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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a nice ripe that started out with a fair amount of fermentation taste and a bittersweet note. One might interpret this note as bittersweet chocolate but that is a matter of opinion. After about six steeps the fermentation was history, I would say the bitter note lasted maybe four steeps. It developed into a nice sweet puerh. I think this one will be really nice in a few more years when the fermentation clears completely.
I brewed this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.5g 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. The tea was not finished at twelve steeps. I think I could have gotten another 4 or 5 steeps out of it judging by the color of the tea.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
This was a very tasty ripe tea by Puerhshop. It started out with a sweet note and no real bitterness. It did have a fair amount of fermentation flavor but that flavor was not the unpleasant sort and it certainly was not fishy. It was dark and rich in the early steeps. By the twelfth steep it had thinned out a bit but there was still a nice color to it. I suspect I would have gotten between two and four more steeps out of it. It was very good but not spectacular.
I brewed this in a 150ml gaiwan with 11g 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.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
This tea is surprisingly good considering what I paid for it. One of the other reviewers said it had a buttery texture and I would agree. It was sweet with little bitterness and a fair amount of fermentation flavor. But that flavor was neither unpleasant or fishy. This was one good tea overall. I steeped it fourteen times in a 120ml shibo and think it would have gone a few more.
I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 120ml shibo with 10.2g 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 minutes. There were maybe two to three more steeps left to this one.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
I don’t have a ton of thoughts on this tea, I can mostly just compare it to the other three MangFei cakes I’ve tried lately. The four cakes were two Yunnan Sourcing cakes (‘11 and ’16), Bitterleaf’s Take My Breath Away (‘16), and this one. Of the cakes this is probably my least favorite, but not due to it being a bad tea. I’m a big fan of the YS11 as I find it the most multidimensional of the four. Bitter leaf’s is also excellent and I would call that my favorite, very young mangfei that I’ve sampled (although it’s got a steeper price). This PuerhShop tea is fairly good, but a little boring. It had a strong start, being by far the most bitter of the four even with two being five years younger. From there the tea just sort of faded away, not really bringing anything new to the table just mellowing out the bitter taste from the first few steps.
I have to give a mixed review of this tea. It started out quite unpleasant tasting. A note I can only think of as turpentine, not that I know what that tastes like. But I can’t think of any other word to describe the aged note this tea had taken. However by about the sixth steeping that note was pretty much gone and began to be replaced by a better note. By the twelfth steep there was a fairly nice note to the tea. Not quite sure if I would use the word sweet except in the sense that it was not bitter. But because of the initial unpleasant note I find myself not recommending this tea.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9.3g 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 min.
This was a strong and bitter sheng. I gave it twelve steeps and only around the eleventh steep would I say a sweet note started to develop. I had already lost the apricots of a young sheng however. I will wait a year or two on this one and see if it improves.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8.7g 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 mini, 1.5 min, and 2 minutes.
This is the first Lao Man’e tea I’ve tried, so I’m unsure whether or not to recommend it. It came at a very cheap price, and puerhshop is not always known for having the best examples of most teas. This one was, in line with the region’s reputation, pretty bitter. It was not really astringent or unpleasant to drink, though perhaps in part due to the age on it. Most of what I got from this tea was a bitter vegetal note, with very little sweetness backing it up. I got no qi or anything off of this tea.
I’ll have to try other LME teas before I can pass relevant relative judgement on this tea, but it was pretty “meh” all around.
Flavors: Bitter, Green, Vegetal
This tea was strong with a bitter character in the beginning. Over the course of twelve steeps it evolved into something nice, you might even say it had a apricot like sweetness in later steeps. But that is open to interpretation. In any case it was good.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8.5g 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, 1min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
This is a fairly nice raw with a bit more age on it than I expected. The tea liquid was a solid orange color and it had some decidedly aged notes to it, leather and tobacco for the first six steeps. It gradually evolved into something sweeter. I am not really sure what to call the sweet note but chestnuts came to mind. That however may not be an accurate description, just what came to mind. I steeped it for twelve steeps and it would have gone a few more had I the desire to keep going. This was a good tea but not a spectacular tea.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9.4g 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 had two sessions with this one. First one: rinse, 10s, 10, 20, 20, 30, 1min etc. Second session: rinse, f, f, f, f, 10s, 15, 30, 1min, 2, 4, finished grandpa style.
Early steeps were in both cases aromatic: moss, rosemary, citrus, pears and smoke come to mind. Very bitter and astringent at first, which (I was told) makes for a good aging potential. Slightly numbing sensation in the mouth. Undecided about body: it wasn’t very thick nor watery.
In the later steeps the bitternes calms down a bit in favour of subtle sweetnes and a hint of plum aroma.
Even though this tea is probably not objectively bad, it doesn’t agree with me – the initial bitter kick makes it hard to appreciate the thickness, which is gone in the later steeps when the bitternes wears out.
Flavors: Citrus, Moss, Pear, Smoke
This was a nice ripe puerh. It was neither spectacular or bad just about above average for a ripe puerh I would say. It had a lot of fermentation flavor to it. Those with an aversion to fermentation taste probably want to avoid it. It was strong until the sixth steep and to some degree present even in the tenth steep. There were little in the way of bitter notes to this tea, it had a sweet note from the beginning. I wasn’t really paying attention to the specifics just say it is worth the price. At $10 what do you have to lose. It was in my opinion as good as some shous I have paid much more for.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9.7g 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.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
After hearing so much about jingmai puerh and seeing this cake for a LOT less than most Jngmai I could not resist buying it. This is amazing as it stands out as both unusually sweet and mild when it comes to most sheng puerhs. If this cheap Jingmai cake is so good, I can only imagine how good the premium quality ones will be that I now plan on ordering next.
