Awazon Tea (www.pu-erhtea.com)

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Recent Tasting Notes

10

This one was bad, so bad I couldn’t write up this note until I had several sessions with my therapist. I should have used a new Yixing gaiwan to suck some of the flavor out of this tea. The tea was bittersweet at the start with a fair amount of fermentation flavor, mainly caramel and fishiness. That flavor was rather unpleasant and it continued to in the same manner for ten steeps. It did become a nice sweet ripe puerh with chocolate notes on the eleventh steep, but that was after I tossed the Awazon leaves and put in 6g of 2016 Dayi 7542.

Flavours: Caramel, well aged herring.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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85

A tale of two teas. I posted the following review after 5 steeps:

Liquid Proust was kind enough to share his purchase with me.

I was looking forward to trying this, partly because it is purpored to be LBZ, and partly because AllanK has been after me to try Awazon, so this kills two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, the bird is overrated.

I loved the nose. It is a rich blend of smoke and tobacco, and made me really hopeful that the tea would be great. Unfortunately, the taste is rather pedestrian: not unlike a Xiaguan tuocha. The initial steeps weren’t very bitter, which is surprising in an LBZ, and there wasn’t a whole lot of cha qi. The cha qi started to sneak up on me around the 4th steep, but never got really strong; I’ve had dozens of teas with more.

Overall opinion is that this would be a good daily drinker for those who want the kick of cha qi. But not at the price.

The 6th,7th, and 8th steeps were totally different. Now the flavors are straw with hints of apricot and the smoke and slight bitterness were replaced by sweetness. I’m definitely feeling the cha qi. I’m a bit disappointed that the tea still presents as a simple flavor, it’s just a completely different simple flavor. I’ve bumped my score up by a couple of points (from 83) but still can’t recommend the tea. I came really close to moving on to another tea after steep 5. I’m glad I didn’t, at least in part because I started to read Liquid Proust’s review and saw that he thought the tea improved in late steeps.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML
Liquid Proust

I told you that this one takes forever to open up!

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The Trails of LBZ, Case 7 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)

Yesterday I had the best raw pu’erh to day so whatever comes next will just… yeah.
I ended up convincing Awazon to sell me 100g of this which I split with a few people; hoping to see if it makes it to the 2017 Sheng Olympics. Not sure if I wanted to consider this a LBZ or regard it as Awazon’s most expensive tea; either way, I’m going for the taste and feel over 16 steeps.

Leaf, 6g. Temp, 90c. Steep time, 6 to 10 seconds.
Prior to steeping I will say the leaf is full and beautiful. I haven’t had anything quite order worthy from Awazon because it’s’ all basic factory tasting stuff to me thus far.
Steep 1, the tea had a spark of tang towards the end making it a bit mouth puckering. Did not like this, but I’ve been told that this leaf (if it is) starts off rough and then sweetens within a few steeps.
Steep 2, initial production and storage smells fades which is nice because I was hoping it didn’t stick around. Steep 2 and 3 I did back to back: upfront in the astringency as if it is coming forward, hopefully not to stay but going from the back to the front as a way of exiting backwards (please please please)
Steep 4, seeming like the astringency is fading but I think it’ll be a bumpy road to find out what is on the other side of this hill I am going up; is it a dry flat land of dust and hay or is it going to be a secret rainforest of fruit I have yet to taste?
Took a bit of a break to see if this mild sensation was from the tea, seems that a little head feel is going on; somewhat of a lifting feeling.
Steep 5, still pretty astringent with hidden notes of tarty fruit.
Steep 6, hue of the liquid is beginning to lighten up at this point which should mean the taste should start transitioning to something different. Still a rather upfront biting of an astringency, but at this point there is heat that runs through my neck onto the end of my fingertips with a high point at my shoulders. Kind of interesting feeling, a warmth that spikes when I sip.
Steeps 7 & 8, the astringency is mild at this point allowing me to notice that there is a gently taste to this tea underneath but it took far too long to get to this point. The feeling is still lifting, calming for sure.
Steep 10, here we are… some mild notes of apricot and honeysuckle inbetween that took forever to actually become noticeable as the astringency masked and covered the other notes that were there earlier. At this point the head in my upper body is also occurring in my back which is pleasant.
Steep 11, yeah at this point I am pretty sure I will enjoy every steep until it dies. The brew has become lighter with more clarity in what I am sipping at, add on the warmth and mild calming sensation and this is something really nice.

