s Hong Kong stored puerh as well, to perhaps get the yixing off to a good start. I ended up having two tea sessions yesterday…one before work and one after work. Here are my notes…

This is my first every wetter storage puerh, so I was a little apprehensive to begin with. Many thoughts were racing through my head “Would I even enjoy wetter storage?” was the main question. My parcel arrives and I immediately open it with much anticipation. Despite a healthy post office bump on the package, the yixing is fortunately fully intact and it looks like really good quality. Off to a good start. I ordered 25 grams, so according to my logic that would be 8 grams per two session, and then one 9 gram session. I smell the dry leaves in the foil bag…yes there is definitely humid storage as it smells musty compared to my other dry stored. aged puerhs. Two, quick three second rinses and already the liquid is becoming very dark in colour…reminds me of shou to be honest. I smell the wet leaves and I get a big whiff of earthy minerals, rich, balmy and spicy aromas. Wetter storage sure don’t smell that bad.

First proper steep at 7 seconds using boiled water. Liquid comes out looking almost a blood red, bordering on black. Again I think to myself “this reminds me of shou”. I take a nice long sip…earthy minerals, very smooth and clean yet rich, reasonable thickness, dense complexity, muskiness, some pleasant sourness, sweetness in the finish. My verdict=Yum!. I devour the rest of the steep.

I take a second and third steep and the results are very similar except the resulting liquid is almost black. Again I am reminded of shou..rather very good quality shou. Now the camphor notes are beginning to shine and come through, spicy notes are also prominent. Sour notes also kicking in a bit more, however not obtrusive in my opinion. Regarding QI I did not feel that much, however this puerh put me in a very positive mood before a long slog at work. I steeped this to roughly 8 times before I left for work…by this time I was getting more sweetness and camphor, spicy notes. I go to work…just to add the finish is so long….I still had the taste in my mouth 5 hours after beginning my shift.

I decide to have another 8 gram session with this puerh after work, just in case my first tasting was a fluke. Again I am hit with all the taste sensations from my earlier session…this certainly was not a fluke. My final thoughts are “This is really good, but it reminds me so much of a decent quality shou”.

So, overall in my humble opinion, this is a stellar example of aged, wetter storage puerh. If you are used to the taste of dry stored sheng, like me, you will immediately taste the difference. For me the perfect blend would be a mix of dry and humid stored. For example the one tea I reviewed, Big Green Tea Yiwu 2001, is a perfect example of drier storage. However after tasting this puerh I am thinking “Imagine how it would taste with a bit of wetter storage added to the mix?”. My conclusion after tasting wetter storage vs drier storage is that there is no winner. It would be impossible to calculate the odds…drier storage for me means more youth, sense of adventure and of more things to comes, wetter storage comes out more mature and complex initially but I ponder upon its future. I am tempted to purchase a couple of cakes from white2tea…one for immediate drinking, and one to sit down for a while. I live in a European climate which is drier than the likes of Hong Kong…perhaps with a bit of dry storage we can balance things out a bit? Perhaps come to some mutual understanding?

Having said the above all that is left to say is that this is an excellent puerh. I love the mineral earthiness, the wetter storage, the spicy camphor notes, the sweetness and the ultra long finish. Weird thing is I still think this would make an excellent shou…mainly because of how dark the texture of the soup becomes, and also because of its later steeps. If you are into wetter store puerh I would guess this one is a no brainer…if you like dry storage this will take you out of your comfort zone, which is never a bad thing. As I said in the beginning of the review puerh is subjective, and this would be a classic example of that statement. Many thanks to white2tea for the great yixing and great tea! I am left to ponder on these lyrics from one of my favourite bands..

“Words can never justify
That I have never spoken
Communication broken
I try to understand
My wordless, little language
Is all you’ll ever need
To reach the bottom of my basement

She’ll guide you through her midnight hall
And offer you a place on the
Gallery wall
Perhaps you’ll hear ’bout our history
She quotes from texts on papyrus
You gladly follow when she takes
Your hand and lead you further down
The corridor

You peeled the fruit but threw away
The stones
did it taste sweet?"

Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Sweet

0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

Anxiously waiting for my cake to arrive. Thanks for writing a nice tasting note to fuel my excitement!


