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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea has fairly strong notes of camphor and spice. There is also a fair amount of fermentation flavor to it. Behind all that I think is a sweet note. This is fairly nice ripe puerh considering the price of only $12 for 250g. I would probably buy this again if I run out. It’s fairly good although not spectacular.
I steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 30 seconds.
Flavors: Camphor, Earth, Spices, Sweet
I am now officially a cheap tea date. 2.5p/g & i’m devouring this like its going out of fashion. Its fruity & old & dank & spicy (like mince pies)… has a slightly tongue numbing sour note, sweet… just so much win for so little wonga.
I mean you just open the bag & inhale the goodness. It’s a bit like the sweet part of a christmas cake or a pack of dates has been transformed into a boggy leafy mess. Raisins? yeah something like that. There is old wet mud in there but because of the fruity flavours it just tastes of win.
It does leave me a little confused though – this seems to be closer in flavour to an aged sheng than any 2012 shou could ever be….? I wonder why that is
Flavors: Dates, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Spicy, Sweet, Wet Earth
this tea punches me in the face a bit, with some sour/bitter sweetness. im not sure what to say about this tea, it tastes low-key. i think it smells a little like fern plants and tastes like sandalwood. there is some citrus that comes at you with a dry bite to it. this is another tea mrmopar sent me and its unlike any other sheng ive tried so far.. its kind of offensive but in a good way.
Earth. The Final Frontier.
There have been a few reviews on this tea, and invariably the taste mentioned is earh, or soil or such. This is definitely the tea those loamy shous are trying to imitate. You’re not going to get more ground taste in your tea without having to chew.
And I suspect, really, that’s all I’ll need to say for you to know whether this tea is for you. It harbored no surprises, it didn’t evolve during the steeps, nor did it out stay it’s welcome. Although, to be fair, this sort of tea gets brewed very long very early when in my pot by preference (and due to being “bombproof”), so perhaps a more measured approach would extend its number of steeps considerably.
Of particular note is the lack of funky or off flavors, despite a taste profile that usually features some. Not sure how it was stored precisrly, but I did only one rinse and couldn’t taste anything sloughing off as the session progressed. Well done.
Overall, an enjoyable cup, but certainly not one I’ll miss when it’s gone. Perhaps like the fabled Red Marks of old, it just needs another quarter century to come into its own. Don’t look to me to exhibit that degree of patience, however.
Scent: lovely, gentle, aromatic bamboo softness. I think to myself, “Hey, maybe this will be a hei cha that doesn’t flirt with a level of total horror and dankness that’ll make me half afraid to drink.”
Taste on the first steep: slightly dank, unbelievably dusty and dry.
Me: “It’s pretty old bookshop.”
Wife: “It’s less the old bookshop, and more the abandoned cardboard boxes that they used to move the books around in the bookshop.”
By the third steep, it’s developing kind of… halfway pleasant warm gentle sweet nutty notes under the undeniable taste of bookshop.
Wife: “This makes me think of first grade.”
Me: “Definitely… there’s like, paste and glue under the cardboard taste.”
Me: “Do you like it?”
Wife: “Well, it makes me sad that I’m an adult now and there aren’t construction paper projects in my life anymore.”
Me: “I think I’m starting to like it. That makes me worry for the state of my soul.”
My first two experiences with aged liubao from Chawangshop were so inutterably dank/musty/insane-dead-bookshop that I thought I would never like aged liubao. But this was the bridge for me, just the right balance of dank must and intense warm nut chillness that I thought, “Hey, I could like this.”
The next day, I was definitely thinking about this tea. I suspect this makes me something of a tea pervert.
If you dare, take a journey through the leaves to the roots and taste the earth itself.
don’t get discouraged by its simplicity, and remember, the soil is more valuable for those who know what it can grow.
With its generosity it will give you as much as you want to enjoy and explore its secrets that went through time..
Now, if you took the lesson and let your roots go deeper, you can feel the good flowing from below helps you the get higher and higher!
Got this out of the Puerh TTB. It was pretty good, though not particularly remarkable.
Dry leaf smelled lightly grassy, wet leaf smelled more mushroomy or like forest floor. Slight disclaimer regarding mushroom notes: I’m not particularly fond of mushrooms themselves, and am thus not intimately familiar with their flavor, so when I say something tastes mushroomy, I’m not sure how accurate or whatever that is – it’s a bit of a savory flavor with some similar characteristics to forest floor/wood/moss notes for me.
