The Essence of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Fresh, slightly bitter with a instense, rustic somkiness. Recommended if you like smokey Shengs.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2014-yunyun-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Smoke

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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85

Buttery-smooth, fruity-spicy and slightly bitter-astringent.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2014-long-lan-xu-eot

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Fruity, Smooth, Spicy

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 89 ML

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85

Spicy and slightly woody. Similar to the 2000 Kai Yuan Green Stamp, but much smooth rand more tame.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2000-green-peacock-eot

Flavors: Smooth, Spicy, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Warm and sweet with hints of dried fruits and relaxing Qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2006-da-xue-shan-eot

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Thick and smooth, pleasnt spicy woodiness with a good Qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2012-qi-sheng-gu-eot

Flavors: Smooth, Spicy, Thick, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

Smooth, warm and sweet with hints of apricots.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2009-mr-feng-bwq-eot

Flavors: Apricot, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

Heavy and thick, tart and despite age still slightly bittern and astringtent with a fruity note.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2006-wild-peacock-eot

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Fruity, Heavy, Tart, Thick

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

Tastewise very light but still thick with good Qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2016-wuliang-b-eot

Flavors: Smooth, Thick

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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70

Velvet smooth, fresh and sweet.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2016-xinzhai-eot

Flavors: Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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70

Bitter and spicy with a “hearty” taste.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2014-nancai-wild-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Spicy

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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100

Very strong, spicy and woody. Despite age still quite astringent and smoky.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2000-kai-yuan-green-stamp-eot

Flavors: Astringent, Heavy, Smoke, Spicy, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100

Strong, bitter and heavy with a good Qi. This is what Bulang tastes like!
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2012-bulang-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Heavy, Spicy

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Strong and balanced, remindes of the 2002 W2T White Wale but smoother.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2003-purple-peacock-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Heavy, Smoke, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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55

Very modest, smooth and slightly woody.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/1992-da-ye

Flavors: Smooth, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

Heavy, buttery-smooth, slightly woody and with notes of dry plumes.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2007-qi-sheng-gu-eot

Flavors: Butter, Heavy, Plums, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100

Very smooth with a slightly bitter sweetnes and a great Qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2012-baotang-eot

Flavors: Bitter, Smooth, Sweat, Wood

Preparation
10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

Velvet smooth with a heavy sweetness.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2015-yunya-eot

Flavors: Heavy, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Quite a bit of bitterness in this one with maybe some slight spicy notes. That’s not really the right word for the note, but I don’t know what to call it. Couldn’t find this one on the site anymore so it must be sold out. Not particularly good enough that I bothered to look up any more details about it.

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Yay, my tenth review! I received ten grams of this tea as a free sample with my order from Essence of Tea. The bag has been sitting opened in my pumidor for over a month so it has had ample time to air out and acclimatize. My sample consisted of one larger piece, big, intact individual leaves as well as some smaller ones at the bottom of the bag. The sample had an air of being prepared with care.

Since there weren’t enough leaves to fill up the rather large Yixing teapot I usually use for sheng, I put 8.9g of leaves in a 130ml gaiwan instead. The dry leaves had a much darker and aged smell than you usually get in a sheng of this age, which leads me to believe what I was smelling may have been acquired in storage. This was a non-issue, though, because after a ten-second rinse the dark aroma was gone and I was greeted instead by a sweet, vegetal scent. After a customary ten-minute rest, I got to brewing. I did a total of eleven steeps, for 10s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 80s, 2 min., 3 min. and 4 min. respectively. The tea could have gone longer, but I gave up. I did all my drinking from a silver cup that I received from Crimson Lotus Tea the very same day, in case you are a believer in that silver makes a difference in taste. I have yet to do a direct A/B, but the potential influence on flavor is not why I bought the cup.

The first infusion had a thick, soft, creamy texture and a very prominent vanilla note, but also some astringency in the finish that I’m not used to seeing in the very first steep when brewing in clay. I hardly ever brew sheng in porcelain, so I can’t say if this tea is more astringent than average or if I’m just not used to it. In any case the first infusion was excellent. The second steep was less thick and in it the vanilla note was replaced by a creamy taste. It was also much more astringent than the first one or what I’m used to.

