68 Tasting Notes

90
Spring all day long!

Bouquet: This fine buddy develops a very nice thick mouthwatering vegetable sphere with a mix of kohlrabi (turnip cabbage) & eggplant in a slightly grilled or baked version plus a fine layer of cranberry smoked ham finished with a elegant placed peppery note and fine herbal field flowers to it.

Liquor: The actual texture of this sligh

tly golden Sheng is quite silky soft with a strong beeswax scent within the emptied cups. The tasting profile is very well balanced and with such a full and thick composition. It feels like a fresh blooming Spring meadow while fresh cut and dried hay is spread around this field. Within the actual taste you can definitely taste fresh juicy kohlrabi cut in slices to be eaten as a refreshment under an old oak tree. There is something woodsy to it but just a hint of it followed by another major note of Korean pear (nashi pear). Some people might think about too young Sheng’s as being too fresh and for those I think this fellow is the best choice because it still got those Spring freshness inside his composition but the whole symphony matured a bit because it already past a couple of Spring seasons and picked the best parts out of those years on its way. The Aftertaste is a sensation of its own! Even after the last sip is done and a cooling feeling sets in suddenly out of nowhere your inner mouth section starts watering like if all those juicy aspects are coming together again. Within the aftertaste the Korean pear part especially of its skin is crucial for the major concept of its unfolding followed by a slightly nutty undertone of walnut and a sweet syrup like echo of raspberry and cheery blossom.

Definitely enjoyed this buddy a lot. It presents itself in a very nice composition between fresh Spring notes and already some slightly aged Autumn parts. Very juicy and complex profile!

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100

Bouquet: Within its dry stage there is a very lovely forest dark honey layer to it plus a good amount of pine needles. After steaming heat kissed those arbor leaves its whole body language turns more and more into a very vegetable one filled with artichokes, steaming chestnuts further followed by avocado and eggplant.

Liquor: The actual taste walks again a more or less different path! This fellow definitely got some bitterness to it if you let him to much space to develop it. Starting from this fine layer of tartness it builds up another layer of forest honey within a mix of beeswax. The rest clears up with every sip you do within herbal floral notes of gentian, dandelion, marigold with further hints of camomile and sunflower seeds. While the other half is concentrating more onto subtle fruity and sweet nuances of Korean pear with a certain perfume bitterness to it and sweet tiny hints of bourbon vanilla creme. Within the aftertaste a very nice cooling menthol peppermint like effect sets in.

This is definitely a decision of personal preferences! I am 100% sure some might love this raw Sheng with all its 5 stars they are possible able to give but for me personally I missed something. It really got some nice rudiments and also lovely aspects but I missed those great moments – you know those moments when your eyes are wide open and you think “Oh my god this is soooo good!” – Like those moments where you’re absolutely amazed! Anyway the best way to build your own opinion is to try a sample ~ Cheers

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92
Already with some aged character!

Bouquet: Even for its young age and considering it was dry stored in Kunming there is already a certain nice aged smokey flavor to its profile. Starting with a subtle steaming aroma of grilled fish on a stick it further unfolds within aspects of leather, aged agarwood and tobacco. Already in its aroma the mouthwatering effect is juicing up your in

ner mouth section instantly!

Liquor: The Bu Lang character which I totally adore is noticeable from the first moment on especially within its unique perfectly composed bitter notes. You definitely need to take care about the steeping times because this buddy is getting bitter quite easily. But if you find the right balance of time the enjoyment is breath taking. With its creamy coating feel a whole atmosphere of many countless small sensations is overfloating your tasting buds starting with a very distinct flavor of natural medicinal herbal marshmallow (called Eibisch in our region) followed by tiny aspects of the starting scenting parts of subtle grilled fish on a stick, agarwood and leathery tobacco aspects but also new nuances of rose candies or rose frankincense. Within its taste there is a certain Green profile to it which reminds me of a scenery in the middle of a rainforest. You can taste those green leaves, their buds and twigs, those fine raindrops dripping from some of the larger leaves. There is also a nice layer of fruity aspects to it like common for Sheng pear and grape skin with a little pulp to it. Even after the last sip is done the mouthwatering sensation starts immediately and leaves you longing for another infusion. Within this aftertaste there is also a certain nutty development noticeable.

