China Cha Dao

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Recent Tasting Notes


It is called bitter tea for a reason.
Not a fan, not a fan at all.

Flavors: Bitter

170 °F / 76 °C

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I hope I am not making a mistake by trying to drink this tea so late in the day. It’s almost 5 pm and that is pretty late for me and sheng but I really wanted to try it. I have 2 other mini bricks from Douji that are around 100g but this is a 250g brick I purchased from China Cha Do for $34.99.

Definitely a nice sheng puerh, very light on the bitterness if that is not your thing. I’m doing short steeps of around 15 seconds in the yixing and getting a deep yellow tea liquor. The tea is smooth and thick and is mostly on the woodsy/sweeter side with notes of citrus. I am getting lemon, orange and anise. The bitterness snuck up on me a little bit after I had about 4 steeps. There is no smoke in this tea either. I do like smoky young shengs sometimes but it’s nice to have some that aren’t.

I played around with the water temp on this and found that steeping it at 190f or so yielded good results for me and brought out the sweet, fruity flavor. If you’ve never had Douji and you like raw puerh I would recommend giving this a try. The mildness of this has made it a really good afternoon tea. It is delicious. I would definitely like to try more Doujis in the future!

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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I actually sampled the 2012 version of this tea.

A rather unique Puerh … light in color and flavor. It smells more vegetative than earthy, which is also quite unique in a Puerh.

Sweet, smooth and mellow. No astringency. No bitterness. Just … smooth!

Here’s my full-length review:

Charles Thomas Draper

A 2011 raw puerh should never be earthy. A shu, yes. Sheng, never…


I usually find most puerh earthy on some level. Sheng are definitely less so than Shu, but I usually taste earthy notes. (Even though the title says 2011, I used the same listing for the 2012 … not that it matters.)

Charles Thomas Draper

It is too new to be earthy


I generally pick up on earthy notes in most Pu-erh. I also pick up on earthy notes in some white, green and black teas. They may not all taste of the same “earthy” quality, but it is still earthy to me.

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I didn’t notice the same earthiness from this puerh that my SororiTea Sister TeaEqualsBliss did.

This was a surprising Puerh, because I could taste unique sweet and fruity notes! A mild earthy note, but I found that the leaf smelled more earthy than the tea tasted.

Sweet, juicy melon and peach notes with a hint of vanilla. Then I noticed hints of wood. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a Puerh quite like this one before: no strong earthy qualities, no fishy or brine-y notes. Just … really delightful.

Here’s my full-length review:


Jerry sells some good puerh!

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I appear to have a bug. I guess it wasn’t my wife trying to poison me with grilled cheese two days ago. My back hurts and heating pad is the only relief I have found. My stomach is in knots. My head hurts. I am trying to keep hydrated but honestly I don’t feel like drinking. I’ve have wanted raw pu-erh for a couple days but no one in the house knows how to fix it (or even what it is) but me. Finally feel momentarily well enough. Used my gaiwan and a 15 sec steep. Raisin, woodsy, a touch of smoke, and a fruit – apricot I think. More important I get an immediate sticky lip feel and a much desired rumble in my bloated gut. Time for more.


get better soon !

boychik I hope you will get better by tomorrow !

Ich. Take care of yourself!


Hope you feel well soon!

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About 3 years ago China Cha Dao sent out some puerh samples. I tried them, then put the rest in storage. This morning I was in the mood to dig in the poo drawer and try something I haven’t had in a long time.

I used my $7 yixing pot. It makes me happy. It’s 10 oz, so its big enough for an entire party in yixing circles. To me in amateur land it is the perfect personal size.

The dry leaf smells of hay. Gave it a one minute steep. The color is a warm orange. Wow this is still quite bitter when hot. I should have done a wash. So I added sweetener. That calmed down the bite. The taste is kind of raisin, woodsy, mineral, with a hint of smoke.

Looking forward to many cups with this today.

I thought my internet would be shut off this morning – I got the overage notice yesterday dated the 27th. They haven’t flipped the switch yet – so yeah!


I love the big Yixing pots also.


I started to order a couple more but given comments about the safety of cheap pots, I wasn’t sure. I can’t find any evidence that anyone has ever actually found lead or other harmful stuff in them. I have found a page where a person purposely destroyed one to have it tested and it turned out fine. So I probably will eventually get more of them. They are just too fun to use.

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The dry leaf is long, wiry, and twisted. I noticed some are pretzel shaped. I am amused. The leaf is very dark with some lighter touches. It smells fresh and grassy. Used 2g of tea and below boiling water – same as with the other puerhs. 10 second lightly swirling wash that I poured out.

