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Recent Tasting Notes
Drinking this today on my personal day off from work. Haven’t really had a lot of time to drink tea and actually think about it…
A bit bitter/smoky at the start of the session, but that fades after a few steeps. I’m currently sipping through steep # 7 while writing this at the moment—I’m noting stonefruits/straw/leather-y apricots. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t liking this one off the bat, but it’s growing on me…
I might have to start digging into this cake more often, now that I’m mostly working my way through my stash…I’m curious to see where the notes will go after a few months…
The dry leaves smell like super fresh grass with a bit of bitterness in the background. I am brewing this tea in my Yixing pot so some of the bitterness that would normally be in this tea might be cut down. My ratio is also lower then it normally is because I only have a sample of this tea. I did two quick washes and then my first steep was around 5 seconds long.
The first steep brewed up very lightly. This brew is a bit light but still has an abundance of flavor. At the forefront of this tea there is quite a bit of fruityness like cherries. In the middle there is this extremely pleasant bitter metalic taste. I know that this does not seem like the most appealing of descriptions but it tastes extremely bright and light and the tastes dance on your tongue bouncing back and forth between this wonderful fruityness and this light metal taste. On the aftertaste the tea delves into a very pleasant sweetness, not like honey or a sugar sweetness but a very pleasant sweetness nonetheless. Later steeps bring out even more complexities in the flavor. This is a very delicious tea that if you can get your hands on I would highly suggest you do. That being said, I can’t find it anymore on their website so I don’t know if that is a possibility anymore.
Flavors: Cherry, Fruity, Metallic, Sweet
At this point I have tried this tea three different times in different brewing vessels. This was one of the teas that I took a gamble on trying because I know hidden gems are still out there in 2016/2017… but I have to say that the cost to find them is quite high (however it is fun)
This tea is apparently 20+ years old? I cannot confirm or deny that, what I can do is affirm that it does not taste like teas that old on an average basis from the multiple ones I have tried. The liquid from the brew is always a bright orange that looks as if it just changed from yellow recently. There’s a nice sweet hay smell that comes off from the tea when it is brewed, yet the taste does no follow. This is an easy drinking tea as if it was apple juice… but that doesn’t offer much of an experience.
More skepticism from me has been added to PuerhShop.com because this seems to be a normal occurrence with what they have; that isn’t to say they don’t have good teas, those ripe dragon eggs are wonderful, what I am saying is their claims on age or region don’t see to match up.
Maybe this tea is dead and needs to be brought to life, I’m not too sure though I know right now it’s like blahh
When I opened this tea today I didn’t realize I already had an open one somewhere and had already reviewed it. Well I still think it is a nice shou. It starts of with a fair amount of fermentation flavor and maybe even some chocolate notes in the mix. It was sweet, not bitter from the beginning. It evolved into an even sweeter tea. Towards the end of ten steeps it evolved into a fruity profile. Can’t really say a specific fruit. It was quite good for an inexpensive puerh.
I brewed this ten times in a 220ml teapot with 17.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 minute.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Sweet
This is a very nice ripe puerh from Puerhshop. It seemed very good but not quite spectacular. A very good value for the price at only around $17. To me this one proves you do not have to spend a fortune to get a nice shou. This one was bittersweet at the start witih a fair amount of fermentation. The bitterness and fermentation were gone by about the fifth steep or so. I might describe the sweet note at the end as dates but this is only an opinion. It could well taste like something else to someone else. But my thought is dates. Did not really notice any chocolate notes in this one but I could have missed them.
I brewed this ten times in an 180ml Jian Shui teapot with 14.8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 minute. Judging by the color of the tea there were a few more steeps left in this but ten steeps from a 180ml teapot is a lot of tea.
Flavors: Dates, Earth, Sweet
Bought this with my last order to Puerhshop. This was a fairly nice semi aged raw tea. It was very densely compressed. After it opened up there were some notes of tobacco and leather. These were not too long lived and they were replaced at least largely by a sweet note. I failed to accurately identify this note but chestnuts and mushrooms came to mind. But that is by no means definitive. I will say it transformed into something fairly nice if not spectacular.
I brewed this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. 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. It could have gone a few more steeps but twelve was enough for me.
This was a pretty good ripe puerh. It is also quite cheap. Goes for only $6 or so. It is neither spectacular nor is it bad. It is good but I mean it is average good, not incredible good. There was a fair amount of fermentation flavor to it. I found the taste of it a little unpleasant but not fishy. It was bittersweet at the start and evolved into a nice semi sweet ripe puerh tea.