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92

Bouquet: The steaming aroma is very dark-ish sweet like dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut cream. Talking about roasted or smoked stuff there you might also discover a hint of grilled fish on stick with a fine marinade of soy sauce. This aromatic mist is highly mouthwatering and already foretelling a great tasting experience.

Liquor: This is one of those rare occasions where the dark side of the Force isn’t as dark as you might expect it. This fellow is very light within its coloration but not with its tasting experience. There you also meet up with a very unique dark chocolate more like hot chocolate taste plus a fine layer of roasted hazelnuts. What really amazes me is not the first infusion its the 2nd one! First and foremost – WOW! I experienced a lot but this is another new aspect I can now count to my tea journey. There are creamy and buttery teas but this is a completely other level. Its texture isn’t only creamy buttery its really actually thick like thickened like within a sauce. This is highly enjoyable and uplifts this whole experience. Beside this sensation other nuances are slightly subtle earthy notes but more important a very mineral stony feel within the aftertaste. Despite the fact that its darkness is weak its effect and taste is far from it. This is a highly warming Shou which gives a such tingling warm feel within your chest. If you are still waiting for the grilled fish to be served it is not available for our table but you can get a small taste of it some seats behind you on another table. What I mean is it is just very subtle noticeable within the echo after the last sip is done. There is also a certain sourness with a mixture of bitterness to it which really reminds me of dried fruits especially like figs – taste and effect-wise ~ Cheers

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98

Before I start anything I have to say that this young-ish Raw is so unique and different – it was a honor getting the chance to enjoy this buddy!

Bouquet: Like with most raw Shengs there are similar structures within its profile but on the other hand there was something I never experienced before. First and foremost the beeswax and wild forest dark honey layer is thick and massive – it conquers every inch of your near surroundings. If a Sheng is a masterpiece of a symphonia then it should water your inner mouth already and straight from the start and that’s the case for sure with this young Pu. But that’s not all – already within its steaming aromatic unfolding there is something happening which is hard to explain. Within its bouquet there is something spicy but so different something I never experienced before and this certain aspect gives you a massive tingling within your cheeks and lower lip. The best way to describe it is a feeling you get in winter coming from the outside cold into a very warm room and your whole face turns red and you get this certain tingling in your cheeks and lips. Fascinating! Beside those already named aspects its essential character is very fruity sweet with a nice floral spring freshness and a lovely composed herbal spiciness. What I really loved about its scent and the upcoming taste is this very delicious fruitiness of small wild strawberries plus a delicate layer of cherry.

Liquor: Its actual taste isn’t pleasing less in fact its composition reaches its main act. It comes along in a very creamy and thick way while after the 3rd infusion a very sweet caramel flair is adding itself to this delicious play. Major nuances are definitely those fruity wild forest strawberry and cherry ones but also other natural sweeties of pears, mango and especially blackberries plus a tiny hint of chocolate banana. But this sweetness isn’t only a direct image of the actual fruit – in some ways it really reminds me of those Capino cream candies (I am not sure if they are known outside of German speaking countries). Its liquor is quite coating and the aftertaste long and fruity sweet. The herbal floral aspects are getting stronger within later infusions also a certain astringent spicy peppery layer & a corn syrup sweetness sets in.

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79

Bouquet: To start with the stranger things – there is literally not much steaming aroma to its profile which is really weird only slightly floral notes of orchid are distinguishable with a subtle grassy undertone to it. Considering the beginning within its dry stage there was plenty to go with its still fresh field flower unfolding of orchid, rose & camomile bedded on a fine layer of honey. But there is no beeswax scent within those emptied cups = which is normally the case with young Shengs = quite different this fellow!