Comparing this to the other LBZ Trails, it is somewhat hard to do. The taste of this tea took much longer to lose its astringency which was unexpected because it is a few years older than the others that I was drinking. Yesterday I had the best one which had a sharp change in the color and taste which was great, for this I am unsure how much I like waiting for the change to happen. Telling someone that a tea will be wonderfully light with hints of fruit and sweetness of higher quality pu’erh would be appealing, but if you tell them that it takes almost 11 steeps to get there… I’m not sure if I would want to go through the journey of some mouth pucker for that long.

At about 70 cents per gram, I would say this would be a great tea to age for anyone who wants a quality leaf to use for a project. The sample I got was just like the pictures which make it seems quite nice, to which I can say it is. Personally I would go the route of getting the 2007 Mengku from YS first for 100g brick at $62 while they are still in stock and then invest in the larger purchase such as this later on. This has no humidity noticed throughout the steeps so I’m pretty confident in saying that the taste can change quite a bit within just a year of being stored differently; pu’erh eating a new diet always changes.

While this is 7 of 6, I always go overboard, I still have about four more to go and someone is sending me some from Bana tea which I hear is the best one around on the market; we shall see.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFct6wnxYBf/

p.s. I have 14g I’m willing to trade for another LBZ I have yet to try, please PM me if this interest you

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75

This one was good, but not as good as I remember. I recently restocked on this. I had used it up a while ago. It is possible however that my new Yixing gaiwan sucked some of the flavor out of this tea. I had not seasoned the gaiwan yet. The tea was bittersweet at the start with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. That flavor was a bit unpleasant. It did become a nice sweet ripe puerh over the course of ten steeps. I guess you could say it developed some chocolate notes in there. But I didn’t notice a fruity taste like with some ripe. Perhaps that note would have come out in a few more steeps.

I steeped this ten times in a 150ml Yixing gaiwan with 12.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.

Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

This is the second time I bought this tea. The first time was before I was on Steepster. I remembered liking it so I bought it again a couple of weeks ago. Got it about a week ago give or take a day. I thought it quite tasty. It was fairly bittersweet in the start, thick and rich with a fair amount of fermentation flavor to it. The fermentation taste was clean to me, not fishy. It lasted about four or five steeps and then was for the most part gone. I nice sweet ripe emerged. There were some notes of chocolate in there, or at least what people call notes of chocolate. It never quite tastes like chocolate to me in a tea unless there is actual chocolate added to the tea. You could also say that a fruity note developed in later steeps, but this is an interpretation. While I didn’t get any qi off this worth mentioning it was a very enjoyable tea. The cake itself looked very good with lots of what I think were buds on the surface. I don’t know if it was just the surface with a lot of buds or the whole cake. This one Awazon calls royal grade puerh. I don’t know how to determine if a tea is actually royal grade so I can’t comment as to the truth of that. I do know that this was a good tea, up there with some of the better ripe I have had. While it has not completely cleared as far as fermentation taste it does not have the strong taste of a new ripe. This was very good tea. As good in my opinion as some of the excellent ripes I have gotten from Yunnan Sourcing or someplace like Mandala Tea.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120mlm gaiwan with 10.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec. 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The tea was not completely done at twelve steeps. If I hadn’t hit my caffeine limit I could have gotten at least two or three more steeps out of it.

Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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73

This tea actually tastes great, I sincerely echo earlier tasting reviews on the great flavour. Caramel, earthy tones with a great mouthfeel and aged taste, the tea in the pot certainly isn’t boring or a disappointment. However what kills if for me are the tree trunks and wirey bits and bobs stuffed in the middle of this thing. It may well add to the flavour but this ain’t no posh brick! I recommend if you arn’t bothered with sneaky low grade inner brick garbage.