I steeped this twelve times in a 160ml Solid Silver Teapot with 14.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. 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 minutes. Could of gotten some more out of the leaves but twelve steeps is a lot of tea.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
Every time I go to brew a puershop.com tea… I think about Marvel tv shows. Then when I go to drinking something from say Bana Tea, I think of DC tv shows. You know what I mean?
This was like a sour sweet mushroom… like, imagine a blueberry decided to mutate into something nasty and it did it well. It’s still part blueberry, regardless of what it is now, but you dislike the new sour aspect; and maybe those weird puss like explosions going on because it’s probably molding and all.
Was an odd session. Went 8 steeps and I gave up.
I tried to add an image to this tea, but Steepster went all wonky on me and wouldn’t let me do it. Whoever put this in the catalog did not include an image. This only got steeped western style this morning because I am about out of time and have to go to work. It is fairly sweet with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. I really don’t remember what I paid for this but I don’t think it was too much. Most of puerhshop’s teas are reasonably priced. That is one of the things I like about Puerhshop. Their teas are often a good value because they don’t generally overcharge.
I breed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 30 seconds after a 10 second rinse.
This tea came out of the LP Mystery Group Buy – Still behind on drinking through group buys…oops. I used the whole 5.8g in my 100mL gaiwan. The leaf smelled like straw, stonefruits, and a hint of brown sugar.
The flavor, especially early on in the session, was dominated by bitterness. There were notes of straw along with the bitterness, followed up by a sweeter flavor of apricot with a bit of sugary sweetness in there as well. Unfortunately, the bitterness and sweetness were never really balanced out. I enjoy bitterness, but I prefer it to be balanced by sweetness as well – this one wasn’t really. It got slightly less bitter as I steeped it out, but as the bitterness really started to drop off, the sweetness went with it. Not a particularly great tea to me, and I didn’t get much of any qi off of it.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Stonefruits, Straw, Sugar
A sample from the Puerh TTB – I almost didn’t take any of this, then decided to take just a small sample because it is Bulang after all. Unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a young factory sheng. It’s got quite a strong bitterness to it, and even once you get past that, there’s not a whole lot to back it up. Some sweet huigan and decent thickness in the mouth, but not a lot. I don’t think this would be a particularly worthwhile tea for quite a few years.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Grass, Hay
Woo! A ripe that I like! This one came out of the LP Mystery Group Buy.
To my tastebuds, this guy was pretty much totally clear of any weird fermentation flavor. The rinsed leaf smelled like wet wood, but not funky. There was also a slight bit of a bready note perhaps. First three steeps I got earthy notes of wood with a slight cherry note as well. I got about 8 steeps from this one. After the initial steeps, the cherry note went away, but it did get a little bit sweeter. The leaves seemed quite small, so I’m not surprised it was rather short-lived. I probably won’t buy any more of this, just because I’d still prefer a good sheng to a good shou. It seems like for me to like a shou, it has to be pretty well cleared of fermentation funk. This is probably the first one I’ve encountered that it.
Flavors: Cherry, Creamy, Earth, Sweet, Wood
I ordered this one as part of a small order that I’m using to try out some of Puerhshop.com’s productions. This one is quite affordable, because it is huangpian leaf. I’m not sure whether I like huangpian yet – I believe the only ones I’ve had so far are 2016 Fade from W2T and now this one.
The Dry leaf and the rinsed leaf have a slight sour aroma to me. From the brewed liquid, I get some sourness with fruity notes – maybe slightly citric. The first couple steeps were pretty watery, but after that the texture did pick up a little bit in the next few steeps. I started to also get a bit of a hay note, still with a sour-ish finish. A couple steeps later, the hay flavor turned into more of a corn note, though not too sweet or anything.
This one wasn’t as sour as Fade was, but then again it’s five years older. I will have to try a couple more huangpian puerhs, but so far, I don’t think I’m particularly fond of them. Maybe the sourness ages out after long enough? I don’t know. This was drinkable, but not spectacular.
Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Sour
Man, I came close to ordering one of these…I ended up with two samples from two different puerhshop orders. I had pretty fond memories of my first try, but after having it a second time, I don’t think it’s anything I need to pick up. The dry aroma was nice and minty smelling. After a rinse, the leaves had a leathery slightly smoky smell – smelled like kind of old sheng I guess.