Liquor: But the major attraction isn’t in fact the aroma it’s definitely the actual taste. This comes along quite nutty bitter with nuances of pistachios presented in a golden thick creamy slightly sweet liquor. Especially within act I-III the main cast is for sure a quite herbal root earthy one with layers starting with mushrooms stored it cardboard boxes, bamboo, ginseng, kohlrabi and hints of potato. This leads to the next layer of subtle floral sweetness which will get its main performance within the 4th infusion and so on. There you might find aspects of floral layers like those named orchid ones transforming into nuances of a slightly cane sugary notes followed by subtle nuances of sweet corn, dark forest honey and red apples while finishing their show within a gummy fruity dark berry aftertaste! Especially within the first three infusions while the bitterness is quite strong there is a certain fury sensation going on within your mouth especially on the sides of your tongue.

Opinion: This still quite raw Sheng isn’t exactly my cup of tea BUT that’s just my personal preference. There is definitely quite a lot there to be discovered but something about it – how it is composed isn’t the kind of profile I 100% enjoy within a raw buddy. But the best way to find out if it is totally your cup of tea is trying a sample and find out on your own ~ Cheers

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96

Bouquet: Even within its steaming unfolding this Raw with a tiny touch of age is highly mouthwatering and astringent with a sour layer followed by great hay field herbal flower nuances, steaming hints of chestnuts, leather and a certain pleasant elegant woodsy smokey flavor. You can literally feel Autumn within those already slightly brownish leaves.

Liquor: One major thing about this excellent buddy is its cooling mouth feel. Starting off with a lovely forest honey layer but just a hint of it – plus also subtle hints of beeswax. The cooling effect is really astonishing! It is like an actual cooling sensation – Like if you had an eucalyptus candy in your mouth and suck the air in and you feel this cooling breeze inside your inner mouth region. But on the other hand this buddy produces a very warming and relaxing body feel. There is a certain iron sourness to it which also combines some nutty aspects of pistachios in it which in whole reminds me somehow of a Bai Ji Guan Wuyi Oolong. There is also a nice composition of Autumn leaves, leather and slightly smokey wood within its actual tasting profile. But you can also find a nicely placed sweet layer within its unfolding which contains little traces of vanilla pudding with a fine lemon note to it but also sugar candies with an even more subtle mix of eucalyptus, thyme, sage and buckhorn and last but not least of sweet corn. The Hui Gan effect is one of the remarkable experiences within this slightly aged buddy. While the cooling atmosphere stays a mouthwatering sweetness is coming back within the aftertaste. Inside later infusions the sour sweet mouthwatering construction is gaining more and more in their importance. Great and affordable raw Sheng ~ perfect for immediate enjoyment and for aging.

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90

Bouquet: Those dry and heated up leaves exhale a very distinct strong smokiness more than the Shiru – I would say above middle roasting. Very nice extremely mouthwatering texture with a dark ripe fruitiness of raisins, a tiny hint of plum and a kind of baked pickled version of cherries like within a pie or so. Major aspect definitely is the smokiness in combination with the very nice composed old red wine wood barrel flair. After it cooled down the fruity sweetness might get even stronger at your senses. In this case there is a certain blueberry gum fruitiness noticeable.

Liquor: The taste nearly hits similar spheres as the beautiful scent did. There is again this sour old dark ripe fruitiness of raisins and cherries plus a kind of vegetable echo of salad like spinach. The roasted woodsy layer is always a steady companion and also brings some chocolate hazelnut cream aspects with it. Ban Tian Yao is one of my favorite Wuyi Oolongs but also a sort of Yancha you can totally ruin if you’re not skilled but this farmer got the skills for sure! Always a certain type of salad spinach & lamb’s lettuce at the very echo’s end. Steeping 1-3 comes along with nearly the same full and strong profile – within the 4th and the following ones it’s turning more and more lighter – It not as “staying strong for long” like the Shiru did but this fellow doesn’t have to be! Within the 4th steeping it’s touching more the tender notes especially a full circled one of a wild blueberry bush = Berries + leaves + twigs! Really nice! Now within the aftertaste the chocolate aspect of dark chocolate is more within the center while the salad nearly vanished. Full power from 1-3rd infusion and good to go for around 5 in total! Very coating feel within your throat!

