Liquid Proust Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes


I took this cake (and its amazing Fu Dog wrapper) to work after comparing it to another very affordable cake I picked up from LP, a 7543 that I decided I liked more and wanted to keep at home. The lovely thing about cakes I take to work is that I feel I get to know them intimately and in a concentrated amount of time — a knowing that slowly picking through my tea drawers at home just doesn’t facilitate.

This way of drinking through a single cake also, perhaps, encourages broad-stroke descriptions, judgment in swaths after dozens of cups rather than a quiet sit with a tiny gaiwan.

What I’ve come to expect of this tea is a little funk up front, which (usually depending on the earliness of the hour and my corresponding constitution) I have rinsed a time or two. I tend not to rinse, for better or worse. This cake strikes me reliably as vegetal and tobacco; I have had exactly one second steep that was delightfully full-bodied with a touch of sweetness, and I’ve been waiting for a return of that bit of lovely ever since. There is not a pronounced amount of sweetness, spice, camphor, or forest here.

Most of my “sessions” (an overstatement if there ever was one) have been grandpa-style in a ceramic tumbler. I’m very often disappointed after adding a second round of water, and sometimes will throw a few more leaves in to compensate. Not a terribly long-lived expression. I’ve added ice a few times, to drink with takeout Thai, and it’s nice for that.

It’s been a solid little workhorse for a couple months now, but as I near the end of my cake I’m looking forward to cracking into something a little more exciting.


Great way to use up a cake! I have missed your notes. Hope your life is exuberantly joyful!

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Bought a 1-serving sample several years ago to give Vesper Chan puerh a try.

Right now, it’s a little too brassy for me, but I can feel a steady strength to this leaf that might indicate an ability to age into something very nice. For a young pressing, it’s also very balanced.

Flavors: Balanced, Bittersweet, Brass, Brisk, Cooling, Dates, Garlic, Honey, Juicy, Metallic, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Vegetables

205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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Solid tea from LP! Some pretty classic Xiaguan characteristics without any bitterness or astringency. Could probably steep this at boiling haha.

I can tell the storage has been pretty good for this one – definitely tastes semi-aged with only 12-13 yrs.

Dry leaf: Smoke
Wet leaf: Smoke, tobacco, grapes
Flavor: Smoke, tobacco, dough, sweet

Flavors: Bread Dough, Grapes, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

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Bought a cake of this just cuz it was cheap and I like huangpian. It serves its purpose well! Sweet, brews easily, calming, and no fuss. Not super complex, but it is a cheap tea and it is certainly good for the price. Some quite large leaves with big stems in this cake too.

Keep the good stuff coming, LP.

Flavors: Sweet, fruity, apple.

Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Sweet

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Bit of a powerhouse, strong but smoothed by the age/storage. Lots of mouthfeel and pucker. Lingering finish with a touch of sweet hui gan.

Long lasting leaves too, I stopped counting infusions after the 8th steep.

Flavors: Astringent, Bittersweet

195 °F / 90 °C 14 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Enjoying this blend so far. Outclasses some other Pu’er I have at my desk.

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No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Camphor

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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I’ve tried more than a handful or two of these alcohol barrel aged productions. Though typically delicious, one thing they often have in common is that whatever alcohol they’ve essentially been scented with typically steeps out entirely within two or maybe three (if you’re lucky) infusions. I don’t know if it comes down to the type of alcohol or the number of days it was barrel aged, but that’s not been my experience with this tea. The dry leaf smells very strongly of rye – like taking a sniff straight from the bottle. With strong notes of oak, spiced fruits, black pepper, and pumpernickel bread; this tea tastes very much of the rye it was aged with. Even after six or seven infusions, the taste still hadn’t fully gone away either. It really, truly did penetrate these leaves. Plus, as is typical of teas from the LaoManE region, this black tea packs some bitter bite and hearty astringency – it works brilliantly in conjunction with the rye though. Stroke of genius to combine the two.