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Sweet

Asaf Mazar

yup. its has a good caramel taste ( after it aired out a bit) I went through over a brick of this sutff until I found a piece of nylon in it. This tea is by fuhai factory. the teas I had that awazon produces themselves have been clean . I can recommend them for the price and quality (and low shipping cost) try the 2001 awazon shu cake that I reviewed here. It can be a bit mild, but the aroma is wonderful. Not as rich and deep as I like them though.

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90

Review is after comsuming entire 250 grams brick :)
fine golden buds on outside of brick, raggedy-looking large leaf in the center. Seems to brew best with an intact chunck of both center and outer regions.
At first, I was disappointed, because it had funky fermentation/storage aroma.
however, after airing out in a metal canister for a severall weeks, it became perectly clean asusming a proper wash.

Satisfying everyday tea for drinking in office. a decent amout of aged character in the flavor: Caramel-jujube perhaps.
Seems to taste best brewed to a dark honey color, not more. lighter = more caramel. darker = more earth.
I can recommended this tea. Make sure you break it up into chunks and store for a few weeks first.

Price wise, its 20 something for 250 grams, on the high end for a shu brick, but its 15 years old. price seems accurate: not over or underpriced, though I am far from an expert on these things.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
NofarS

Wow! An entire brick! I’m impressed

Asaf Mazar

It took about 3 months or so to get through that one. At 5 grams average per brew its 50 sessions. Perhaps more impressive than finishing a brick or cake is to manage to hold on to one for enough years to see it age enough. When you are back in the country lets meet for tea I have some nice aged shengs that are waiting to meet you :)

JC

Good tea is always a battle for me; enjoy now? or save for later? The good thing is that you enjoyed it all the way!

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100

re-visiting this tea 10 months later. seems to have mellowed and become fruitier. nice meditative 6:00 am session. seems helpful to keep the tea and gaiwan hot by doing at least two infusions at a time between breaks. otherwise, if doing one infusion each time with long break, its a colder infusion.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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100

revisiting this tea after part of the cake has aged broken up in a paper canister for 5 months.

The flavor is more deep and fruity. It feels less cold on the stomach.

JC

How do you like breaking up a cake vs storing it as is?

Asaf Mazar

Thats a good question. I need to compare both to tell. Mt feeling is that it wont be much different in just 5 months time, especially since the compression is so light on many modern cakes.
Due to higher compression in the cetner, I suppose there might be a difference between center of cake and outer part.
According to Daniel from thechineseterasop.com, breaking up a cake and storing in pourous container is the most dramatic thing you can do to speed up aging (aside from moving to a different climate, I suppose)
In any case- this cake is still too immature for my stomach.
What I am enjoying the most these days is 15-20 year old sheng, especially from essence of tea. These may be less fresh and floral than young tea, but for me at least, the comforting, comfortable, calm nature of the aged leaf is much much more pleasant on the body and mind.

Charles Thomas Draper

I love that racy freshness of a younger cake…. I wish I could afford the 15-20 year old or have the restraint to age my young ones….

JC

Asaf, I agree with you. Modern cakes are so tight that aging takes longer. I bought some young tea a bit over a year ago and broke one to put in a Yunnan clay put and the other as it was. If I were to compare them, I’d would have to be side by side, otherwise I wouldn’t notice the difference. But the one in the pot is getting more mellow slightly faster. But I imagine is only good for improving a tea, not so much for long term storage.

Charles, I don’t love really young Puerh, but I long for it some times. I feel like its ‘roughness’ wakes me up with energy. But treat yourself to an aged one from time to time (As a poor guy, I buy one and its my reward tea. Sort of like opening an expensive champagne bottle to celebrate accomplishments :P ).

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100

tried it twice so far in the usual 180 ml duan ni pot.
first time was outdoors on hot day with a 5-6 g piece from center of cake using spring water.
second time was in office with filtered tap and using un-weighed piece towards outside of the cake.

first session:

1.first few steeps were very floral.
2. first few steeps had a milky color.
3.dry leaves after first rinse smelled like night queen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyllum_oxypetalum
4.sensation of strong wave of fresh energy coursing through upper body immediately upon first sip.

none of the 4 characteristics above occurred during the second session.

Going to experiment more with this one and will update results here.

