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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea lived up to its namesake. It very clearly tasted like cream and Brandy, and if steeped too long became incredibly bitter. I found after several steeps the bitterness actually increased. It tastes best with sweets, and has a strong and astringent taste reminiscent of alcohol.
Steeped gaiwan style.
Flavors: Alcohol, Brandy, Cream
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Flavors: Butter, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Nectar
The last of the samples I’ve ordered from white2tea. So far I’ve not been impressed with any of their teas, but perhaps my mistake was ordering fresh 2017 spring productions instead of going for teas from 2016. Anyway, this one has some age on it so it should not suffer from being too young at least. I’ve only tried around half a dozen or so semi-aged raw pu’ers so far as I’ve been quite content with drinking and sampling young raws for the time being, so bear in mind that my experience and palate when it comes to these teas is still quite limited.
I used 12 grams in my 180ml teapot made from clay from Dehua. The sample smelled extremely dank when I received it, which is why I’ve given it several months in my pumidor to air out. Fortunately this worked and I didn’t note any off notes in the smell or taste during this session. I rinsed the leaves for ten seconds and let them rest for five minutes before I began brewing proper. I did a total of nine steeps, for 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 75s, 2 min. and 3 min. The wet leaves have a scent of pinewood and bark. Perhaps slightly wet or decaying in the beginning, but it moves toward more fresh wood over the course of the steeps, eventually resembling warm wood stacked beside the fireplace.
The first steep surprised with its honey-like sweetness. It wasn’t nearly as intense as some of the sweetest young raws I’ve had, but definitely the sweetest of the handful of semi-aged shengs I’ve tried. The sweetness was accompanied by a dryness I’m accustomed to with every aged sheng I’ve tried. Note that this dry character does not often mean the tea is actually drying as well, although some steeps with this tea were a little bit of that as well. The mouthfeel was quite interesting and something you definitely took note of. The second steep was still quite sweet. It had now moved from honey to somewhere between honey and apricot. The dry finish was naturally still there as well.
The sweetness was gone by the third infusion, with the tea beginning to taste a bit sour now. There was also some bitterness in the finish now as well. So far the mouthfeel had remained the same. The next steep provided very typical semi-aged flavors. Dry, smoky, a bit bitter and prickly on the tongue. After a few small cups, the tea starts tasting a bit creamy. It got even creamier in the fifth steeping, with more pronounced flavors across the board, including the bitterness, but it was by no means any sort of bad kind of bitterness.
The tea started getting better in the sixth brew. The sweetness from the beginning was now starting to come back while the dryness was beginning to fall off. While the seventh steep was clearly a strong extraction, the flavors were beginning to taper off. The taste was a basic aged dry bitter taste. The tea was still quite drinkable though. It was slightly refreshing, but the dry finish also demanded you to keep drinking more. Even at this point the tea still retained most of its original mouthfeel.
The eighth steep was pretty basic now. The tea had a sort of slightly sweet woody taste. The mouthfeel was nice, slick, actually now somewhat oily. I actually quite liked this steep and it was possibly my favorite of the bunch. I could have possibly extended the brewing time for steep nine by more than just a minute as it ended up being slightly sweet, but clearly quite watery now. However, I thought that this tea was pretty much done by this point so I decided to end it there.
This tea was pretty decent. Clearly not made from high-end material, but not low-grade stuff either. As far as semi-aged teas go, this was actually the best one I’ve had so far, although not something I liked terribly much either. A couple of steeps were pretty good, but overall this is not a tea I would purchase for myself. However it is something that I can recommend for someone who is looking for a semi-aged sheng that doesn’t break the bank to try. Some people may enjoy drinking it now, but with further aging I would expect the bitterness to gradually die down and the sweetness to become even more pronounced. I think the price for this one is right, so if you like it go for it.
Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Drying, Honey, Sweet
NOTE This is based of an old sample so I won’t do a regular note for it
I liked this tea back when I bought it, but god it has come along really well.
The tea has an underlying vegetal note when dry with a little bit of sweetness. As soon as you introduce humidity you get an intense scent of maple (that chocolatey/caramel spectrum of maple) and some vegetal that resembles olive oil and this evolves into a more floral version of it as you keep steeping.
The taste is very similar to the scent, perhaps less vegetal in taste than the scent and you get a lot of that oily sensation together with the vegetal note that reminds me of olive oil, but the taste play between that savory note and that rich sweetness. The taste follow the trait of the scent, evolving into a floral version with each steep.