I love weird and experimental teas, and for as long as I’ve known him, that’s something I’ve always been able to count on Andrew to deliver – whether it was back when he was dehydrating watermelon and other weird fruits for his blended tea ventures or now that his focus is centered more so on pure/traditional teas. Very happy to have caught this one when I had the chance!

Tea Photos:

Song Pairing:

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I have two similarly hand-labeled envelopes of what I assume are both this same tea, likely hookup samples. Solid little black Darjeeling, withlinalool that made me realize I’ve developed a taste for linalool… and made me absolutely crave that potato-chip Darjeeling from What-Cha that I finished months ago. Sigh.

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I like a Cang’er. Pretty straightforward tobacco and sweetness with the expected doughy top note. My cake was not as pretty as the multi-colored leafy beaut that LP has on his website. Compression not too gnarly for an iron cake, though I should have strained after throwing in all the fannings my pick made. /leafspit

Flavors: Bread Dough, Sweet, Tannin, Tobacco

Marshall Weber

This one is on my bucket list. Glad you liked it!


It’s so cheap — hard not to like it!

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Hoo, it seems I’ve overestimated my current capability to triumphantly return to Steepster with gusto. Life continues to be busy, and I’ve missed logging a lot of tea that I’ve poured down my gullet. Patience with myself is the hardest patience to practice.

I started this session last night and ended it this morning. The compression is so tight that the large bundle I broke off never broke up on its own — a phenomenon I had not experienced yet. After several long and frankly underwhelming steeps, I finally reached in and broke that thing up manually, then hit it hard and long for 2 or 3 licorice-laced cups that were legitimately enjoyable. I’ll be curious to see what a better break-up does for these leaves right from the get go.

Flavors: Licorice

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From beerandbeancurd – I hope that mountain living is treating you well.

Good balance of sweet and barely sour, never syrupy. Smooth fruity whiskey-reminiscent aftertaste early on. Big round taste — bready, dried leaves, vanilla and redfruits, liquid brown sugar. Hints to a bitter herb; beerandbeancurd’s “hyssop” fits well, maybe even mugwort. That herbal bitterness combines with a metallic tongue tingle. Some gentle camphor comes around, which I’m always a fan of.

Mellow and easy-going aged sheng huangpian that’s great for longer infusions. Never overwhelming, always good-tempered and a nice Friday wind-down. Glad I got to try!

Flavors: Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Dry Leaves, Fruity, Herbs, Metallic, Red Fruits, Round, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Whiskey, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Glad you enjoyed. I remember thinking how soft and beautiful these leaves looked.

The mountain is bringing me joy. You have been on my mind — I hope China was everything good for your soul.

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Really tasty, I would describe the mouthfeel as juicy? There’s a pleasant background astringency with a very forward medium roast oolong flavor profile. Hard to pick out single notes but if you have sampled Oolongs this will feel right at home. Bursting with good flavor, strong leaf to water ratio without adding bitterness thanks to the coin leaf format. Would buy again!

195 °F / 90 °C 13 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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Ahhh Yiwu, my good friend. This stuff is quite nice! Last of 3 samples from LP. On the fence about caking it. Definitely can see this tea becoming great with a bit more age.

Not sure what the smell of the wet leaves are but it’s familiar. Maybe some tea tree oil with a back end of peppermint? Or maybe Aloe? Strange. None of that note comes through in the liquor. Anyways, the longevity is nice at 10+ infusions. Can do this one at boiling for sure and still no astringency or bitterness. Nice, sweet aftertaste that lingers for 1-2 minutes. Smooth, easy mouthfeel. One of the easiest drinking shengs I’ve had.

Dry leaf: peppermint, tea tree oil?
Wet leaf: same
Flavor: Smooth, vanilla, sweet.

Flavors: Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

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Fairly well balanced sheng from LP. Don’t see any cakes of this on the site, but probably wouldn’t get any anyways. Definitely not bad, but there are better shengs for sure.