The first steep tasted lightly grassy with a slight vanilla sweet note. After that, the mushroomy flavor started coming to the front of the sip, at times becoming more vegetal. The vanilla finish lasted for only a couple steeps, later replaced by a slightly citric sweet note that I struggled to place – maybe a bit like pineapple. The texture was decently thick, though I don’t think I’d call it creamy or oily. The flavors balanced out after around 6 or 7 steeps and it became harder for me to pick out individual notes. The flavor began to die out around 9 steeps, though it did yield a few softer and lighter tasting infusions after that. A pretty good tea, but probably not one I’d want to pick up a cake of, though the price is reasonable. I’ll need to try some other stuff from Chawangshop in the future!
Flavors: Dry Grass, Grass, Mushrooms, Pineapple, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal
I obtained this in a tea swap with CWarren.
I’ll start with the serious side of the review first. The tea was quite mouth kicking. It had nice brown sugar and earthy notes. It is good for those who like the casual ripe pu-erh that keeps you up throughout the day. However, I was up all day and night. In fact, within the hour of drinking the tea, I was scrubbing the floors and washing the house from within. I wanted to run for the first time in ages (I usually would rather hike). I wanted to sing in the streets & on rooftops.
Rather, I cleaned, took a nice brisk walk on a 95 F day, and sung along to the Beatles. I felt such a surge of energy from this tea, that it allowed me to get a whole a lot done throughout the house; which was relaxing.
Very nice. Thanks again for the tea, CWarren.
A sample swapped with CWarren a few months back. I’ve just finished this off, so I thought I’d make a note about it before heading to bed.
First off, never have this later than you should. My “normal” ending time for tea is at 5 p.m. However, due to an eventful series of events (my wife dislocating her arm at work, eye doctor appointment, and the A.C. guy coming to fix the unit) I was unable to get to this at the time I was planning on having it. Therefore, I started drinking it at 7:30 p.m., and am fully awake until 12 or so.
Okay, back to the tea. It’s quite good. It has a solid citrus-y note about it. Not fishy like other pu-erh stuffed tangerines/oranges that I’ve had. It’s very mellow and sweet, with a slight kick to it. I hadn’t noticed the tea’s affects until I was playing Battlefront online, and I started “Chewy-ing it up,” as my brother called it. However, I calmed down afterwards, while talking tea via phone/online.
Overall, I liked this session. But now, I’m getting tired and need to start settling down for the night….or try to.
Thanks again, CWarren!
Flavors: Citrus, Orange
This tea, which comes from ChawangShop’s well renowned product line of “the more words in the title, the better the tea”, is astonishingly cheap for its age. From such a well known vendor, this often a portent of some sort of doom. What kind? Let’s find out!
The dry leaf had no shortage of odor, primarily of a musty variety. This does not lead me to believe we’re dealing with a genteel, floral affair here. This is some biker bar tea odor right here. Game on.
It becomes apparent from the first rinse that the 2005 do re mi fa so la ti do is going to be a very no-nonsense cup, which is fine by me. Having worked ten hours yesterday, I’ve had my fill of nonsense. Early infusions are thick and hearty, yet unrefined. The mouthfeel is excellent, but both Tibetan Flame pu bricks and Pigpen from Peanuts are looking at this tea askance and thinking it’s a bit dirty. Would have been a wise idea to employ a strainer.
I think if I were to try to describe the flavors, I would term them Gothic. In the “portentously gloomy” sense, of course, not the young girls wearing black dresses and ridiculously small hats sense. It’s old, it’s fermented, and was likely put up damp at some point, and it’s not going to hide any of it. Take it or leave it.
Lest I give the impression I wasn’t impressed with this tea however, I do feel that if you’re not looking for a focused detail tasting session by the koi pond of your Zen garden with guqin music in the background, but rather something to provide an excellent background chug while you perform your duties as a lumberjack or bear wrestler, the 2005 up down up down left right left right B A merits much consideration. Good longevity, decent flavor duration, not much progression, but if you want tea that does acrobatic tastes, you’ll be paying a lot more.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to pluck some of these new hairs off my chest.
I must confess I don’t know what category of tea this is. Maybe hei cha? It tastes like a cross between a ripe pu erh, aged white, and red (Hong cha). It is clean tasting, with notes of ripe age, tart, and black tea. It is really different. It is not at all pretty, it is very dark, with stems, broken leaves, and whole leaves. An interesting one that I think ripe pu erh lovers would enjoy.
This was a fun tea to unwrap. It comes in the shape of a small pillow, about 2" on a side. Looks like a puerh cake, but is much lighter because it is uncompressed. It was easy to flake off 3 grams (out of about 20) for my pot. 5 oz water, 1 min steeps.
Sadly, the fun ended when I began to drink. The first steep was very light, with only a mild toast flavor. Simple and uninteresting. Second steep was pretty much the same, so I increased the steep time, which only added some bitterness. This looked like a bargain, but I guess you sometimes get what you pay for.
