The Essence of Tea

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75

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Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Bitter Melon, Citrus Zest, Herbaceous, Tobacco, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 180 ML

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Obtained a full cake of this from a friend and very glad that I did.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BbGHR2AgiUL/?taken-by=liquidproust

This is the first raw puerh I’ve ever drank that had more than just that menthol feel… it had a minty taste. It is/was so unique. The tongue seemed cool and tingled after each sip with a nice sensation for at least 20-30 seconds. Fantastic feel and a decent texture to the liquid. Good dry age to this one at this point and I look forward to drinking the heck out of it this winter : )

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I got this as a free sample with my order and was quite surprised how much punch it had. The flavor has a perfect level of strength, which is a nice contrast to all the sweet light 2017s right now. The notes are daisy, stone fruits, buttered green beans, and slight char. It gets sharper in flavor each infusion, and also builds up some astringency, but a drinkable dryness. The energy of this tea hits after the session.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2017-nancai-ancient-sheng-puer-essence-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML
mrmopar

You tried the Jingdong yet?

Oolong Owl

I sadly didn’t get that one. I just have Secret Forest left to try for puer.

mrmopar

I still have some of the Secret Forest too. Message me your address I will pack you some Jingdong. Be warned potent like Lao Man’E if steeped too long.

Alexander

Haha, yeah Jingdong is super awesome! :-)

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99

delicious stuff. Lovely ‘wild’ fruit taste, with less bitterness than others I have had from around this area. A hint of steamed darkened fruity leaf in there.

It just goes and goes with limited change to the taste of the steeps. Robust good leaf. Soft gummy plump mouthfeel and more candy huigan. So good :)

Flavors: Fruity

Sqt

It’s like nature’s own haribo :)
If it just had a bit more of a punch to it I would get a tong.

Rasseru

oh man, these wild teas are gorgeous but soft arent they. I like them brewed with power & sometimes chop and change to benefit from the strength of one sheng then the fruit of wilds

Sqt

I’ve been considering blending one of them with something that with a little bit more power, but that might overwhelm all those delicate notes.

Rasseru

good idea, I might try that too

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If my math is correct, this 6g pot of tea cost $60. Is it worth it? Well if I had Zuckerberg’s money I would get a tong of this as the flavor and qi are outta sight. First, the flavor/aroma . There is a state park near where I live called Trough Creek. The rims of the canyon are lined with cedar, oak, rhododendron and white pine. After the leaves have fallen in November and there is a rain followed by a warm day, a beautiful aroma of decaying leaves, evergreen mushrooms and decomposing oak fills the air. That’s the essence of this tea. The qi? This has all the nice tingly mood elevating properties of camellias much debated cousin but none of the goofiness and fogginess or paranoia. Just nice. Add a muscle relaxing property and a bit of mental clarity and you have it. I drank a pot of this at 2pm, took a convertible ride and it was like I was driving through a painting. I then went to a local jam session and each note played really resonated. Was this pot of tea worth $60? Well, I’ve payed that much for 50 year old English barleywine ales, 6 ounce bottle at that. I actually see a lot of similarities between old sheng and old beer. I also see how decades of aging really enhances the qi. None of the 10,20 or even 30 year old stuff I’ve had compares. I recommend this tea for very special occasions. I’m having a pot of 05 naka to see if this tea is really 10 times better proportional to cost. I’d say no but it’s definitely 3-5 times better. Makes me wonder how the puerh sk rareness will be in 50 years…

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75

This is an interesting one, albeit more as an example than for its actual qualities. The description doesn’t lie; the tea is elegant, almost to a fault. The taste is essentially single note: a smooth, slightly bitter flavor that seems typical of the region, but which I have a hard time describing. It’s quite mellow, with low astringency and a bit of thickness; early cups left some tingling and my tongue and the session’s concluded with a nice lingering throat-tightness caused by the tea’s light bitterness carrying over into the finish.

That said, the tea is subtle: I didn’t really notice the finish much until the end of the session and the qi and caffeine are both present, but only if you search for them. I didn’t find much durability here, either, having to start pushing it harder than I would have expected after the first couple of steeps. My sample was very loose, almost like maocha, which may have exacerbated that.

