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Recent Tasting Notes
Upon opening the paper wrapper, I am hit with a musky smell – rather like walking into an old dark unused library storage room. The cake looks dark and clean with many large twisted leaves mixed with pieces and stems. Easy to pick off leaves for steeping. Stinky tea liquor so I did three quick rinses rather than the usual two. The orange color of the tea soup reflects the age of this cake.
Good complexity. Solid character and flavor profile – sweetness and bitterness work nicely together to achieve a firm base upon which the subtleties of the additional flavors; – hay, camphor, old book leather and stonefruit – reveal themselves throughout the tea session. Most noticeable is the strong Qi in this one – an “energy” that makes me feel very alive and rather happy. Lingering aftertaste. Decent endurance and steep longevity (10-12 infusions) so I’ll likely go back to this little teapot full of happiness sometime over the next two days. Not the most flavorful sheng I have enjoyed but an interesting find indeed.
Oh no, another talker. This one arrived in mummy wrapping, i.e. The Paper, white and brown, bug bit and iron-creased. I could smell the wet tomb storage immediately. Should really air out what gets dug up out of the ground. But if our friend here on Steepster is correct, this tea is meant for avoiding. Couldn’t hurt to have a teensy, weensy bit of a sip, now could it?
Stuck my pick in the back, and tea easily broke away, like dried bones. No complaints when I weighed what gave, 5.6 grams. Got out my tasting 60 ml senchado, which is tiny kyusu meant for small sips of fine gyokuro, but I have dedicated it for puerh tasting. Two rinses, water is clear. Them bones is oily. Had to nudge it around in there to see the dark red & amber swirls float away from the leaves. The ghost rose up.
“Noooooooo! No! Leave me alone! Who are youuu?? Gah, a white woman! Probably a Jew.”
Yeah, yeah and this ain’t Egypt, sweetheart.
Did 10 shots of this in a 40 ml Jian Shui tasting cup. The most intensely camphorated tea I’ve ever tasted, like a cold, dead finger down my throat. Embalming fluid.
Earthy, wet tomb flavor which actually comes and goes, oddly enough. Still a bit dry on the tongue. A good airing is well necessary, this cake arrived in plastic. But for sure this tea has been wet stored, despite the description saying these cakes were dry stored. However, it appears this tea company can churn out 100 ktons per year of tea so perhaps there are a lot of these cakes around. Could explain the low price.
Hobbes reviewed this tea a few years back on his blog, however I tend to remember the cute and wistful, almost memory-like photos of his children rather than the teas he drinks. Of course he drinks an awful lot of tea too, even he can’t remember it without handwriting and typing out his notes. Anyway, he records this as a Yiwu. He thought it could be a 2001 and I am inclined to agree, except the cake really does fall apart easily. Could be the wet storage sped this one along a bit.
Cake is $149 or so at Daniel’s chineseteashop. Or $30 at jiujiucha.taobao.com plus the sale of your last born in shipping and agent fees, if you use one.
I need a good, serious session with this tea when it is good and aired and exorcised and stops yelling at me. Big leaves in this mixed with some smaller leaf chop, and a few stems, including one Big Hard Stiffy. Can’t bend that one no matter how many times I hit it with boiling water, and It has the little round suction cup at the base which attached to the branch. Lower down in the tree maybe. All the leaves turn very brown in the cup. Needed longer steep times on this to coax the oily leaves, and a bigger pot to let the larger ones unfurl.
As for psychotropic effects, I got very warm, and didn’t feel anything except I found myself standing and pouring my tea all over the counter. Where is the cup? Over there…
Am two fisting this now with a shou in case those cold fingers wrap themselves around my neck. The camphorated finish is long, even after the Rishi shou I am swallowing, the cold is still at my throat.
Flavors: Camphor, Earth, Musty, Peat, Plums
AMAZING!!! This aged sheng pu erh is full of complexity. Sweet, earthy, very very mild bitterness (less than most sheng), spice, straw, air this tea keeps me present during sessions to appreciate all the subtleties of it’s flavor and character. The BEST cha qi I’ve ever experienced in a tea. Available at thechineseteashop.com When I first sampled this tea in their store I was on lunch break from a seminar I was attending, I was transported into tea heaven and completely lost track of time and was 2 hours late back to the seminar. I did not care, as I had just had one of the best tea experineces of my life. I bought a cake at the then price of $150 and it’s good enough that I’m considering getting another for long term storage. This tea would get a 100, except I’m the type of person that believes in the possiblity of something better that I just haven’t tried yet. This tea will be hard to beat though, I just love it! Truly a gift and a pleasure to taste this tea.