This is a reasonably nice ripe tea that is sweet from the ripe puerh and smoky from the tangerine peel. Not sure if they smoke the thing with the puerh inside or not. There was a fair amount of fermentation taste that was neither unpleasant or fishy. Because of the nature of the tangerine it was hard to tell where the fermentation taste began and the smoky taste ended. I only gave this eight steeps today but it would have gone quite a few more.
I brewed this eight times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.1g 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, and 30 seconds. If you have never tried Tangerine Puerh I definitely recommend you get some from your favorite seller and try it. I have not found one brand that is better than another but this was quite tasty.
A smooth nutty cocoa malty black tea. An inexpensive daily drinker that I highly recommend for those of you who’re on the go, at work, or longing to be perked up. I’m not one to consume black tea often, but when I do, it must be something such as this.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet
Gongfu brewed in my shiboridashi. Without a doubt Jim has done it again when it comes to producing private label puerh cakes that break expectations for their price range. A darker level fermentation compared to must lighter shous today. A smooth brew with a malty taste that while neither bitter nor sweet is leaning slightly to the sweet side.
This one is interesting as your brewing method determines if it comes off more as a green tea or young sheng puerh. Brewed in either a mug infuser or grandpa style in a chawan, it comes off as a decent green tea. Brewed gongfu style in a shiboridashi and it comes off as a more mild young sheng puerh.
This is from a random sample order I made a puerhshop a few months back. They’re nice for instant gratification pu, as their shipping time is 2 days or less to my house. I ordered this solely because it was Bulang. The dry leaf had a bit of a woody or piney aroma to it – after a rinse, it was woody cinnamon and sage.
The first steep was light, with a bit of pine sweetness. It left me fully unprepared for the second steep, which was almost overwhelmingly cinnamon. It was quite surprising – cinnamon bark with a nice sweet finish. Slightly mouth-numbing. I think it’s the most heavily cinnamon tasting tea I’ve ever had.
By the next steep, the cinnamon had faded, but was still quite present. That along with an increased sweet finish, made this tea taste uncannily like apple pie. That’s really what I got for most of the rest of the session. It got a little bit drying on the finish around steep six or so as well. This tea didn’t have much of any of the bitterness which Bulang teas are often known for. Just apple pie. The mouth feeling was decently thick, but entirely unremarkable.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Pine, Sweet
A sample of this was sent to me and I was curious about it… wasn’t sure if it was a raw or ripe from the package or the smell of the dry leaf. When I brewed it up it let me know it was a ripe though.
From the first steep I knew this was old tea; thankfully I have had multiple experiences with shou that’s 10-15, 15-20, and 20+ years old. This falls in that range of being in the early 2000s, but if it was wrapped in bamboo than it would probably have a more dry’ish aspect to it. It has a dry wood taste to it with a very surprising kick of fermentation. I haven’t come across an older ripe with this kick in the mouth so that surprises me. The undertones and high notes of bark(old sun beat layer) let me know that it’s older… but I think for most people this isn’t something they want because it was 100% dry stored and by that I mean 30% humidity or something like that.
This is something I may consider buying, breaking up, and storing in a crock for later. The complex taste that comes through the viscosity with sticky stem mixed in with old bark makes this unique while not being too harsh or too weak. With some humidity and bringing to life this could be a gem. Dead serious
This was a very good tasting tea. According to the Puerhshop website is is composed entirely of Spring Leaf from Ancient Trees in Bingdao Mountain. While I cannot confirm the ancient tree claim I also have no reason not to believe it. While I only steeped this twelve times, the leaves would have gone at least four more steeps judging by the color of the tea in the twelfth steep. This tea started out with a lack of bitterness and a moderate amount of fermentation flavor. There was a sweet note from the beginning. I’m not entirely sure how to characterize this note, and it did change between steep one and steep twelve. You might say it had a fruity note in steep 10 through 12 at least. I tend to associate ripe puerh with dates but this is by no means certain. But in the end this was a most enjoyable ripe tea. At $21.99 for a 200g bing it was only moderately expensive. The low price of the cake does make me doubt the ancient tree claim but they could be thinking of 100 year old trees when they say ancient tree. There is no fixed definition for what constitutes ancient tree tea. Still, I really liked the tea.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.2g 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. Again, the leaves were not done at twelve steeps but I was.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
I started this sample pretty late in the evening. I’ve been drinking down some samples today; however, this session was the longest from the few sessions.
This tea has a darker color than most shengs I’ve had. Not a lot of bitterness. I tasted earthy-mint (with a touch of honey toward the first few steeps) notes throughout the session. I’m not aware of the total number of steeps, but this tea didn’t give even after I stopped after 3 hours….I might be willing to get a whole cake later down the road.
I had purchased a couple of teas from Puerhshop.com a few weeks ago, and they had sent a couple of samples with the order. I decided to drink this tonight since I can’t fall asleep until 2 or 3 now that I work nights. I can’t give this tea a fair rating due to the high amount of broken pieces within the sample; however, I’ll rate it on what I’ve experienced with the tea at the moment. I also acquired a lot of tea dust, too. Very bitter and drying. I stopped after filling the cha hai a few times, but the tea remained bitter/dry throughout the whole process.