pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou
2009 Small Banzhang Green Pu-erh Tea Cake.
Generous sample from TeaExplorer. i have very few sheng. it’s a learning curve to me. interesting, not harsh. slight bitterness but its pleasant.
Having a 2013 Haiwan Yiwu Zheng Shan. This a very soft Yiwu. It starts out whispering to you when you break the cake. It is not tightly compressed as some of these are and actually has some nice full sized leaves in it and not “chopped” as a lot are. It carries a small touch of the bitter of a young sheng but it is very light. It has a nice floral and citrusy flavor to it that gives a tingle on the sides and tip of the tongue. It holds well through about 9 infusions with the honeyish flavor coming after the third steep. Nice quality cake to be factory made. I think it is apparent that some steps were made to bring this one up a few notches as we say. It gives you that touch of calm and relaxing feeling to it. Nicely done in all categories. Prepared in the Gaiwan 9 grams leaf, 5 second wash before first infusion.
Sounds like a nice Sheng. If you were to recommend Yiwu Shengs where would you send me to buy some? I’ve bought a few but so far I’ve gotten the ‘chopped’ leaves and iffy tasting ones.
Jc I am a beginner to sheng. It is still a learning curve to me at this moment. Sammerz314 has some good knowledge on the subject of sheng.
Oh, Mrmopar you are too modest! You know as much as I do, if not more! haha. Where have you purchased the Yiwus you’ve had JC? I usually pick my tea up from YS, Puerhshop or Essense of Tea.
JC, Yunnan Soucing’s 2012 “Qiu Yun” autumn Yiwu is really good, and probably as cheap as you’re likely to find a handmade yiwu cake, that’d be a good place to start i think, at least for young ones.
Oh ye, definitely a bargain. I picked up 3 of those not too long ago. Have you had the chance to try them yet?
Sammerz he’s the one for sheng till I learn more. i am learning from him.I agree the 2012 “Qiu Yun” is nice.
Thanks for the replies and recommendations! Sammerz I’ve gotten several samples from here and there (I don’t want to mention vendor to avoid issues) I’ve gotten a few from YS which I liked, but I bought a cake and some samples from this big online vendor and honestly it was an older Yiwu Sheng that tasted like it was stored in with Lemon-mint Ricolas, have you run into some weird Yiwu like that?
JC, I haven’t encountered anything like that. I have encountered Yiwus with, as you mentioned, chopped up leaves. Personally, chopped up leaves tell me its terrace tea and not arbor or wild tree. Perhaps the tea you’re referring to was poorly stored? Perhaps even stored near other aromas with the intention of “flavouring”? I’ve come across several articles stating that more and more puerhs have some sort of flavouring in them.
It doesn’t surprise me. The tea is WAY too fragrant for its age and the smell was just unnatural from the beginning. I’ve had the cake for a bit now and I completely avoided reviewing it. I found that the store owner had some issues with ’aged’7542 that looked and tasted recently pressed and honestly that didn’t bother me as much as how the person handled the situation.
Basically, it became a ‘well you only paid $$ and most cakes that age are $$$$ so you should know there’s a risk’ sort of attitude. Which sucks because I’ve been ‘stalking’ some cakes in that shop for a while and after that I’m not sure I want to risk it anymore.
That is horrible. The vendor didn’t even attempt to correct the situation? I probably wouldn’t do business with such a vendor.. completely lost their credibility. I was in a similar situation. I purchased a 1998 “sheng” tuocha only to find that the tea was lightly fermented.. or VERY wet stored. Point being, there was some false advertising. I sort of blame myself though since I should have been suspicious of the low price. The vendor did send me another small bing without charge so it wasn’t too bad. In general, I follow some basic rules when buying puerhs:
1)Always buy from a credible source (well-known or perhaps a reference from a trusted friend)
2)Consider the price (ie. If you see a 357 LBZ cake for $20 US, there is a very good chance its fake. 357g of fresh LBZ maocha alone costs more than $20)
3)As you mentioned, look at the cake. Colour sometimes helps give you an idea of its age (there are exceptions like purple bud).
Any other rule of thumb? I can’t really think of anymore lol.
LOL! But those ARE some good rules to follow. That’s why I thought about asking. The show is well known and I felt like I could trust them, but then I got that Sheng and stumbled into the 7542 issue on a blog, together with the owner’s reply.
I have to admit that I bought a ripe from the same store and it was as advertised, not a great quality but a good ripe cake. I want to find a few examples of good Yiwu so can buy a few to store myself.