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82

This fellow is special indeed in so many ways. First of all its leaves are quite huge and to make it clear this fellow wasn’t pressed it was a loose leave aged Sheng. Normally I am not really into wet stored stuff because it tend to scent and taste like basement mold. There is definitely a certain major aspect of this part within this very aged buddy too but in a different way. Scent-wise there is a main bouquet of beetroot stored in a more or less wet old basement but there is also a layer of from fresh fallen rain soaked up old wood. It transformed itself more into a TCM herbal structure than one of a Pu-erh – don’t get me wrong I am sure many would say this type of scent and taste as very typical aged considering its date because at that time nearly everything was stored more or less wet. But I am focusing always on the origin of its nature. What I mean is if you store a Pu-erh perfectly over many decades it definitely tend to transform more into something herbal dark-ish within its composition but it also should keep many aspects of its original form and formula. BUT even if this isn’t the case here it’s for sure a fantastic and unique example and experience because you also need to respect and discover the old way Pu was treated and processed to totally understand Pu-erh from its roots to its way of manufacturing over time and today.

Taste-wise this nearly dark red liquor express itself in a more or less similar way as its bouquet did. Its texture is very silky creamy with a certain herbal spiciness to it. The actual nuances as mentioned are a majorly slightly sweet beetroot with a certain basement feel to it and a woodsy wet composition while soaked up with fresh fallen rain. The actual sensation isn’t in fact a complex tasting profile or a long aftertaste it’s more what it does to you! The effect of this fellow is weird and so so typical when it comes to aged fellows with a certain funk to it! Those buddies never visits you without a certain type of hangover. I read within a scientific article once how much a Pu in fact contains. This was quite fascinating! Especially when it comes to Shou and really old wet aged stuff which is quite in a similar field when it comes to a huge amount of microorganism, bacteria, fungus and enzymes. They tested a bunch of old cakes within a lab and found out that there are around 40 different types of fungi within a cake and even more astonishing some of that stuff was to believed to be not existing anymore since thousands over thousands of years. This buddy first and foremost makes you tea drunk with the first sip especially if you are sensitive to it. It has an instant major impact on your whole functioning system of your head. I got a bit of headache but also a certain burning tingling feel along every corner and path of my whole sinuses system. You can feel it within you whole head back to your neck like an electrifying feeling but after a while the relaxation blends in and the whole drunken condition turns into a warming chill mode. This was definitely a special experience!

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95

Scent-wise you can literally feel the age within those leaves – it reminds me very distinct about Chinese or even more of Indian old woodsy furniture – very pleasant! There is definitely a very soft and silky sweetness to its liquor which indicates a certain age. Those very fresh green field flower aspects are grown up – The whole structure gained a certain “old man ripeness” – sounds weird I know – What I mean is – if you imagine an aged man settled and being grounded – picture an image of Grandpa Pu sitting on his porch within its old wooden rocker enjoying a breathtaking red golden sundown while a certain tobacco pipe scent fills the air. Not like smoke or something disgustingly more like you might knew it from essential oils or perfumes with ingredients of tobacco, very tangy smoky and woodsy – this Sheng really aged well and masterfully in so many ways. With this whole sweet tobacco woodsyness there also comes along a fine nutty layer with a touch of bittersweet hints of green grapes with seeds. Different cultures and so many miles between them but this tea really gives me an image of a country like farm scenery in the American Midwest. Warm, chill, smooth, cozy and elegant

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Bio

Ahoi,

I am a tea taster and tea-blog author from Vienna. Since my early Childhood days I was always drawn to East Asian culture especially China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It wasn’t a thing I discovered because of my parents or my environment – it was a thing that started on its own and spread its antennas into nearly every direction what Asian culture could deliver.

I felt in love with their history, movies, Tv-Shows, food, Anime, Videogames, tea culture – nearly everything. 2009 was the first time I visited Japan – it was a feeling of finally being home. Since that time I developed such a passion for tea because tea combines so many aspects I love. Taking photos, writing, Asian culture, the connection to mother nature and its history, the love for craftsmanship (Teaware etc).

Within 2013 I started my teablog called ZeroZen(https://zeroteazen.wordpress.com/) – the first couple of years I only posted content in my mother language German. But within 2016 I discovered Instagram for myself and found the perfect medium for my artistic output which is now completely and exclusive in English ^___~

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