1st drinking steep – 30 seconds. The wet leaf smells of grass, hay, and seaweed. Also catching a bit of earthy dirt. That’s what I picture when I think puerh. I have never noticed smokiness in any of these samples. The first sip is not what I expected at all. It is very light and green. In fact the first cup is too light. I can tell there is real flavor here that just isn’t coming out using my method of brewing.

I decided to increase the steep time on the 2nd cup to 1 minute. The leaf smells strongly of seaweed. The brew in the cup is honey/caramel colored. Sip – ah, there is that musty, rich soil flavor I knew was here. Because I only used 2g it is not overwhelming. The 3rd and 4th cups, also at a minute, are the best yet, very even, mellow, and rich. With the 5th cup a coppery taste and color develops that continues through cups 6 (2min) & 7 (3min). Cup 8 (4 min), the color is very light and clear in the pot. There is still an amazing amount of flavor here. Cup 9 (5min), musty, earthy, sweet. Starting to get weak. Cup 10 (15 min) The copper notes are back but loosing depth. Still good. Time to accept these leaves have given their all.

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I don’t think I used enough leaf! this is so weak… on the first steep it came out as I would expect a seventh or eighth steeping to be.
Then again, I’m a little under the weather so probably can’t taste the subtle notes all that well.
From what I can taste, the pu-erh is very mild, a little earthy, but not fishy at all. There is a mild sweetness that I’m getting but that could be my cold (when I’m sick, I can’t taste spices but everything has a sugary tinge to it)
Oh and I added a tiny bit of white sugar to bring that out. Ok so I know I said in another post that there was only one perk to being sick, but I guess this is more a flip side of not being able to taste spices haha.
Anyhow, I won’t rate this now… I’d rather give a proper review when I can trust my senses more :)
(though I’d rate this particular tea experience an 83)

Thank you Jerry Ma, this is indeed quite lovely!

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Kinda in a meh mood, so this is probably not the greatest time to be reviewing a tea, cept the fact that I feel this tea fit my mood quite well. This tea is like the friend that tries to please everyone and becomes what they think other people want them to be. Pretty soon they lose who they really are and just become a collection of fake personalities none of which are real. In the end no one really dislikes this person perse but they also fail to develop any kind of a meaningful relationship because they are not real.

That is what this tea is to me, it hints at being smoky, with a rich toasty robust flavor, while trying to also appeal to those who favor the more delicate lighter roasts. In the end it just kinda fails at life, you can’t really hate this tea, but just something about it bothers you.

Kinda a meh tea for a meh mood.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Thank you Azzrian for sending me some of this tea. This is a surprisingly strong white tea – stronger in flavor than the typical delicate white tea. While I do enjoy those delicate white tea too, it’s nice when I come across something a little different.

Sweet, vegetative (reminiscent of freshly cut hay) … it’s a very fresh tasting tea. Tasty nutty tones. This is one of those teas that keeps me sipping because each sip is a new adventure. I liked this one a lot.

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This one smells like wet wood and dirt…very earthy.
The color is a medium brown once infused.

The flavor is more gentle than I assumed it would be based on the aroma, alone. I’m happy with the level of flavor on the tongue.

It’s somewhat mellow, thick like broth, slightly earthy but a little sweet…like sweet wood. This feels good on the throat. This is a very nice ripe pu-erh! Nice surprise!

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Azzrian Thanks, sista!
This was lovely! Grand! I really REALLY enjoyed this! It was mild, a little roasty/toasty, sweet, creamy, clean, and somewhat brothy/soupy by subtly-so!

It’s like ZEN…in a cup!


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Full review on on the 26th but here are the snippits:

I prefer the second steep to the first, and in the future would probably even do a quick rinse, like one would do with pu-erh, before sipping.

The aroma is that of flowers, orange, and grapefruit. The liquid should be rather pale, be sure not to over steep this one. Gong Fu brewing is recommended.

This is a unique tea with a completely different flavor profile from any oolong that I have ever had. I can see where some would adore this tea and where others may not care for it. I think those who adore it will want it in their stash at all times, however for those we do not, they should at least experience an oolong like this once.

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Full review will be posted on on the 14th. Here are the snippits:

I am not always impressed with white tea, its a little too mellow for my palate, but this one has some lovely character. I really love the creaminess of this one, along with the lovely light vegetal flavor.

it gives me a feeling of looking into a reflecting pool – just staring into it gazing for that little glimmer of a koi swimming by, or a frog that leaps out unexpectedly from the greenery around the pond. It has its subtle nuances and surprises within the cup. It is also so dreamy, relaxing, and mellow.