I’m not sure I’ve actually had anything that’s single tree before, which is why I grabbed the sample. As I said, there’s definitely a purity here, but it results in a loss of dynamism. The flavor presents itself at its boldest in the first several cups and then fades (a bit faster than I’d have liked) without really changing much. I have no regrets about having the sample, but I also have no desire to go in for a cake.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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82

This tea is chopped—chopped, and compressed hard enough that the last five gram portion of my sample fell out of the bag with an audible thunk. Breaking that apart took a bit of effort and was only really possible after the rinse. Fortunately, though, it did open up after a steep or two and I could get on with the session without too much difficulty.

The liquor itself brews up an orange-ish brown that’s relatively light for a tea of this age and is indicative of the relatively dry, humid storage this tea’s seen in Malaysia. The taste reflects that as well, with a tart cherry note predominating, along with a cooling finish and some tingling activity on the tongue. It’s got a decently thick mouthfeel and provides a qi that gradually sneaks up on you.

It’s not without its flaws, though. The durability’s merely tolerable—the chopped leaves give up the ghost pretty quickly—and there’s a bit of an unpleasant bitterness not unlike burnt coffee that clashes with the rest of the flavors. It’s not a dealbreaker—you have to look for that flavor and it’s pretty brief—but it does mar the experience a bit. Previous sessions with earlier parts of the sample have been intensely smoky, though this quality’s been absent this time around. My guess is that there’s some variability in the cake.

This was the second sample of this tea that I’ve ordered, as I found myself unable to remember what I thought of it the first time. I’m not sure I’d purchase it in the current market; it’s a pretty decent tea, but I think EoT has some comparable offerings that are better. That said, it’s pretty enjoyable and it’s not the sort of thing I’d complain about owning.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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I dont even know how to review this:

God: Haha this will totally mess with their heads (removes all the wild tea trees around Jingdong)

Angel Gabriel: I hope you’re going to replace th…. oh my.

Angel Raziel: Thats throat numbing spray.

God: Dont worry lads, there’s a bit of huigan in it.

Flavors: Bitter, Dark Bittersweet, Fruity, Smoke, Tobacco

Sqt

Ordered a sample just earlier today :)

Rasseru

it tastes like its got age on it already. Strongly deep bitter flavours

Sqt

Looking forward to it. I’ve mostly preferred older shengs so far and am just starting to appreciate the younger stuff.

tanluwils

This sounds like an fascinating tea. Are you still in Singapore?

Rasseru

Haven’t left yet! Going in a few weeks

Sqt

When are you going to Singapore, and how long will you be there? I might be able to introduce you to do a pu-head friend there.

Rasseru

in a few weeks – i’ll pm you

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This is smooth and has a flavour that isn’t like shou, which I had difficulty placing. It isn’t exactly bitter and smells ‘hotter’ than shou. Another review said nutmeg – that might be it. Some spice that is not spicy. It has some mouth-tingling feel.

I also found this a very sleepy tea – I kept dozing off when drinking it.

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Lovely aroma from the rinse, coats the mouth from the first sips with a sort of soapy moutheel (I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s very nice!). A very light flavor with just an undertone of bitterness, and a nice perfumey, floral top. Some definitely heart-pounding energy to this one.

Flavors: Butter, Perfume, Soap, Vanilla

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This is an awesome puer, especially for the price. The notes are clean and bright, tasting of mineral amber and rocks, rock sugar, stone fruit, and floral. The body is heavy and thick. Wuliang H has plenty of energy too. I got 13 good infusions.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2016-wuliang-h-essence-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML
tanluwils

Nice review! I know what you mean by a tea being too powerful for as a workplace tea, but not complex enough for an amazing session. That being said, I have a Mangfei and Mengku tea that were at that stage even after they had a year to settle, but are now nuanced enough, and just as powerful as ever, for a good session. Perhaps this tea, too, will require another year to really come into its own.