The third infusion was still creamy, but started to taste greener while still remaining reasonably astringent. The fourth one was the same, while having perhaps a bit more body and also possibly leaving a smoky tobacco aroma in your mouth. After that the creamy character dropped off and for the next four steeps the taste was green and astringent with some emerging green sweetness. Very typical young sheng flavor.

Starting with infusion nine the other flavors were finally starting to taper off, making way to typical young raw pu’er sweetness, although the sweetness wasn’t especially sweet. The tenth steeping tasted very clean while still maintaining strength really well. The eleventh infusion is where I stopped and that was probably the first time the tea was starting showing signs of dropping in strength.

All in all this was a good tea and a positive session. I didn’t like the tea enough to warrant a purchase, but my pumidor is already starting to get to a point where a tea has to be really special or interesting for me to be willing to devote room for it. If I were to magically acquire a cake of this, I would store it rather than drink it. The tea can be drunk now, but although the early infusions were nice, I think it’s still underdeveloped in other areas and tastes quite young. I found the tea quite astringent at every step, but even at its most intense it remained manageable. The biggest shortcoming I noted for the tea was a seeming lack of discernible cha qi. Normally I would regard this as a bigger issue, but I feel in this case the tea makes up for the seeming lack of qi with its seemingly excellent longevity and the way in which it maintains its strength extremely well throughout the session.

If you like creamy sheng and this tea sounds promising, I recommend trying a sample to see for yourself how you like it. For an Essence of Tea offering the cake is quite affordable and I think this is certainly a quality tea. The tea is okay to drink now, but frankly I think it would be a waste to do so. I can see this tea becoming very yummy in ten or fifteen years and drinking it now would be a waste of potential. I’m sure there are other creamy shengs out there that are more suited for immediate consumption.

In its current state I think this is a good tea. In the future I can see it becoming a great one. I’m trying to be conservative with how I hand out Recommended badges and reserve those to only teas I would buy myself or buy more of if I ran out, so therefore this doesn’t get one despite being something I recommend trying out.

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Green, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
mrmopar

You just need another pumidor….it will happen in time….

TJ Elite

I know…

mrmopar

MrM knows these things….

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This tea, being a factory production, does not walk in beauty.
It does not go gentle into the good night.
Its flavor was perfectly adequate. Enjoyable, even. No hint of questionable storage of either the excessively damp nor murderously arid varieties. Good color, good nose, good aftertaste, acceptable huigan.

What really stood out for this tea, which is regrettably unavailable I believe, was the feeling. If I were to make totally unfounded suppositions (and when, really, do I not?), I would say that it made me feel like a beloved pet in the lap of its master, being stroked and fed treats. The sort of contentment that essentially no longer exists upon reaching adulthood, in which you feel all is right with the universe.

So would I recommend it, were such a recommendation even actionable? Of course not! I can’t even be sure I’ll get the same feelings from a second session with the same tea, much less anyone else.

But I’d recommend you give it a go, if you get a chance. Any chance to feel that pleased is well worth one’s time.

Haveteawilltravel

This is that good soul tea ;)

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This tea is amazing.
I could stop with that remark, but since it’s Easter I sat down and drank this for hours while catching up on The Flash with my dad.

The smoke is still there, but it’s almost like a overpowering camphor at this point which is quite interesting. The taste lingers for awhile and the brews are incredibly dark. At 16 years old, it’s apparent it has been living a good life becoming something that is amazing.