I can’t say that I recall how it tasted when I first tried it, but I have to say that it is thicker than I remembered.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Maple, Olive Oil, Thick, Vegetal
The tea is very tightly compressed. As a relative newbie, I had difficulty chipping the leaves off.
First steep, DAMN that’s bitter. Not the most bitter that I’ve tried, but it definitely has strong kuwei. It wasn’t unpleasant at first, but I was drinking on an empty stomach and quickly got nauseated.
Ate some food, but the tea is still bitter with flash steeps at steep number 5 or something. Ugh, now I’m kind of sick of the kuwei.
I think I’m more of a cat person.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor
Been a while since I’ve done one of these…
Opened my humidor to grab some tea before work today, I like taking younger sheng because I “grandpa Style” brew at work and I’d prefer drinking tea leaves that are in tact and not in pieces.
So took of what I thought was a regular amount of leaves for the day. Threw it in and pour boiled water on it (not very careful with metrics for grandpa drinking). First brew was like a few shots of espresso. Second pour was like doing cocaine. Third pour had me killing the game at work. The rest is history.
All this energy and all this flavor. So much leaf, maybe too much. So hot, so cold, so sweaty. All of this, but not without much bitterness you’d find in Menghai type teas. I think I need to get some more of this tea for the simple thrill of Grandpa brews at work. This is a winner and is still sweet and fruity towards the tail end of the brew sesh. All the while, maintaining a steady flow of astringency to coat the pallet for hours on end.
Grandpa Style- Approved
Gong Fu Style- Approved
Helps you relax ‘Style’- Rejected
This was one of the best mini ball type raw I had so far! Very strong, full creamy body and very intensely fragrant. Major notes of Mango and Honey ~ this fellow is for sure very sweet and fruity with a certain spicy Sichuan citrus flowery pepper aspect to it. There is a lot of power within this ball. It can get overbrewed easily – so take care! This young Sheng is definitely strong on the stomach so eat something beforehand. Very long lasting and a good long way to go! Great good quality travel pu – worth to carry one or two within your pocket on your next journey
Scent-wise this dark buddy exhales such a sweet thick earthy bouquet with deliciously deep notes of marshmallows and bourbon vanilla. This whole construct changes a bit within later infusions into a more medicinal aroma with a hint of licorice.
Further on within the actual tasting and steaming scenting phase a very dense forest earthy melody whistles like a really spice strong balsamic breeze over the mossy surface of a with rain soaked jungle covered in mist. This is without a doubt a very rich and well balanced Shou with first impressions of shiitake mushrooms grown on old with moss covered tree barks while a from the mountain leading pure fresh creek wriggles its way through the thickness of this evergreen forest. With its deep creamy texture it literally develops a tingling sensation on your tongue and palatal. On one side it started with balsamic woodsy roots it soon transforms further into a quite milky chocolate note with hints of caramel and vanilla. The aftertaste is very long lasting as expected within a great fusion of sweet and earthy components.
Warming your body and soul it is easy to fall in love with this fellow which makes him a great beginners Shou but also to be enjoyed by tea lovers of any stage ~ You want it chill & cozy add some brown sugar to it!
For a ripe pu-erh this fellow really comes along with such a nice sweetness plus a hint of fruitiness – just lovely. Scent-wise there is a first and foremost chocolatey aroma noticeable – very thick and well balanced. Further a very creamy view into the future one with a herbal nearly minty flavor to it but a bit more like ginseng is playing a very important role within this delicious act.
Like the shu fortune teller foretold this liquor is predestinated to be creamy and thick in its texture with a nice mixture of chocolate, a small hint of roasted hazelnuts, a much more distinct nuance of Chinese herbal medicine flair, a bit of wood and somehow there is a certain taste of marshmallows ready to be experienced – but not that extremely sweet ones – more like we know it in our Country called “Eibischteig”. But the most focus on sweetness definitely builds up again a nice elegant composition of filled chocolates with a fine hint of cherries inside. Like a fresh salad at the end you also might taste a subtle note of fresh spinach. Of course you can’t left out the main ingredients of earthiness and mushroom flavors when it comes to a nice dark Shu but this aren’t the main aspects of this wonderful Pu-erh – more like a known side effect. The balance and the creaminess within its dark magic is just breathtaking and really well put into the spotlight. A skillfully overall rounded concept.