I feel your anxiety and excitement DigniTea :) I am waiting for payday so I can get more of this. Would be good to to read your review on it too once you get it. Hope you enjoy!


Having a sample since last night. i did know im gonna like it that much.


@DignitTea I’m now anxiously waiting for my cake to arrive. Do you think you will review this one day?

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A little surprised that this was not on Steepster, so thought I would have a tasting session with this. I still have roughly half a cake left from the cake that I bought last year. I was pretty impressed with it last year, but was curious to see how it would develop over a year. Here are my notes…

How many leaves you choose to brew really depends on how much bitterness you want. I personally love the bitterness found in Bulang puerh so I used 9 grams in my 130ml yixing. Dry leaves smell pleasantly sweet. Boil the kettle and let the water cool down for 2-3 minutes. A quick 3 second rinse and I smell the wet leaves…“biscuit” Bulang aroma that smells potently rich.

My first proper steep at 7 seconds. Nice golden texture. Sipping the brew I am slightly taken aback by how mellow this tastes. Smooth, buttery mouthfeel, honey sweet notes, no bitterness in the background. “Very elegant” I think to myself.

Second steep slightly longer at 10 seconds. Texture is now darker golden. I take a sip and there it is…liquid has become pretty thick now, lovely, complex bitterness with sweetness in the aftertaste, mild astringency. Already starting to feel some good energy from this.

Third steep at 15 seconds. Colour is even darker, and mouthfeel at its thickest. I decide to sip this once it has cooled down a bit. Rich, robust, heavy, bitterness still pushing through like a champ, good sweetness, still the mild astringency which is really rounding off everything nicely on the tongue and at the back of the throat. The initial energy I felt has now been replaced by a relaxed mind and body, making me feel just about ready for bed. This is a seriously solid Bulang.

Later steeps and the “biscuit” Bulang aroma from the wet leaves is nearly gone…I can now sense a more “flowery” aroma. The bitterness is starting to fade in the taste, and I think this is a good point to end my session. I lasted 10 steeps over 3 hours.

So, overall I think this is an excellent Bulang. In my opinion it is probably more elegant in its taste compared to the New Amerykah powerhouse. Which puerh I drink entirely depends on my mood. I prefer the brute strength of the New Amerykah overall, however this Bulang is the perfect end to a lovely meal. New Amerykah I have first thing in the morning when I need to wake up, this Bulang is great for quieter, more relaxed sessions. Variety is the spice of life. From a price point I feel this is not “inexpensive”. The price is now £103 ($165) which is essentially double the price of the New Amerykah when it was available…these days I would choose something with a bit more age for the same price, but that comes down to tastes evolving. One cannot deny that this Bulang is of an excellent quality, and deserves at least a sample to try. Many thanks to EOT for a really decent Bulang!

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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Been wanting to review this for a while now, but chose to delay so I could let one of the bricks air out a bit. I ended up getting 5 bricks before the price rise which only cost $75 (£45) for 500 grams of this. Already we are in “major bargain” territory, possibly underpriced in my opinion. Bricks are wrapped in a “tailor made” white2tea white wrapper with a rather charming portrait of Moby Dick on the front. I like the simplistic nature of this…usually a sign of good things ahead. I stick on a Mastodon album called Leviathan to get me into the right frame of mind. Leviathan is a progressive metal concept album all about…you guessed it, Moby Dick. Here are my tasting notes…

I break apart 7 grams of this which goes straight into my 130ml yixing. Two quick 3 second rinses and I smell the wet leaves. I am getting some woody smoke, with a dash of malt in the background. The smokiness reminds me of the aroma of a classic Scottish Malt whisky, like the amazing Lagavulin. Very nice indeed. However the wet leaves reveal a lot of chop stems, so visually this is not the most impressive puerh I have seen. I remind myself that appearances can be deceiving.

I take my first proper steep at 7 seconds. Liquid is already coming out dark amber in colour. I take my first sip…very smooth, clean, crisp and precise, hints of woody smokiness, nice balance of savoury and sweetness, reasonable thickness, and minty coolness already beginning to develop on the tongue.

Second steep and third steep are similar to my first steep. The malty aroma of the wet leaves is now much more apparent with the smokiness lingering more in the background. QI is beginning to develop, my body begins to calm. I would not classify this as a sweet puerh, but I am enjoying the subdued sweetness in the back of the throat. This puerh also has a tasty, long finish which I find really enjoyable between steeps.