I’ve had a few Yiwus and none really impressed me.. perhaps they were lower grade materials from Yiwu? The YS 2012 “Qiu Yun” autumn is nice but nothing too special.. I’d say a good value. Good quality Yiwus will cost you good money.. money that could probably buy you good, already aged tea. Here is another YS Yiwu:
*Just pointing out the cost of Yiwus with this link. Not saying that its better than the 2012 “Qiu Yun”.
I understand. Lately prices have gone insane. People keep mentioning the Puerh price bubble and that at some point it will burst (I hope it does since it means cheaper prices).
I just want to get a GOOD qualified example of Yiwu, you know as a learning example. As I said, I’ve had good ones, but is nice to have examples of good, great and bad Puerh (I feel the last category teaches A LOT).
+1 on e the bubble burst. If it does I hope to score some more tea…..If I can sneak it in…….
I agree. I am sitting around watching and waiting for the fall. I told the better half tonight when it does occur there will be some things in the mail.
In my dedicated to sheng yixing teapot I rinsed then steeped for 30 seconds the 2012 Yunnan Sourcing Impression raw pu-erh. This is a blended tea from various areas meant to create an affordable, age-able sheng. I found it good, strong, astringent, tannic, aromatic (oat straw and chlorophyll) with a slightly smoky, agreeable finish, and think it will gain some complexity while aging. It doesn’t have complexity yet, but will be interesting to taste in time.
I spent the last two days re-arranging my tea storage, separating sheng and shou into different drawers, cataloguing my teas, and realized I have lots of samples to try, hence this exploration. You can see the results in my cupboard.
I love this cake too, it’s not super complex but it’s tastily sweet and clean (personally i don’t detect any smoke), and surprisingly thick and full for it’s price (the original price on this cake was only $12.50!) An excellent blend that totally destroys any other bargain sheng.
2007 White Dragon Lao Cha Tou from yunnan sourcing, mellow and soothing, pretty much instantly banishing a nasty stomach pain I’ve had all day.
Continuing on my exploration of sheng samples I come to Misty Peaks teas 2012 autumn Yiwu sheng pu-erh. This tea, brewed in a 185 ml yixing teapot, was a light orange colored soup, had some citrus hints and a touch of orchid aroma, and was fairly smooth, but felt closed in by astringency on the back of my tongue. Hard to evaluate this young, I enjoyed the orange citric flavor and smoothness, but found its ageworthiness difficult to evaluate because of its astringent youth. Judgement reserved. I honestly find it difficult to evaluate young shengs. I still don’t have enough experience to tell what they will be like as they become older in age. I’m counting on all of you for more tasting notes and thoughts on ageworthy shengs.
Chrysanthemum Pu’er by Verdant Tea… Fragrant, mellow, smooth delicious shou with lovely chrysanthemum flowers, juniper berries, coriander and holy basil… Yum!
YS 2012 Yong De Blue Label Shu, Came out on the dry and woody side today, with a tiny touch of bitterness, I have a feeling this is one meant for long-term aging and isn’t ideal to drink yet.
Had a 2007 Xiaguan “KAI MEN HONG”. Had this one late last night. It has some age on it and the tuocha reflects this in the color of the leaf. It brews an amber golden color. Darker than I thought for its age. It still has that smoky “bite” of the Xiaguan teas and comes across with a woody leather taste. I have only done 2 steeps so far and hopefully this will evolve away from the smokiness.
Master Han’s Shu Puer 2002 from Verdant Tea. Incredibly smooth and delicious… I’m loving every sip.
Today is a 2012 Spring Bulang sheng that I received from a gentleman at the Toronto tea festival this weekend. One of the smoother Bulangs I’ve had.. pretty nice stuff.
Are you positive it was a Bulang? I once bought a Spring Bulang and it was pretty smooth as well but it was 2009, even then I wasn’t sure if it was a real Bulang, still pretty tasty though!
Well, I can’t say with any certainty. I was told that it was a Bulang. It was smooth but it still had some punch to it. It was smooth relative to some of the stronger Bulangs I’ve had.
Same here. The one I got that was smooth was really good but I can’t tell if it is indeed Bulang. I’m wondering if it has to do with Spring vs Autumn pickings. I have a 2008 that is Bulang and I confirmed it is and it is pretty smooth but mostly because of the Spring material, I haven’t had any autumn Bulang yet.