Depth of smoky earth that has hints of spice that stick around for awhile. Highly recommend trying a sample if you get the chance, the brew is darker than when I brew my dianhongs which impresses me and the depth follows the color of the liquid as well.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BS9GJqzgYMm/

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I had set this bag aside of ‘2000 CNNP camphor EoT’ for when a specific friend came over and today was that day. Due to the darkness of the leaf, I really thought this was a ripe puerh which is why I put it to the side. The first brew came through and I said “wow, this tea has REALLY aged out fast because it resembles an old raw at this point” and so we drank it and I was mind blown. Excused myself to grab my phone, this is because I don’t have my phone with me when I do tea sessions with friends generally, and found out this was a raw!

Some strong tingling with this tea and serious aging on it. Really solid brisky brew each pour towards the end (being 3 hours, 18 steeps). Really enjoyable.

Story time: So we are outside drinking the end of this tea when this dog walks up to us and we are like ‘ugh, what the hell this is a big dog’. Staring at each other, minutes pass and this lady comes by with a Budweiser in her hand and just goes “that’s Luna, she’s a baby”. Then we realized the dog was staring scared that we would move rather than us being scared that the dog would move : )

So we are just chatting away about how she works with autistic children, which is her job since humans are so prone to knowing what people do for a living, we poured hot water in this clear glass device called a gaiwan. Now for the most past in Ohio, gongfu brewing is not a thing. She looks right at us and goes “what the fuck is that”. We both laugh and respond, “tea”. Then as always, we got some confused and somewhat concerned looks. So at this point it’s been a bit so she opens another Budweiser and we talk about poverty until someone brings her Chinese food and then she leaves.

It was beautiful. I don’t know who she was, but at 10pm at night she was able to just stand there and talk to us for an hour not even knowing who we were either as we poured hot water into this gaiwan thing and drank it over and over making remarks like ‘does your mouth tingle still near the roof of your mouth?’. Thinking about it, she was probably somewhat amused by the odd stuff going on with these two men talking about how their mouth feels when a liquid is introduced.

Teatotaler

Love it! Beautiful story! :)

apefuzz

Ha! Cincinnati here – I think we’ll convert more Ohioans to gongfu if we stick hops in our gaiwans and start some sort of new-fangled craft brewing process.

mrmopar

Indeed as tea makes many a good friend for us.

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82

This tea has made quite the turnaround since I first tried it a few months ago. I first received it and was incredibly disappointed by the pungent and quite off-putting medicinal aroma that emanated from the sample bag, such that I was terrified that the 2012 Qi Sheng Gu cake I had bought would turn into this after a couple years. Thankfully, after giving this a second chance and placing my sample of it into a little cup in the open air for a few days to mellow whatever was left of that medicinal character from being in the sample bag, I’m almost able to drink this with an unbiased palate. This tea is a nice and pleasant semi-aged sheng It’s now nicely brothy and a little bit dry and earthy with a bit of fruit and floral character.

Preparation
4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
tanluwils

I’m also not a fan of the medicinal notes (and aromas!). This was one of the few blind buys that resulted in disappointment. Glad it seems to be improving. The Baotang had similar issues, but has shown marked improvement – the medicinal notes morphed into complex wood and dried figs.

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This tea seems pretty classic Yiwu, albeit a high quality example thereof and more changeable than I expected. Throughout the session I had with it today, it kept a noticeable honey aroma and maintained a decent thickness. Oddly, the tea started lighter in flavor than it ended, beginning with predominantly sharp notes amid background sweetness, but developing an almost juicy fruitiness in the last several steeps after a brief citric period. The mouth activity was pretty solid on this; the aftertaste lingers and a few steeps towards the end had a genuinely cooling finish. Other than a little bit of head feeling, I didn’t notice much actual qi on this; mostly just some uncomfortable jitteriness early on from a fairly strong caffeine presence (I overdosed on caffeine some yesterday, and some of this may have been aftershocks).

This was the latter half of a sample I’ve had around for a good seven months. I ended more impressed with this tea than I started, but I’m not totally sure how I’d rate it; ideally, I’d really want to play around more with it. As it is, I’ve got a lot of tea sitting around, and I’m not enough of a Yiwu fanboy to pay the asking price at this point. That said, if you consider yourself a stronger fan of the genre than I, it’s definitely at least worth a look.

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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