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85

Three sessions with this tea:
Session 1: Leafed the first bit of my sample into my gaiwan. Through the first few steeps, I noticed a hint of smokiness. Thankfully, this transformed into a mellow sweetness with the fourth or fifth steep.
Session 2: No hint of smoke. Enjoying the mellow sweetness and lingering cooling on the tongue from the first brew.
Session 3: Same as the second.

I suspect I had a leaf or two that spent a little too much time on the pan with my first session. The second and third sessions with this tea were enough to convince me that I needed to pick up a cake…or two.

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Having been on a bit of an aged tea kick lately, despite the seasonal influx of new tea, I decided to pick up a sample of this with my most recent Essence of Tea order. I’ve brewed it gong fu a couple of times and taken it into work for a grandpa-style session once so far, and I can safely say it’s a pretty solid tea, although one better suited to gong fu.

The parameters here are for my most recent session. My work session with this was a little underwhelming—mostly smoke, not a whole lot of flavor or durability—and I was suspicious that I had underleafed, despite using my normal quantity of tea. Thus, this time, I went for broke on the leaf quantity, pretty well packing the gaiwan. I was rewarded for my efforts with tart, cherry-like flavors that gradually subsided to reveal undertones of softer vanilla. There’s definitely some smoke on this tea, though it’s mostly faded and present primarily when smelling the gaiwan lid; similarly, the camphor in the name seems to appear mostly in the aroma and maybe a bit in the finish.

In terms of less immediately tangible properties, the tea’s texture was nothing remarkable, although not too thin. There’s a calm but noticeable qi, and the caffeine levels seem to be pretty low, which is kind of a feature. The tea proved reasonably durable through the session, though it fell off a cliff towards the end—my steep time increments jumped from five seconds to thirty seconds or more pretty quickly.

For the price, this is a pretty solid tea. If you squint, you could think of it as a budget version of the YQH Teji, as the storage seems to have had similar effects. I’d definitely recommend sampling it, and it might be worth a cake.

Flavors: Cherry, Vanilla

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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85

Typical Hongcha notes and sweetness with little and rather untypical maltyness. Pleasant bitterness and astringency, as often to be found at Sheng Pu’erhs.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-beyond-the-clouds-eot

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Malt, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
9 tsp 90 OZ / 2661 ML

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100

Super heavy and full-bodied with an very spicy sweetness and subliminal bitterness which numbs the tongue. Wet-storage character but still a super strong tea and a very relaxed qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2008-bulang-ancient-tree-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Heavy, Smooth, Sweet, Wet wood

Preparation
10 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML
mrmopar

This one is so good…..

Alexander

Indeed, absolutely love this one! One of the best more traditional stored Shengs ever.

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85

Mellow, multifaceted profile, light and fresh with an undeniable wild origin, this tea is lighter than its 2016 version (Tea Club only) and more similar to the 2017 Secret Forest Wild: A tame and calm wild Sheng.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-wuliang-wild-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
8 tsp 80 OZ / 2365 ML

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70

At first very spicy and nutty, which turns to a slightly bitter floral note. Somewhat astringent and very fresh.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-nancai-ancient-eot

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Nutty, Spicy

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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85

Very light and elegant for a Sheng and more so for a wild Sheng. This one is of a very different character as the other wild Shengs this year but nonetheless very lovely since it has a long lasting, cooling fruitiness combined with a light, relaxing Qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-secret-forest-wild-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Fruity

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Very well compressed tea from what seems like the purple leafed varietal. There is forest moss and subtle hickory smoke in the dry leaf aroma. After the first wash, the leaves reveal intriguing aromas – dried plum, roasted walnut, pine wood, and moss after the spring rain. The tea brews a very clear and pale amber. Body is light yet the tea is somehow rich.

It’s a remarkable tea. The Qi is intense from the start. It moves towards the back of the head and envelops the cerebellum, spreads down my spine, and into my shoulders. It remains there, leaving feeling warm and elevated (not hyper) for the entire session and afterwards. It also spreads to my chest and remains. I’m fully alert yet calm and happy. This is really cool stuff.