Fortunate to get 100gm of this before it’s departure from Chawangshop. As pointed out by Cwyn and Boychik, this is a delightful stoner tea. Also as pointed out by another tea friend who shall remain nameless here, " we drink tea not for it’s taste, but for it’s affect on the body". Cheers.
Trying this one I got a number of months ago. This is a cheap $10 ripe cake from Chawangshop, made with purple leaves (at least in part). I’ve never tried a purple leaf ripe. I can’t say I noticed much that was unique about it. But it is a very good tea, killer for the price. A little bitter and acidic, but deep and rich, a little chocolate creaminess, and a whisper of smoke. The flavors mingle well. It tastes nicely aged at this point.
2016 Sheng Olympics
I got 3 steeps into this tea today and hit my caffeine level. I can’t take much caffeine these days (another reason why I hardly have any black teas).
It was a really good sheng. I didn’t take any notes but each steep was honey sweet with woodsy notes. A bit of apricot too and a thick creamy mouth feel to it. Steeped at 90C , 10 sec or less each steep and no bitterness at all. I really enjoyed this one.
Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Honey, Wood
Triple Laos border tea taste test:
This was my favourite of the three. I loved the rounded less fruity but dense flavour. I would like to say hints of veg & cream in there. I really enjoyed it, and every round this one just had a bit more than the blue one had.
I didnt take notes per se, just noted every round which one I preferred and this one was the winner.
This is a tea that I will be stocking up on! It’s unbelievably fantastic!
The cake is nothing special with a very typical scent of a dark wood and some dry grass. I warmed up my yixing and popped it in. I had very low if not any expectations for this tea. I was not impressed, and I thought it to be a very basic sheng. I lifted my teapot’s lid, and all my doubt was instantly washed away. An incredible intense aroma of warm honey, mahogany, and pure maple syrup engulfed my tea room. The taste was so sweet and so potent, I was salivating. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The sweet and dessert flavor remained except a vibrant spinach tone now lie in the background. The liquor was a crystal amber color and steamed with delicate fumes. The brew began with a cleansing grass tone with a smooth floral wash. A quick nip at the tongue kept me alert and ready for the grand finale. Immediately after I swallow, a beautiful and deep huigan drowned my senses. I cannot describe how powerful and clear the honey aftertaste was. I literally looked up from my tea table and “wow’d”. This brew was so good, so potent, so balanced… I was in love. The flavor continued with a well arranged floral delicacy and tangy sweetness that lasted well into the night. The fragrance from my pot grew stronger and filled my tea room with an intoxicating perfume. The only fall this tea has, is the qi is very quiet and acts as a background fuzz that just slightly lifts the drinker. The sensation was subtle and obscure, but it still was a nice companion. This tea is fantastic if you want a sweet, decadent, and memorable sheng. I highly recommend it, and I will hopefully be buying a tong or two.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Floral, Honey, Maple Syrup, Spinach, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Winter Honey
I feel like I should be writing more reviews. I realize I’ve been only doing teas that I feel obligated to review (TTB donations) or teas that affected me strongly one way or another. My dashboard on steepster has been sparse lately, so I suspect many others are drifting into the same mode of operation.
This is a nice average sheng. The only thing that stands out is the fairly strong cha qi. I was feeling it in my shoulders after drinking about one ounce. I took a break after my second cup so can’t fully estimate its power, but it’s pretty strong. For me the feeling is more physical than mental. The tea has a pleasant toasted straw flavor, with some bitterness at the beginning of the finish and some tropical fruit that comes out from behind the bitterness late in the finish. I was going to recommend the tea as an inexpensive tea drunk, but see that it is now out of stock. Another opportunity missed.
Another Liu bao last night. very interesting.
the leaf material is really nice, long intact and not too much sticks.
same parameters as i have for sheng
5g/80ml yixing 212F
this Liu bao is nice, smoky not overly. it has that cooling pine needle /minty flavor.
But… its not a midnight drink. I was starving and had to fix myself a breakfast. eggs, mini bagel and cheddar. i felt quite energized and packed few more never ending boxes ( moving to a new place next week)
To sum up: it is a better version of Lapsang Sauchong. it is smooth and smoke is not harsh. i bet it will only improve in a few years
Ok people. my Liu Bao affair continues. I have Liu Bao almost every night.
I really like this one. it is non smoky. it tastes clean even though its young in Liu bao age. the color is lovely orange. it is sweet and spicy. nothing overpowering or off putting. very safe introduction to Liu bao i think. it is pretty complex and qi is noticeable.
Very nice night drink
i brew it as i would do sheng
5g/80ml yixing 212F
rinse/ very short steeps increasing to my liking