UPDATE: tried again in glass pot. none of the milky color or floral aroma of first session. this one is is still young for my tastes. hoping that a few hot humid israeli summers will mellow out the cake and bring out some riper flavors. Ever since I sampled a few 12+ year old shengs I am not in a hurry to drink anything younger.

EDIT: after experimenting a bit more with this tea, my conclusion is that the flavor/aroma are too light for my tastes. On the plus side, it has a certain amount of qi to it. I will put the rest of the cake aside for to age for another few years and hope for the best.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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91

Predominant characteristic of this tea is a fresh, clean, sweet, pastry dough aroma and flavor. Very pleasant aroma indeed. Good thickness and mouthfeel.
Seems to have practically zero caffeine.
I am not feeling any cha qi on this one. No obvious body sensations or noticeable change in mind state. Just a pleasant smooth sweet clear gentle drink.
EDIT: having experienced it some more, I would say this tea induces a subtle feeling of well being. There is a long lasting feeling of having consumed a delicious pastry, without the full stomach or sugar effects.

I tried it a few times gong fu style short steeps.
last night I experimented with the following system:
4 grams to approx 180 ml. no rinse.
I guess I steeped it for around 30s 30s 50s 40s 5min.
3rd steep was too strong and the 5th was weak.

this is the pot I used: 225 ml yixing http://www.pu-erhtea.com/TeaDetails.aspx?TeaID=631

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Asaf Mazar

DELETEless than a minute ago
The more I drink this tea the more I like it. It feels nourishing to the body and has other pleasant effects that are hard to describe. In has the wholesome good pure life energy that can be felt when kneading whole wheat dough.
This morning I tried it with quick rinse then 3,3,3,5,7,10,15.
100-120 ml to 4.6 grams. This has given me the best results so far. last infusion was weak. will try a 30 sec final infusion next time.

Charles Thomas Draper

I think I read a review from you about a sheng on the Essense of Tea site. Your thoughts are always insightful…

Asaf Mazar

Thanks Charles.
you might want to get a few grams of this stuff before it runs out http://www.essenceoftea.co.uk/tea/puerh-tea/1992-da-ye-loose-leaf-sheng-puerh.html
Essence of the are some of the most through tea vendors I have come across. If you read on their blog they actually test for pestecides on the mao cha they buy and even returned the leaves to one supplier because chemicals were detected at very low concentrations.

Asaf Mazar

By the way I must have not timed it right the first time. Last night tried exactly 4g in exactly 100ml water 3 seconds was too light. seems like it should be starting at around 10-20 seconds as described on the awazon website

Charles Thomas Draper

I have purchased from them. I bought a whole cake of the 2012 Bulang which is superb. I may take your advice and buy the ’92. There is a new maocha single tree which they say is very special that I am also considering….

Asaf Mazar

Just finished off the last 4 grams of the ‘92 da ye loose leaf. Very prominent camphor qualities, sparkling texture and calming qi. In Later steepings the camphor fades to reveal distinct wood qualities. Its got some musty storage notes, which I don’t mind.
seems like another place to get good old tree sheng is awazon.
I just sampled this $20 cake over the weekend:
http://www.pu-erhtea.com/TeaDetails.aspx?TeaID=20
Its got some potent qi and floral aroma.

Charles Thomas Draper

They sound like they are right up my alley. Thanks

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91

Splendid Raw Pu-erh. Can last over 10 infusion easily. Gradually doing longer brewings starting from 30sec. I like to brew it Gong fu style. Lots of leafs and multiple brews.

It has characteric floral smell and taste, nice smooth light taste and little sweetness on aftertaste

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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82

This was a free sample that came with my natural tangerine pu erh. The age makes it very appealing to me as all the information I can find states that the longer you leave the pu erh the better and this will certainly be the oldest that I have tried.

I do like rinsing pu erh before hand as well, seeing the brewing of it as a beautiful tradition.

The colour is very dark and looks like coca cola (which someone else has said as well) but it truly does. It still has the soft yet pungent fragrance of pu erh but you can certainly smell a little more strength to it thanks to the age.

Ah a lovely pu erh. Very classic in taste but with that little oomph that makes it special. Smoky and nutty with a little darkness but still light and floral. It still tastes fresh considering it’s 12 years old. Wow when this tea was made I was only 12 years old….that’s a scary thought.