Later steepings and I am getting some light camphor notes, adding another dimension to this bargain priced tea. I do prefer a stronger camphor taste in my aged puerh, but who knows maybe a brick or two needs to lie down for a few years to develop further. Maybe not…we will have to wait and see.

I am now at 11 steeps and this is still delivering on taste. I could possibly push this a lot further but decide to let the leaves rest until tomorrow. Really great durability. A really calm, relaxing 3 hour tea session. Overall, this an excellent semi aged puer, at an even more excellent price. Sure this is not the grandest aged puerh I have ever had, however those ones command a much higher price tag. Really good value in my opinion. I know the price has now gone up to $23 per brick but I still think even at this price this is still very good value for money.

I really enjoyed the subdued woody smokiness texture, however I can understand and appreciate that these sort of notes will not be to everyone’s liking. Keep an eye on your steep times…I did 7 seconds consistently for at least half a dozen steeps and was very satisfied with the results. So yeah this is another surprising puerh from white2tea that punches well above its price. It’s a puerh I could quite easily drink on a daily basis, however I really should keep a few bricks to age further. Many thanks to white2tea for another great bargain!

Flavors: Camphor, Malt, Smoke, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Great review! what the temp.? i have a sample but i dont want to ruin


Hi boychik. Don’t know the exact temperature but basically boiled water, then I let it sit for 3 minutes to cool down slightly. This worked out nicely for me.


Ok little cooled, not boiled. Thanks


I really liked this one as well.

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One of the first puerhs I purchased from EOT, I felt that the Mansai was pretty good bang for buck being only £25 per 250 gram cake. I remember getting two cakes of this and I am down to my last half a cake. Unfortunately this one is no longer on sale at EOT today…they must be long sold out. Decided to brew some of it tonight to see how things are going with it. A highly enjoyable puerh session evolved. Here are my notes…

After drinking a cake and a half of this firstly here are a few tips. This puerh is pretty deceptive in its bitterness. It packs a mean punch if you steep for too long. For me I enjoy this type of boldness, but if you want to get a good balance of sweetness and bitterness then I would highly recommend 7 second steeps.

I take 7 grams and pop them in my 130ml yixing. A quick 3 second rinse to wake up the leaves. To be honest in my opinion the leaves don’t appear that impressive. A mix of chopped up leaves and shortish leaves. However appearances mean nothing if the tea does not taste good. First proper steep at 5 seconds. A nice light brew to begin proceedings. Taste is very clean, crisp and smooth. Not that much thickness to begin with. Nice light sweetness, no astringency. I remember this puerh being a little astringent…this puerh seems to have mellowed out very nicely as I am not detecting any astringency.

Second steep slightly longer at 7 seconds. Liquid now appears a little darker in appearance and becomes more thick generating a good buttery mouthfeel and slickness down the throat. Still not detecting the bitterness yet, but I am sure this will come soon. This stuff is getting very tasty.

Third steep at another 7 seconds. Very similar to the second steep. Still getting lovely sweetness but still no bitterness. Good QI is beginning to set in sharpening my mind and thoughts. Fourth steep at 10 seconds and now the liquid has become dark golden in colour. I take a sip and there is the bitterness that I enjoy so much. However excellent balance of flavour as again the sweetness kicks in. I push the puerh a bit harder with longer steeping times and end up with the same great results. This is an excellent example of an every day, no frills puerh.

So, overall the 2010 Mansai for me is a little champion. It’s clear and crisp, smooth and mellow, however punches you hard when you want it too. This will all depend on how much bitterness you enjoy in your puerh. It’s great to see that with a bit of storage the tea has really mellowed. If there was any astringency I did not detect any. It certainly is a damn fine tea at a competitive price point. Many thanks to EOT.

Flavors: Bitter, Sweet, Thick

0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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I live and work in cold Aberdeen, Scotland at the moment. Main interests are music – Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, 70’s Psychedelic Rock etc.

Tea journey began with oolongs and within 6 months changed to pu-erh. I have not looked back since. Been drinking pu-erh solidly everyday for the last few years. Always on the lookout for good puerh bargains, so if you spot any message me.

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