Has some moderate astringency that is a welcome addition to my palate. Mild bitterness in the first infusions. Longevity was 10+ infusions. Liquor is light orange. Predominant mouthfeel is a drying astringency. Flavors evolve quite a bit over the infusions as expected. No sweetness. Aftertaste is herbal and lasts under a minute.

Dry leaf: Perfume, floral, green apple
Wet leaf: Same
Flavor: Floral, astringent, bitter, herbal, smoke.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Green Apple, Herbal, Smoke

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WOW!!! First time tasting a truly aged sheng, and my first traditional HK stored puerh as well. I’m amazed and feel very fortunate that I can take this journey back to 1985. Thank you for the opportunity, LP!

After this experience, I can now say that I resonate with the experiences of other tea heads that I have read about. This is certainly not a tea for everyone, but call me Ronald McDonald because I’m loving it! Only thing is, I’m not sure what camphor smells like. Maybe it’s there? There is a touch of something vaguely familiar to me. Maybe that’s the camphor? Anyways, the complexity is crazy and drives your imagination wild.

There is nary a speck of bitterness or astringency to this beauty. The smoothness of this tea at least matches if not surpasses the shous I’ve tried. But do not be deceived: the experience of this tea is incredibly different from that of a shou. Longevity is, as expected, phenomenal at 20+ infusions. Cha qi is calming and sedating. Mouthfeel is creamy and full as if a balloon is being inflated in my mouth. The aftertaste lasts at least 5 minutes and is full of flavor. Towards the back of my throat, the feeling is reminiscent of a used Swiffer duster tickling my throat (in a good way :)). On the sides and front of my tongue, especially in the later infusions, a subtle, tingly sweetness lingers.

I can’t wait to try the other samples in my order from LP, and to try more aged sheng in the future! LP – you will definitely be getting my repeat business. If money were not an issue, I’d buy every gram of aged sheng I could :).

Dry Leaf: Musty basement, wet cardboard, old dusty library books
Wet Leaf: Same
Flavors: Musty old basement, wet cardboard, wet dark wood, old dusty library books, abandoned attic, used Swiffer duster, inflated balloon, sweet, thick, heavy, cream.

Flavors: Cardboard, Cream, Dark Wood, Dust, Heavy, Musty, Sweet, Thick, Wet Wood

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Backlog: I had this over the weekend on a coold autumn day. Leaves are falling, and despite not having filtered water at that moment, the three western steeps of this tea were comforting. Caramel, brown sugar, maple, smoke, roast, char, and campfire smoke were in abundance. I also kept getting berry notes, like blueberries or raspberries after they’ve been cooked into crepes and pastries. Active imagination note because of association, I know. But I regret not getting more of this one despite having a decent amount of it.


This sounds like a wow—especially the part that makes you imagine pastry!

Daylon R Thomas

I’m exaggerating. This is actually a Lapsang Blend that doesn’t have a whole lot of smoke. I wouldn’t recommend it to newbie drinkers. More experienced drinkers would think it’s rich and layered.

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Cheap gorgeous lapsang. Andrew had a feeling the basic people would like this one, and I did it mug fu style with 30-50 second rinses. I varied it depending on aroma. The dryleaf smell is a weird combo of pine needle, smoke, and caramel. It’s like a bougie log cabin in Oregon or Washington state. That’s what it makes me think of. The flavor definitely has lapsang smoke, yet like Andrew described, is laced with a caramelized sugar taste. Sometimes, I thought I was drinking sap filled caramel coffee. Also heavy in a maple direction too, and the later steeps had more of the lapsang notes I’m used to, but sweeter. Soooo much sweeter. I contemplated getting more of it because $8 for 50 grams is cheap. But again, I have too many black teas.

Definitely recommend it to my basic tea lovers and nerds.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Coffee, Malt, Maple, Maple Syrup, Pine, Smoke, Toffee

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