I suggest anyone who likes pu erh should try this tea so you can experience a different side to this wonderful tea. I have roughly 5 or 6 more drinks to make out of my sample and I may have to buy some when I run out (which will be quite quickly).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

sounds good!

KittyLovesTea

It is beautiful. I have already bookmarked the page to buy some more soon :)

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97

This cake si QiuCha, 秋茶, tea picked in Autumn (despite confusing information on the vendor’s site) which is also composed of very long stems and large leaf. I was interested in both, the Autumn Yiwu harvest as well as the stems effect. Some people praise the stems for adding a special ingredient to both aroma and flavour and I was wondering how different it could be.

This tea asks for attention from the very first touch. It is simply beautiful. When separating the stems and leaves, they fell apart willingly and spontaneously as if they were giving me the permission to taste them. I must say this is a very special cake in all aspects. It smells wonderful, sweet and fresh. I was trying to figure out the aroma during the whole tea session and unfortunately did not come with anything better than sweet old Yiwu (how poor, I know).

The first rinse was of very deep colour, I therefore expected the first infusion to be the same and it really was.The first infusion has a very deep sweet tone within, it covers all the tongue and throat and it is very promising and calming. The flavour is however as if covered under the lid. There is almost immediate huigan though, sweet, mouth watering, intense and nearly infinite. It brings a special tone of almond skin, coming from sweet to slightly acidic with nutty background trace, offering a symphony of tastes.

This tea is definitely a nice surprise. Its chaqi is very friendly, warming and relaxing and it nicely underlines the whole smooth and pleasant character of the cake. I have had just one single chance to meet this interesting piece but I am sure it will always be a special encounter in the future, especially with such a name (GuanZiZai is Chinese for Avalokiteshavara)

2006 GuanZiZai “Nanlahe” Yiwu 605 [Autumn harvest], 400g
Date of production: November 2006
Type: Raw selected large leaf and stems from YiWu area
Flavour: Sweet and fresh, very interesting
Aroma: Sweet and fruity
Astringency: None
Bitterness / Smokiness: None
Aftertaste: Very long and pleasant

To see the photo documentation or read the whole review, follow the link to my blog:
http://teadropping.blogspot.com/2011/11/2006-guanzizai-nanlahe-yiwu-605.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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83

The first infusion is of really unusual colour, something between light orange, beige and brown which I associate with some lighter infusions of other hei cha. The smell of wet leaves is also unusual: dry and ripe fruit, wet wood and nuts all at once. The first infusions are nice, fruity, mellow, with almost no astringency and no smoke. The tea gets stronger, somewhat bitter-sweet, but none of it is really intense, it has a nice balance of tastes. The huigan is really impressive. It leaves a typical taste of walnuts on the tongue.
To read the whole review see my blog:
http://teadropping.blogspot.com/2011/10/2005-jinzhen-bulang-wild-tea-bing.html?spref=fb

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Asaf Mazar

I recently ordered a piece based on your review. Its been aging for 4 years since. looking forwards to it’s arrival :)

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95

This is the oldest and probably the best shu I have ever tasted. The color is coke-like, transparent, the taste resembles caramel and cream. It is smooth and “very friendly” tea. I would recommend pu-erh rookies to start with this brick, even though I waited a few years before ordering an 11-year-old one, simply to be able to compare, however, the taste of this one is so much different from many young bricks that it is worth tasting right now in order to remember how delicious shu can be (without being expensive).

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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96

This was my first puerh way back when and it still has a special place in my har and tea cabinet. It can be brewed to produe many different flavors. the surface of the brick is covered with golden buds and the center is filled with large leaf. a very nice aged shu at an awesome price I believe I payed under fifteen dollars a brick but that was a few years ago.

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96

This is the fist shu I have ever tried and I have only found a couple others that I like as much as this one. The surface of the cake is covered in golden buds wile the center is a blend of larger leaves this makes every sesion a little different depending on the leaves used.the flavor wise it is incredibly sweet and woody with good durability. It is my favorite nite time tea as it has good calming qi.

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