This fellow walks hand in hand its tasty path when it comes to its taste and scent. Both express themselves in a very woodsy flair which really reminds me of the following components – Old Indian furniture like teak or mango wood, wet tree bark, a deep dense rainy day forest flair with a thick layer of mushrooms to it like shiitake and those brown mushrooms (we call them Creme Champignon). Beside that there is an unknown secret sweet accent to it and a very nice mineral / stony fusion. This fellow is definitely a worshiper of the dark side as you can see. Already the first infusion near lead into a deep sinister bloody red and transformed very quick into its final nearly blackish zone. Typical for a good little devil this fellow keeps going for many following rounds.
Aroma: Old red wine barrels, cork, yogurt, old woodsy furniture, fine delicate cranberry smoked ham and camphor – Very magically sourly mouth watering. A hint of dark chocolate.
Taste: This is exactly the type of aged Sheng I prefer. Strong and with an in your face profile. Gosh how much I love this aged fellow with all its deep flavors. I am really so so sad that this Pu is gone for ever. Without exaggerating this was and is by far the best and most loved aged Sheng I tasted so far (plus the Green Mark @thetea.pl). This fellow offers the most unique and deepest thick profile of strong flavors I ever experienced and I loved it to the bits. Very strong expressional woodsy Autumn flavors with a major tone of camphor and a creamy silky sweetness to it which shares its space and place with a deliciously sourly layer. Within the smooth texture there is a certain fury mouth feel to it. The major aspects always keeps their focus on the woodsy camphor old library parts but within the finish there is not only something like baked apple noticeable but also another sweet layer of blueberry muffins. Really delicious and so so GREAT! But also look at the coloration it turned from bright yellow into a juicy deep red ~ lovely! Sooner or later everything transforms into a Chinese TCM medicinal herbal atmosphere plus those woodsy camphor notes. I love this Sheng so much!
This tea has some very familiar shou notes, but the progression of this tea over a session is quite different from what I’m used to.
I’ve been paying less attention to my exact brewing lately, so I couldn’t say what it was, but my general pattern for shou is 20 second rinse, 10 second brew once it starts to open up, slowly progressing from there.
The wet leaf aroma of this tea didn’t wow me — fairly common wet leaf pile smell. The liquor has a fruity aroma with light hints of spice and earth. It’s brews up a very clean amber red color and never gets dark like a highly fermented shou, although is does darken halfway through the session. The body matches the look, being light and crisp — contrary to other reviewers I did not find it at all thick or creamy (despite the tea’s name).
However, the taste very much lives up to the name. Right off the bat I’m hit with notes of raspberry and sweet cream. As the session progresses the raspberry gives way to other fruits, first peach and then fresh apple cider, always with that sweet and creamy backing. Having too much of this tea too quickly is almost overwhelmingly sweet, like gorging on peach pie covered in whipped cream.
However, halfway through the session the tea does the opposite of maybe every shou I’ve had and gets less fruity and sweet. At this point I get a respite from the unending sweetness and can enjoy some balance. There’s a fresh, loamy earth flavor that replaces the sweet cream and calms the sweetness of the apple cider flavor. It’s joined by some added depth from minerality and a tingling on the tongue.
Overall a very solid tea for those that like a sweet shou. I didn’t get any qi from it, but the flavor was quite enjoyable (especially once the sweetness toned down slightly). I do wish it had a bit more body since that would have complimented the creamy flavor quite nicely.
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Fruity, Loam, Mineral, Peach, Raspberry, Sweet, Wet Earth
5-6 oz water
2 rinses, 10 sec with a rest of 2 min in between
dry leaf: compact, dark, dry, brittle, faint sweet musky scent like dry leaves
1st steep: 10-15 sec, rich dark brown with reddish tones, no bitterness noted
2nd steep: 12-15 sec, same color, light forest floor taste
3rd steep: 15 sec, lighter, more red color
4th steep: 20 sec, same as before. just kinda eh for me.
Drinking a 90s HK stored puer. It’s not labeled ripe or raw, but I’m pretty sure it’s a ripe because of it’s amazing creaminess. School has been extrememly busy lately, I come home at 7 everyday and just fall asleep, so the only time I have for tea is on the weekends and friday.
But this tea just made my morning, it’s so great. It’s like a warm hug, or sitting in a grampa chair next to the fireplace with a kitten in your lap. Yeah, that kind of warmness, haha. It’s colour is so great too. I normally don’t talk about colour, but my word is this one beautiful. It’s like a deep dark red, but when the morning light hit it the red colour started to shine.
It starts out just like a ripe, without too much flavour, but a lot of creaminess, and you get some storage flavour. Except that it starts out at like the pinnacle of most ripes with the mustiness of an aged tea of course. If you’ve ever drank a ripe, you know what I mean. At around the 3rd steeping, it’s just pure smooth creamy mushroominess. If you haven’t tried a ripe yet, it’s deffinately worth a try. Anyways, after the first steep, it brewed pretty consistently up until the 3rd steep where I am now. I don’t have time to review the tea after I’m finished, as I’ll be working for the rest of the say.