The liquid had a decent orange tint going on, indicating this sheng’s entrance into middle-agedness. First couple steeps were slightly thick, smooth, with leathery and menthol notes. The taste got pretty pungent a few steeps in, with the leathery becoming more tobacco. It started to gain a bit of a sour undercurrent that reminded me of raisins or craisins, without much sweetness. I got a bit of feeling from this tea in my throat – a slight constricting feeling. Not much otherwise in terms of body feel. Later steeps were pretty clean tasting, with tobacco and an “aged” note. Not bad tea, but not one I need to pick up a whole 250g of. I might have snagged one if they were 100g tuos, but there’s honestly much better tea I could spend $20 on.
Flavors: Leather, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Tobacco
Broad, course leaves loosely compressed. Strongly mineral and earthy taste with raisin, cocoa, and petrichor notes. No noticeable fermentation flavor left. The taste is thin and clean, not a thick and creamy sort of shou. Slight sweet/tart ginseng/dried cherry note. A really nice pu for the price!
Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Mineral, petrichor, Raisins
Brewing in my new Crimson Lotus Jian Shui pot!
Spicy and bittersweet , notes of green wood, honey, tobacco, wet earth, and a unique cocoa powder note. It’s not cocoa in a “chocolate” sort of way, but it reminds me distinctly of baking with my mom. Not as green as you would expect for a 2013 tea. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but I like the strong bitter character and the uniqueness of the flavor.
Flavors: Cocoa, Floral, Green Wood, Honey, petrichor, Tobacco
Brews up a medium yellow, mildly bitter and astringent. This tea has flavors of green beans, whiskey, petrichor, herbs, and a fruity bitterness like white grape skins. Nice lingering sweetness and aroma in the mouth. The mouthfeel is a little bit thin, but overall it’s pretty nice and a bargain at it’s current price.
Flavors: Green Beans, Herbs, petrichor, Whiskey, White Grapes
Note: my tuo was purchased through Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company; given that most of their pu seems to be sourced through other vendors, I just added this one instead of creating a new entry. Should anyone have knowledge that this is a noticeably differently stored tea, I’d be interested to hear it.
This tea is reputedly from Lao Man’E, a region of some renown. It is famous for its tremendous strength and bitterness, and the dry leaf odor alone lends some credence to this claim, as it manages to smell like a kilo of tea in a 250g bag.
I didn’t leaf too heavily, this being the first Bulang I’ve had at all, and I didn’t want to have to spend my evening trying to find where my taste buds had landed after they’d been blown clean out of my head. I think I hit a decent proportion for a Bulang novice at about 1g/18mL, as the bitterness was certainly present in greater quantity than I would expect from a 9 year old sheng, but was not so bad that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the first few cups. Later infusions softened comparatively, but never backed down to the point that you could be sure you hadn’t insulted the tea’s lineage in a past life and it was out for revenge.
This all being said, I do believe this is from very young trees/bushes – it didn’t exhibit tremendous complexity or particularly pronounced aftertaste (though the ku hung around for a bit, somehow in a manner rather enjoyable). Body effect was non-zero, but not impressive. Wet leaves were reasonably intact – most of any leaf was there, but rarely all. As this was my initial crack into the tuo, this could be a covering leaves only phenomenon. Leaf size was rather small.
Overall it was an interesting experience – if I’d read my account of it beforehand, I’d likely have expected to have enjoyed it less than I actually did. Perhaps next time I’ll go big and see if I have an even better time, or just get knocked on my keister.
Likely worth a sample if you like teas that bite back – not that I’m sure anyone offers samples of it. But at right around 20 per tuo, it’s a good value for a “daily drinker” IMO.
Just watch what you say about its mother.
This was a cheap brick. That being said it was a really delicious tasting cheap brick. It started out with a bit of a woody note to it, not sure exactly how to describe the note. It had a fair amount of fermentation taste to it but this was not unpleasant or fishy to me. It developed a nice sweet note to it. To go out on a bit of a limb perhaps a dates note to it. I didn’t pay very much for this brick but it was worth every penny. This is one I would consider stocking up on. It was that good.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150mml gaiwan with 11.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. 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. I could have gotten a few more steeps out of this tea but twelve was enough for me.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet, Wood
Drank this today while reading the timeline of Star Trek and now I feel dumb… then again it’s confusing. Enterprise is the earliest of them all but it was made last, why why why!
Anyways, this is a solid tea that has no bitter notes to it and a strong taste of what raw sheng is like when pure and untampered with by elements such as age, humidity, traveling, random hairs stuck in the cake, fast food oil from fingers when it was broken, and anything else.
That being said: All jingmai material I’ve had has been excellent and pure. This is true for this as well, even if I support what Glen is doing and say with a bias; CLT has that good good jingmai.
Here’s a reason to buy this: It’s a 2013 Jingmai cake at only $19 for 200g. I’m being serious when I say that’s a good deal.