pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou

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derk said

Spring 2018 Jingmai Gulan from Farmerleaf. This is still very young tasting and astringent, kind of thin but with some spectacular, promising qualities. Time might do it well.
I’m finding the pronounced floral character of young Jingmai teas doesn’t agree with me. I’d like to try some aged material. Anybody have a recommendation?

derk said

2016 Bang Wai Gu Cha from Yunnan Craft.

I’m 6 steeps in and it seems like a good deal for the $23 I paid for a 200g beeng (now sold out). Balanced toffee/ripe papaya like sweetness that’s sticky but not cloying. Full sip thins nicely on the swallow. Tingling, mouthwatering, oily long after swallow, camphor, very light bitterness and astringency. Light fruity aftertaste. Plenty of 2 leaf and bud sets with no obvious oxidation. Not complex in taste but what it does, it does very well.

derk said

Past few days:

2018 Bang Wai Qiao Mu from Yunnan Craft — fits me right!
2014 EoT Long Lan Xu from Essence of Tea — Their storage has this halfway to aged already. Had good reception here several years ago; I don’t like where it currently sits but I’ll come back to it later.

Today was 2017 Suan Zao Shu Old Arbor Raw from Yunnan Sourcing — The best Jinggu tea I’ve had (which isn’t many, maybe 4?). Underneath the subtle complexities, this tea is all about the throatfeel and intense spicy/warming and cooling effects. Clean.

derk said

Hoping somebody else will pop in here from time to time.

Still exploring Pu’er prefecture sheng. Went from Jinggu to Jingmai to Bangwai. Now back to Jinggu after finding 3 more in storage that I didn’t know were from there.

Yesterday was 2016 Yunnan Sourcing Bai Ni Shui Old Arbor Raw. Very mellow, low-toned taste and feel. Sun-dappled forest profile with mushroom brothiness, nuts, flowers, herbal cooling but not my thing.

Tonight is 2016 Yunnan Sourcing Autumn Da Qing Gu Shu Raw. So far it’s a 1-dimensional drying straw taste with low-sitting, tongue-numbing bitterness and a cooling, metallic finish. Pleasant, quick aftertaste that’s changing from fruity to milk and pure cinnamon. It’s a good night-time brew while listening to Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage.

derk said

Moving into Kunlu and starting with wild sheng — Spring 2017 Slumbering Dragon from Crimson Lotus. Super floral wet leaf! The tea has that wild profile with a clear bitterleaf-hay base accented by light woodsy, musky and grape-berry fruity flavors. Turns sour later. Light, buttery mouthfeel early. Good thing I’m drinking right after dinner. The heavy alakalinity hit my body hard. It took a while but that chest-thumping energy finally hit. Not finding it to be heady at all.

Like some other Chinese wild teas I’ve tried, I’m not finding this favorable in terms of body effects. I’m hoping to one day find one that works for me.

It has been rather dead around here for a while, has it not.

I have been drinking rather a lot of ripe tea lately, made in an infuser mug or English pot. It’s a consequence of being locked down and WFH. Spouse likes ripe tea brewed this way, with butter whipped in with a hand blender. We polished off a cake of Heng Tong Hao gongting last week, and have just started in on one of Menghai “Song of the Lotus.” Which I think is the first Dayi ripe tea I’ve tasted that wasn’t a numbered recipe. Not counting a sample of Golden Needle White Lotus that is.

You might think that working from home would be a better situation for making gongfu tea that at the office, but in my case you’d be wrong. I had a permanent setup on my desk with a zojirushi and cup, fair cup/strainer, and small pot always in place. Here I’m at the kitchen table, and I have to move shit every day. The Zoji is put away in the garage for the duration. By the time I make a 4-cup pot of shu in the morning, drink the part that spouse didn’t, and then steep out the leaves again, It’s getting a bit late to start a sheng session.

derk said

A couple Kunlu sheng.

2018 KXQM from Crimson Lotus. Difficult to describe. Smooth and settled but obviously not in an aged way, maybe a bit muted, deceptively heavy, savory and alkaline. Moderate young bitterness and mild green astringency are there, increasing with each steep after maybe the fifth. Didn’t brew this one out. This tea mellowed me instantly. I see the resemblance to the Planet Kunlu dragon ball. KXQM warrants a revisit this weekend to get a better feel for its young arbor nature.

Via ashmanra: WYMMTea’s Kunlu Sheng Pu-erh from Ancient Tea Tree 2010 Spring had tonight. Also a mellowing, very natural feeling tea. Aroma of bitter white florals that are very perfume-like and incense along the line of myrrh transfer into the mouth and meet with hay-dry grass and floral-incensey bitterness, hints of leather. Smooth and savory. As steeps progress, buttery caramel begins to appear in taste and mouthfeel. Light oats and unripe apricot also come out. Slight tangy and mineral finish with some mouthwatering precedes a short unripe apricot aftertaste. Huigan arrives late but isn’t shy, followed by menthol and camphor. I’m digging this one. I never felt like this tea fell off quickly and it changed ever so slightly with each infusion.

It’s been mostly sheng for me over the past few weeks! Drinking my way through some small verdant bags from years ago – still delicious – and also chipping away at some of the cakes that I have. There’s one that I’ve been particularly enjoying – I think it’s a cake I bought from Verdant in 2014, but I’ve rather carelessly lost the lable…

Either way, it brews up beautifully in my little yixing pot and has been keeping me going during lockdown. I think I’ll treat myself to a session this afternoon. Lots of stone fruit notes, with some of the menthol/camphor flavours peeking through in later steeps. Really lovely stuff.

derk said

Nice to see a couple of veteran (new to me) posters :)

Found yet another Jinggu county tea (or is it Jingdong? I’m finding conflicting info) in my stash — 2018 Lao Wu Shan Gu Shu Cha from Yunnan Craft. I’ve not seen any Lao Wu Shan teas available at the vendor sites I’ve frequented.

Starts off mellow, savory-alkaline and smooth with returning sweetness and deep cooling appearing on the first steep. By the fifth, it’s showing youthful greenness and astringency.

I wonder how other teas from this area compare.

derk said

A gaiwan of 2017 Essence of Tea Jingdong Ancient Wild, nursed all day while reconfiguring our drip irrigation system. I love the lightness of this one. The bitterness is more buoyant than the other wild tea I had recently. It’s a mouth-penetrating bitterness, which I enjoy, like a combination of bitter cherry, bitter melon and rubber. I think this is one of the teas mrmopar shared with me and Todd over Ethiopian food last year.

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