But it’s super smooth, thick, and with an oily like texture at the top of your mouth. It dried your mouth leaving it with the great taste of aged puer until you’re compelled to take another sip. Hm, as I read above I don’t think I did a good enough job, so let me explain further haha. It has a chocolaty taste to it, like not milk chocolate but like a sweet cacao bean, with a mushroomy taste afterwards, it’s so calming. When I smell the tea the aged puer note is all I smell, but it has a grape taste to it as well. the aged note is such a great compliment to all the flavours I discussed before, it’s like the bitterness that I wish young ripes had.
Well, I think I’ve summarised it pretty well, this ripe or raw, but probably ripe HK stored tea is probably the best go-to tea if you’ve been working hard all week. I’d recommend this tea if you’d love to start off your day great.
Have a great day!
Oh wow, this is a raw? Haha, this tea is just too good.
So, I own a cake of Big O – but in an order other than the one where I bought that cake I did end up getting a Little O coin as well. I was just gonna log this one under the Steepster entry for Big O, but I guess it has its own entry so might as well pop it on this one?
Normally I’d use a coin of this size for a Gong Fu session but since I know I have a lot of this one in cake format to drink I ended up just breaking the coin in half and using it for two different Western style mugs of tea while I read a new comic book with some music going in the background. It was very relaxing, and a good atmosphere!
Flavour wise, I don’t think this is any different from Big O – and I mean, rightfully so since it’s the exact same tea just compressed into different sized cakes/coins. Why would it taste any different!? That would be illogical. It’s smooth and full bodied though, with a really nice, natural orange flesh/pulp kind of taste in the body of the sip surrounded by this sort of wet/damp earth and wood taste from the shou. Really, really thick liquor that coats the whole mouth, and a lingering finish that is warm and inviting and made me eager for the next sip. Or slurp, as was often the case. It was good reading tea, very calm and soothing! I have no need for the coins since I’ve got a cake of Big O for me to drink; but if I hadn’t caked it already this would definitely be an affordable approach to the tea with the convenience of not needing to break the cake up at all.
I think my cake needs a bit of time to rest/air out – but these coins seem ready to drink for me to me so if you like chenpi then I totally recommend giving these a go!
Having the last of the sample this morning. Currently drinking the last cup of the session at the moment, while going over the notes. Hot Brandy has been the tea that had me quite skeptical going in, unsure whether I’d like it, so I picked up the 25g sample, rather than the whole cake (despite wanting the wrapper).
I will state that I’m not over the moon about it, but it’s not bad, either. The pairing of the white/black tea makes for a solid chocolaty-floral combo. I think this would make a great grandpa-styled brew for the desk at work, but there are points throughout the [gongfu-style] session where it is rather weak. This is definitely the type of tea that cannot be flash brewed as well as it can be when steeped for 30-60 seconds each time one wants to drink it. I’m not a black/white tea fan all of the time—I’m pretty particular of which black/white teas are had—but, this isn’t a bad combo overall.
Got this sample during Black Friday.
First steep was smokey and tobacco heavy. I did not like it. This is my second aged raw, and there’s a similarity to the other one (Top of the Clouds from Crimson Lotus) but instead of the juicy stone fruit taste, I only got the smokey part.
The next steeps got sweeter and sweeter. Not taste of camphor like young raws. The sweetness changes as well. I wasn’t paying enough attention at first, but it progresses to a more sour sweetness. What’s amazing, though, is how many steeps I got out of this. It took more than double the amount of water that I usually use for raw. I don’t keep track of steep count, so I’m not sure what number I’m on, but I’m currently heating more water for my next steep (previous steep being 20 min)!
Damn, I’m still new to pu erh (especially aged), but I might actually cake this next black friday.
Flavors: Plums, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet
I went 11 steepings, starting at 10s and ending at 1min. The flavors were very light, starting almost floral and getting a bit more savory/woodsy later on. More importantly, the texture started creamy fluffy early on, getting more oily towards the end. A bit of bitterness early on that faded in later steepings, as a metallic/mineral sensation grew instead. (I didn’t get any of the fruitiness other reviewers have mentioned, though.) The aftertaste was quite literally tooth-achingly sweet throughout.
I’m often a big aroma/flavor person, but here it’s the texture progression that I found fun, and how long the sweetness lingered afterwards. It feels like excellent value for the money.