Initial steeps remind me of Yunnan Sourcing’s DeHong purple tea, but then the tea quickly reminds you that it’s something else entirely. The bitterness and sharpness in the initial steeps is much more similar to wild spring herbs (raw mugwort or ssuk in Korean) than tea, as it covers my entire mouth cavity and morphs on the sides of the tongue into intense tart apricots, sour cherries, grapefruit, dandelion greens, and oregano, but then transforms via huigan into something fruity and savory…and lingers. There is no smokiness in the flavor.

Mid steeps become even more fruity (plum, peach, cherry, green apple), honeyed, and very smooth. I can taste and feel the purity of this tea. It has great depth and, despite my description above, it’s quite difficult to accurately describe. It must be experienced first hand. I am tempted to purchase another bing.

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100

As the 2016 version this one comes with a plesant and strong bitter and wild flavor, but more fruity and heavy as last year. Again a strong and relaxing Qi – one of the best Shengs ever!
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-kunlu-ancient-tree-wild-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Fruity, Heavy, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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100

Bitter-sweet and very fruity ith a longlasting aftertaste like berrys and nice, decent Qi. Later on the bitterness turns down and becomes more sweet, like tart sour cheryys. You get really much for your money!
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-jingdong-ancient-wild-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML
mrmopar

I have this one in my cart. Nice to see some notes before I get one.

Alexander

It’s really worth the money if you enjoy strong and bold puerhs with a wild profile. Not as hardcore as the Kunlu Bitter but more faceted flavors. Really enjoy this one.

mrmopar

Indeed I do. Kunlu, Bulang, Mang Fei are some of my favorites. I like to be smacked around by a tea.

tanluwils

I am considering this one, too. I did a blind buy on the 2016 kunlu bitter. It’s one of the most interesting teas in my collection.

Rasseru

omg. the bitterness on this one is pretty hardcore

Rasseru

Literally its making my throat numb and feels like its closing. ouf

Alexander

Woot? Ok, there’s some nice and strong bitterness, but not as strong as the Kunlu Wild … be prepared ;-)

Rasseru

Haha, well i didnt get as much fruit as the terre de ciel kunlu, it has been a bitter-fest all the way, but its a deep bitter, not tangy, hard to explain. I might try with lower temps next time

tanluwils

What the 2016 EOT kunlu has gotten by for it is body feel and qi. Of course there is wonderfully deep bitterness that rings in the mouth, but what it does to my body is remarkable. The qi (essence) travels to unexpected parts of the body and lingers there like a heat pack for hours.

Rasseru

i’m chasing the juicy huigan of the TDC Kunlu. I’m not that bothered about Qi unless its too stimulating and then i dont like it

Rasseru

@Alexander – I am not getting anywhere near the bitterness I got with the kunlu than I did with this one. I have knocked 5c off the temp to 85 in preparation but I cant taste much bitterness at all.

Maybe I hit this Jingdong too hot by accident, although I havent ever done that before. It was waaaay bitter

Alexander

@ranluwils: True, there is some very nice Qi with the Kunlu, like it was on the 2016er EoT Kunlu, too. Love it!
@Rasseru: Really? This is quite strange – I usually prepare Sheng this young the same way (8g to 80 ml and about 85-90 °C temperature) and the Kunlu has been always more bitter than the Jingdong. Let me know how the next sessions with those two work out!

Rasseru

yeah I will do. I’ll finish the samples properly, got another 2 sessions of each. Yeah i’m about the same specs. Maybe i’m used to the kunlu bitter as i’ve had a lot more of that type & my tongue is new to the jingdong. I dont know. interesting though, it was quite a noticeable difference. Also shows how different peoples tastes can be, especially with crazy sheng flavours

Rasseru

some of these tastes are sometimes way past the fringes of what normal people consider to be nice tasting, Its like the wild west of taste, haha

Alexander

yeah, like Puerh itself is “acquired taste”, so are those very bitter Shengs (more so since you have to “acquire after you’ve acquired”) ;-)

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100

Buttery-smooth, very light tastewise but with a heavy underlying strength. Very strong and relaxing Qi and with a lot of endurance!
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-yiwu-guoyoulin-eot

Flavors: Butter, Heavy, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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70

Gentle and smooth tea with strong body and good Qi.
Image sand more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2007-mr-feng-fd-eot

Flavors: Leather, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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