There is a light spicy note to the sip, like a sparkle of cinnamon on the tip of the tongue. The after taste coats your mouth with the flavor of ginseng and honey!

2012 Fu Ding Ba Cha has many layers of flavors that peek out and keep bringing me back to my magical reflection pool, just now I was sure I tasted something rather smokey. Perhaps it is the haze left behind by the waters as they cool from the setting sun or perhaps it is just the tea cooling a little. Either way this tea is quite dreamy.

Terri HarpLady

nice review!


Thank you! :)


Love your review! did you add sugar in this one?


None at all! It is so yummy!

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So I’ve had this one for a bit from a swap with Dinosara but you know sometimes it takes a while to get to some teas…or your cabinet is overflowing and your wife says no more tea till you finish what you have. This one has been in my work stash. I have liked all the Wuyi teas that I have tried and this one is pretty good. A little nutty and since the leaves are half oxidized I’m getting a little bit of what I would call that sometimes cherry like flavor and honey hints that at least I pick up from the fully oxidized Oolongs. That you don’t get from green Oolongs.

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I’ve been sipping on this tea all day ~ it is alright, but nothing memorable. It is a good tea for when you are focusing on other activities. It is a bit nutty and not really sweet – not nearly as complex as I prefer my darker oolongs. Overall, I wouldn’t purchase this but I’ll definitely enjoy what I have.

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I haven’t had an oolong in awhile, so I decided this afternoon was as good a time as any. Although the first infusions of oolongs are never my favorite – I quite like this cup of tea. There is a bit of nutty and smooth with a slight sweetness that I hope develops more over subsequent infusions. I’m looking forward to drinking this cup a bit quickly so I can get to more and hopefully tastier infusions. Rating is on hold for now – will rate after having a couple more infusions.

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I’ve had this little brick for a few weeks now but am just getting around to trying it. I do love the elegant box and paper wrappers that douji uses, and I ordered this brick from China Cha Dao on E-Bay with no problems whatsoever. I think it took 2 weeks to arrive from China which isn’t bad.

The first steep of this tea was for around 20 seconds. I got a light yellowish tea liquor and am happy, for a sheng this is fairly mild with a touch of sweetness. I am finding the flavor to be woodsy, slightly tangy and with a touch of bitterness in the finish.

Steep #2 was about the same and Steeps #3 and #4 I decided to drink together in my glass teacup. Some gentle honey notes and slightly floral ones are coming forward in the tea. I have been fairly happy with the few jing mai shengs I’ve had in the past because they all seem to share this characteristic. Only the tiniest trace of bitterness is present in the finish. I’m happy that this is mellow.

I really like this one and it should age like a champ, although it is certainly ready to drink now as well. I’ve had with my two Douji experiments so far, maybe next I will get a cake. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I’m really happy about finally starting my journey into sheng, it seems to be an exciting world.


It is – very fun and interesting!

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I really like Nan Nuo mountain tea, and I am also a big fan of Douji. Lucky for me, I had this tea from a couple of years ago, when they price was still ok, although still a bit expensive. Unfortunately, the current Douji 2012 teas I have seen are all much higher in price. But for a larger brand, they still do a great job.

The tea was very fragrant and floral. When I steeped it, the room filled up with a flower smell, very enticing. The tea goes on for quite awhile too. I give this tea a high rating, but for Nan Nuo mountain teas, I think there are still some better options out there

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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A review of 2011 Golden Key AAA+ Wuyi Mountain (Chinese Oolong Tea sample by China Cha Dao

This sample I received last year from Jerry Ma, tea vendor in China. I have enjoyed sampling all of their teas. I put a teaspoon of the remaining leaves into my cup and poured the hot water into my cup and leaving it to steep with cover on for few minutes.

After the set time, I removed the cover and notice the tea’s color to be a golden yellow, that light amber coloring. This tea smells very clean; nothing hits you at once since it is a very mild tea. With the leaves in the bottom of the cup, you can smell that the leaves have been cooked; that leafy green texture lingers slightly. Once I remove the leaves, I am left with a lovely cup of oolong. I sip and sip until the very end.

This Oolong was very clean and smooth; lush even; the nose of this tea is flowery but more of melons than floral. It is a sweetly and smooth cup of hot tea. It would make a nice cup of iced tea. I like mine hot, just they way I had it. Thank you for allowing me to continue to sample such fine teas.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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